2009 O’s Retrospective: Adam Eaton

In part forty-seven of my almost 50 part series “Better Know An Oriole” (otherwise known as 2009 Orioles Retrospective), I take a look at pitcher Adam Eaton… THE FIGHTIN’ SELF-ADMITTEDLY BAD PITCHER!

The Orioles picked Eaton up for the league minimum after he was released by the Phillies:

“Some quick Eaton stats: 68-63, 5.80 ERA last year (4.80 career), 5.29 FIP (4.70), 6.04 tRA (that’s a 73 tRA+), 4.8 K/9 in 2008 (6.53 career), 3.7 BB/9 (3.35), 1.26 HR/9 (1.25).

His velocity has fallen almost a full mph two years in a row, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that he has #5 starter upside for the O’s. Considering the build-up of pitchers at Double-A and Triple-A, I don’t know that Eaton even provides that much minor-league depth – but hey, the price was definitely right…

So welcome to Adam Eaton – you’re probably not the worst guy trying to make the team. Maybe.”

For the 2009, I projected Eaton to pitch just 70 innings with a 5.32 ER as a veteran stop-gap until the younger pitchers were ready.

He didn’t even last that long though, pitching OK in is first couple starts but ending up getting shelled to the tune of a 8.56 ERA in 41 IP for the O’s before being released. He was eventually picked up by the Rockies, and got in 8 IP with “only” a 5.62 ERA. Overall, Eaton did pretty well in the strike-out department with a 6.4 K/9, but his control was the worst of his career at 5.0 BB/9 and got victimized by the longball at 1.8 HR/9. A 5.97 FIP and 5.46 xFIP are both pretty terrible, and Eaton is pretty much just a replacement level pitcher at this point. That probably explains why he’s currently without a job… or even an invitation to Spring Training, as far as I know.

I’ll conclude with this story from 2009′s Orioles FanFest:

“At the Koji Uehara table, by friend Ian told Adam Eaton that he had Eaton on every one of his fantasy teams when he played for San Diego. Eaton seemed somewhat flattered, and responded by saying “back when I was useful, and good.” It was very good natured and I have a great amount of respect for him for showing that level of self-awareness and self-deprecating humor. Now I really hope he doesn’t suck this year.”

Unfortunately, he does suck. But hey, what can you do?