Widely viewed as one of the premier closers in the game, Jason Motte has not inspired much confidence thus far this spring. We don’t look at the save numbers, because its rare that closers actually work late in games. However, the overall inability is starting to get concerning.
He is currently sporting a 5.00 ERA…
He has struggled to find the strike zone, with 5 BB over 9.0 IP…
The strikeouts haven’t been there, with just 2 K…
He has already given up a pair of home runs…
It is Sprimg Training and a small sample size. Maybe he is just working out a few issues, which is a reasonable assumption. The truth is, however, that he has never been a strong spring performer:
Spring – 9.64 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, 6 K, 4 BB over 9.1 IP
Regular Season – 2.25 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 63 K, 16 BB over 68.0 IP
Spring – 2.31 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 6 K, 8 BB over 11.2 IP
Regular Season – 2.75 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 86 K, 17 BB over 72.0 IP
In other words, the lack of strikeouts and increased walks have almost become a staple of Motte’s springs. However, when the bell sounds he always seems to be able to turn up the dial and produce the way we would expect of him.
Could 2013 be different? Absolutely, but there is no reason to read into his struggles and drop him down your draft board (or panic and trade him). He has long proven that he can excel in the Major Leagues and there is no reason to think 2013 will be any different.
What are your thoughts of Motte? Do his spring struggles concern you? Why or why not?
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