Friday, February 8, 2008

George Sherrill... closer?

Well, now that the deal is officially, finally, mercifully, completed for Erik Bedard, let's turn our attention to an interesting development regarding George Sherrill's arrival in Baltimore.

First off, I really like Sherrill. He always seemed like a down-to-earth kind of guy, he was media friendly, he was humble, and I just love the story of the M's plucking him out of the independent league and letting him develop into one of, if not the best, setup men in the game.

But in the last few days, it has surfaced that Sherrill may be handed the closers job in Baltimore, which has to be exciting for the big guy. I've also spotted fantasy news sources touting the potential for 30-35 saves, low ERA and WHIP, good strikeouts, etc. That he'll be "a steal on draft day" - that kind of typical fantasy baseball blather.

Will George Sherrill make a good major league closer? I don't know. Let's look at his career numbers:

128 IP, 95 H, 60 BB, 138 K's, 3.65 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .208 BAA. Damn!

But then there are the splits:

vs. Lefties 76 IP, 43 H, 19 BB, 98 K's, .81 WHIP, .167 BAA
vs. Righties 52 IP, 52 H, 41 BB, 40K's, 1.79 WHIP, .261 BAA

Hmm... and mind you, in his role - the righties were probably coming off the bench in late-game situations to face Sherrill. These are the Mike Napoli's not Vlad Guerrero's. He is practically unhittable by lefties, but he is pretty miserable against righties.

In closing situations, he may very well face a steady diet of right handed hitters too.

While I hope I'm wrong, I just don't see Sherrill being real successful as closer there. If Baltimore were smart, they'd let him be a lefty specialist, post his typical ridiculously dominant stats and then peddle him to the Yankees, Mets, RedSox, or some other contender at the deadline for two more shining prospects.

Or just watch - the O's will trade him back to the M's for Brandon Morrow.

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