RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
||Born: August 24, 1980
Height: 6′ 3″
Drafted: 4th Round, 127th Overall, 2002
College: California Polytechnic State Univ.
How Acquired: Free Agent
Agent: Barry Axelrod
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Pirates signed Correia to a two-year contract calling for a $2M bonus and a $3M salary in each season. He’s a “pitchability” type pitcher who throws a fastball that’s generally averaged around 90-91 as part of the usual four-pitch mix. He also started throwing a lot of cutters in 2010. He hasn’t had significant platoon splits and has had problems at times with his control and with gopher balls. He’s been a groundball pitcher most of the time, a tendency that increased in 2010-11, when he had groundball percentages of 48.9% and 45.5%, compared to 42.9% for his career. He’s tended to struggle after the first couple times through a lineup. His career ERA through the first four innings is 4.04, but it jumps to 5.08 in inning five and 6.59 in inning six. He’s seldom pitched past the sixth. Correia is unusually difficult to steal against for a RHP. For his career base stealers have succeeded only 60% of the time with him on the mound, and they were only 6-for-12 in 2011.
Had a decent debut in short season ball.
The Giants jumped Correia up to AA, where he posted solid numbers. Late in the season he moved up to AAA for three starts and fanned 23 while allowing just 16 hits and two walks in 19 innings. The Giants were impressed enough to bring him to the majors and he pitched mostly in their rotation starting in mid-August. His ERA was good, but his other numbers weren’t.
Correia spent a little time in the majors, mostly pitching in relief, and got hammered. Otherwise he was in AAA, both starting and relieving, and didn’t pitch very well.
Correia pitched the first half of the year in AAA, relieving in 28 of 31 appearances and mostly struggling. Oddly, the Giants brought him up at the beginning of July and he pitched mostly out of their rotation the rest of the year. He had trouble with gopher balls, allowing a little more than one every five innings. Over 17% of the flyballs he allowed left the park, which is a very high percentage.
The Giants moved Correia to the bullpen and he pitched a lot better. He cut the walks and HRs down dramatically, and missed more bats. His ratio of strikeouts to walks went from roughly 1.4 the previous two years to almost 2.6.
Correia stayed in the bullpen most of the year, then moved back to the rotation in late August and actually pitched better as a starter, with 2.54 ERA, as opposed to 4.20 in relief. He had much better peripherals as starter as well. Except for an increase in his walk rate, his peripherals overall were nearly identical to 2006.
Opened the season as a starter, but after four decent starts suffered an oblique strain in his fifth. He missed seven weeks and wasn’t nearly as effective after returning; his ERA after his return was 6.54. He also suffered drop in velocity of over one mph on average and had an increased HR rate, and weaker walk and K rates. The Giants waived him after the season. He became a free agent and signed with the Padres.
Had easily his best year as a starter, helped a little by the extreme pitcher’s park in Petco. His home ERA was 3.68 and his opponents’ OPS was .664. On the road, his ERA was 4.18 and his opponents’ OPS was .749. His control improved and he had a decent K rate.
Correia started the season OK, with a 3.97 ERA through his first six starts. He then missed two weeks after his brother died in a hiking accident and struggled the rest of season after his return. All of his peripherals got worse except his K rate. He had trouble with HRs again, as the percentage of flyballs he allowed that cleared the fence roughly doubled from 2009. Despite the HR-hostile environs of Petco, he allowed nearly a HR every six innings there. His home and road ERAs were nearly identical.
Correia got off to a strong start for the Pirates, going 4-2, 2.90 in April. His ERA got worse every month, though, going from 2.90 – 4.15 – 4.56 – 6.08 – 8.41, until he went on the disabled list for good in late August with a strained left oblique. He had a good W/L record only because the Pirates averaged about 1.2 runs more when he started than when he didn’t. To put this another way, the Pirates finished 14th in the NL in average runs per game. If only Correia’s starts counted, they’d have finished first. In some ways, Correia improved over 2010. His WHIP and walk rate dropped, but his K rate dropped dramatically. The percentage of swings and misses he’s gotten has dropped throughout his career, but it took a big drop in 2011, from 7.6% in 2010 (his previous career low) to 5.7%. Gopher balls were a big problem, especially late in the season. In his last 14 starts, he allowed at least two in five, including three in one and four in another. On the season he allowed 24 in just 154 innings. He also had a puzzling home/road split, going 2-8, 7.71 at PNC Park and 10-3, 2.64 on the road, although this was almost certainly a fluke.
The Pirates tried to deal Correia during the off-season, without success, then tried the same at mid-season. Ironically, he ended up having a better season than the previous one. Up to a point, his season took the same shape as 2011. He had a 2.42 ERA in four April starts, then went 0-4, 5.70 in May. He had a 4.18 ERA in ten starts in June and July, and the Pirates removed him from the rotation when they acquired Wandy Rodriguez. The move never fully took effect thanks to Jeff Karstens’ inability to stay healthy, and once the Pirates released Erik Bedard, Correia was back in the rotation to stay. The big contrast with 2011 came late in the season, as this time Correia stayed healthy, and had an ERA of 4.01 in August and 3.50 in September. He even managed to go six or more innings in five of six September starts. One very odd aspect of Correia’s season was his comment around mid-season that he needed to strike out more hitters. Through his first 16 starts, his K rate had shrunk to a miniscule 3.5 per nine innings. In his last 12 it was a respectable 6.7. The home/road split of the previous year proved indeed to be a fluke, as Correia had an ERA of 3.64 at PNC and 4.74 on the road. A major factor helping Correia was a groundball to flyball ratio that increased from 1.26 to 1.76. He continued to give up a lot of HRs relative to the number of flyballs he allowed (12%), but because he allowed fewer flyballs his rate of HRs per nine innings dropped from 1.40 to 1.05. He was also helped by a mildly fluky BABIP of .274, 20 points below his career norm.
Correia will be a free agent after the season. He was unhappy about being removed from the rotation at the trade deadline, so he seems unlikely to be interested in returning.
|2 year/$8 M contract (signed December 2010)
2010: $3,600,000 (avoided arbitration)
|Signing Bonus: $105,000
MiLB Debut: 2002
MLB Debut: 7/10/2003
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2013
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 12/6/2010
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2004, 2005)
MLB Service Time: 8.027
|June 5, 2001: Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 23rd round, 704th overall.
June 4, 2002: Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 4th round, 127th overall; signed on June 9.
June 10, 2003: Contract purchased by the San Francisco Giants.
October 10, 2008: Outrighted to AAA by the San Francisco Giants.
October 14, 2008: Filed for free agency.
December 26, 2008: Signed by the San Diego Padres as a free agent.
November 1, 2010: Filed for free agency.
December 6, 2010: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a free agent.