You don’t hear Chris Britton’s name all that much – in terms of being in the mix for the Yankees bullpen this season. While this blog was once optimistic about Chris Britton, the thought here (now) is that it’s a good thing the Yanks may have cooled on Britton.
Yes, it’s true that Britton had an ERA of 2.51 and a WHIP of 1.13 in Triple-A last season. However, just because a guy pitches well at Triple-A doesn’t mean he can carry that success to the majors – see Sean Henn and Jim Brower last season as an example. While pitching for the same team as Britton (in Triple-A), Henn had a WHIP of 1.14 and Brower had an ERA of 2.27 last year.
Basically, to know about Britton, you just have to look at his big league numbers from 2006. His first half ERA was 2.20 and his second half ERA was 5.14. Brass tacks, he snuck up on some people, early, that season, and, once the league got the book on him, then it became clobbering time. Lefties especially killed Britton in 2006 – they posted an OPS of .762 against him with a BABIP of .379 (in 82 PA).
There’s a reason why the O’s gave up on Britton so quickly – and the reason is that he’s just not that good.