Much to the surprise of everybody Alfredo Simon is off to an amazing start. The Detroit Tigers pitcher became the first MLB pitcher to win four games this 2015 season and continues to raise the bar every time he takes the mound.
But will his success continue?
That seems to be the question lingering in the back of everybody’s mind.
Kurt Mensching of The Detroit News believes Simon’s season is too good to be true:
"Without a lot of strikeouts (just five per nine innings, even fewer than last season), he’s going to have to hope that continues all year. It probably won’t. Last year shows as much.Simon opened 2014 with a 3-1 record, the lone loss a 1-0 decision. He posted a 1.30 ERA behind a .172 opponents batting average and about three walks allowed per nine innings.That sort of success is not the kind that long endures, and it didn’t. Although he posted a 2.70 ERA and won 12 games before the All-Star Break, he stumbled in the second half to the tune of a 4.52 ERA."
Mensching offers up a very compelling argument. All too often teams and/or players get off to hot starts only to lose that electricity as the dog days of summer roll around. As pointed out, in his first year as a starter Simon started 32 games and went 15-10. But only three measly wins after the All Star Game is alarming.
In a recent article by Jason Beck, the MLB.com beat writer pointed out that Simon’s posture and work ethic are on his side. Manager Brad Ausmus said “He (Simon) just … he just doesn’t look like he breaks a sweat out there…I saw him get mad at himself on one pitch today, and that’s the first emotion I’ve seen him show since he got to Spring Training.”
Baseball is mental game. Sometimes even more than it is physical. Keeping confidence and composure are half the battle when pitching. If Alfredo Simon can maintain the mindset he has right now he’s on the right track to keep up his success.
But as Mensching points out, if the mechanics give out, mindset doesn’t mean anything.
Simon thus far has been a perfect fit for Detroit’s rotation. But it just seems as though it won’t continue. Judging by last year’s performance and the little success he has found throughout his career, it’s difficult to say Simon will continue his hot streak.