Key Stats: Moving Matt Garza to Tampa Bay in a 6 player deal was interesting in that it involved two great young prospects. Morisato of Fox Sports would have to retract his analysis of this being a fair trade much like Jesse Spector of the New York Daily News eventually changed his tune on Garza. After the playoffs, it appears the Rays nailed this one.
Let’s throw out the 3 starts he made in April. This will help explain why he is ranked so high in the preseason and can be done with justification since his ERA was 3 runs higher in this month than any other. Let’s include the postseason. It is the most relevant month in terms of what we can expect going forward. Here’s the line you get:
196.2 IP 13 W 3.47 ERA 1.21 WHIP 6.73 K/9 innings
Skeptics Say: Garza was brilliant in the postseason – at least in the start you watched. In Game 7 with a large stage, Garza looked dominant like past postseason heroes Jack Morris and Josh Beckett. In the ALDS on a smaller stage he was less than fantasy worthy.
Garza had 2 shutouts last year but also only had 15 out of 27 quality starts (April starts not included again). He throws really hard and his ball has great movement, but unlike 24 year old Matt Cain, the 25 year old Garza has only had one full season to develop.
Peer Comparison: Some publications (MLB.com & CBS Sportsline being two) have ranked Zack Greinke ahead of Garza.
Take the key stat from above and compare it to Greinke’s line from 2008:
202.1 IP 13 W 3.47 ERA 1.28 WHIP 8.14 K/9 innings
Certainly Greinke’s K/9 inning line commands respect, but the wins total for the two pitchers should be much different next year. The Royals are still a dormat and the Rays should be the favorite to win again next year. Wins are a much rarer stat than strikeouts. Advantage Garza.
Team Outlook: The Rays young staff pitched a lot of innings, but they are going to get a break in the offseason. A healthy Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria should help increase the 774 runs (13th in MLB) the Rays had last season. If they find a reliable closer, Garza will be a safe bet for 15+ wins.
What They’re Saying: MLB.com: #30 Starting Pitcher; CBS Sportsline: #48 Starting Pitcher and #153 Overall; Fox Sports: #33 Starting Pitcher; ESPN: #34 Starting Pitcher; Yahoo: #41 Starting Pitcher and #161 Overall
Projection: He might be a #4 pitcher in the Rays rotation, but he has #1 type stuff.
15W 3.32 ERA 1.21 WHIP 148 Ks in 195 innings
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