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View Full Version : The Continuing Decline & Fall of Mark Buehrle


crector
04-21-2004, 03:27 AM
Following is the the three year decline of starter Mark Buehrle as evidenced by his stats from 2001, 2002 and 2003 (in order):

ERA: 3.29, 3.58, 4.14
K/BB: 2.63, 2.20, 1.95
K/9IP: 5.12, 5.05, 4.65
BAA: .230, .260, .278

Buehrle’s decline is an indication that his arm is getting progressively tired. One would think that the Sox would opt to limit Buehrle to no more than 5 innings per start or to a strict pitch limit in the 75-100 range or perhaps even place him in the bullpen in order to at least lengthen out his quality service for the team. This is especially the case since Buehrle recently signed a 3-yr. $18 Mil. in guraranteed money contract with the Sox. However, the Sox have not evinced any awareness of Buehrle’s decline and appear to have their problematic pitcher on course towards lengthened stays on the mound.

Up until last night's disaster at Comiskey Park vs. the Yankees, Buehrle was throwing an average 107 pitches per game. Folks, this is Dusty Baker territory. Unless Guillen institutes a strict pitch count on Buehrle, his decline will only continue to worsen.

jeremyb1
04-21-2004, 03:33 AM
Originally posted by crector
Following is the the three year decline of starter Mark Buehrle as evidenced by his stats from 2001, 2002 and 2003 (in order):

ERA: 3.29, 3.58, 4.14
K/BB: 2.63, 2.20, 1.95
K/9IP: 5.12, 5.05, 4.65
BAA: .230, .260, .278

Buehrle’s decline is an indication that his arm is getting progressively tired. One would think that the Sox would opt to limit Buehrle to no more than 5 innings per start or to a strict pitch limit in the 75-100 range or perhaps even place him in the bullpen in order to at least lengthen out his quality service for the team. This is especially the case since Buehrle recently signed a 3-yr. $18 Mil. in guraranteed money contract with the Sox. However, the Sox have not evinced any awareness of Buehrle’s decline and appear to have their problematic pitcher on course towards lengthened stays on the mound.

Up until last night's disaster at Comiskey Park vs. the Yankees, Buehrle was throwing an average 112 pitches per game. Folks, this is Dusty Baker territory. Unless Guillen institutes a strict pitch count on Buehrle, his decline will only continue to worsen.

A few things 1) you shouldn't read too much into one start 2) I agree Guillen is not being cautious enough with our starting pitchers 3) Buehrle has survived despite being worked hard for three seasons now.

That said, I think there's reason for concern about Buehrle. He's declined the past two seasons and rarely shows the type of dominance from '01 anymore. I don't know if hitters have caught up with him or '01 was simply a career year but he seems to have an awful lot more trouble shutting teams down these days. He walks more hitters and gets hit hard every several starts.

gosox41
04-21-2004, 08:24 AM
Originally posted by crector
Following is the the three year decline of starter Mark Buehrle as evidenced by his stats from 2001, 2002 and 2003 (in order):

ERA: 3.29, 3.58, 4.14
K/BB: 2.63, 2.20, 1.95
K/9IP: 5.12, 5.05, 4.65
BAA: .230, .260, .278

Buehrle’s decline is an indication that his arm is getting progressively tired. One would think that the Sox would opt to limit Buehrle to no more than 5 innings per start or to a strict pitch limit in the 75-100 range or perhaps even place him in the bullpen in order to at least lengthen out his quality service for the team. This is especially the case since Buehrle recently signed a 3-yr. $18 Mil. in guraranteed money contract with the Sox. However, the Sox have not evinced any awareness of Buehrle’s decline and appear to have their problematic pitcher on course towards lengthened stays on the mound.

Up until last night's disaster at Comiskey Park vs. the Yankees, Buehrle was throwing an average 107 pitches per game. Folks, this is Dusty Baker territory. Unless Guillen institutes a strict pitch count on Buehrle, his decline will only continue to worsen.

Buerhle's numbers bother me because they keep getting worse. I don't blame it on pitch count.

The bestr part is if Buehrle continues to decline fans here will be ripping the team for signing him saying how they should have noticed this (and they should have) but a lot of those are going to be the same fans that praised the Sox for signin Buehrle in the first place.


Bob

wdelaney72
04-21-2004, 08:31 AM
Listen to any interview with former MLB pitchers and they will agree that pitch count is BS.

Buerhle's yearly stats indicate a downward trend, but take a more detailed look at last season.

He started off crappy and pretty much kicked ass the second half. This would destroy any theory of a tired arm. I would say it' either
a) mental
b) not physically in good pitching shape
c) both

hold2dibber
04-21-2004, 08:58 AM
Originally posted by crector
Following is the the three year decline of starter Mark Buehrle as evidenced by his stats from 2001, 2002 and 2003 (in order):

ERA: 3.29, 3.58, 4.14
K/BB: 2.63, 2.20, 1.95
K/9IP: 5.12, 5.05, 4.65
BAA: .230, .260, .278

Buehrle’s decline is an indication that his arm is getting progressively tired. One would think that the Sox would opt to limit Buehrle to no more than 5 innings per start or to a strict pitch limit in the 75-100 range or perhaps even place him in the bullpen in order to at least lengthen out his quality service for the team. This is especially the case since Buehrle recently signed a 3-yr. $18 Mil. in guraranteed money contract with the Sox. However, the Sox have not evinced any awareness of Buehrle’s decline and appear to have their problematic pitcher on course towards lengthened stays on the mound.

Up until last night's disaster at Comiskey Park vs. the Yankees, Buehrle was throwing an average 107 pitches per game. Folks, this is Dusty Baker territory. Unless Guillen institutes a strict pitch count on Buehrle, his decline will only continue to worsen.

Buehrle's decline has been pretty well documented here in the past. And I agree it is cause for concern. But I don't see how you can possibly conclude that a "tired arm" is the problem. He has never (knock on wood) had an arm injury, there are no reports of a drop in velocity, or any other tell-tale sign of a tired arm. Under these circumstances, his decline in performance is much more likely to be the result of better scouting of his tendencies, strengths and weaknesses, tipping pitches, loss of control (either due to mechanics or simply due to declining ability), etc. With that said, he had a 3.05 ERA coming into last night's game. I wouldn't worry too much about last night's start. Lets see what he does to bounce back in his next few.

daveeym
04-21-2004, 09:01 AM
A. The league wide squeezing of the strike zone this year probably has something to do with it.

B. How can you even look at yesterday, he gave up 3 broken bat base hits, 2 infield hits (albeit one was his lazy ass not covering first) and there were 2 errors in that first inning.

DaveIsHere
04-21-2004, 09:13 AM
I would have to agree, the 1st inning was crap, that Yanks got a lot of solid breaks, but the Sox came right back which is what you wanted to see. We will take the next 2!

Dan H
04-21-2004, 10:37 AM
I am very concerned Buehrle. He just doens't look like the guy whoh won 19 games in 2002. If he doens't find himself, the Sox are big trouble even in this weak division. We can't expect Danny Wright to pick him up.

Randar68
04-21-2004, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Buehrle's decline has been pretty well documented here in the past. And I agree it is cause for concern. But I don't see how you can possibly conclude that a "tired arm" is the problem. He has never (knock on wood) had an arm injury, there are no reports of a drop in velocity, or any other tell-tale sign of a tired arm. Under these circumstances, his decline in performance is much more likely to be the result of better scouting of his tendencies, strengths and weaknesses, tipping pitches, loss of control (either due to mechanics or simply due to declining ability), etc. With that said, he had a 3.05 ERA coming into last night's game. I wouldn't worry too much about last night's start. Lets see what he does to bounce back in his next few.

Yeah, what he said. He's a minimum-effort pitcher and the strain his arm is under is a fraction of what a pitcher like Kerry Wood undergoes. 107 pitches for a guy fitting that description? Piece of cake.

duke of dorwood
04-21-2004, 11:27 AM
This is the difference between #2 starter last year and #1 this year.

JRIG
04-21-2004, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
This is the difference between #2 starter last year and #1 this year.

Are you saying Buehrle will suffer this year because he's been labeled the #1 starter this year instead of the #2 starter? If so, that's ridiculous.

It's not as if he'll always be facing the opposition's #1 starter -- rotations get mixed up all the time. And I can't imagine he's putting extra pressure on himself because of a title. Besids, he was the #1 starter in 2002 and pitched just fine.

batmanZoSo
04-21-2004, 12:15 PM
He may be due for some kind of an injury in the next few years, but it won't be because we overworked him. It would just be because every pitcher is gonna miss time because of his arm. Everyone said Prior's indestrctable because of perfect mechanics and even he proved us wrong. Buehrle's just not the dominant ace we thought he might be based on 2001. He's a very good pitcher and capable of winning 20 if he ever got some luck.

I will say this about last night. That was the weakest 7 run inning of all time and the umpire squeezed everyone to death but he still tanked HUGE. There's no way you should score 8 against a team throwing a rookie against you and still lose.

brlysgrl56
04-21-2004, 12:58 PM
But I'm gonna say it was just one of those days where he had NOTHING to offer. And the reason for the 'shock' factor? It's very un-Buehrle like for him to struggle like that. :o:

He breezed through that very line-up in NY less than 2 weeks ago and gave up what? 2 singles?

It happens to the best of them and Buehrle has been consistently good. I ain't hitting the panic button just yet. If his next outing looks like last night's?

We'll talk then.

jlh0023
04-21-2004, 02:22 PM
I will be the first to say that a lot of that loss is on Buerle's shoulders, but not all of it. Our defense in the first inning began the chain reaction of Yankee baserunners. Buerle has had a history of pitching well and getting losses due to the defense behind him (maybe one of the reasons hes so eager to get to St. Louis), and I think when we made those errors behind him he lost some of that morale. Also, we did have an opportunity to win that game after he left and we didn't capitalize on it....so we can't pin the entire game on him.

Dadawg_77
04-21-2004, 03:19 PM
Buerle's biggest problem is he doesn't strike people out. Low strike out rates lead to greater volatility in a pitchers performance. The better pitchers can and do strike batters out.

TaylorStSox
04-21-2004, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Buerle's biggest problem is he doesn't strike people out. Low strike out rates lead to greater volatility in a pitchers performance. The better pitchers can and do strike batters out.


MB needs to be in the position where he doesn't have to strike guys out. He's a pitcher not a thrower. alla Maddux and Glavine.

Again, take a Wood or Ryan. They strike tons of guys out. They throw hard and look spectacular. However, they lose a ton of games. It's probably blasphemy to say this, but Nolan Ryan was one of the most overated pitchers I can think of. ie. Two 20 win seasons and a career record of 324 and 292.

Dadawg_77
04-21-2004, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by TaylorStSox
MB needs to be in the position where he doesn't have to strike guys out. He's a pitcher not a thrower. alla Maddux and Glavine.

Again, take a Wood or Ryan. They strike tons of guys out. They throw hard and look spectacular. However, they lose a ton of games. It's probably blasphemy to say this, but Nolan Ryan was one of the most overated pitchers I can think of. ie. Two 20 win seasons and a career record of 324 and 292.

Wins aren't the best way to judge a pitcher. How many great teams was Ryan on? What was his run support? Did his bullpen blow wins for him?

Any pitcher is in the position to strike out at any time. Very few pitchers are successful over the long term if they can't strike people out.

TaylorStSox
04-21-2004, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Wins aren't the best way to judge a pitcher. How many great teams was Ryan on? What was his run support? Did his bullpen blow wins for him?

Any pitcher is in the position to strike out at any time. Very few pitchers are successful over the long term if they can't strike people out.

It's the age old argument. I'll take wins over era any day. A guy with that kind of stuff shouldn't have lost that many games IMO. I'm glad that he's Wood's idol. :)

wdelaney72
04-21-2004, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Wins aren't the best way to judge a pitcher. How many great teams was Ryan on?

It may be not be the best way to judge, but it's pretty damn good. As much as I love how he approached the game, Nolan Ryan and strikeouts "O V E R - R A T E D!"

Also, look at the great Kerry Wood. He's a decent pitcher, but has only won as many as 13 games in a single season. Yet, Cubdom and the national media have already started constructing the Kerry Wood wing in Cooperstown.

JRIG
04-21-2004, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by TaylorStSox
MB needs to be in the position where he doesn't have to strike guys out. He's a pitcher not a thrower. alla Maddux and Glavine.




Maddux has always been able to strike guys out. His career rate is 6.3 per 9 innings, and in his prime he was routinely over 7 per 9 innings.

Glavine is a bit of a better comparison but in his pime he was still just under 7 Ks per 9 innings as well. Buehrle's best is 5.1 per 9 innings, and it doesn't look like that will change for the better any time soon.

Doesn't mean he can't be successful, just makes it a heck of a lot tougher.

jlh0023
04-21-2004, 05:20 PM
In certain circumstances (i.e. seriously awful teams) good pitchers may have bad records. But a truly great pitcher can not only lead his team, but bring the energy to the team to help them play better, and win games with him. I am a huge MB fan, but i'd prefer it if we had a guy (i.e. colon last year) to pitch no. 1....I think MB would make an incredible no. 2 pitcher.

TaylorStSox
04-21-2004, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by JRIG
Maddux has always been able to strike guys out. His career rate is 6.3 per 9 innings, and in his prime he was routinely over 7 per 9 innings.

Glavine is a bit of a better comparison but in his pime he was still just under 7 Ks per 9 innings as well. Buehrle's best is 5.1 per 9 innings, and it doesn't look like that will change for the better any time soon.

Doesn't mean he can't be successful, just makes it a heck of a lot tougher.

Agreed. If MB can regain that curve ball that sweeps into RH's hands, those K numbers will go up. It still doesn't change the fact that MB has to stay in the zone on nearly every count to every batter. I'm more concerned with his fly ball to ground ball ratio and his walk totals than K's.

Dadawg_77
04-21-2004, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by TaylorStSox
Agreed. If MB can regain that curve ball that sweeps into RH's hands, those K numbers will go up. It still doesn't change the fact that MB has to stay in the zone on nearly every count to every batter. I'm more concerned with his fly ball to ground ball ratio and his walk totals than K's.

This could start another 400 reply thread, but there is evidence that a pitcher has very little if any control where the ball will go once contact is made. That is why strikeouts are important factor, since that out prevents the ball from being put in play. Thus you eliminate any chance of cheap hits or your fielders messing up.

A. Cavatica
04-21-2004, 08:37 PM
Buehrle's first half last year wasn't that bad. He had a few starts where we was absolutely rocked -- like last night -- and he had a lot of starts where he was good to very good. He lost several of the good-to-very good starts due to lack of support. With average luck I think he would've won five more games.

Look it up and tell me what you think.

Whitesox029
04-21-2004, 09:33 PM
This scares the bejesus out of me. Without Buehrle the Sox have no credibility, not a whole lot of fans willing to attend games, and not much of chance to win a division much less anything more.

Lip Man 1
04-21-2004, 09:38 PM
This may be simplistic but I think it's important to understand Mark Buehrle himself. I expect with a decent team he'll win 15-18 games every season, however he'll also lose 10-12 games every season.

Mark doesn't have overpowering stuff remember? He's simply not the type of pitcher who is going to go 20-6 every season or 22-8. He lets hitters put the ball in play, throws a lot of innings and gets a lot of decisions (a la Wilbur Wood in the 70's).

Going 16-12 every year for example doesn't mean that your bad or losing it, not if you throw a bunch of innings and keep your team in the game. With his stuff he's simply not a number one pitcher. On a good staff he's a number two guy, or a great staff he's a number three.

Lip

Realist
06-08-2004, 07:43 AM
This thread is less than 2 months old and it looks absolutely silly. I think we all may be nuts.

Fisk72
06-08-2004, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by Realist
This thread is less than 2 months old and it looks absolutely silly. I think we all may be nuts.

I agree. Can we please delete it? :)

Dadawg_77
06-08-2004, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by Realist
This thread is less than 2 months old and it looks absolutely silly. I think we all may be nuts.

Not really, my part was dead on.

Mark in April ERA was 5.93, his K/9 was 5.93, not a good rate.
In May Mark bumbed his K/9 to 8.33 and his ERA was lowered to 1.58.

LASOXFAN
06-08-2004, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Not really, my part was dead on.

Mark in April ERA was 5.93, his K/9 was 5.93, not a good rate.
In May Mark bumbed his K/9 to 8.33 and his ERA was lowered to 1.58.

Actually, it's true...

:threadsucks

I honestly thought it was a joke when I first started reading it then I realized you guys were serious. "I'm really concerned about Buehrle." OMFG. What planet to do you hail from and when is the mothership returning?

He's the second best lefty in the AL after Zito. And he's close to Zito, very close. Better than Mulder, Sabbathia, Santana or Rogers.

Some of you people pull numbers out of the air like monkeys grooming lice off each other's ass.

Ask some scouts in the league what they think of Mark, or other teams. Ask some good hitting lefties like Manckeiveitkxz how easy he is to hit. Or ask his teammates how bummed they feel when it's his turn to pitch. Ask them about what a terrible fielder he is.

He's getting stronger, not weaker. He hasn't even reached his prime.

MRKARNO
06-08-2004, 11:27 AM
This thread was started after the Yankee disaster and his ERA excluding that game is 2.42

jabrch
06-08-2004, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Not really, my part was dead on.

Mark in April ERA was 5.93, his K/9 was 5.93, not a good rate.
In May Mark bumbed his K/9 to 8.33 and his ERA was lowered to 1.58.

No - dawg, you were not dead on. You said Buehrle doesn't strike hitters out. That isn't true. Buehrle may not be a 300K guy, but you don't need to be that to "remove variability" and just being that doesn't do that either.

I think you need more megapixels in your calculator. :)

Dadawg_77
06-08-2004, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by jabrch
No - dawg, you were not dead on. You said Buehrle doesn't strike hitters out. That isn't true. Buehrle may not be a 300K guy, but you don't need to be that to "remove variability" and just being that doesn't do that either.

I think you need more megapixels in your calculator. :)

Oh please, if want to stay in the dark ages thats fine, but you ignore what is really happen out there.

Buehrle, like any other non knuckleball pitcher, will get into trouble when he doesn't strike people out. So Mark improving his K rate historical highs for him, is a great improvement.

jeremyb1
06-08-2004, 12:52 PM
What rosy sentiments did you guys suspect after he gave up 8 runs in 2 IP and we were in 2nd or 3rd place? Of course people were concerned and it shows in this thread.

batmanZoSo
06-08-2004, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by LASOXFAN
Actually, it's true...

:threadsucks

I honestly thought it was a joke when I first started reading it then I realized you guys were serious. "I'm really concerned about Buehrle." OMFG. What planet to do you hail from and when is the mothership returning?

He's the second best lefty in the AL after Zito. And he's close to Zito, very close. Better than Mulder, Sabbathia, Santana or Rogers.

Some of you people pull numbers out of the air like monkeys grooming lice off each other's ass.

Ask some scouts in the league what they think of Mark, or other teams. Ask some good hitting lefties like Manckeiveitkxz how easy he is to hit. Or ask his teammates how bummed they feel when it's his turn to pitch. Ask them about what a terrible fielder he is.

He's getting stronger, not weaker. He hasn't even reached his prime.

Buehrle right now is better than he ever has been. You're right. He's on pace for 190 strikeouts. I think his career high is in the area of 150. I had my doubts on him from time to time...you have to admit he tanked pretty bad early in 03, run support, bad luck, or not. But he turned it around late, and continued it this year.

PaulDrake
06-08-2004, 02:08 PM
Like almost anyone who's ever played or rooted I'm superstitious. I wish this thread had been left alone to archive itself in cyberland. Buehrle had shown a gradual decline over three individual seasons. However he actually improved greatly in the second half of 03 and thus far this year he's been pretty commanding. Sssshhh. Let well enough alone. I'm one of the few that thinks Mark and Steve (Esteban) are the two biggest keys to a successful White Sox season.

LASOXFAN
06-08-2004, 05:49 PM
from yahoo sports...

"The 25-year-old left-hander has not lost since April 20, a span of eight starts, and has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his past five outings."

I think we forget how good this guy is at 25. Declining???????????

pearso66
06-08-2004, 06:00 PM
I saw this thread and expanded the posts without thinking, and I was thinkin, how in the world do you think Mark is declining. He has more K's then ever, and he has been dominant lately. K's don't worry me, I think they are overrated, especially if you are one that believes in pitch count, I don't, but if you do, you need at least 3 pitches to get a K.

kojak
06-08-2004, 06:20 PM
He should be shopped...

...to the Cubs...

...maybe we could steal away Borowski for him...

Randar68
06-08-2004, 06:23 PM
:threadsucks


'Nuff Said.

TomParrish79
06-08-2004, 06:34 PM
lol

ode to veeck
06-08-2004, 06:51 PM
Last time I looked, Mark was doing OK in the K department this year as well. Given how well the Sox didn't hit in his 9 game streak last year, I wish him all the 10 runs games the Sox bats can muster