Dodger Stadium Park Factor: Hits 89; Runs 82; HRs 107
(100 is average, under 100 is favorable to pitchers)
Values ~ 2000: $0 2001: $5 2002: $11 2003: $16
Nomo pitches with a fairly distinct pattern. With most batters, he tries to get ahead with a fastball that he can throw at different speeds, topping out in the low 90's. Later in the count, particularly when he's ahead, he throws a lot of splitters. He goes after some hitters with the splitter right at the start. Nomo has benefited from his return to a pitchers park where he has had success. A good mid-level starter for your staff.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: -$6 2002: $27 2003: $3
Perez was hugely disappointing to owners last year after appearing to have established himself as a frontline pitcher in 2002. His hit rate increased last year 26%, his walk rate 46% and his HR rate 60%. Perez has a good fastball/slider combination and complements them with a change-up. Perez' name has been extensively mentioned in trade talks, so it's possible he could end up elsewhere.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: -$4 2003: $17
After an injury-plagued and thoroughly disappointing 5-year deal with the D-Rays punctuated by shoulder surgery in May, 2000 Alvarez could only find a minor league deal last year but pitched his way back onto the LA staff and eventually into the rotation. Career-wise, he tends to have had high levels of walks and strikeouts and to be difficult to hit but last year he registered an all-time low walk rate of just .24/IP. I saw a late 2002 long relief appearance. Wilson's fastball was 88-91 and he was mixing it with a good curve and change, keeping the ball down and hitting his spots and pitched effectively. I think he'll continue to deliver positive value but because he's both an injury and conditioning question mark, I'd stay well short of last year's value. Alvarez has been slowed by a tight shoulder this spring.
Values ~ 2000: $11 2001: $8 2002: $13 2003: -$12
Ed Whitson redux. Weaver was a complete bust in NY and needed this change of scenery. His arm angle varies from below three-quarters to sidearm. His fastball hits 94 and he has a hard slider. Both pitches have a lot of movement. He is supposed to have added a cutter since I saw him last. Weaver has always been very impressive when I've seen him, so I haven't yet lost faith that he can have a good career. His control has been excellent. He starts pitches off the plate and the movement catches corners or pitch that start in the middle move off the plate by the time batters swung. In addition, Weaver is very aggressive. He's hit 67 batters in his career so far and has been involved in a couple of bench-clearers.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: -$4 2003: -$3
Ishii's fastball was about average when I saw him in 2002 and he had a sweeping curve, slider and splitter. The analyst said neither his fastball nor curve were as good as they had been earlier in the year when the fastball had greater movement and the curve had a tighter break. He has lost value in the second half of both his seasons in LA; although a sprained knee ligament may have impacted his performance late last season. Although he was effective in the game I saw, varying his secondary pitches as the game progressed to keep hitters guessing, he has struggled with his control and posted an extremely high walk rate both years. LA has him slotted for the rotation but I'll pass.
Values ~ 2000: -$19 2001: -$10 2002: -$8 2003: $4
Lima throws mostly fastballs, mixes in an excellent changeup and an occasional pitch that moves down in the zone. One TV analyst called it a curve, but it looked more like a sinking fastball – there’s not a whole lot of break. When I watched him, Lima was moving the ball around well and stayed on the corners, but he ran an awful lot of deep counts in one start and almost invariably went with his fastball on a full count. The analyst noted it and, sure enough, the next 3-2 fastball was hit out. Lima works exceptionally quickly and has a very competitive temperament and will come after hitters. He's had a history of high HR rates but was not as susceptible last year. Lima's resurgence last year was unexpected; I'd wait for him to prove it's no fluke.
Values ~ 2000: -$5 2001: -$2 2002: $38 2003: $46
Gagne made a successful transition to the closer's role in 2002 after struggling to establish himself in the LA rotation and cemented his status last year as a premier closer in the NL with the Cy Young. He has a low 90's sinking fastball, a sharp curve and change. Stud closer if you want to pay the freight.
Values ~ 2000: $1 2001: -$4 2002: $0 2003: $19
The penny finally dropped for Mota last year. He improved his hit rate 19% vs. his previous career and lowered his walk rate 41%. Mota throws in the mid 90s and mixes in a slider and change. I had always liked the movement Mota got on his pitches but his career had been plagued by injury and wildness. He was used pretty heavily by Tracy last year and often when middle relievers are subjected to a heavy workload one year, they don't pitch as well the following year. Still, he should be available for well below last year's value in most leagues and can help your ERA and Ratio. Mota has been hampered by a sore triceps this spring.
Values ~ 2000: $8 2001: $6 2002: $8 2003: $9
Shuey is an injury-prone set-up man. He spent some time on the DL with a sprained knee last season. It was thought he was the Indians' closer of the future, but pitched horrendously when given the opportunity at the start of 2000. Last year with LA he recorded only 10 holds, an indication that he has yet to secure Tracy's trust. He's been rumored to be available in trade. Shuey has closer stuff, including a mid 90's fastball, hard splitter and curve, but his career has been held back by injury and a tendency to lose control. I've taken him off my speculative closer list, but he's still a good addition to help control your ERA and Ratio.
Values ~ 2000: $7 2001: -$7 2002: NA 2003: $2
Dreifort missed all of 2002 following his second Tommy John surgery. He also had knee surgery which slowed his rehab. Last summer he needed additional knee surgery, then hurt his hip during rehab and that required surgery. He's expected to be ready to go this spring, but with that history, he will be a huge question mark. Dreifort has excellent stuff, but his ratios have promised more than Dreifort has been able to deliver. He uses a low arm angle to throw a mid 90's fastball with outstanding late movement, usually breaking down, and mixes in a hard slider. He gets a lot of groundball outs and usually maintains a low HR rate. Dreifort has been working on a change to give hitters a different speed to look at, but in the last start I watched, he only threw one with effect. It looked like a splitter. I've always liked Dreifort but at this point, I'd consider him only as a late, cheap gamble. Dreifort is expected to open the season in the bullpen as LA attempts to bring him back slowly from knee surgery.
Values ~ 2000: $2 2001: -$8 2002: $1 2003: $3
Martin did what he had been unable to do earlier in his career and that was to retire LH batters and consequently serve as an effective situational lefty. Still, there's little value here.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: -$2 2003: -$3
A high 90s fastball has been Sanchez' calling card. His ratios over the last couple of years working in relief at AAA have not been encouraging: Hit Rate = 1.03; K/BB Ratio = 1.62; HR Rate = .067.