By Jason Wojciechowski on May 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM
Graham Godfrey makes his triumphant return to Oakland tonight, having been officially called up to make a start against the Angels in place of Brandon McCarthy, who was placed on the Disabled List. I'll spare you the agony of visiting Godfrey's statistics pages yourself and just quote some key ones: 5.32 FIP in 16 innings, with more free passes (9 BB+HBP) than strikeouts (7), an ERA (5.06) deflated by two "un"earned runs, and a 24% ground-ball rate.
The worst part is that Godfrey's BABIP is .245 and he has no real history of suppression, so if he starts allowing balls in play to be knocked around along with the homers (two in sixteen innings) and the walks, he's going to be extra-awesome.
Want to see one aspect of the issue in a heat map?
Notice the elevation. For a guy throwing 92, not 96, it doesn't seem like a very good idea to work up there.
But anyway, he's here to soak up some innings, and Pedro Figueroa, one of the A's rather large crew of lefties, is heading back to Sacramento. Hopefully he can get more work there -- he hasn't pitched since the 18th, he only threw nine innings in the 25 games he was on the roster, he never once pitched with the lead, and he never pitched in a game closer than two runs. Obviously Bob Melvin felt he wasn't ready for more, and it's not like Figueroa proved him wrong: nine walks and three whiffs in nine frames isn't a path to anything but a devilishly high FIP. (That's a joke, see, about how his FIP is 6.66, at least the way Baseball Prospectus calculates it. YMMV if you use other sites.)
For now, then, our dreams of Brad Peacock are dead, and we'll just have to live with Godfrey until McCarthy can come back from this shoulder issue he's dealing with. One hopes it won't be for long, for our sake and for the sake of the team's record, but shoulders are shoulders, clean MRIs or not.