Friday, September 23, 2005

The writing is on the wall...only, it's written in Arabic

And, unfortunately, I don't read Arabic.

What in the name of Supercalafragalisticexpialadocious does Brett Tomko think he's doing, gettin' all good an' stuff all of a sudden?

Now, yesterday's line wasn't exactly great, but it was solid, and has added to the...uh, Tomko mystique. For the month, he's done the following: 27 innings pitched, 22 hits allowed, 19 strikeouts, 4 walks, and a 2.33 ERA. Compare that to his September of 2004: 35.1 innings pitched, 20 hits allowed, 33 strikeouts, 11 walks, and a 1.78 ERA. Not quite as good in 2005, but close enough that I'm sure Brian Sabean is noticing.

Did anyone know that Tomko's average game score (a stat that measure the quality of a start - higher numbers are better) is 48? For comparison's sake, let's look at the game scores for Jason Schmidt, Noah Lowry, and Brad Hennessey, two of whom are locks for next year's rotation, and one who is a big-time hopeful: 52 for Schmidt, 53 for Lowry, and 45 for Hennessey (by the way, Matt Cain's is 65). Last year, Tomko's average game score was 50.

So, what I'm trying to say is, Tomko is indeed in the process of saving his job like I mused about back on September 7th. While I cannot help but have mixed emotions about this, the practical side of me says that bringing him back may just be the best move the Giants could make when we consider the value of his performance. He's basically the same pitcher as 2004.

The following is a list gleaned from, which is a funky name but a very useful site. It has a list of free agents for next season, including starting pitchers. I've truncated some of the list to exclude some of the more obvious non-options for Sabes next season, but I've left most of it intact:

Pedro Astacio
Andy Ashby
Matt Morris
Scott Elarton
Ariel Prieto
Elmer Dessens (Mutual Option)
A.J. Burnett
Jeff Weaver
Jason Schmidt (Team Option)
Jeff Suppan (Team Option)
Hideo Nomo
John Thomson (Team Option)
Steve Trachsel (Team Option)
Kevin Brown
Brian Moehler
Jason Johnson
Paul Byrd
Joe Mays (Team Option)
Aaron Myette
Jamey Wright
Jose Lima
Ismael Valdez
Kevin Millwood
James Baldwin
Rick Helling
Esteban Loaiza (Mutual Option)
Roger Clemens
Scott Erickson
Tony Armas Jr.
Omar Daal
Denny Neagle
Tom Glavine (Mutual Option)
Al Leiter
Brian Anderson
Mark Redman (Mutual Option + Player Option)
Jamie Moyer
Kenny Rogers
Ted Lilly
John Halama
Shawn Estes
Jarrod Washburn

Now, you look at those names and think about how much it would cost to bring in some of those more tantalizing names, like A.J. Burnett or Kevin Millwood. More than the Giants can afford, I think. After that, there's a 2nd tier of names, like Matt Morris or Steve Trachsel, but there's no guarantee that guys like that won't simply re-sign with their current teams.

After that, folks, it gets pretty thin. If Tomko can be brought back for around the same salary as he's making now (2.5 million), it may be the best option for the money available.

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