Don’t count on Josh Beckett bouncing back

36 Comments

John Tomase of the Boston Herald has some bad news for Sox fans who are counting on Josh Beckett bouncing back in 2011:

Virtually every pitcher to struggle like Beckett did last season not only was never the same, but almost to a man failed to produce a single, solitary above-average season thereafter. …

… Thanks to the magic of baseball-reference.com, it was easy to sort for pitchers in their 30s who posted ERAs above 5.75 while pitching at least 125 innings. The search returned 69 such seasons by 66 different pitchers … Of those 66 pitchers, only three managed to regain something even remotely approximating their form, at least as starters.

One small quibble: Baseball-Reference.com isn’t magic. It’s unadulterated genius.  Otherwise: whoa. Tomase acknowledges that such results don’t mean that Beckett can’t buck it. But it does show that hardly anyone ever does. Whether a pitcher Beckett simply ages quickly or whether he stumbles because of injury, bouncing back is exceedingly uncommon.

But hey: at least that contract extension was well-timed.