by Keith Glab, BaseballEvolution.com
January 4, 2011
For those that are new to the Mark Redman Award, it is given annually to the
pitcher in each league that most personifies crashing back down to earth after a
strong start to the season. Mark Redman retired with a career 5.17 second-half ERA and
6.04 ERA after August. He also had the distinction of going 1-7 with a
7.08 ERA in the second half of 2005, then 5-6 with a 6.14 ERA after being named
an All-Star in 2006.
In 2010, Mark Redman may have been out-Redmaned by one American League
Past Redman Award Winners:
Origin of the Mark Redman Award
Mark Redman Award Winner Follow-Up
American League Winner - Jeff Niemann
Scott did a great job of selecting James Shields as his
League Redman prediction, as Shields fell from a 4.87 first half ERA to a
5.59 ERA after the break and a 7.59 ERA after August. Shields was clearly
outdone by a teammate, however. On June 8th, Jeff Niemann had just
completed a two-hit shutout of the Toronto Blue Jays that lowered his season ERA
to 2.48. In the 18 games he pitched afterwards, Niemann had a 6.01 ERA.
Interestingly enough, he threw only 114 pitches in that complete game, and that
was as high as his pitch count got all season long. Besides that, Niemann
was 27 years old last season and is built like a truck; pitchers such as he are
supposed to be workhorses, if you believe scouts.
While Niemann's peripheral stats were certainly worse in the second half,
they didn't come particularly close to justifying that 7.69 ERA and no-brainer
removal from the postseason rotation (he actually pitched three brilliant
innings of relief in game two of the ALDS). So we have someone in Niemann
who did not appear to suffer from overuse, was more unlucky than bad in the
second half, rebounded in a brief sample size during the postseason, and
age-wise is in the prime of his career. If there were ever a pitcher we
could predict to rebound from winning a Mark Redman Award, it is Jeff Niemann.
National League Candidates:
Before we address the field in the NL, a quick reminder that players such as
Ubaldo Jimenez and Josh Johnson, who were legitimate Cy Young contenders despite
relatively poor second halves, are not eligible for the Mark Redman Award.
Someone like Mike Leake, however, who was a Cy Young candidate through two
months of the season then jettisoned from a fairly shallow Reds rotation by
mid-August, is exactly what we are looking for in a Redman contender.
Leake was 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA on June 5th, then went 3-4 with a 6.47 ERA in 65.1
innings thereafter. It's hard to fault Leake personally, as you could see
this collapse coming a mile away given Leake's ho-hum peripheral stats and
non-existent minor league experience. Blame the Reds' front office for
this one, but that blame does nothing to diminish Leake's candidacy for the 2010
Mark Redman Award.
Somewhat like Leake, John Ely was rushed to the major leagues and unable to maintain
his early success. He had a 2.54 ERA through his first seven starts, then
an 8.00 ERA for his final 11. Interestingly, he also had a 6.22 ERA in 13
minor league starts, although he was pitching for Albuquerque - a notoriously
unfriendly place for pitchers - at the time.
We hate to give the Mark Redman Award to relief pitchers almost as much as
Vin Scully likes to talk about Jonathan Broxton's strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Speaking of which, that ratio went from 7.86 before the break to 0.86
afterwards. Taking it further, Broxton held a 0.83 ERA and was 16-for-18
in his save opportunities after collecting four outs June 26th in a 9-4 rout of
the New York Yankees. He then got lit up against the Yankees the following
day and had a 7.58 ERA the rest of the season, going just 6-for-11 in his save
opportunities. You can certainly blame Joe Torre for using Broxton for
four outs on the 26th against his former team - he had pitched both on the 23rd
and 24th, so it's not like he was in desperate need of work. Still, who
could have predicted such a Derrick Turnbowesque collapse from the 300-pound
Broxton, even if he was slightly mismanaged?
Silva was the first Cubs starter to begin a season 8-0 since Ken Holtzman
began the 1967 season 9-0. After that unlikely stretch, however, Silva
went 2-6 with a 6.16 ERA over his final 10 starts of the season. He spent
August on the disabled list and September on the bench, leaving thousands of
Cubs fans livid that Silva was not traded in June at high value.
2010 National League Mark Redman Award Winner - Mike Leake
This was a tough one. I can't give this award to a reliever unless he
is clear-cut, and Broxton is just shy of that distinction. None of the
other three pitchers went the full season. In the end, I went with Leake,
because when you split his season basically in half, he basically triples his
first portion ERA in the second portion, 2.22 to 6.47. The only way for it
to have been more ominous would have been an exact tripling to a mark of 6.66.
Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Keith resides in Chicago, Illinois and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.