MLB Network anchor Brian Kenny is the loudest advocate to “kill the win”, a phrase that follows the new school of baseball thinking that wins do not really matter statistics wise. Kenny and other believers have concluded the so many variables play a part in the outcome of a game, bullpens and lack of scoring to name a few, that one cannot look at the number of wins a pitcher has to determine how good or bad they are. This thought process could be used to evaluate Chicago White Sox starter Hector Noesi.
A waiver pickup earlier this year, Noesi remains winless through six starts for the Sox. His has not won since 2012 which is the second longest span between victories currently in the majors. Acquired mostly to be a band-aid in the rotation until Chris Sale returned from the disabled list, Noesi still finds himself as a starter with the big league club even with the lefty ace’s return.
In his seven games with the Sox, he has been used once in relief, Noesi is 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA. Four of his six starts have resulted in him giving up three or fewer runs in five or more innings of work. During some innings of these dominant starts he has appeared unhittable. His breaking ball falls right off the table while baffling hitters. While his fastball is nothing special, his ability to pinpoint his pitches in the exact spot his catcher wants is impressive. Noesi’s ability to battle while eating up innings has shown that his ability to not have fatigue affect him is beneficial for the entire pitching staff.
Still, Noesi has shown at times why he has already been released by two teams this season. On occasion he will leave pitches right over the heart of the plate which will result in them being tattooed all over the field. During some of the lengthy jams he has found himself in, he could not buy an out. His 1.36 WHIP is a vast improvement from previous seasons, but still is not something that draws praise.
While he has had some rough patches, Noesi has been more dominant than those that could replace him in the rotation: Scott Carroll and Erik Johnson. Pitching every fifth day is not by default though. He has clearly proven that he possesses the stuff to possibly be penciled into the rotation for the rest of the season and beyond. Who knows, he could be like another former New York Yankees farmhand Jose Quintana and transform from emergency starter to a face of the future.