If you saw Rob Neyer's column today on ESPN or have been reading Neyer lately, you'll notice that he isn't a big Dessens fan. Not knowing much about Dressens, I opened my handy dandy Sport News Baseball Guide and promptly looked him up. Here are the highlights:
- For such a middle-America name, Dessens was actually born and raised in Mexico. Full name: Elmer Dessens Jusaino.
- Dessens has been loaned out to the Mexican League, that hot bed of pitching talent, on 4 separate occasions (actually only three but, I say four because the Pirates let him linger there for two straight years).
- He pitched a year in Japan.
- He started life as a closer.
- He has had decent success (decent ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio) since about 1998.
- Though 30, he never pitched 200 innings until last year.
- He's maintained over (and sometimes well over) a hit per inning over his career.
- I have to say that I disagree with Neyer-He can keep this up. He's done it often in the past. In 1995 pitching for Carolina in the Southern League, he had 15 wins and a 2.49 ERA, both of which led the league, while giving up 170 hits in 152 innings (of course 20 of his 62 runs were unearned). In 1997 pitching for the Mexico City Diablos Rojos (or Red Devils for you Yanquis), he won 16 again to led the league, had a 3.56 ERA while giving up 156 hits in 159 1/3 innings (plus 10 of 73 runs unearned), and walked a whopping 51 to 61 struck out. In 2000 with the Reds, Dessens won 11 games, had a 4.28 ERA, allowed 170 hits in 147 1/3, and had about a 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
I don't know what he will do, but there isn't any reason that I can see why he couldn't keep rolling maybe not at his current pace but still effectively.