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Opening Day Countdown: 10 » mindahaas.net

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Mar 28

Opening Day Countdown: 10

Let’s see if I can come up with a post every day of the rest of the offseason.  Today, there are 11 days left until Opening Day on April 6.

10

was the number of games Sean O’Sullivan started last season. Now, of course, many MLB teams have similar pitchers – the guys who come up for a few starts here and there as needed. Except, the Royals broke camp with SOS last year. It didn’t go awesomely, and he was back in Omaha in early June.

Sean O’Sullivan is better at pitching than me or (probably) anyone reading this blog. But I think the number of starts Kansas City calls on him to make this season will serve as a good barometer of the team’s chances of success. The higher the reading on the O’Sullivan-O-Meter, the closer the Royals will be to another lousy season.

Of all MLB starters with 10-15 starts, SOS had the highest xFIP, the lowest K/9, one of the higher BB/9, and the third-lowest WAR. And for the most part, pitchers similar to O’Sullivan were on bad teams. (That link will take you to a Google Docs spreadsheet of MLB pitchers who made 10-15 starts last year.)

The presence of an SOS-type of pitcher can be a sign of a rotation in flux. That upheaval can happen because of injuries, but mostly it happens when the rotation that breaks camp with the team is not very good. Sadly, I think that’s what we’re in for in 2012.

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