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The 2010 Mark Redman Award
Collapsing in the Second Half
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 pitcher.

Past Redman Award Winners: 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
Origin of the Mark Redman Award
Mark Redman Award Winner Follow-Up

American League Winner - Jeff Niemann

Jeff Niemann W-L IP ERA K BB WHIP HR
Pre-All-Star 7-2 117 2.77 84 33 1.09 14
Post-All-Star 5-6 57.1 7.69 47 28 1.62 11

Scott did a great job of selecting James Shields as his American 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.

Mike Leake W-L IP ERA K BB WHIP HR
Pre-All-Star 6-1 109.2 3.53 70 39 1.44 12
Post-All-Star 2-3 28.2 6.91 21 10 1.88 7

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. 

John Ely W-L IP ERA K BB WHIP HR
Pre-All-Star 4-7 79.2 4.63 59 25 1.32 7
Post-All-Star 0-3 20.1 8.85 17 15 1.97 5

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.

Jonathan Broxton W-L-S IP ERA K BB WHIP HR
Pre-All-Star 3-0-19 38.1 2.11 55 7 1.07 1
Post-All-Star 2-6-3 24 7.13 18 21 2.13 3

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?

Carlos Silva W-L IP ERA K BB WHIP HR
Pre-All-Star 9-3 101.2 3.45 72 19 1.22 10
Post-All-Star 1-3 11.1 11.12 29 8 2.47 1

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 keith@baseballevolution.com.


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