Javier Vazquez is a pitcher that has shown plenty of promise, though a lot of it came with the Montreal Expos, so that should tell you something. Yes, he had a strong 2007, but the three years prior to that saw his best ERA be 4.43. Last season he reverted to those ways, posting the following numbers:
200 Strikeouts (8.65 K/9)
61 Walks (2.64 BB/9)
The strikeouts were never an issue for him, with a career K/9 of about 8. He’s struck out at least 200 batters each of the last two seasons, instantly making him a useful option for owners no matter what the other numbers.
The question is the other numbers, however. With four out of five seasons with ERA’s well above 4, you have to begin to think that his 3.74 in ’07 was the aberration, not the rule. It’s possible that he once again puts his talent together and posts a strong season, but I wouldn’t draft him counting on it.
I would expect an improvement in the WHIP, however. His career WHIP is 1.27 and the increased number last season is partly due to a BABIP of .328. The White Sox are looking to become more athletic, likely helping to make the team a bit better defensively. That should result in a lower BABIP and in turn a lower WHIP.
His walks were also slightly above his career mark, but that’s not going to make a huge impact in his numbers. I don’t see them getting any worse, if anything they could improve a little bit.
You know he’s going to take the ball almost every time asked, so that is certainly a benefit. He has made at least 32 starts each of the past 9 seasons, a good sign for his health.
Let’s see what it all adds up to:
214.0 IP, 13 W, 4.42 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 201 K (8.45 K/9), 58 BB (2.44 BB/9)
Is the ERA and Wins exactly what we’re looking for from starting pitchers? Obviously not, but with that type of WHIP and Strikeout totals, he is a pitcher that you have to own. He’s not a #1 or 2, heck he probably isn’t even a #3, but he’s a pitcher that I would definitely want on my staff.