FanPost

Paul Depo's explanation for Joe Thatcher

I completely understand your frustration. Everyone is frustrated about Joe's ML performance so far in 2008... Joe being chief among that group. His situation is a strange one, quite frankly. Last year we brought Joe to the big leagues after the trade because we thought he could help us, and we had a need. However, we also thought that we might be rushing him. After all, at the time of his recall, he had fewer than 50 career innings pitched above A ball. A pitcher usually might just be on the cusp of being ready for AAA at that point. Nevertheless, Joe came up and pitched remarkably well - 21 ip, 13 h, 6 bb, and 16 k's with a 1.29 ERA. His performance this year has been quite the opposite. I would say that he was probably a bit lucky last year (very low hit percentage for balls in play) and he's definitely been unlucky this year (outrageously high hit percentage). What makes this more puzzling is that Joe's performance in AAA this year has been outstanding and in line with his history - 22.1 ip, 13 h, 8 bb's, and 25 k's. His AAA totals between last year and this year are: 1.54 ERA, 53 ip, 42 h, 16 bb, and 69 k's. In short, he's been spectacular there, especially when you consider that the environment is not favorable for pitchers. The fact is that he is still relatively inexperienced (22 ip in AA, 53 in AAA, and 47 in the ML), and lady luck has had him on a yo-yo. Nevertheless, his continued excellence in AAA speaks well for the future. I'm not saying this is how he's going to turn out, but just look at Heath Bell's track record in the minors and early days in the Majors - a lot of similarities. Paul's comments on his blog regarding a reader question on why Joe is sucking so badly and why he is still invited to the big team.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball managers or SB Nation.

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