John Foster

There are worse pitchers, but I don’t think Foster is the sort of guy who pushes a team forward. He was actually okay last year, a 4.15 ERA, picked up a save. Bobby used him as a LOOGY and McBride to pitch whole innings even though this seems backwards. Lefties actually hit better against Foster, or didn’t hit; he walked a whole bunch of them. Line against righthanders was .204/.295/.278, against lefties .219/.345/.370. On the other hand, he struck out 24 lefties (in 73 AB) against just 8 righties (in 54), which suggests that the disparity is partly a fluke. Or maybe not; splits in previous years also show the pattern. With the Brewers, Yost used him as a normal reliever and not a specialist, and that might be the best use of him.

Traded to the Brewers in 2002 as part of the Braves’ first addition of a fat Milwaukee pitcher (Ray King, who really wasn’t so successful as to demand a sequel), Foster had an arm injury that derailed his career during the 2003 season. He apparently hustled himself up a shot with the Braves in spring training, pitched well enough to make the Richmond roster, and got the callup when the Braves finally had enough of Tom Martin, who made [HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED] look like Goose Gossage.

Used in a very short relief role (he only once pitched more than an inning at a time, and that was just an inning and a third) he started off hot, not allowing a run in his first seventeen appearances (taking him to June 6) but after that had troubles. The appearances caught up to him, maybe. ERAs by month: 0.00, 0.00, 7.11, 7.20, 1.29, 7.36. On average, he was average, but he was never actually average.

John Foster Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

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17 thoughts on “John Foster”

  1. I remember when he came up that he was the only dependable reliever for a time. That’s how sad our bullpen was last year. A non-roster invite was our most dependable reliever!! Ouch.

  2. He seems much better as a end of the bullpen guy(2nd or 3rd lefty option). He’d probably be more effective if you have some better guys in front of him and didn’t use him so much as we did last year.

  3. I actually like the guy, who seemed to get by on sheer determination until his arm utterly gave out on him. He strikes me as a left-handed “-ski” type pitcher–like the Joe Borowskis, Kevin Gryboskis and Gary Majewskis of the world, pitchers who get by, at least for a time, on nothing but average stuff and guts.

  4. CHill – basically, what you are saying is that it would be better if Foster didn’t pitch. Couldn’t agree more

  5. Yeah save him for the blowouts and extra long extra inning games. Of course knowing Booby, he will be in everyother important game walking the lefthander he was brought in to face, which in turn starts a rally, which then leads to having to use your bullpen even more than you wanted to. Seems quite logical.

  6. His BA-against was pretty good and he wasn’t brutal like other unnamed pitchers. But I still can’t stand him because he would always walk the left hander that he came in to face. His only job was to get the left hander out, or at least try to, and he would walk him, usually without throwing anything near the plate. To me he might as well have given up a home run. That is why I can’t stand him.

    Does anybody have an opinion on Kevin Barry? He seems to be the next Buddy Hernandez. 27 years old, almost too old to be a prospect but has been very successful at all minor league levels. I think he could really help stabilize our bullpen this year. Other thoughts?

  7. Where is Buddy Hernandez anyway?

    By the way, this is what the Braves beat writer is saying about our non-roster invitees:

    “Of the Braves who are non-roster invitees, which player or players has the best chance to make the team?”
    — Phil P., Rockville, Md.

    “I’d have to say Brian Jordan and Mike Remlinger are the most likely. If Jordan proves he’s healthy, the Braves may want to begin the season with him serving as a backup outfielder.”

    Jordan in our outfield. Scary.

  8. He was hurt pretty much all of last year so I am assuming he will be in the system again next year.

    And who listens to Braves beat writers? Those guys over at AJC have absolutely no clue what they are talking about. That quote is the equivalent of my 15 year old sister who knows nothing about baseball saying that Jordan and Remlinger will make the team. In other words, I put no stock in it at all.

    Yes it would be scary if Jordan made the team……for Bobby Cox. Because I would probably go to Atlanta and try to hurt him if he included Jordan on the roster.

  9. From the last thread I want to clear something up.
    My barber and Billy Beans barber are not the same, but Billy Beans’s barber’s brother (say that fast) is my barber’s nextdoor neighbor’s cousin.

  10. You mean Billy Beane, right? ‘Cause Billy Bean… Hmm, how shall I put this… Well, he probably has a hairdresser.

    Either way, the A’s would probably still have drafted Nick Swisher.

    (I’m also sorry)

  11. How much was Foster’s problem lack of endurance do to having to sit out a season. It seems that he did better before he got extra work due to Cox losing faith in other relievers

  12. Maybe you’re on to something. But to be safe, let’s test out that theory again under different conditions and see if we get the same results.

    Protocol: Foster sits out the ’06 season and then comes back next year with another team (preferably in the NL East), and we see what his endurance is like.

  13. No, I stand by Billy Bean, but that might explain a lot of things about some of the trades I hear. I don’t post all of them, but here is one I did hear the other day.

    Jeter, ARod, Andruw Jones, and several other players that are described as “good looking” to the Padres for bats.

  14. Interesting tidbit about Chuck James: remember when I asked him (via Mac’s wonderful interview vis-a-vis BB Abbott) about why his GB/FB rate was high? His response was “I dunno, I induce a lot of pop-ups, maybe those count.” Looking over THBT data tonight, he’s exactly right! Sure, he only faced 23 hitters last year, but he induced 5 of them to pop up on the infield. By contrast, Brandon Webb only induced 7 infield popups despite facing over 900 more hitters.

    Unfortunately, that rate is not sustainable; for all pitchers who faced 500 hitters or more last year, Mike Maroth’s 6.5% infield popup rate was the highest. So it will be interesting to see how James does in the future.

  15. That’s good to know Kyle, sounds like he throws inside, and has a lot of late movement on his pitches to induce so many popups. I wonder if a fair amount of hitters also broke their bats while facing him.

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