Last season, Manny Delcarmen was a very reliable relief pitcher. He was especially solid down the stretch and proved to be one of the Sox's best options. But this season, it's been the opposite despite a strong start.
Let's take a look at both seasons at a glance:
Basically, everything you saw out of Manny D in 2008 just did a 180 this season. He almost strikeout one batter an inning last season, but that dropped by more than two points. He walks almost two more batters per nine, too. On top of that, opposing hitters have upped their average almost a whopping .070 points.
But we might have been able to see that coming. Manny's BABIP was a better than average .266, hinting he could drop off in 2009. Well, he did, but more than I think anyone would have really expected. Now he's been much more unlucky, logging a high .322 BABIP.
We should also see what his pitches have been doing this year compared to last:
(FBv is fastball velocity, CBv is curveball velocity, etc.)
Essentially, Manny D is throwing his fastball less, his curveball less and his changeup a heckuva lot more than last season. Throwing his changeup more could be the reason why he's been struggling so much, or it could be a comfort pitch to him -- he struggles, so he goes to his changeup to try and make things better.
The drop of velocity in his fastball is concerning, too. While the velocity in curveballs and changeups really aren't that major, the drops all across the board shows there could be something wrong with his arm. If his fastball velocity was down, but his changeup velocity was up, it could mean a mechanics issue or something similar. With the way it looks now, it could be a tired arm.
Let's hope Manny gets his act together for the postseason because the Sox might really need him. If they don't need him, it'd be nice to have a good Manny D as a backup anyway.