One of the blockbuster deals last winter involving young players was the Matt Garza (and Jason Bartlett/Eduardo Morlan) for Delmon Young (and Brendan Harris/Jason Pridie) swap. Yet as we sit today Garza and Young's ERA+ and OPS+ are both 84, disappointing to say the least.
Yes, we're ignoring the other parts of the deal for this because we're simply looking at what Garza/Delmon are doing wrong, just like fans of the teams are asking.
Delmon's line is .281/.324/.325 with no homeruns and six extra base hits. Young's line drive percentage is down to 15.8 from 21.1, his BABIP is .338 (.348 last year) which suggests he's actually playing over his head. Young is hitting grounders 62% of the time, but has improved his BB% and K%. Delmon's power hasn't came around yet, which is concerning, and really there's no answer to the lack of extra base hits, but here's a percentage breakdown of hits per type compared to last year:
He's hitting even more singles, but hey, at least he's hitting. The problem is what happened to the power Delmon displayed in the minors. Even in pitcher friendly Montgomery he jacked 20 bombs, yet once he hit hitter friendly Durham his homerun power was sapped. Career wise he's hit better on the road, which makes some sense because both Tropicana Field and the Metrodome are pitcher parks, however his OPS is only .770 on the road, still not what you'd expect from the former top prospect in all of baseball.
Now on to Garza. I touched on his problems a bit yesterday on DRaysBay and it sound stupid. Of course a pitcher has to throw strikes to be successful, but take a look at his pitches yesterday:
He's throwing far too many fastballs, and not using his plus curve or any of his breaking pitches. Obviously Jim Hickey and company know him better than I do, but mixing in the off-speed stuff would almost certainly help him after throwing one, two, or eight straight fastballs; last time out against the Yanks Garza threw 98 of 108 pitches for fastballs.
Garza's K/BB ratio is 0.94, a far cry from his minor league days in the 4.9 range, and his 20.9 LD% and .293 BABIP suggests some the hits aren't landing yet which is obvious trouble. Without speculating too much, could Garza's nerve injury affect what pitches he feels comfortable throwing?
On the plus side neither's attitude issues have popped up, yet.