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Just The Sports: Ponson An Improvement

Just The Sports

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ponson An Improvement

For all the angst the signing of Sidney Ponson may have caused Yankee fans, it is for the most part unwarranted because the picking up of Sidney Ponson off waivers was an improvement out of what they were getting from Shawn Chacon. No, Ponson is not going to light the world on fire, but no one should expect him to. He is joining the Yankees as a fifth starter, not as the ace of the staff and as such should be compared not to pitchers overall, but to the man he is replacing since major league teams are still against going back to a four-man rotation which would give their best starters more starts.

What Ponson should give over Chacon for the rest of the year is a higher groundball/flyball ratio, a lower walk rate, a higher strikeout-to-walk ratio, and a lower home run rate. Also, he has averaged two more outs in his starts this year so that is two less outs the Yankees bullpen will have to struggle to record. But his 5.3 innings a start won't be worth writing home about.

A weird attribute of Shawn Chacon is he pitches better in odd years than he does in even years. Too bad for him and the Yankees, 2006 is an even year.

Maybe the Yankees will catch lighting in a bottle with this pick-up, but in a league where most fifth starters are below-average, there was no reason to not make a move to improve a team's pitching staff no matter how slight the improvement might seem.


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