Well Isn’t that special? Says the Saturday Night Live church lady. Yup, according to the reports, pitcher Ricky Nolasco wants 80 million and a four year contract. And you know, the Twins are just desperate enough for pitching that they may give it to him. Although why any team would want to give Nolasco that much money is beyond me. But desperation is a strong motivator. I shrug my shoulders in the air.
I’m going to predict that Ricky Nolasco will not be back in Dodger Blue next season. From what I have read it appears that the Dodgers haven’t even spoken to him at all so far this offseason. Probably because he stunk so much while pitching in a Dodger uniform.
To be honest, I’ve never liked Nolasco very much. The first several weeks he was a Dodgers he was less than stellar. He was mediocre, which is how his entire career has been. I was impressed when he had a great month of August going 5-0, with a 1.64 ERA in five starts. But that was all. His last three lousy stars of the regular season and his no-show in game 4 of the NLCS cemented his departure from Los Angeles. I think his game 4 NLCS craptacular performance soured the Dodgers on bringing him back. He was just rental.
And a mediocre one at that. Nolasco was 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA with the Dodgers, which is pretty good. But remember five of those wins came in the month of August, his one well timed hot streak. Nolasco had a 6.66 ERA in September, and October.
Nolasco finished the 2013 season with a 13-11 record, 3.70 ERA, and 165 whiffs against 46 walks between the Dodgers and the Marlins. That may look good, but he also allowed nearly nine hits per nine innings, and allowed 195 hits in 199 innings pitched. His career hits per nine mark is 9.5, and he has allowed more hits than innings pitched in six seasons. His career ERA is 4.37, and the 2013 season is the first season in which he has posted an ERA below 4.50 since 2008. I’m not saying he’s terrible, but he’s not very good either. I know that as a fifth starter you could do worse. But if the Twins or any other team give him 80 million, they are nuts.
Nolasco’s main problem is his flat low velocity fastball, and his poor pitch sequences. His fastball is flat with little to no movement, and instead of relying on his strong off speed pitches, he often times tries to blow his sub par fastball by major league hitters, to noone’s surprise MLB hitters can, yes can (nodding head while typing) hit 91 MPH puffballs down the pipe. And then Nolasco gets hit into the next time zone. We’ve seen it happen.
Nolasco turns 31 next month, and the right hander was making 11.5 million dollars last season. Since he was traded midseason he is not eligible to receive a qualifying offer, so the Twins would not lose a draft pick if they sign him.