April 30, 2008

Jair Jurrjens is the Braves Best Pitcher

Slated as the Braves 5th starter, Jair Jurrjens has blossomed into an awesome pitcher, filling a huge hole in the Atlanta rotation and far exceeding expectations. His lines from his six starts so far:

4/2 PIT 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB
4/8 @COL 7 IP, 4 ER, 2 BB
4/15 @FLA 6 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB
4/20 LAD 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB
4/25 @NYM 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB
4/30 @WAS 7 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB

For those of you scoring at home, that's at ERA of 3.05, WHIP 1.04, K/BB of 28/13 and a 3-2 record. With any decent run support, he could be 6-0. His 38.1 innings pitched are easily more than anyone else on the team and he leads in innings per start as well. He has gone at least 5 innings in every start, unlike Hudson who has only lasted three in 2 of his last 3 starts. Other than Hudson, he's the only starter who has not spent time on the DL already (Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton). While other starters might have a better ERA, his consistency and innings have saved the beleaguered Braves bullpen and provided much needed rest. Further, he has the best ERA of any Brave starter this year who is not a guaranteed future Hall of Famer (Smoltz, Glavine).

I think he should be NL Rookie of the Month, ahead of others who have gotten more attention like Johnny Cueto and Fukudome. More importantly, the Braves were terrible last year when anyone but Smoltz or Hudson started. Jurrjens has been great supporting the back end of the rotation, and it's been even more important with all the injuries. Not only have 3 starters been on the DL, but the Braves' two best relievers are on the DL right now as well (Soriano, Moylan). Hopefully, Jurrjens can keep it up.

Also for those keeping score at home, the Braves acquired Jurrjens in a deal with the Tigers for Renteria. Escobar, starting at SS in place of Renteria, is hitting .300 and is outstanding defensively, and you know what I think of Jurrjens. Renteria is having a good year too hitting .311, but don't you think the Tigers wish they had a good starter right now?

6 Responses:

Jeremy said...

The people in Aruba LOVE them some Curacao baseball players. They've totally disowned Ponson. But they love Andruw and love J.J.

big tuna said...

JarJar was loved in Detroit. He pitched well when he was up with the club last year. I don't think they ever make that trade if they knew they were going to make the Cabrera deal. They had to do something about the SS position but it was still hard to give up Jurrjens.

"ben" said...

Was this trade for Renteria straight-up? If so, then I guess it's a raw deal for the Tigers, but what can you do? At least it's not a Glenn Davis coming in or Eddie Murray going out situation.

And the Tigers found another young pitcher, for those of you not following the sub-.500 Detroit. Armando Galarraga, otherwise known as A-Gal.

Russell said...

Not straight up. The Braves also got OF Gorkys Hernandez: "A Midwest League All-Star, Hernandez was voted by the MWL’s managers as being the Most Exciting Player and the Fastest Baserunner in 2007."

The Braves definitely got the better end of the deal.

big tuna said...

I would say they probably got the better end. I wouldn't say definitely. I am guessing you haven't even seen Gorkys play and teams are seeing Jurrjens for the first time. Renteria is a proven solid player while the other two are still prospects (Gorkys more than JarJar). I hope Jurrjens turns out to be a star because I really like that guy. Have you heard him interviewed? What a solid guy.

Russell said...

Tuna, you're right that Renteria is a stud, and I liked him a lot as a Brave. The reason I think Atlanta DEFINITELY got the better end is that Atlanta has a really solid infield (Chipper, Escobar, Johnson, Teixeira, and Prado as backup) but no young starting pitching and a weaker outfield. They filled two big needs. The Tigers might have needed a shortstop, but it looks like JarJar and Gorkys would have been really valuable to them too.

So the Braves jettisoned a large contract that they didn't need for two prospects they did need. I don't think the Tigers got the same value.

Summer is here and there's never been a better time to try your hand at online sports betting. Place your bets on your favorite horse with horse racing or even try your luck with your favorite football team. Enjoying sport is just a click away!