All hail Leo Mazzone! He who makes lemonade out of lemons and stud closers out of bullpen castaways has done it again. This time, Orioles SP Daniel Cabrera is the beneficiary of Mazzone’s magic.

Daniel CabreraCabrera has always been tremendously talented, but his control has been nonexistent in his three seasons in the bigs. He struck out 157 batters in both 2005 and 2006, a feat that would have been a lot more impressive if he hadn’t been busy losing more games than he won, due largely in part to his high walk totals.

But now Cabrera seems to have turned a corner. In his second start of the season, against the AL Champion Tigers, Cabrera didn’t allow a three-ball count to any hitter until his last inning (the eighth). It was his first walkless outing since June 5, 2005, a span of 46 starts.

So far this season, Cabrera is 1-1 with a 3.66 ERA and 19 K compared to 5 BB. Not bad. If he can keep it up, he’ll be on pace for a career high in strikeouts (183) and, almost certainly, his first winning season.

Leo MazzoneAs for Mazzone, you have to give credit where credit is due. Maybe he’s had the good fortune to coach great talents like Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux (much like Phil Jackson was lucky to have Jordan, Shaq and Kobe), but he’s also culled winning seasons from guys who have sucked elsewhere.

7 Responses to “Leo works magic on O’s Cabrera”

  1. I don’t care if he’s wearing an Orioles jersey now. “Rockin'” Leo Mazzone has caused me nothing but pain.

    But it getting to the point where it’s becoming impossible to acknowledge the existence of the “Mazzone Factor”. Even the anti-superstition sabremetric community has embraced it. JC Bradbury does a really interesting look on this in his new book:

  2. Whoops, I meant “not acknowledge”… But you people are smart, you figured it out, right?

  3. Nice work, and very true. I linked it up over at the Loss Column.

    Why can’t the rest of Red Sox nation roll like you guys roll? Or am I wong in assuming you’re actually part of said nation?

  4. Coley Ward says:

    Sarah and Nick are part of the nation. I’m part of the Phillies nation (which I can hardly bring myself to type), Alejandro is a White Sox fan and Paul is a Mets fan.

  5. Being a Phillies fan has to be almost as hard as being an Orioles fan. I feel for you.

    All of you do nice work here. Keep it up.

  6. Zvee Geffen says:

    As a Braves fan, it pained me to see Leo leave the ATL after the 2005 season.

    I offer just a few of the most damning examples of “The Mazzone Factor”:

    Mike Remlinger, Chris Hammond, Jaret Wright, Russ Ortiz, John Rocker…the list goes on and on.

    While in Atlanta, ALL of these guys were shutdown studs…elsewhere, well, let’s just say they’ve struggled.

  7. Alejandro says:

    I think Nick is more Dodger nation than Red Sox nation…

    And I’m definitely White Sox nation…

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