Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hyde (Park) and Go Seek

Nobody's casting him in bronze yet, but Manny Delcarmen has transformed himself into a force in the Red Sox bullpen. Whether he has finally recovered from arm surgery or has matured as a player, the 'other Manny' gets the call regularly now as a setup man for the Sox.

Even including this season, Delcarmen's career statistics aren't overwhelming, but Delcarmen now 'gets' the Ray Miller triad, "work fast, throw strikes, and change speeds." Delcarmen always had the live fastball, touching the mid-90s, but he's throwing it for strikes and has a hard curveball and change that he has improved, and the stats speak volumes.

In 12 appearances (13.2 innings), Delcarmen has 13 strikeouts, ERA of 1.32, a WHIP of 0.73, and has recently dominated American League hitters. In his last five appearances over the past 11 days, the Hyde Park righthanders has pitched six and two-thirds innings, yielding 2 hits, 1 walk, no runs, and fanned 10.

Last season Delcarmen seemed either unable or unwilling to throw strikes. With success has come a bit of a swagger, and Delcarmen can challenge hitters as he did last night with Frank Thomas and the Red Sox killer Reid Johnson, or fool them with his offspeed offerings.

Here's to success for the local kid.

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