The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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April 28, 2013

Thoma column: Is Correia for real? Still a doubter

(Continued)

MANKATO —

That improvement may actually be sustainable; the Twins have a long track record of pitchers improving their control records. Carl Pavano, Carlos Silva, Johan Santana — not that any of them were wild when pitching for other teams, bu they all walked fewer men working for Ron Gardenhire and Rick Anderson than they did with other pitching coaches and managers.

What probably isn’t sustainable for Correia is his double-play support — and the lack of home runs allowed.

Entering Sunday, according to Baseballreference.com, Correia had had 12 double-play opportunities — a runner on first with less than two out. He had generated five double plays, a 42 percent rate.

The major league average is 11 percent; Correia’s career average is 10 percent.

It’s not that Correia’s getting an abnormal amount of ground balls in total; his groundball rate is now and over his career roughly the major league average. It’s that he has been getting his grounders at just the right time.

He has allowed two homers. Entering Sunday, just 4.7 percent of the fly balls he allowed left the yard, a percentage that obviously declined Sunday, Here, too, his career rate is a close fit to the major league average of 7.7 percent.

His early season results are probably not based on true skills. If and when his double plays dry up and a few more of the fly balls carry over the fences, the ERA will deteriorate as well.

Edward Thoma (344-6377; ethoma@mankatofreepress.com) maintains his Baseball Outsider blog at fpbaseballoutsider.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter @bboutsider. 

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