Scott Eyre, RP (LHP)
Age: 36 (37, May 30)
2008: 25.2 IP / 5-0 / 4.21 ERA / 7 BB / 32 K / 0 SV / 2 BS / 1.17 WHIP
Summary: In Chicago Eyre had a few bad outings. Otherwise he pitched well. That showed when he moved to Philadelphia, where he was simply outstanding. He carried a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings, striking out 18 while walking three. His K:BB ratio was a stunning 4.57, and his K/9 was an incredible 11.22. Though the sample size was small, he delivered in almost every appearance. Against lefties (much of his workload) he held a .220 average and 80 OPS+. He wasn’t good against righties, however, as they slugged .467 against him.
Career Level: Descent (Year 1)
Green Flags: Eyre’s strikeout rates were unbelievable, but not rare. The rates have improved every season since 2003, with years capable of eight to nine strikeouts per nine. … He doesn’t give up home runs — only 0.70 per nine in 2008 — despite a 41 percent fly-ball ratio.
Red Flags: Eyre’s greater reliance on the slider (34.8 percent in 2008, from 29.6 percent in 2007) shows he might be losing confidence in the fastball. Still, the slider has been a good pitch. … With lower ground-ball rates and higher fly-ball rates, one would think the luck will backfire. … His 2.45 BB/9 in 2008 is more anomaly than trend — his career is 4.59.
Prognostication: Eyre will fall back to Earth, especially as he becomes the main defense against left-handed hitting. It won’t be dramatic, but it’ll be enough to cause a slight uproar. He’s an established veteran with a fine fastball and good slider, but guys have figured him out before, and he’s had worse control in the past. He’ll revert a bit back to his averages.
2009 Projection: 44.1 IP / 4-4 / 4.06 ERA / 17 BB / 39 K / 0 SV / 2 BS / 1.27 WHIP