Dale Thayer is fascinating. His statistics have always screamed sleeper, but his scouting reports screamed "mediocre". When he was acquired for Russ Branyan, a lot of people turned their attention to Evan Meek; your prototypical hard-thrower with absolutely no clue where the ball is going, basically canned plankton. Thayer seemed pretty generic too, the classic control over stuff reliever who gets a few chances, gets blown up, and ends up at their old high school as the baseball coach and physics teacher.
The score presented the opportunity for Thayer to get some work in, and holy heavens did he ever. When the camera flashed to Thayer, the first and only thing anyone noticed was the miraculous mustache, one with roots all the way to Mecca and back. This my friends, should be on scouting reports. It goes; hand, age, hand, gratuitous facial hair(if so, what type), pitches, and so on. Thayer looks like Chet Steadman. This is a very, very good thing.
As for actually pitching, Thayer sat 91-93, topping out at 94 with his fastball. The pitch moves in to righties, breaking nearly 9.5 inches. It's impressive and certainly something to work off as Thayer seemed to control the pitch well. Thayer only threw one change, and a handful of slider/curve type pitches. Again, all looks well though the sample size is too small to say anything definitively.
Thayer would go three innings and record his first major league save. Good for him, but wait, there's more. Thayer also faced Ross Gload and it involved Thayer hitting. He actually went ahead in the count before shattering his bat on a ball hit back up the middle.
There's a distinct possibility that Thayer is here for the weekend and then gone again. That's too bad. ‘Staches like that come around once, maybe twice a decade. Thayer could be our Sal Fasano/Matt Stairs type, and frankly that's something that should not be easily discarded. This is a guy with a WAR (Whiskers Above Replacement) of like 5, he's ridiculous. I can only hope he gets some more burn as the season progresses.
Seriously though, Thayer's interesting. I think he loses the numbers game this time around, but with a large crop of expiring pen contracts, he could find a spot eventually.
Yes, I realize Josh Paul had a similar mustache. It's Josh Paul though, he doesn't count.