This Saturday in Syracuse, Josh Beckett will be pitching what could be his last rehabbing start in AAA. If everything goes well, he'll be slotted into the Red Sox rotation at some point during the West Coast trip next week.
Albeit his apparently rocky start highlighted by an ERA of 7.29, a proper analysis lead me to think he will be a major addition to our pitching staff and here's why:
- Josh Beckett was terribly unlucky with balls put in play against him (BABIP of .365) and stranding runners on base (LOB% of 55.9): Those are unsustainable numbers and they will come down because we're not talking about a skill here!
- In his 8 starts this season Beckett has faced 212 batters, a sample too small to have an opinion on his increased BB rate (3.74 BB/9 compared to his career mark of 2.77 BB/9). That sample though is significant enough too asses his K/9, who at 7.88 remains very good.
- When we're dealing with SSS, there's other numbers we can refer to so we can have a clearer picture: Here's a table that could help us
First pitch Strike%
Looking at those numbers, I see the same exact pitcher who racked up 6.5, 5.0 and 5.3 WAR in the last 3 season while pitching in toughest division in baseball: He's throwing high heat (quick note here: The 0.8 mph decrease in FB velocity could be attributed to the beginning of the season starts where pitchers generally are building arm strength), he's getting ahead of hitters and he's missing the same amount of bats.
He's no John Lackey!