In the first half of 2015, Mark Buehrle was extremely effective: he won 10 games with an ERA of 3.34. However, there was one warning sign: his strikeouts per 9 innings dropped from 2014’s 5.3 to 4.5, which meant that he was living on the edge.
In the second half, he fell off the edge: his ERA ballooned to 4.54, and he was striking out only 3.5 batters per 9 innings, which isn’t really enough. And it all ended badly, as he attempted to reach the 200 inning mark for the 15th straight year but was unable to get out of the first inning, giving up eight runs while getting only two outs. (All of the eight runs were unearned, thanks to some sloppy defense behind him.) Worse still, he was left off the post-season roster.
He is unsigned as I type this, though he could probably find a job if he wanted one. He led the American League in complete games last year, was very effective in the first half, and is still left-handed. There’s lots worse pitchers being given multiple chances. But he’ll be 37 in spring training, he’s won a World Series ring, thrown a perfect game and made over $138 million, and maybe he just might want to settle down with his pit bull terriers and his family and just enjoy his life. It’s been a lot of fun watching him pitch: it was a pleasure to see a master of the craft at work.