Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mike Adams

I knew that Mike Adams had a good season, but I didn't realize it was this good:

(Since 1900):  Best WHIP (Walks + Hits per Inning), 35+ IP
Mike Adams - Padres (2009): .595 WHIP, 37 IP
Dennis Eckersley - A's (1989) .607, 57.2
Dennis Eckersley - A's (1990) .614, 73.1
Mariano Rivera - Yankees (2008) .665, 70.2
Eric Gagne - Dodgers (2003) .692, 82.1
J.J. Putz - Mariners (2007) .698, 71.2
Cla Meredith - Padres (2006) .711, 50.2
Takashi Saito - Dodgers (2007) .715, 64.1
Jake Northrop - Browns (1918) .725, 40
Pedro Martinez - Red Sox (2000) .737, 217

Mike Adams' final numbers from 2009:
0-0, 0 SV, 0.73 ERA, 3.41 H/9, 37 IP, 14 H, 8 BB

It's an amazing story.  He is 31 years old and entered 2009 with only 4 career victories (actually, he left 2009 with 4 career victories too). He went to Texas A&M University-Kingsville, was not drafted and was signed by the Brewers as an amateur free agent in 2001, then made it to the majors in 2004 and had a good season: 46 G, 3.40 ERA.  He returned in 2005 with 13 G and a 3.40 ERA, but in 2006 appeared in 2 games for the Brewers, pitched horribly (11.57 ERA) and was traded to the Mets for Gerami Gonzalez. 

He never played for the Mets, was claimed off of waivers by the Indians several months later only to be traded to the Padres a few weeks later in July 2006.  In 2007, he was released by the Padres, and did not play in the Majors or Minors in 2007.  He made it back in 2008 with the Padres and appeared in 54 games with a 2.48 ERA.  In 2009, he was extraordinary, even though he didn't pitch until June.  Not surprisingly, he made about the minimum salary in 2009.  If he stays healthy and comes even close to his 2009 performance over the next few years, he could get a nice contract someday.

This was the fantasy projection from ESPN before the 2009 season:


Pitcher Mike Adams of the San Diego PadresImage via Wikipedia

The former Brewers' closing prospect turned into a nice strikeout-per-inning middle reliever with the Padres last season with 74 K's in 65 1/3 innings and a 1.04 WHIP. Unfortunately, a repeat looks unlikely after he underwent surgery in mid-October to repair damage in his labrum and rotator cuff. He could wind up missing half of the season, negating much of his fantasy value, and limiting his chance to step into the Pads' closing role if something happens to Heath Bell. There will be may other quality relievers to take a chance on who don't have the uncertainty of Adams.

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