View Full Version : What's Gotten in to David Aardsma?

Crash Davis
06-02-2006, 11:45 PM
Background: Former 1st round pick as a college closer; rushed to the Bigs by the Giants; included with Jerome Williams in the Latroy Hawkins deal last season; Cubs moved him into the rotation at AA & AAA last season with mediocre results.

When I saw him pitch for SF a couple of seasons ago, he was in the low-mid 90s and wild. He looked like a kid who was rushed. When I saw him pitch for the Cubs in his first stint this season, it didn't look like anything had changed. He still looked like a talented kid who was missing something at the big league level. He was still throwing low 90s, not trusting his stuff and afraid to challenge big league hitters.

Fast-forward to this week. The Cubs again send down Michael Wuertz (talented right-hander with a filthy slider who would be one of the Reds better relievers) and bring up Aardsma. I saw him pitch his first game back up against the Reds. The gun reads 96, then 97, then 98. I was shocked. Not only was he cooking with gas, but his attitude was night and day. He didn't think any of the Reds hitters could get good wood on him.

Dusty procedes to use him for three straight games, and he looked like a new pitcher in all three games (though Griffey did touch him up for a bomb while embarrassing Bob Brenley, who called for Griff to bunt). But the end result is that this is clearly a new David Aardsma; furthermore, Dusty Baker clearly trusts this rookie who was untrustworthy just a month ago.

Again, fast-forward to tonight. I'm watching the Cubs/Cards in a 4-4 game going into the 9th. Who does Dusty turn to with Luna, Poo-holes & Rolen up? Dempster? Nope, it's David Aardsma again. He gets Luna to ground out. Pujols comes up, Aardsma gets a visit to the mound, afterwhich the Cards announcers swear that Aardsma was told not go near home plate, or he'd be yanked back to AAA.

He puts 97 about 6-8 inches off the black, then 98 at about the same spot. Pujols has him at 2-0, and the announcers swear Pujols isn't going to get a pitch to hit. Next pitch is a slider called strike on the outside corner. Cards color guy says that a lot of young pitchers here will want to play the hero once they get a strike. Next pitch is 98 on the outside corner, and Pujols barely misses it. Again, the Cards color guy says a young pitcher will often be mistaken here, and think he can be the hero with two strikes on a hitter instead of playing it safe and walking him. Next pitch: 99 with late movement blown right past Pujols.

Aardsma goes on to have no problem with Rolen and even blows one past him at 101 mph both on the TV gun and the stadium gun.

What's gotten into David Aardsma? Talk about an epiphany.

06-03-2006, 12:17 AM
A lot of guys have epiphanies at 24. That's one of the problems with rushing a kid to the majors early. It can make him look like a washout before he ever should have arrived.

To a degree it's the exact same thing Cleveland did Brandon Phillips.

06-03-2006, 01:34 AM
Just to clear something up, the whole Griffey should bunt comment came while zambrano was in. That put the Reds up 1-0, griffey might have gotten the second rbi off of aardsma but it was on a single up the middle and I even thought that was off Ohman or Eyre not David

06-03-2006, 01:58 AM
He was near unhittable his last year at Rice.

And he got off to an excellent start in the San Fran system, then of course they overpromoted the heck out of him, and after a few lousy outings demoted him and tried to turn him into a starter. Here was a guy who was a dominant college reliever, a dominant minor league reliever, and suddenly at the top level of the game you want him to total re-invent himself after a couple of rough innings?

When that didn't work they gave up on him and shipped him to Chicago. Just goes to show you the wisdom of those running the show in San Francisco. He wasn't even all that bad as a starter for the fall league and the full season he was doing it. I wouldn't be surprised if he goes all Billy Wagner on them for the next 5-10 years.

06-03-2006, 02:03 AM
I really thought Aardsma's stuff looked pretty nasty against the Reds. I was surprised when I saw that his stats so far didn't reflect that. It will be interesting to see how he fairs as the season goes on.

06-03-2006, 09:58 AM
i saw him on sportscenter he blew it straight by pujols at 100 that's crazy

06-03-2006, 10:08 AM
I think the Pirates should trade for him, just so everyone could say AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDS-ma. :)

06-03-2006, 09:40 PM
Maybe someone should send Ryan Wagner some tape of this kid, before & after. Apparently that is the knock on him right now, he's not as aggressive in games that mean something than he is in say spring training. At least that is what I read on here somewhere recently!

06-04-2006, 04:57 AM
He hasn't even had a good year according to the stats:

9.1 IP 7 R 9 H 3 HR 10 BB 8 SO 2.04 WHIP 6.75 ERA

OPS Against vs Lefties 1.017
OPS Against vs Righties .817

Doesn't look like Mr. Wonderful to me.:confused:

06-04-2006, 03:37 PM
He hasn't even had a good year according to the stats:

9.1 IP 7 R 9 H 3 HR 10 BB 8 SO 2.04 WHIP 6.75 ERA

OPS Against vs Lefties 1.017
OPS Against vs Righties .817

Doesn't look like Mr. Wonderful to me.

It could be he is just turning the corner, in the past couple of series.

06-05-2006, 12:27 AM
I wish I knew what Wagner's problem is. The Reds could really use an effective Wagner right now.

Doc. Scott
06-05-2006, 10:52 AM
Something must have gotten out of him, then, this past Sunday:

D Aardsma relieved G Maddux.
H Luna grounded out to second.
C Duncan hit for R Flores.
C Duncan reached on infield single to third.
D Eckstein singled to center, C Duncan to second.
S Taguchi singled to right, C Duncan scored, D Eckstein to third, S Taguchi to second on throwing error by right fielder J Jones.
S Rolen hit sacrifice fly to center, D Eckstein scored, S Taguchi to third.
W Ohman relieved D Aardsma.

Now, it sounds like these were squibs and such, but he's still got an ERA of 8.10. I'll follow him over the next few weeks and see what happens.