Happy birthday. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Henderson Alvarez turns 22 today. 22. And he's made 12 major league starts. How many guys pitchers have 12 starts before their 22nd birthday. He hasn't had many decisions in those 12 starts, he was 1-3 last year and hasn't had a decision in his two starts this year. Both starts were lost by the bullpen.
John Sickels at Minor League Ball says this about him:
You have to love his command and the terrific K/BB ratio. Sabermetrically-speaking his K/IP ratio isn't terrific, but he picks up a lot of ground balls. Some regression to the mean seems possible but I don't see any reason to believe that he won't sustain at least above-average performance.
We had a poll, just last week, off a comment by Peter Gammons, asking who would have more wins, 5 years from now, Henderson or Yu Darvish. The 61% voting for Alvarez shows our team bias.
A lot is made of Alvarez needing another pitch and it wouldn't hurt, but then most 22 year old pitchers are looking for another pitch and most aren't doing it in the majors, with 76 innings of a far better than league average ERA.
Anyway, Happy Birthday Henderson. Hope it is a good one.