I have no problem with trading pitching prospects for established pitchers. I just don’t think that Kolb is the kind of pitcher the Braves should be giving up top prospects to get. Kolb’s CV:

  • Drafted by the Rangers out of college in 1995.
  • Made his debut four years later, with a pretty average part-season as a reliever.
  • Got hurt, had Tommy John surgery the next season, then tore a muscle in his arm.
  • Had a pretty good comeback campaign in 2002, but nothing special, and the Rangers gave up on him.
  • The Brewers picked him up and he was excellent in 2003, eventually taking over the closer job.
  • Made the All-Star team in 2004, and saved 39 games, but his ERA jumped by a run and he pitched worse as the season went on.
  • Traded to the Braves to take John Smoltz’s closer spot.

Kolb throws a hard sinker, supposedly in the mid-90s though that may be exaggerated. (Reitsma and Gryboski do throw the same thing as their fastballs.) Sometimes he throws a slider. His strikeout rate is far too low; he struck out only 21 men in 57 1/3 innings last year. He walked 15, which is pretty good. Against lefties, he walked nine and struck out only six, but he survived against them because they didn’t have any power against him at all, no homers, one triple, one double. He gave up only three homers all year.

The real bad news is that he didn’t pitch well after the break. His first-half ERA was 1.62, and he didn’t allow a run in June. But his second-half ERA was 4.88, 5.25 in August and 6.75 in September. Ten of the fifteen walks were also issued in those months; he may have had an injury, or maybe hitters had learned when to lay off his fastball.

Danny Kolb Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com