Ben at River Ave. Blues ponders “Can Mike Mussina be league-average?”
Just the other day, I was reading the Bill James Handbook 2008 and Mussina’s Component ERA last season caught my eye – and it made me wonder (as well) if Mike could be better in 2008 than he was in 2007.
But, for Moose, in 2008, I think the key is his age. He’ll be 39 years old next season. I did a quick look at RH-pitchers who were 39-or-older, in the A.L., since 1973, to see how many qualified for the ERA title and had an ERA+ of 100 or better.
The only guys to make the cut were somewhat hard throwers like Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens, or, guys who doctored the ball like Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry and Dennis Martinez, or, guys who were knuckle-ballers like Charlie Hough, Tim Wakefield and Phil Niekro.
We know that Mussina does not have much of a fastball left. And, we know that he doesn’t throw a knuckler. So, what’s left?
It’s simple: if the Yankees are hoping to get an average, or better, season from Mussina in 2008, let’s hope that Santa stuffed Moose’s stocking this Christmas full of stuff from Black & Decker.