matt clement first became a free agent after the 2004 season. at the time i thought he was a good fit for the cardinals, who were flimsy at the top of their rotation --- carpenter hadn't yet established himself as a bona fide ace, morris was in eclipse, and the rest of the staff comprised steady eddies who could win division titles but didn't scare anybody in october. clement went only 9-13 in 2004, but he had a good era and good peripherals; from 2002-04 he showed flashes of dominance, posting the 4th-highest strikeout rate in the league and holding opposing batters to a .223 / .309 / .360 line. he was 29 years old, mature and healthy; he'd taken 30 or more starts for the previous 6 years in a row. the cardinals never showed much interest in clement and instead traded for mark mulder, who was coming off a much shakier season; here's how the two pitchers' three-year lines compared heading into 2005:
these pitchers continued to track each other in 2005-07: both wrecked their shoulders, had surgery in 2006, and missed most or all of the 2007 season. now they're teammates.
the VEB community did a reasonably accurate job of projecting last year (here's a summary of what we projected). our most difficult test was to project braden looper, who had never pitched as a starter before, and we acquitted ourselves well. projecting clement is almost as dicey; there's no telling how this guy might perform.
if you're not familiar w/ the community projection trope, here's how it works: you post your gut feeling about how a given player's stat line will look in 2008, and i average up the results. for clement, i'd like you to give me the following numbers:
- games started
shifting gears: i got a note the other day from mike (aka the angry rant) at Stan Musial's Stance; he's involved with SABR's san diego chapter, whose next meeting will feature paul depodesta as a guest speaker. depodesta, the former dodger gm and billy beane protégé, now works in the padres' front office and was on the short list for the st louis gm job. he'll be taking questions at the SABR meeting, and mike has pledged to pass along queries from his readers (although he asks that the questions not be cardinal-centric). more info is here.