One of the first posts I wrote for this blog was called “Looking at 2010 to predict 2009.” It was a post that tried to predict players who are free agents in 2010 that might have a career year in 2009. This type of career year I dubbed an “Adrian Beltre” year.
Even though we are only 2 weeks into the season, Jarrod Washburn has become the frontrunner for the player to have an “Adrian Beltre” year. Washburn has been pitching in the majors for 12 years and as far as I can tell he has only had 1 good year in his career. That year was 2002 when Washburn was 18-6 with a 3.15 era and finished 4th in the Cy Young award voting while pitching for the Angels. Take out that 2002 season and coming into this year Washburn was 81-94 with a 4.50 era. Not very impressive.
This year however, Washburn has been a buzzsaw. In his first 3 starts Washburn has gone 3-0 with a 1.71 era and has only given up 14 hits, while striking out 17 in 21 innings pitched. Washburn has been so dominate his first 3 starts that remarkably at the age of 35 he has increased his K/9 from 5.1 last year to 7.3 this year. Washburn’s best K/9 you ask? Again, back in his 2002 season where he had a 6.1 K/9.
Can Washburn keep this up? Well, he has 2 inportant things in his favor…
- He is a free agent at the end of the season so the motivation is there.
- The Mariners look so far to be a much improved team from last season so the opportunity for wins will be there.
So yes, I think Washburn can keep up with the wins and era (not 1.71 but somewhere in the mid-3’s) but I would be shocked if at the age of 35 he keeps up his K/9. I am sure Washburn has been picked up in most fantasy leagues so whoever has him your league might have picked up the guy who will have the “Adrian Beltre” year.