David Pauley Is Actually Good! Kind Of…Well…Not Really


It’s true. I’m a David Pauley apologist. But that’s okay because right now he’s basically our third best reliever and already has accrued 0.4 WAR over the first month and a half of the season. Which puts him on pace for 1.5 WAR over the season and ties him as the fifth most valuable pitcher on the staff.

It’s not like I’ve been saying he’s under rated or anything the last year or two and I kind of wrote again about him this spring. I’m wrong about a lot of things but give me this. Give me David Pauley.

Ahhh…. that felt good..  now here’s where I kind of do some back peddling on things I’ve said the last year and a half. Because what he’s doing right now isn’t conducive to long term success.

Pauley’s not a bad pitcher. That much is true. But his effectiveness is not sustainable at this point and he’s bound for some regression. Why you ask? Because of the amount of hitters he allows on base that have yet to score. In 23.1 innings pitched he has only allowed 3 runs to score. Yet, he’s allowed 19 runners on base.

Also you have to take into account that through this year he has yet to give up a home run and though he works the bottom part of the zone well with plenty of fastballs and change-ups he’s bound to give one or two or three up eventually. His HR/FB ratio for his career is 11% and he’s so far given up 18 fly balls for the year.

There is also the 22% balls put into play being line drives and a the BABIP of only .200. He’s being hit hard and he’s getting lucky.

He is what he is. He’s a solid middle reliever that gets a ton of ground balls and won’t get many flyballs. His BABIP will normally be a bit lower than normal due to the percentage of ground balls’ he induces. He’ll walk a few guys and he’ll get about average swing and misses off his stuff.

One quick thought on Pauley’s curveball, which I love, it has been more valuable this year than in last few years due to it’s evaporating use and that because it’s so under rated it most likely doesn’t go on many scouting reports. But it’s under use hurts him more than it helps, I think that if he used it more often in two strike situations, more than just the 20% he uses it right now, he’d generate more strike outs than the pitiful 5.01 k/9 innings he’s at right now. That’s just my opinion.

But Eric Wedge is playing with fire when it comes to David Pauley. Most people had been impressed with the Mariners bullpen up until the Brandon League fiascoes and more than a few fans are going to be pretty angry when Pauley follows suit. Because that shiny 1.16 ERA is bound to inflate.