It is so easy to fall in love with prospects, and even more so when those prospects produce numbers that validate our devotion.
Sometimes, however, the stats don't tell everything.
Seven innings. Three hits. One run. Two walks. Three whiffs. A win.
Now, those stats look great, and that was indeed the pitching line that Jake Arrieta produced yesterday, making a lot of owners and his Baltimore management happy.
But, I was there, and I scored the game, pitch-by-pitch, and I can tell you that while Arrieta did not pitch poorly, he did not pitch nearly as well as the stat line indicates.
At least five balls where hit very hard. They were hit right at defenders, who made great plays and thus kept threats from initiating.
And, you can indeed say, "that is baseball," because it is. The defense can pick up a pitcher, just like a pitcher can pick up the offense, or the offense pick up the team.
But, Arrieta never got into any kind of rhythm or groove, and that is one thing that stands out game-to-game when you score, as the person scoring tends to fall into the slip stream of that ryhthm.
Mind you, it was not just me who got that sense. My back-up friend, Hank Widmar noticed the same thing, as did the OS and the fellow who scores for STATS, Inc.
Now, I am not knocking Arrieta, or suggesting he does not have a bright future, but, I am warning that if you pick him up, or activated him from your ulta reserves because you think he has arrived, that might be premature.
I think he has some major knocks ahead of him, for better or worse, so being patient might be a better long term path if Arrieta is on your roster and you can afford to hide him.