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Player Review: Wheels and Edwin Jackson

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Mr. Dan Wheeler first:

Wheeler was acquired during the 2007 trade deadline straight up for Ty "Wiggy" Wigginton. He started 2008 as the set up man to "Closer" Troy Percival, and featured flukey success in an 8th inning role. He was a flyball pitcher, and through the first month and a half of the season, only gave up 2 Long Balls on a staggering 35 Fly Balls, a regressable 5.7 percent HR/FB rate up to 5/17. 

Overall, his numbers look pretty ugly. 37% Flyball Rate with only a 27.1% GB rate, which in itself is asking for trouble. Throw in a 21% LD with a .191(!) BABIP, and you have a situation where a trade at peak value is the ideal situation. Wheels is a ticking time bomb, which is reflected in his FIP of 4.49 and a tRA of 4.72, both of which are well below average.

In the offseason, I would recommend trading Wheeler. He has a favorable contract that opposing GMs may value, and his, ahem, 3.12 ERA may coax some unwitting GM into thinking that he's worth a Jon Rauch type package. Frankly if we can get a decent package of one position prospect I would be ecstatic, especially with the packages that have been given out thus far in the winter.

Edwin Jackson next:

Edwin, of course was acquired in the Winter of 2006 in the Jackson/Tiffany for Danys Baez and Lance Carter trade, where Jackson is the best player involved pretty much by default. He was the 5th starter this year, and as such, did not have crazy high expectations. Like Wheeler, Edwin is a pitcher who grossly underperformed his ERA.

Edwin had a Flyball Percentage of 29% compared to a Groundball percentage of 38%, which while not awful, is not great either. His LD% 21.8% with a .301 BABIP falls around where it should be, maybe he is due for a tiny bit of regression. The serious problems are with his K/BB. He struck out 5.30 per 9, whichis very low, compared to a 3.78 BB/9, which is very high. Both of thos are pretty much a recipe for disaster.

Edwin seems like a prime candidate for either a trade or a move to the pen, a move to the pen probably will hide his high walk and high fly ball tendencies, while he would probably bring in a decent package in return. All in all, Edwin will probably fight for a roster spot next year with Talbot and Niemman out of spring training, and is probably going to need a big showing if we wants to continue in a rays uni.