06 May 2007
It seems like every pitcher that makes the transition from the American League to the National League ends up doing better. The ninth batter, instead of batting .250 with 12 homeruns, is a pitcher batting .113 with no homeruns. That alone helps. Any time an adequate pitcher makes the move from the AL to the NL, it's a trigger to be a late-round steal in my fantasy baseball draft.
That's why I thought Andy Pettitte wouldn't do so well this year making the transition back to NY from Houston. He didn't do so well last year in Houston, so for him to return to his "first two years in Houston" form would have been miraculous, regardless of coming back to the stronger AL. On paper his current 3.00 ERA doesn't look so bad, but his 1.44 WHIP is right back where it was last year, and it's higher than his 1.33 WHIP during his last year with the Yankees in 2003. A 1.44 WHIP is not good. He's lucky to have a team that scores a lot of runs for him in the Yankees.
Clemens will be trying to make the same transition starting in a couple of weeks. His stats while he played in Houston are ridiculous. He was never worse than a .217 batting average against, a 2.98 ERA, and a 1.16 WHIP. But his years in NY were probably a little overrated. His best batting average against was .236. His best ERA was 3.51, and his best WHIP was 1.21. Good numbers but not Clemens-esque as we've come to know them. I would expect similar results to his 2003 campaign in NY and not get my hopes up for Houstonian numbers. His line in 2003: a .247 BAA, 3.91 ERA, and 1.21 WHIP.
Good luck to Pettitte and Clemens as they try to bring the Yankees another World Series championship. I'd like you both to be Houstonian, but this isn't the NL.