Matt Belisle was a fine story in 2010. He overcame years of ineptitude (career ERA over 5.00) and disappointment to be one of the best relievers in baseball. He was the final omission from Dave Cameron's All-Star team. He really forced people to write about him.
That was all well and good. But after 92 IP and a 2.92 ERA, everyone dumped on him. Both of those numbers were great in 2010, but it could only mean bad things for 2011. Overwork would make him fall apart and disappoint. In fact, more people tabbed Belisle as their most expected disappointing player in 2011 than any other player here at Purple Row.
Now, Matt Belisle was not as effective in 2011 as 2010. He did indeed regress some, striking out fewer, walking more and allowing hits at a greater rate than his breakout season. None of that is surprising. But Belisle proved to be a bull, maintiaing a high level of excellence on the mound.
His ERA shot up.... to 3.25. His FIP skyrocketed...to 3.07. His WAR dipped by 1.0 fWAR to 1.3 (by 0.7 rWAR to 1.2), but much of that is simply attributed to the men he shared the bullpen with. Last season saw new additions Matt Reynolds, Rex Brothers and Matt Lindstrom all pitch very effectively, lessening the burden on Belisle. To wit: his innings dropped by 20.
Frankly, Belisle was far from disappointing. He missed a bats a few less times, but the regression and/or overwork demons just never materialized. He was Matt Belisle v 2010 minus a few features, and that's still a valuable pitcher.
|2011 - Belisle||10.4||74||1.3||1.2||6.81||1.70||0.85||72||77||34||30||5||14||58||3.25||1.26|
Belisle was not in the upper echelon of relievers, but he remained effective. Plus, he was second on the team in wins with ten. That has to count for something, right? Right.
The Rockies signed Belisle to a two-year $6.125 million contract on February 19, 2011. He has a guaranteed spot in the bullpen and a cush $3.775mil salary in 2012, which would equal roughly 40% of his career earnings in one year. He will then be a free agent the following off-season along with Rafael Betancourt and Matt Lindstrom.