The Difference Between Carlos Zambrano and Josh Beckett
By R.J. Anderson //
Through the lenses of ERA, Josh Beckett and Carlos Zambrano could not be more dissimilar.
Zambrano sports a sparkling 3.56 ERA this year, with a mark under 2.00 since returning full-time in August. Over his first eight post-return starts, Big Z struck out 45 while allowing only a single home run.
Beckett, meanwhile, has about the same amount of innings with varying results. In August, his ERA was over 6.00 – making it the third of four completed months this season in which that was true – while September has brought with it an ERA below 3.00. For the season, though, he’s still lugging a sky-high 5.71 ERA. Based on those numbers, one might label Zambrano as a keeper and Beckett as someone to pass on. After all, Zambrano appears to be at the top of his game down the stretch.
Things are not always as they seem, though, and that is why looking beyond the surface is vital when tagging players to keep or not. Zambrano is striking out about 1.5 batters per walk; whereas Beckett is striking out nearly four batters per walk.
The difference between the two reveals itself as a matter of home runs allowed. Zambrano’s one blast per 54 innings average is in no way representative of what he will continue to offer, as his career average is one per 12 innings. Beckett has given up a homer every six innings versus his career average of a homer every nine. Because of that, these two will be a lot more alike next season than it appears now. Both are keeper-worthy.