History doesn't favor Meyer, Blanton

Originally Published: February 22, 2005
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
It's not precisely true that the Oakland Athletics' fortunes in 2005 will hinge solely upon the performances of rookie starting pitchers Dan Meyer and Joe Blanton. While Blanton is expected to fill a rotation slot, and it's hoped that Meyer will, the A's do have options if one or both pitchers don't work out. Nevertheless, it's not easy to see the A's winning without healthy contributions from one or both rookies.

And of course there's nothing quite so exciting as a young pitcher with a great arm who hasn't yet been exposed to major league sluggers in July. For every team that finished in last place last season, you'll find thousands of fans who say, "If only our young pitchers come through this season …"

But how often do rookie pitchers actually come through? Or, more specifically, how often do highly touted pitchers like Dan Meyer and Joe Blanton actually come through?