Friday, May 19, 2006

Bean Wonderin'

Yeah. I've "bean" wondering about why Colter Bean gets passed up time and time again, while MLB retreads get shots at sucking all over again. It's still a mystery, so I've decided to launch a new feature here at Canyon of Heroes which takes a closer look. Maybe we're missing something. A check under the microscope ought to reveal some flaw in Colter's makeup that will allow us to write him off once and for the Yankees have. Here we go. Feature #1 in a series.In any scientific investigation, it helps to compare two things. In this case pitchers. Since Tanyon Sturtze, the regular experiment's control, is now MIA for the remainder of the year, it's up to his replacement on the Major League roster to hold down the fort. Scott Erickson, welcome to Hell.

The first thing I'll note in this comparison is that Scott Erickson is one hunky guy. Before anyone accuses me of any unwholesome thoughts, I insist that I mean "hunky" in that late 70's, early 80's, hunky way. You know what I'm talking about. Erik Estrada, Lee Majors, Magnum, P.I., Ted Danson, Gil Gerard as Buck Rogers..... He's got Colter there. Bean is more like your college roommate who clipped his toenails in front of the really hot girl you were trying to chat up in your room. When you called him out, he said, "Dude. What?" I promise that never happened to me, but it was the first random thought that popped into my head when I looked at his face.

Anyway, advantage Fall Guy.

As for pitching, it should help to look at what the two men have been up to over the last say 3 years. That ought to reveal a trend that makes sense. Let's look at Colter first.

Colter Bean has played at all levels in the Yankees system since the start of the 2003 season. Rookie ball, Single A, AA, AAA, and a pit stop in the Majors that's hardly worth mentioning. Here's his stat line in all those games combined.

Bean has posted 30 wins against 25 losses with a 3.35 ERA. His WHIP over that span is 1.32 and falling with each successful outing at Columbus.

238 Games Played
48 Games Started
525 Inning Pitched
454 Hits
253 Runs
195 Earned Runs
31 Home Runs
238 BBs
583 Ks

Not too shabby, Mr. Bean. But Scott Erickson is a former All Star. He must have been a valuable cog in someone's Major League designs over the last 3+ seasons, right? Well, after missing the complete 2003 season on the disabled list it seems that Erickson managed to appear in 27 Major League games over the last 2+ seasons. Those games were split between the 2004 Mets and Rangers (6), the 2005 Dodgers (19), and this year's Yankees (2). I guess he hasn't been in such great demand after all. What kind of numbers did he put up in his time between Big League clubs and various teams in the minors?

It seems that Mr. Erickson has contributed a 5.97 ERA and a WHIP of 1.63 on his way to an 8-16 record. Tough to see why the Yankees wouldn't want that on their Major League roster. What other numbers can we look at? I'll put Bean's in parenthesis next to Lee Majors' so you can compare for yourself.

46 Games Played (238)
35 Games Started (48)
196 Innings Pitched (525)
227 Hits (454)
140 Runs (253)
130 Earned Runs (195)
28 Home Runs Allowed (31)
93 BBs (238)
106 Ks (583)

So the Yankees called up a guy who has only managed to participate in 46 live baseball contests over 3+ seasons, and who has an ERA nearly double that of Colter Bean. Colter Bean has struck out 9.9 batters per 9 innings. Scott Erickson has struck out 4.9/9 innings. They chose the guy with 28 Home Runs Allowed in 196 innings (1.3 homers allowed/9 innings) instead of the player who has allowed 31 in 525 innings (.5 homers allowed/9). Hmmmmm.....

Ah, well. There something to be said for good looks.


murphy said...

hey mike. murphy from the comment board over at bronx banter. as per bean: in alex belth's interview with joel sherman (, the thing that really hit me was sherman's saying the following about bean: "I think there is a strong feeling in the game that Bean is not a hidden Chad Bradford type, but rather a guy who would not succeed in the majors because his stuff is just not good enough." this may explain a lot.

Mike Plugh said...

The thing is, you won't know until you let him pitch for a month or two in the bigs. You KNOW Erickson sucks.....that's the crux of it.

murphy said...

oh, i am not disagreeing with you about erickson. anyone would be a better choice. i just think that for those of us in brooklyn (me) and japan (you, yes?), we don't get to see guys like bean actually pitcj. we tend to get psyched by stats, whereas there's usually more to it than that.

Mike Plugh said...

Agreed. I've seen him pitch two or three times on tape, but hardly a large sample.

I think he deserves a shot, or a trade. Either way he belongs in the Majors somewhere. Kansas City could probably use him as a closer!

murphy said...

either way, it's just more evidence of torre's insanity. no MLB experience = no yankee playing time. not that i would wish serious injury on anyone, but there's a little part of me that hopes they DL Bubba, so once, JUST ONCE, we can see a cabrera, thompson, reese OF.

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