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Just Who Is Jerome Williams?

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, August 25, 2014 07:00 AM | Comments: 13
Analysis, Opinion, Posts

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Carlson)

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Carlson)

Jerome Williams is not a household name. Many Phillies fans are still wondering just who he is. And I don’t blame them. In the scorebook, he’s the guy who’s thrown three straight gems for the Phillies.

August 12: 5.1 innings and 2 earned runs against a tough Angels team.

August 18: 7 innings, one earned run against the Mariners.

August 24: 8 innings, one earned run against the Cardinals.

All together, that’s just four earned runs given up in 20.1 innings–a 1.77 ERA.

But who is he? The 32 year old grew up in Hawaii, and prior to coming to the Phillies, he’s played for (starting with most recent) the Rangers, Astros, Angels, Nationals, Cubs, and Giants.

He was drafted 39th overall by San Francisco in the 1999 draft. He made is debut for the Giants on April 26, 2003 in front of 19,464 fans at Veterans Stadium against the Phillies. He gave up five earned runs on four innings pitched and got the loss.

The Phillies lineup on that brisk night was, in order: Jimmy Rollins (SS), Ricky Ledee (CF), Bobby Abreu (RF), Pat Burrell (LF), Jim Thome (1B), David Bell (3B), Todd Pratt (C), Tomas Perez (2B), Brandon Duckworth (P). Jason Michaels and Chase Utley also made appearances that night.

The next day, Kevin Millwood no-hit the Giants in a 1-0 Phillies win, in the last no-hitter for the Phils until Roy Halladay‘s perfect game in Miami.

Back to Williams–his pitching arsenal features six different pitches: fastball, cutter, sinker, slider, changeup, and a curveball. However, over his career (using PITCHf/x data kept since 2007), he’s stuck mostly to the fastball, cutter, and sinker. He’s sprinkled in changeups, curves, and sliders, but nowhere near as often. In 2014, he’s kept the same trend, only not as drastic. The only pitch that he’s really ignored has been his curve.

His career ERA is 4.48 and has a career record of 45-52. He’s had just two seasons with an ERA below 4, and has spent time in the minors for nearly every MLB team he’s played for.

You may have noticed that the glove he uses is pink. It’s hard to miss. He’s the only MLB player to wear such a glove. He wears that pink glove as a tribute to his mother, who passed away from breast cancer while he was at Spring Training in Arizona in 2001. He’s also sprinkled remnants of a puka shell necklace she gave him in his cleats and hat.

He’s been nothing short of outstanding for the Phillies in his first three starts, and has provided some much needed help to a struggling rotation. The law of averages says he will regress to the mean, but for now, he’s been an absolute treat to watch, and now you know his story.

Avatar of Jonathan Nisula

About Jonathan Nisula

Jonathan Nisula has written 225 articles on Phillies Nation.

Just a regular guy writing his thoughts for Phillies Nation. Grew up in Yardley, PA and current student.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 mudmin

    Very nice story. Thanks for all the backstory around it too. I appreciated the throwbacks.

     
  • Posts: 0 Sugarhoneypie

    Random question, but does anyone know what his at-bat music is?

     
  • Posts: 0 PaMikeyDC

    Thanks PN! Def helped

     
  • Posts: 5142 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I was wondering whether he might be doing something different now to have his recent success different than before. I heard Jamie address it on the air, and I looked the pitch fx too, but I don’t see anything that jumps out at me. I’m happy about it though.

     
    • Posts: 0 Jonathan Nisula

      I don’t think there’s enough data in the three games to really make a conclusion as to why he’s been good. But Fangraphs shows that he’s had a very low BABIP in those three games. His FIP is a lot closer to his career average than his ERA is, too

       
  • Posts: 0 rellis

    And a star is born in Philadelphia. How did so many teams let this guy slip away?

     
  • Posts: 0 Laura Hoogerwerff

    Maybe the change of scenery helped him. Many players are good but just need a change. Yes,he’s been with a lot of teams but they did not have whatever it is that he needed. Welcome and keep pitching great.

     
  • Posts: 0 Amy

    How come there is no mention of Jerome playing indy baseball? It seems that everyone omits the fact that he played in Lancaster a few years ago and went 6-0 in the Attlantic League. That’s a dominating part of the season…he was out of here in May.

     
  • Posts: 0 Put Pete Rose in HOF

    Q: Who is Jerome Williams?
    A: From the looks of him, Bartolo Colon’s son.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Agree Pete Rose should be in the hall of fame.

    I refuse to go there until they let him in and if they wait till he dies.

    That doesn’t count.

    Let him in already.

    He has paid the price.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    The dude has been scrubbish for most of his carrer. I think he is just pitching over his head an also to batters that are mostly unfamiliar with him.

     
 
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