How do the Cardinals' 2006 and 2007 "experiments" compare?
Take a look at Ponson's line before we released him last year:
In 14 games, he was 4-4 with a 5.24 ERA. He struck out 33 and walked 29 in just over 68 innings. He gave up 82 hits in those 68 innings, which was probably one of his major downfalls, including coughing up 7 HRs. Granted his record was .500, but the Cardinals offense wasn't nearly as atrocious as it has been this year so he probably won a few games that he shouldn't have, or got out of the decision. Anyway, now compare his stats with those of Kip Wells:
In just a couple innings more than Ponson (70.3 to 68.7), Wells has acquired a record of 2-10 with a bloated ERA of 6.40. Wells may not be getting the run support that Ponson received with the 2006 Cardinals, but he's giving up over a run more per start. He hasn't given up as many hits as Ponson has, just 74 in those 70.3 innings, but the walks he has given up, 30, matches up quite closely with Ponson's line. Wells has better strikeout numbers than Ponson (50 K's), but he has given up 12 HR's so far this year.
Looking at Kip Wells stats so far this season, his line reads eerily similar to that of Sidney Ponson's 2006 season with the Cardinals right up to the point when the Cardinals pulled the plug on the project. I've already mentioned the similarity in number of innings pitched, but there is also parity in the number of batters faced (Wells 320, Ponson 303). Duncan and LaRussa had already seen enough of Ponson at this point last year, so what makes them believe in Kip Wells? He hasn't given up nearly as many hits as Ponson, but yet has yielded more HR's and runs in comparable situations.
So is this about the money? When the Cardinals got rid of Sidney, he was only making $1 million, compared to Wells $4 million contract. Do the Cardinals actually see the upside of Wells? If so, HOW!? Wells turned 30 earlier this year...Ponson was almost 30 in his 2006 season with the Redbirds. The comparisons between this two "projects" are uncanny. Why hang on to Wells this year when almost the same situation last year merited the release of Sidney Ponson? I can't fathom how LaRussa and Duncan don't see the ghost of Ponson every time they look at Wells. Kip has better stuff than Sidney, hands down. Hell, Kip has better stuff than a lot of the 2-5 starters in the league, but what good is it if he doesn't use it effectively?
**Disclaimer: I'm not sipping on the Kip Wells HATERADE, I'm just striking while the proverbial iron is hot (i.e. everyone's talking about it, so write about it!).**