Re: Aaron Cook
posted at 1/9/2012 12:31 PM EST
In Response to Re: Aaron Cook
[QUOTE]In Response to Aaron Cook : His ERA and WHIP make Wake look like an all star. Gotta like his 3.6 BB/9 rate from 2010-2011.
Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
How do you figure he makes Wakefield look like an All-Star? As much as I like and appreciate Wake's contributions, Wake was never a steady 4.00 ERA pitcher, as Cook was for a full five year period from '05 to '09. Sure, he's been bad (read: injured) the past two years, but if he's still injured this year he won't be on the Sox roster. However, if he bounces back to his former, steady level...that's a nice pitcher to round out a rotation with. He's also a groundballer, so he doesn't have to rely on "stuff".
It's also worth noting that, as with any pitcher in Colorado, Cook was affected by his home park. It doesn't hurt all pitching numbers like it did in the pre-humidor days, but it still causes a negative impact. In fact, let's take Cook's numbers from '07 to '09 (when he matured as a pitcher but before his injury time):
Home ('07 to '09): 265.2 IP, 4.47 ERA
, 1.35 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 3.3 K/9, 0.64 HR/9
Away ('07 to '09): 269.2 IP, 3.67 ERA
, 1.37 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 4.6 K/9, 0.93 HR/9
There's a very curious story here. Cook managed a FAR better road ERA despite a higher WHIP, higher walk rate, and even a higher HR rate on the road. How? Well, a much higher K rate, along with a slightly lower hit rate...and perhaps a fewer harder-to-spot effects that Colorado has on pitching. Notice that Cook also has a much better ERA than his other numbers would suggest...that's pretty typical of sinkerball pitchers.
What do I take from this? For one, it's clear that Cook tried to pitch differently at home
(which is what most fairly successful Colorado pitchers do). Given that pitches have less movement in Colorado (the most overlooked aspect of pitching there), he was able to work the edge of the zone more, which raised walk rates but made him a better pitcher overall. Odds are if Cook can work on being the same pitcher all the time, he would become a better pitcher.
And here's the real kicker: the average player, both hitter and pitcher, performs better at home than on the road. That seems to apply to Cook too...some of his home numbers are better than his road numbers in spite of Colorado's effect! If he had pitched the same, but in a better pitching park, even Fenway, his numbers would likely have been even better! Which means it's quite possible Cook is just as good as Chien-Ming Wang was in Wang's pre-injury days!
Wouldn't you take that at the bottom of the rotation? Here's hoping he's healthy...