Last year when the Mets fired Willie Randolph, Rick Peterson was let go as well. It was a move that was applauded throughout many circles for reasons that came out afterward--Peterson was described as a major "control freak who didn't listen."
When he left it was ugly, and got uglier. He was roundly criticized by many on the staff, including ace Johan Santana and Oliver Perez.
Both of these men are undergoing surgery.
Let's take a quick look at the Mets key pitching stats in 2003, the year before Peterson's arrival:
2003: 4.50 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, 93 ERA+
Pretty poor--the Mets had the second most losses in the NL that year, with 95. The staff featured some good pitchers--Al Leiter, Tom Glavine, and Steve Trachsel, who won 16 games, and reliever John Franco, who had a 2.92 ERA, and Armando Benitez, with a 3.10 ERA.
When Peterson arrived in 2004, the pitching staff remained essentially the same. 4 of the 5 starters stayed in place, and the 5th starter situation remained fluid all year, just as it did in 2003. Benitez was replaced with Braden Looper as the closer, who put up similar numbers.
The overall numbers of the staff improved, which remained a consistent theme throughout Peterson's tenure.
2004: 4.10 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, 104 ERA+
2005: 3.77 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, 109 ERA+
2006: 4.16 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 105 ERA+
2007: 4.27 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 100 ERA+
2008: 4.07 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 103 ERA+
As we all know, Peterson was fired in June of 2008, but he gets partial credit for last year's performance.
And now we have 2009--Dan Warthen in full swing, injuries up and down the staff. Horrible numbers that look very similar to 2003:
2009: 4.44 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 96 ERA+
So what was the true impact of Rick Peterson? Let's combine the numbers the year prior to his arrival and after he left, and look at them against the averages from Peterson's tenure:
With R. Peterson: 4.07 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 104 ERA+
Without Peterson: 4.47 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 94 ERA+
It does make you wonder how much impact Peterson truly had, and what 2009 would have looked like had he stayed in place.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
by Dave Singer