Cliff Lee is expected to join the Phillies today in San Francisco. American League pitchers have somewhat of a track record of increased success when they initially join a new team in the National League. Here is a look at some excellent cross overs from recent memory.
CC Sabathia, 2008. After joining the Brewers midway through last season, Sabathia went 11-2 with 7 complete games, 3 shut outs and 128 K's over 17 starts.
Johan Santana, 2008. In his first full NL season with the Metropolitans, Santana posted a 16-7 record with a 2.53 ERA and 206 K's in 34 starts.
Bronson Arroyo, 2006. In his first three months with the Reds, Arroyo had a 9-4 record, with a 2.58 ERA and 89 K's in 17 starts.
Randy Johnson, 1998. When Johnson left Seattle for Houston, he contributed greatly with a 10-1 record, 1.28 ERA, 4 complete games (all shut outs), with 116 K's in 11 starts.
For further consideration, here is a look at those pitchers' statistics with the preceding American League club, just before getting traded.
Sabathia with Cleveland, 2008...6-8, 3.83 ERA, 18 games.
Santana with Minnesota, 2007...15-13, 3.33 ERA, 33 games (2nd half...5-7, 4.04 ERA, 15 games)
Arroyo with Boston, 2005...14-10, 4.51 ERA, 35 games (2nd half...7-5, 5.08 ERA, 17 games).
Johnson with Seattle, 1998...9-10, 4.33 ERA, 23 starts.
Cliff Lee with Cleveland, 2009...7-9, 3.14 ERA, 22 starts.
Lee's numbers look better than those other guys' stats just prior to crossing over. Lee's win-loss record would certainly be better this year if the Indians offered more run support. Cleveland averaged 3.73 runs per game this year in Lee's starts. By comparison, Roy Halladay (11-4) got 5.47 runs per game this year from the Blue Jays, prior to his latest start on Wednesday. If this history pans out, and Lee's season so far is any indication, we could be looking at quite a beastly remainder of 2009 from the newest Phillies pitcher.
Thanks to The Shore Sports Report gang for tips.
Columnist David Murphy speculates that Lee will make his Phillies debut on Saturday.
I'd like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to PhoulBallz.com's favorite t-shirt model, Jason Knapp. Good luck to you, my man.