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424_game_thread_thomas_alva_edinson | April | 2009 Articles

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4/24 Game Thread: Thomas Alva Edinson

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UPDATE: This has nothing to do with baseball, but it's a great story. Mackenzie Brown is a 12-year old Little Leaguer from Bayonne, NJ, who just threw a 6-inning perfect game with 12 strikeouts on Tuesday. Oh, yeah, and she's a girl, and everyone on the other team was a boy. She'll get to throw out the first pitch for the Mets on Saturday -- but, unfortunately for Mets fans, they still have no plans to give her Livan Hernandez's spot in the rotation.

Edinson Volquez is the fourth player in American professional baseball history, as far as baseball-reference is concerned, named Edinson, but he's the first to make the majors. (Edinson De Los Santos is out of baseball, but Edinson Reyes and Edinson Rincon were both 17 year olds in rookie ball last year, so they may yet add their names to the major league encyclopedia.)

However, the pitcher who often looked untouchable in his brilliant 17-6 rookie campaign last year has been a whole lot more hittable this year. Right now, he's sitting on an unpretty 6.46 ERA and a 15/13 K/BB in 15 1/3 innings, all of which (except for the K-rate) is really really bad. So what's going on, in the extraordinarily small sample size that is the 2009 season?

Well, first, his walk rate has skyrocketed, from 4.3/9 IP last year, which is higher than you'd like, to 7.6/9 IP this year, which is awful. His fastball hasn't gotten slower; it averaged 93.6 last year and is averaging 94 this year. His GO/AO (ratio of outs on the ground to outs in the air) has actually increased, which is a good thing, but his HR rate has shot through the roof. (This is probably a fluke.) His K-rate has stayed steady -- right around 9 K/9 IP -- but his homers and walks have both zoomed, and if you want to know why someone's results are terrible, giving up a lot of walks and homers could be an excellent place to start.

Still, while his control has always been shaky, it usually isn't this shaky, nor is his gopherball tendency this pronounced. Let's hope we can catch him while he's hittable, because if he can keep the ball back in the strike zone without leaving it up, he can be awfully hard to hit.

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