thanks to Hardcore Legend, VEB has the first images of jeff weaver in his new uniform; you gotta check these out. scott boras has already contacted the site looking for copies . . .
so which inning do you think tipped the scales --- the 1st or the 4th? i figure it had to have been the 1st; by the 4th inning, the depths of stl's desperation would have been so plain that anaheim would have been demanding rasmus hawksworth and jaime garcia for weaver. . . . . among its many virtues, this transaction has diverted ev'yone's attention from another unwatchable loss. i'd have traded away terry evans for that alone. weaver is merely gravy.
and a potentially savory broth, at that. his acquisition is pure upside -- absolutely no chance this comes back to bite the cardinals. if weaver gets it back together, the cards roll into the playoffs with a competitive pitching rotation; if he doesn't, they are no worse off than before -- and still have the same fallbacks (chiefly wainwright) that are available currently. way to go, walter.
and way to go terry evans, whose great, out-of-nowhere half-season spared the organization from having to part with a more central prospect. evans may someday wear a major-league uniform; i hope it happens for him. but i'm not worried that the cards have traded away a future star.
i briefly noted some of jeff weaver's selling points a few days ago; they include
- a pattern of improved performance after the all-star break
- a good quality-start pct in 2004-05, and a q.s. pct no worse than ponson/marquis/suppan in 2006
- a 3:1 strikeout-walk ratio
- 27 wins and a better-than-league-avg era over the past two years
|05 r drese: tex||70||96||24||20||4-6||6.46||1.714|
|05 r drese: was||60||66||22||26||3-6||4.98||1.467|
|05 p astacio: tex||67||79||11||45||2-8||6.04||1.343|
|05 p astacio: sd||60||54||26||33||4-2||3.17||1.333|
|03 s ponson: bal||148||147||43||100||14-6||3.77||1.284|
|03 s ponson: sf||68||64||18||34||3-6||3.71||1.206|
|02 b colon: cle||116||104||31||75||10-4||2.55||1.164|
|02 b colon: mtl||117||115||39||74||10-4||3.31||1.316|
|02 c finley: cle||105||114||48||91||4-11||4.44||1.543|
|02 c finley: stl||85||69||30||83||7-4||3.80||1.165|
|01 j baldwin: cws||95||109||38||42||7-5||4.61||1.547|
|01 j baldwin: lad||79||82||25||53||3-6||4.20||1.354|
|01 t okha: bos||52||69||19||37||2-5||6.19||1.692|
|01 t okha: mtl||55||65||10||31||1-4||4.77||1.364|
it's a small sample size and an unscientific look at the numbers, which are not park-adjusted; i wouldn't place too much weight on them. but to the extent these precedents suggest anything, they suggest that yes, pitchers like weaver often do pitch better after crossing over to the national league at midseason. take it for what it's worth, a mildly upbeat note.
i'll stick to the hopeful best-case i outlined last friday: "it does not strain the imagination to suggest that weaver might come in here, make 16 starts, turn in 9 or 10 quality starts and win 7 games." none of the cardinals' competitors in the division is likely to add a better pitcher than that; in what currently looms as a tight three- or four-way race for the division, weaver has a chance to make a real difference.
his arrival may also give the cardinals some maneuvering room for another trade; maybe some fringe a.l. contender has talked themselves into thinking that jason marquis' 10 wins are not a fluke and would offer a slightly-below-avg outfield bat in exchange. as the trade deadline gets closer and mark mulder's prognosis becomes more certain, weaver's presence will give the cards a little more flexibility than they had this time yesterday.