Tim Byrdak – 2009 Upper Deck

February 16, 2011

(Oh, wait, wrong one…I just thought this was a cool pic!)

Plenty Of Good Seats Available Here At The Ballpark

I once owned a Wilmington Rocks jersey that Mr. Byrdak wore back when he was a KC farmhand. I found out he wore the jersey on a nice feature on the Rocks web-site.

He was a Royals farmhand (which is how he got to Wilmington at 21), that seemed to be dead and buried as a big leaguer after 2000. He had outstanding AAA stats but was basically eviscerated at the big-league level (0-4, 8.27 in 48 innings).

After scuffling around the minors, he emerged in Baltimore as a LOOGY in 2005. That’s not that surprising, because you know the rule…YOU GOTTA HAVE A LEFTY! Any lefty pitcher in AAA that’s upright and breathing will get another chance to be a LOOGY if nothing else.

But 2006 came and he was back to his Royals performance in the bigs. So, I thought, that’s the end of that. Injuries played a part as well, but it’s not unusual for a 32-year old fringe pitcher to call it quits after a season like 2006.

Detroit signed him in 2007, and after a stint in Toledo brought him to the bigs. Leyland didn’t LOOGY-ize him; he actually had more innings pitched than appearances for the second place Tigers. His ERA was 3.20 and over 50% of his appearances were high or middle leverage situations.

Byrdak was part of a numbers game though, and was released in Spring Training 2008. Houston snagged him, and for most of the last three seasons was LOOGYing it up. It does make sense for him as lefties have a .677 OPS against him while righties have an .886 OPS against.

Last season it was EXTREME LOOGY for Byrdak – 64 appearances, 38 2/3 innings. Is even a shower necessary, unless  you have sunflower seeds all over yourself? Now, he’s a Met, and at age 37 may be long in the tooth for a rebuilding team.

These are the Mets, though…

 

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