Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Saved from obscurity
I collect all sorts of things.
Some are of more established guys, like Ichiro, Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, and pretty much every pre-1980's Hall of Famer.
But then again, there's some guys I collect that are a bit more obscure. Guys like Tanyon Sturtze, Ross Gload, and Ben Davis. (Okay, they're a lot more obscure.)
A couple years ago, I was ready to add Brandon McCarthy to my "obscure" list.
I'm not exactly sure how I started collecting him. Probably because he was once a top prospect for the hometown White Sox. I vaguely remember watching his big-league debut in an interleague game against the Cubs in '05.
After a couple 4.00+ ERA seasons, the Sox decided to part ways with McCarthy, trading him to the Rangers in the deal that brought John Danks to Chicago.
That was the last I heard about him for a while.
He spent three injury-riddled seasons in Texas.
After missing the entire 2010 season due to a shoulder injury, he signed with the Oakland A's...
...and that's where this ESPN article comes in.
If you want to read a good piece about baseball, definitely give this one a shot. (Shocking, because you don't often see "ESPN" and "baseball" in the same category anymore, save for the Yankees and Red Sox.)
It chronicles how sabremetrics pretty much saved Brandon McCarthy's baseball career. I'm not all-in with sabremetric theories, but some of them have their points.
You can't argue with the impact they had on McCarthy, though. He went 9-9 last year with an outstanding 3.32 ERA, the best numbers of any A's starter last season.
So after all this, you can imagine how excited I was to see one of my favorite pitchers start on Opening Day, as the A's gave McCarthy the nod for their opener in Japan today.
I taped the game (which aired at 5:00 in the morning here) and watched it this afternoon. I don't want to give away too much for anyone who taped it or is watching the replay, but I'll just say McCarthy pitched well.
It gives me great happiness to say that Brandon McCarthy is no longer an obscure baseball player.
He's an Opening Day starter.