Friday, March 18, 2005

Yes, I get it... the season will start on Lima Time

Jose Lima has been tapped as the opening day starter by Tony Pena, leading many a beat writer to file the same tired lines at the lead of the story.

Since the opening day slot is mostly ceremonial, I'm okay with Lima getting the nod over Greinke. He's a fun player to watch and should give the team some swagger to start the season.

Here's a quick look at Lima's ERA+ year-by-year since he became a full-time starter:

1998 - 110
1999 - 121
2000 - 74
2001 - 81
2002 - 54
2003 - 103
2004 - 102

The theory these days is that Lima has corrected whatever problems caused him to bottom out in 2002 and has settled into a league-average innings eater. His strikeouts per 9 innings (K/9) ratio had a nice little uptick last year -- 4.91 vs. 3.93 in 2003 -- which is a positive sign (of course, so did his HR/9).

Hopefully, the expanded Kauffman fences will eat a few home runs and Jose can continue to befuddle enough hitters to keep Lima Time ticking on. (Sorry, couldn't help myself)

If you're interested in learning why K/9, HR/9, etc. matter, you can start reading more about Defense Independant Pitching Stats (DIPS) here.

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