Reasonable Expectations for 08-09 (Roloson)

This is Hoyt Wilhelm showing you why the knuckleball is such a beauty pitch. The pure knuckler has no rotation, it just comes at you like a small white moon, with only gravity, wind and the baseball Gods having any impact on its course. Eddie Cicotte got the pitch straight from God right after Moses got the 10 commandments and pitchers have been pissing off hitters with it ever since. I read an article years ago that measured hitter’s BA after facing a knuckleball pitcher and iirc they lost about 30 points for a few days before righting the ship.

Former major league catcher Bob Uecker once said there was no problem catching the knuckler, as you “just wait until it stops rolling and then go pick it up.”

Wilhelm was old as the hills and twice as dusty when I was a kid (Wilhelm died a few years ago and they found out he was older than everyone thought which was kind of impossible but there you go) and his baseball card was easily the least attractive in my complete set (he was just so damn old).

Anyway, knuckleball pitchers hang around forever. Charlie Hough was drafted by the Dodgers as a hitter and then they sent him to the mound when he couldn’t hit a lick. Hough hurt his arm so he was done, except he had the bright idea to try and learn the knuckleball. From what I understand most pitchers never master the pitch because they can’t get it through their thick skulls that when it comes the the knuckleball less is more and that controlling the pitch is a day to day process.

Goalies who can still play at a high level when they’re old are kind of like knuckleball pitchers. We all know they’re going to run out of gas but as to when, well that’s a moving target. Dwayne Roloson was born in 1969, the same year as Damian Rhodes and Garth Snow. Jimmy Waite was born that year and so was Red Light Racicot.

The day he was born the New York Mets beat Baltimore 2-1 to tie the Series at a game apiece. The Mets were in the WS after a stunning romp through the summer to win the NL East and then got by the Braves to punch their ticket. Hoyt Wilhelm was a Brave that summer.

I don’t know that Dwayne Roloson has another three years left in his career, but I don’t know that he doesn’t either.

Prediction for 08-09: 20gp, 3.20 .899

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10 Responses to "Reasonable Expectations for 08-09 (Roloson)"

  1. James says:

    I think those numbers are fair. I like Roli, I think all of us do. He is a great teammate and who can forget the cup run of 06. All oiler fans own him some slack for that amazing ride.

    However, Garons time is now. Roli has to transition into a good support backup. I think he fits this role perfectly. Not unlike Joseph or Kolzig. They need to stay sharp and be ready to play 25 games, and maybe steal 5 of them.

  2. PDO says:

    So 10 games for JDD?

    ….ugh.

    I’ve had enough fun cursing out rookie D the past three seasons, I have no idea what will come out of my mouth with I see a rookie tender letting in softies.

  3. Cloned says:

    PDO:

    Maybe “I can’t believe Fletcher gave us Schenn for Roloson.” ;-)

  4. PDO says:

    Ah yes…. he probably thought he was Luongo. I mean, they both have TWO O’s in their last name! It’s a mistake anyone could’ve made.

    I’m sure someone could point it out with a finger though.

  5. marriedtotheoil says:

    Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox has been quietly knocking down one team career pitching record after another since he joined the team in 1995. What I most appreciate about Wake is that like all successful knuckleballers, he’s learned to roll with the punches and stay focused and philosophical no matter how bad things get (and they can get grand slam bad in a blink). I think that’s a trait of Roli’s too, and there’s definitely a place on our roster for levelheaded experience and perspective.

    (Also, knuckleball pitchers tend to be quite odd personally . Not that that has *anything* to do with Roli, though…)

  6. Doogie2K says:

    I’m sure someone could point it out with a finger though.

    Sublime.

    That sub-.900 SVP makes me itchy, but…eh, it’s probably fair at this point. Roli has his moments (the SJS game late last year), but damn if he doesn’t give up at least one really sketchy goal a night most times.

    And just as a running tally, I get 207 GA in 72 GP, give or take an overtime or twenty. Clearly we have no delusions about what we’re going to give up while we’re creating. ;)

  7. Cloned says:

    PDO:

    The Nucks shouldn’t ask for anything less than Finger for Luongo. And then Fletcher wouldn’t do it, I’m sure.

  8. godot10 says:

    If one looks at the heavy road, multiple back-to-back games in the first third of the schedule, the Oiler NEED both Roloson and Garon playing well.

  9. mc79hockey says:

    What I most appreciate about Wake is that like all successful knuckleballers, he’s learned to roll with the punches and stay focused and philosophical no matter how bad things get (and they can get grand slam bad in a blink).

    I’ve read that he was pretty worried in 2003 that he was about to become a 21st century Buckner. He actually had a pretty solid ALCS up until Boone hit that HR – he pitched 14 innings of 2.57 ball against the Yanks, which ain’t half bad. He got clubbed like a baby seal in the 2004 playoffs but I was still pretty happy for him when they did it.

  10. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I like Roli as much as the next Oiler fan, but after Garon went down near the end of the season, I got that sinking feeling that the run the team was on was doomed – even after he absolutely robbed SJ blind his first game in. The only reason the run came so close is because the team was scoring enough to overcome the soft goals.

    I think that LT’s comment about every game JDD plays is a step closer to missing the playoffs could apply to Roli as well. He’s just lost that proverbial half a step.

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