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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mets Starting Pitching Analysis - April

In the preseason I was asked by Ed over at Mets Fever to sabermetrically analyze my favorite team, the New York Mets. I was also asked to provide analysis on how the team is doing throughout the year. Today I posted about Starting Pitchers over there, so if you'd like to check it out go right ahead. I will also post the article here for you.

Starting Pitchers

Tom Glavine – Glavine achieves his success through a low Walk rate and a high Groundball rate. His K/9 of 5.03 is what we expected, as is his 2.61 BB/9. His 45.6% GB rate is also where it should be. Glavine is solid like this. He is being aided by a low (.243 – league average is .290) Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP), meaning that he is not allowing as many hits as he should be. Since pitchers cannot control what happens to a ball once it is put into play, pitchers that have an usually high or low number of hits (due to luck and/or defense) tend to either progress or regress accordingly. Glavine is in for a little bit of a regression. Expect typical Tom Glavine the rest of the way.

Oliver Perez – Perez is putting up peripheral numbers very similar to his 2004 ones. A 9.89 K/9 is fantastic, and a 3.21 BB/9 is the lowest of his career. If he can keep this up, Perez will be a fantastic pitcher for the Mets. I have no scientific proof, but I’d have to think this has something to do with Rick Peterson. Great job Rick. Perez’s BABIP (.318) is a little high, so he might even do better if he can maintain his peripherals and stop receiving this little bit of bad luck.

John Maine – I hate to say it, but Maine has probably been the luckiest pitcher in the National League so far this year. His 8.14 K/9 is a very nice surprise, but his 4.76 BB/9 is much to high to sustain his surface numbers (ERA, WHIP, etc.). His GB Percentage is also at a career low of 35.4%, which is simply terrible. With that many flyballs allowed, you’d expect Maine to give up a lot of HRs, which he is not doing. His 0.60 HR/9 should rise well above 1.00 by the end of the year. His .230 BABIP is also a source of his luck. If Maine can lower his BB rate, he should be solid. Otherwise it might be a turbulent year for him.

Mike Pelfrey – Pelfrey put up great peripheral numbers in the minors last year, but hasn’t done so in the majors this year. He is walking more batters than he strikes out, and his GB Percentage (44.8%) isn’t as good as it was in the minors last year. His BABIP and HR/9 are close to where they should be, so unless Pelfrey can make some changes what you see is what you get. I fully expect him to be a solid #1 or #2 one day, but he is not there yet.

Orlando Hernandez – Before going down, Hernandez was also getting pretty lucky. His .207 BABIP isn’t sustainable, although his 1.41 HR/9 should improve. His K/9 wasn’t as high as it was last year, and he will need to increase it upon his return to be successful. His BB/9 is typical El Duque (3.66), and I don’t see much of an improvement coming there. His 39% GB rate leaves him susceptible to the longball, but not as bad as he has been hit with it so far.

Jorge Sosa – Looks like a fluke in his two starts so far. I disliked him preseason, and his low K rate, high BB rate, and low GB rate hasn’t changed my mind. A .168 BABIP indicates a great deal of luck has gone into his 2.77 ERA.

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