Tag: Jeff Suppan

San Francisco Giants: 5 Reasons Jeff Suppan Will Make the Opening Day Roster

Jeff Suppan, a 36-year-old right-hander, is desperately trying to prove once again that he can help a major league team win. This time, it’s with the World Series champs.

Suppan, now with his seventh team after 16 seasons in the majors, is trying to regain the pitching form that led him to back-to-back 16-win seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004 and 2005.

Though his career has had its ups and downs, Suppan did post a 3.84 ERA over his last 15 games with the Cardinals to finish 2010 at 3-8 with a 5.06 ERA. The numbers do not look pretty, but Suppan brings experience and perhaps the best control of his career into spring training. 

Coming into the 2011 season, I believe Suppan has a very good chance of making the San Francisco Giants’ opening day roster.

Here are 10 reasons why.

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Soup’s Back on in St. Louis: Cardinals Closing in on Jeff Suppan

With starters Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny on the disabled list and poor showings from rookies P.J. Walters and Blake Hawksworth, the St. Louis Cardinals may be close to bringing a familiar face back to Busch Stadium: Jeff Suppan.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that parameters of a deal were in place that could have the veteran right-hander, who was released by the Brewers on Monday, join the team this weekend in Arizona.

Jon Mozeliak, the Cardinals General Manager, warned that any deal was unofficial as of yet.

“We have interest,” Mozeliak said, “but no decision today.”

Assuming the deal goes through, the Brewers would essentially be paying Suppan over $9 million to pitch for their rivals.

In 2006, the Brewers signed Suppan to what was then the largest deal in Milwaukee history at $42 million over four years.

Suppan is best remembered for his time in St. Louis, where he went 44-26 with a 3.95 ERA from 2004-2006. His biggest impact came during the Cardinals’ 2006 championship run. He was named National League Championship Series MVP for his performance against the New York Mets, and delivered a quality start in the World Series against Detroit.

However, since signing with Milwaukee that off-season, Suppan’s performance has steadily declined. He was barely respectable in 2007, going 12-12 with a 4.62 ERA. However, his 1.505 WHIP revealed a deeper problem. His ERA and WHIP increased each year, finally climaxing at 7.84 and 2.000 in 2010.

He started the year on the disabled list with a neck injury, and made two starts upon his return, after which the Brewers moved him to mop-up duty in the bullpen.

If the Cardinals can complete the deal, they would pay Suppan a prorated portion of the Major League minimum, and the Brewers would cover the rest of his $12.5 million salary. He would be the latest in a long line of reclamation projects for Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan.

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Milwaukee Brewers Release Jeff Suppan

I love it when teams in professional sports sign average players to large contracts based on a single game or one seven-game series. Some examples of this include:

Dallas Cowboys signing Larry Brown to a five-year, $12.5 million contract because he picked off two passes in the Super Bowl.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign complimentary player Ryan Malone to a superstar contract worth $31.5 based on his playoff successes with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

New York Yankees sign Damaso Marte to a $12 million deal because he struck out David Ortiz in a big spot in September in 2008.

One more example would be the Milwaukee Brewers signing pitcher Jeff Suppan to a four-year, $42 million contract in the winter of 2006 because he ran through the New York Mets in the 2006 NLCS. Suppan pitched the game of his life in Game 7 of that series (seven innings of two hit baseball) and it earned him that huge contract.

It was a terrible contract signing at the time and it looks even worse now. The Brewers released Suppan on Monday and will absorb the remaining $10 million left on his contract.

Outside of one good year in 2005 (16-10 with a 3.57 ERA) and that one series against the Mets in 2006 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, Suppan has always been a below average major league pitcher. However, Suppan represents how the value of pitchers have changed over the last 25 years.

Teams value quantity over quality when it comes to pitching. If a guy is able to pitch 180–200 innings, then he has tremendous value to a team regardless if those 180–200 innings are of quality.

Suppan has always been able to eat innings, but rarely gives a quality performance. Suppan’s ERA is usually in the high-four’s/low-five’s, gives up about 10 hits/9, and K’s only about four/9.

In 2010, Suppan was especially bad. His ERA was 7.84 and gave up a whopping 50 hits in 31 innings. You know you have to be pretty awful to be released from a team that is struggling to find pitching.

I would be surprised if a team didn’t pick up Suppan. He could be a pitcher who is used in mop up duty in order to save the bullpen. A return to the Cardinals wouldn’t surprise me.

Suppan was 29-36 with a 5.06 ERA in his three plus years as a Brewer.

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