It's always nice when you see something out there that reminds you of why you are excited for next season for start. For me it was this little bit going on at fangraphs - about the contact rate for starters with over 100 IP.
If you can't see this link, Lannan was the worst in this stat last year. He would have been the worst in 2007 but he was well short on innings. In 2008 he wasn't near the worst but he was fairly solidly below average. In general bad pitchers have high contact rates. As we've discussed before if you look at the fancy numbers this would have been the thought process on Lannan the last few years:
2007: "He can't be this good. He'll be worse next year."
2008: "He can't be this good. He'll be worse next year."
2009: "He can't be this good. He'll be worse next year."
So far he's defied the experts twice. One more year and it stops being "cute" and it starts to really stick in their respective craws. What I'm curious about is what the reaction will be. I would hope for a "The numbers make sense and they should still be followed, they just don't happen to work for Lannan. That'll happen when you try to make blanket rules for entire populations. There are always individual exceptions." However, I expect more of a "This is just a... umm... three season aberration! He can't be this good! He'll be worse next year!" response. Nobody likes an outlier.
Of course the "I told you so"s are already lined up if he does pitch demonstrably worse. Which is fair. Carlos Silva had a couple decent years (though not back to back, and he tended to walk nobody especially that one year, and I think he had a pretty good defense behind him). Damn Lannan - How ARE you doing it?
Fun times 2010. "Contact Tales" v Shirt Tales! I got to design me a Lannan eyebrow shirt.