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Narvs of Steel

After reading that last entry a few times I feel like I'm following Carson. Lboros should get an advisor gig somewhere, that was excellent stuff.

Anyway, after perusing the list of free agent pitchers on the market and hearing speculation of the ridiculous amounts of money some of these lame arms are in line for, it's difficult to get overly excited about this offseason unless some far-fetched things happen. And with three holes in the rotation to fill, things could get stupidly pricey for the Cardinals. Think about some of the names we're hearing the Cardinals have (true or rumored) interest in. Kip Wells, Adam Eaton, Gil Meche, Mark Redman, Randy Wolf. A lot of mediocrity and a lot of DL time.

With this in mind, I'm wondering what the club's plans are for Chris Narveson. Could he be a viable candidate for the rotation in '07? Bernie Miklasz thinks it's a possibility, mentioning his smarts and guts. I was reticent at first, but after looking at the numbers I've changed my tune. Check it out-

K's per 9 IP 2006
Gil Meche - 7.52
Randy Wolf - 6.86 (2005)
Chris Narveson - 6.59
Adam Eaton - 5.95
Mark Redman - 4.10
Kip Wells - 4.06

Narvie's numbers are combined between Palm Beach and Memphis, but his K/9 rate was the about the same on both levels. This isn't out of line with his career averages, either. Through 05 Narveson's K/9 is 7.37. It should be noted Wells's 06 numbers were far different from his career average of 6.55. These are all '06 numbers, other then Wolf who was injured most of the season.

Walks per 9
Wolf - 2.93 (2005)
Narveson - 3.15
Eaton - 3.32
Redman - 3.4
Meche - 4.05
Wells - 4.26

Narveson stacks up well against the competition displaying decent control.

Wolf - 2.35 (05)
Narveson - 2.08
Meche - 1.86
Eaton - 1.79
Redman - 1.21
Wells - .95

His command has been pretty respectable. Again, these stats aren't far off from his career totals.

Wells - .61
Narveson - 1.02
Redman - 1.02
Meche - 1.06
Eaton - 1.52
Wolf - 1.58

Narvie again looks pretty good in contrast. I thought it may his home park, but Memphis's HR park factor was 1.16 this year, a power hitter's playground at least for this season. Once more, this isn't out of line of his career minor league numbers.

Wells - 50.9%
Redman - 44.4%
Meche - 43.1%
Narveson - 37.8%
Eaton - 37.3%
Wolf - 35.2%

Ground ballers are Duncan's fetish, Narveson's more of a fly ball pitcher, which may be a strike against him. His HR rate could get a little inflated in the big leagues if he can't curb it a little.

It's hard to say for exactly how Narveson will stack up against major league talent, I suppose we have the ZiPS projections to look forward to to get a better idea. For sample size's sake, he did pitch pretty well in his start against the Astros 9/22, allowing 2 runs and striking out 6 in 4 innings. I think he certainly beats paying Kip Wells or Mark Redman $5 million to do worse as the 5th starter.

(Thanks to Jeff Sackmann's Minor League Splits and Fangraphs for help with the numbers.)