I hope everyone had a nice Christmas, I originally planned to do a bullpen piece today, but instead I'm going to focus solely on Troy Percival.
Far be it for me to impugn Percival's decision to go through with surgery, the simple fact is Percival's bulldoggish demeanor ultimately cost the Rays. Prior to his first disabled list stint (May 29th - strained left hamstring) Percival pitched excellently, upon each subsequent return Percival's performances seemed to decline. Whether his was simply the wear on an older pitcher or someone returning before their body is optimal is up for speculation, here's what we do know:
Percival made trips to the DL for:
Strained left hamstring (May 29th)
Left hamstring strain (July 1st)
Cartilage damage, right knee (August 15th)
These DL stints lasted:
May 29th - June 13th
July 1st - July 20th
August 15th - September 2nd
For those not counting:
First stint: 16 days
Second stint: 20 days
Third stint: 20 days
The average span certainly doesn't seem to suggest that Percival was rushing back, however simply replying on the days missed is a flawed assumption for obvious reasons (no pitcher is alike, varying injuries, varying degrees, ect.) what is not up for debate is the notion that Percival got worse as the season went on. Here are his splits based on DL stints.
Now separated into sets of 10.
Now, I haven't went back and looked at PitchFx data to see if something is off (velocity, iffy control, ect) but healthy pitchers generally don't collapse like that. He was either physically or mentally unfit -- since it's Percival, we can assume the latter is always true, and therefore not much of an issue either way.