Chad Qualls, who has struggled mightily in 2010, was traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Tampa Bay Rays for the immortal player to be named later. Qualls’ 2010 season has been nothing less than a total abomination—he is 1-4 with an 8.29 ERA, allowing 61 hits in 38 innings of work. On the bright side, he has 12 saves.
Qualls’ performance this year is atypical—prior to this season, he never posted an ERA above 3.76. In fact, prior to 2010 his career ERA was 3.32. It is now 3.74. Either this season is a fluke—an implosion paralleling the rest of the relief corps—or it is an early indication of the onset of Steve Blass Syndrome, the inexplicable, irrecoverable loss of pitching talent.
Qualls served as the Diamondbacks’ closer in 2009, saving 24 games in 51 appearances, though he struggled late that season a well. During the month of August, he posted a 5.40 ERA, before missing the rest of the season. In 2008 he posted the best ERA of his career, 2.81, despite going only 4-8.