Mariano Rivera just signed a deal through 2012, but my latest poll results say Rivera’s age won’t catch up with him until 2015. He may need to sign a few more contracts, people.
Forty percent voted Mo’s engine will break down in 2015, 25 percent said he’d falter in 2012, and 22 percent said he never will stop pumping out spectacular seasons.
Remember, he’s 41 years old. Yes, he’s shown no signs of slowing down, and I mean ZERO, even in his first season as a 40-year-old, but we all can see he’s losing velocity in his cutter.
His cutter’s average velocity has dropped two miles per hour since 2007, according to FanGraphs. As a one-pitch pitcher, velocity is more important to him than a guy with a handful of pitches that changes speeds.
Look at Jamie Moyer. Or even look at Mike Mussina. Neither could break 90 at the end of their careers, but they still were successful because they changed speeds and had great command. Mo may never stop hitting his spots, but even a well-placed 85 mph cutter is bound to get hit in the bleachers if he doesn’t learn a secondary pitch like a curve or slider.
New poll: How many saves will Rafael Soriano collect this season?