Remember the fear most Cardinal fans had (at least I did) when we shipped off an underperforming “once-prospect” for a live bullpen arm at the deadline?
Don’t look now, but Anthony Reyes has posted a 2.01 ERA in five starts for the Cleveland Indians.
From Jayson Stark at ESPN.com:
Ask for a Reyes: Speaking of Reyes, we’re not sure how the Mets missed trading for him, since they now lead the league in Reyeses (Jose, Al and Argenis). But you might be shocked to learn that the Reyes they didn’t trade for — Anthony — has been the third-best deadline acquisition among all starting pitchers dealt before the deadline.
In fact, Reyes’ 2.01 ERA in August was the eighth-best in baseball, behind a group of guys it’s possible you’ve heard of: Sabathia (1.12), Francisco Liriano (1.23), Tim Lincecum (1.27), Brett Myers (1.65), Rich Harden (1.82), Cliff Lee (1.86) and Johan Santana (1.91).
Back in St. Louis, Reyes didn’t mesh with Cardinals pitching guru Dave Duncan’s two-seam sinker philosophy. But now that Reyes is back to riding his four-seam fastball up in the strike zone in Cleveland, he looks more like the prospect he was once purported to be as a Cardinal.
“He’s your classic four-seam pitcher,” said one scout. “He could command it a little better, probably. But he’s rounded into shape. He’s got that power-pitcher mentality. He has a good changeup. And I think he’ll get his breaking ball going eventually. I don’t know whether other people think they missed the boat on him. But I feel like we did.”
So basically, what Stark is saying, is that the Indians are letting him pitch how he feels comfortable, and he’s succeeding. His pitching coach isn’t telling him to throw a pitch he’s uncomfortable with. He’s not being forced to do anything that alters the way he’s always thrown and he’s succeeding.
Now, obviously it’s a little early to put him in the same camp as Dan Haren, but it sure looks as if he is happy to be out of St Louis.
Tip of the cap to MLB Trade Rumors for the link to the Stark article.