Two years ago, Dave Duncan selected the youngest goat from his herd, donned the crimson robes, and ascended to the altar. The incantations were few but expertly inflected. The shimmering lake of oil turned red, and Todd Wellemeyer was submerged past his shoulders. He didn’t expect it to burn so much. He thrashed about, screaming, as the incantations grew louder. After ten minutes -- or was it a full cycle of the moon? -- the ritual was complete. Duncan had transformed another journeyman starter into a productive member of a major league rotation.
If you have a better explanation, I’d like to read it. In comes Chris Carpenter, out goes Cy Young. In comes Joel Pineiro, out goes a magical, sinker-throwing force. In comes a wild, hard-throwing enigma like Todd Wellemeyer, out goes a strike-throwing, hit-preventing model of back-of-the-rotation success. Wellemeyer’s 2008 was unexpectedly productive.
Then Duncan ran out of goats.Wellemeyer’s 2009 was awful, just awful. His walk rate spiked back up, his strikeout rate shot down, and he allowed an average of 3,239 hits per inning pitched. He comes to the Giants as a placeholder, and while he doesn’t have the pizzazz of a Randy Johnson from last year, or the expensive Pedro Martinez/John Smoltz types who didn’t find a team in the offseason, he’s not Madison Bumgarner. Wellemeyer will get a long leash because of that -- he’s the anti-Molina, taking the place of a prospect who isn’t ready.
Projections from around the way:
ZiPS: 5.05 ERA, 133 IP, 91 K, 55 BB, 19 HR
Bill James: 4.78 ERA, 79 IP, 58 K, 38 BB, 10 HR
CHONE: 5.17 ERA, 141 IP, 94 K, 59 BB, 20 HR
PECOTA: 5.25 ERA, 105 IP, 61 K, 39 BB, 12 HR
It doesn’t get much more meh than this, folks. While I’d rather watch Kevin Pucetas or Joe Martinez for rooting purposes, and while I would have rather had one of the half-dozen more interesting/expensive options, this is the very definition of a fifth starter. Here today, probably gone tomorrow, so we can only hope for some near-average innings in the interim.
Yeah, I’ve used that joke before, and I’ll use it again. Besides, it’s almost exactly what I would have predicted in the first place.