Son of Yhency

Friday, April 07, 2006

Opportunity's a-knockin'

From 2002 to 2004, Eric Gagne was without a doubt the most dominant closer in baseball. He entered 84 consecutive save opportunities without blowing one, had a ridiculous ERA of 1.79 and boasted a K/9 ratio of 13.30. In his best year, 2003, here were some of his key stats: 1.20 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, .133 BAA and 137 Ks in only 82.1 innings pitched. That's just stupid.

Now it's over. Let's all admit it. Because after missing most of the 2005 season with pain in his right elbow and undergoing surgery, he will now miss a very large portion of the 2006 season (at the very least) so he can again have surgery on the same elbow to remove a nerve that has been causing pain.

Clearly this hurts the Dodgers as a team, and for that, I am not happy. But I would be remiss if I didn't address how this affects Yhency.

Despite all the turmoil he's been through so far this year and his non-appearance in tonight's 5-3 win over the Phillies, I think he immediately becomes the eighth inning setup man. Baez is the closer, no doubt, but with Yhency's experience and the early struggles of Hong-Chih Kuo and Franquelis Osoria, Grady has no one else to turn to. And unlike what those at other sites think (see point #6), this isn't a bad thing. For Yhency will shine.

Agree with the majority, that Yhency will be a dud? Then stay tuned for my post in the next few days in which I'll detail why Yhency's 2005 numbers (5.33 ERA and 1.40 WHIP) are supremely deceiving and must be broken down to understand his effectiveness. To say how the Dodgers coaching staff handled him in the bullpen had some effect on his performance would be the understatement of the century.