Cormier, once ace of the Alabama Crimson Tide and your blogger’s neighbor, has terrible Major League stats. I mean, they’re just awful. His ERA is 6.21, he walks nearly five men per nine innings, his strikeout rate is at best mediocre, and he allows lots of homers. I’m looking for a plus, and I’m just not finding one. All I can say is that his 5.11 ERA last season is a whole lot better than his 8.14 ERA in 2004. How’s this? If he makes similar improvements the next two seasons, he will actually give up negative runs in 2007. I am not optimistic.
Looked at overall, Cormier’s stats are unpromising. However, his season had its high notes. He didn’t allow a run until his thirteenth appearance of the season, and had a 1.67 ERA with seven holds, no blown saves, on June 9. He may have been overworked (at least, some DBacks fans say he was) as they didn’t have any other reliable relievers. ERAs by month: 0.00, 2.76, 4.50, 7.11, 10.93, 3.86, so he did at least pitch okay in September. And his minor league stats (in hitter’s parks) are excellent; he put up ERAs in Tucson of 2.60 and 2.68 in 2003 and 2004.
I don’t understand the minor league service time rules that govern whether a player can be optioned out. Cormier may have a year left, in which case he’ll probably start at Richmond. His ability to consistently get Major League hitters out is questionable, but if he starts there he’ll probably come up sooner or later.