Folks love Josh Fogg

Pitchers and catchers were due to report to Tucson, Ariz., today, and many of them worked out on a day that was every bit as nice as Denver was nasty. Well, I hear Denver was nasty. Sorry about that.

Anyhow, one of the nicest developments is the presence of right-hander Josh Fogg. Admittedly, it might be hard for him to make the team. But as he noted, he wasn’t going to make the team in 2006 until Byung-Hyun Kim and Sun-Woo Kim suffered injuries late in camp. Fogg stayed in the rotation for two years, went 21-18 and became a fan favorite.

Many folks filled my e-mail box with protests when the Rockies didn’t re-sign him last year. He signed with the Reds, but after a bad year during which he lost his spot in the rotation, was hit in the face with a line drive at one point and generally didn’t succeed.

Now he’s back, under a Minor League contract. Most of the competitors for a spot on the roster are younger and have livelier arms.

But no doubt folks will be pulling for Fogg. He also feels the love of the fans.

“I think I can relate to the fans a little bit,” Fogg said. “I’m not one of those guys that goes out there and lights up the radar gun. I’m a little closer to the guys that played in high school. They see me out there and say, I used to throw 86 mph. I used to throw 85. They know I’m gutting it out a little bit more, not dominating with my stuff.”

 

… More Brian Fuentes

Tom posed an interesting question in the comments from my last posting. Fuentes had a penchant for letting runners on base — a practice that led a great friend of mine, a loyal Rocies fan, to always say, “Brian is playing with his food.” You asked if it was the light air or big spaces at Coors that led to runners always seeming to be on base. I don’t think that was the case.

I don’t know why there were always runners on base, but I do know this: Fuentes is a better pitcher in traffic. In his career, Fuentes has yielded a lower average with runners on (.220) than with bases empty (.224). The numbers tilted even more in that direction before last season, when Fuentes actually held hitters to .193 with the bases empty, to .226 with runners on base.

I don’t have a scientific reason for this. It could simply be a focus issue. Good closers pitch well under pressure, and many of them seem to create pressure for themselves. Fuentes already has a high strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate, and I expect that to continue with the Angels. I also expect many of the strikeouts to come with runners on base.

And, bloggers, thanks for all the warm welcomes. Honk or yell out my name if you see me around Hi Corbett.

5 Comments

I always thought Fuentes’s style of pitching was one of the strangest in all of baseball. It’s such an odd release of the ball it often takes several pitches to figure him out. By then he’s usually up on you in the count..I wasn’t fond of losing him but I knew it was inevitable…I’m sure I’ll run into you at Hi Corbett. My spring training dates are the Feb 24-Mar 3rd.
Is there any chance I could possibly interview you and get a small tour? It never hurts to ask.
Thomas, here’s my question: This is Clint Hurdle’s last year on his current contract. How much of a distraction do you think that will be for him toward the end of this upcoming season? Fast forward nine months, if you look into your crystal ball where do you see Clint?
It’s cool knowing your there in Tucson keeping us posted. Keep up the great entries Sir…D
http://baseballsnatcher.mlblogs.com/

Hey. Doesn’t Matsusaka let a lot of guys on base? He is great, so that isn’t a problem….
http://thewrightway.mlblogs.com/

I don’t think we have to look nine months down the road to get the answer on manager Clint Hurdle. A bad start like last season, especially if the bad start features the same poor piching and lack of attention to detail that colored the beginning of 2008, and it’s hard to believe the Rockies won’t make a change. That’s because this is the NL West, where everyone but the Padres can make an argument to be the favorite. If things are going bad, change the scenery and who knows? Last year, a single move — the Dodgers trading for Manny Ramirez — swung the whole division. The Rox have some uncertaity in their starting rotation but there’s more raw talent than in the past, and the bullpen could be in excellent shape, so Hurdle has enough tools.

… As for Matsuzaka, I look at hm a litle differently because he’s a starter. Letting a guy on base when you have a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth is a little differnet than, say, the fourth. But Matsuzaka is special in that he can give up a high number of walks but keep the runs low. Matsuzaka finished third in the American League among those who qualified for the ERA title, at 2.90. Yet no pitcher in the league’s top 40 walked as many hitters, 94. The closest was 90 by the Athletics’ Greg Smith, who happens to now be with the Rockies. Part of Smith’s high total last year had to do with the fact he was a rookie.

Dice-K will be the death of many of us Red Sox fans! The number of walks he gives up is unbelievable at times. I’m not always sure how he wins! I’m just glad he does! Hope you don’t mind a Red Sox fan throwing in her two cents! :-)

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Thanks for the opinion on Fuentes. I’ll be watching him in Anaheim and following what he does. It’ll be interesting to see how he holds up in the AL. Thanks again Mr. Harding.
Tom
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

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