Alfredo Simon is a popular target (no pun intended...reallly!) of derision around here based on past performance, but as we know, the fortunes of a bullpen pitcher can vary wildly from season to season. In fact, in his appearances in 2011, Simon has been moderately successful. Can he be a useful piece going forward or can we expect a regression?
He hasn't pitched much this year, but just looking at some of his percentages on BR, we see:
- A .333 batting average on balls in play, so it wouldn't appear that he has been inordinately lucky
- He has struck out 25.9% (previous career high 16.7%) of batters faced and 27% of the strikes he has thrown have been swinging strikes (previous career high was 19%)
- I don't know that he's necessarily generating weak contact, but 1.7% is comfortably the lowest HR rate of his career, which stands to reason b/c he seems to be causing a lot of infield flies (30%, next highest in his career is 11%)
- Also, of 13 potential double play situations he has encountered, the defense has converted on 15%, which bests his career high of 9%
It's been suggested on the televised broadcasts that he's been working on his curve, but I don't know if that accounts for his early success or it's just smoke and mirrors created by limited appearances. His ERA/FIP/xFIP of 3.14/3.03/3.24 suggest that his numbers are in fact supported by his peripherals.