What a delightful troika of arms to review, gracing the transactions page today.
Starting with one those arms that seemed so hot at the time, Wil Ledezma. A strikeout maven in the minors, Ledezma whiffed 471 over 464 innings, and hit the Show at the age of 22.
Well, when you start salivating over some hard throwing prospect--and I do as much as the next guy--remember that Ledezma has had an eight-year career, with 390.1 innings. That goes with a 15-25 record, 5.26 ERA, and 1.583 WHIP. And that strikeout machine? As a major leaguer he copped just 277 whiffs over 390.2 innings. Ugh.
Last year, with Pittsburgh, Ledezma was 0-3, 6.86, over 19.2 innings. But, Ledezma is a lefty, and lo and behold, Toronto outrighted him to Syracuse yesterday. Good luck, Wil. I fear the end is here.
Much the same with Claudio Vargas, for whom I had high hopes at one time. In fact I had him in my keeper Strat-O-Matic league. As a starter, Vargas never had an ERA under 4.34, and his 2006 with Arizona (12-10, 4.83) was pretty typical. In fairness, Vargas, now 32, has had some pretty good success in relief and apparently Colorado thinks so too. They just signed him to a minor league deal. Woo hoo.
But, Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader in baseball, with an incredible 601 conversions, has retired. With 1133 strikeouts over 1081.1 innings, a 61-75 mark, and terrific 1.058 WHIP. Hoffman is also the games leader for pitchers, with 856 appearances.
These are all HOF numbers. Period.
For Hoffman, represents the opposite end of the spectrum from his mates on today's list.
A great career, and a terrific arm. Farewell and good luck Mr. Hoffman.