First Half Numbers
Dave · July 11, 2005 at 8:40 am · Filed Under Mariners
Just a few random numbers from the first half that you may find of interest.
Ichiro, who had a “disappointing” first half by most peoples standards, is 6th in the American League among outfielders in VORP. The five ahead of him are Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Sheffield, Johnny Damon, and Manny Ramirez. Remember, VORP does not include defense. Even while slumping, Ichiro’s an elite player and a legitimate all-star.
The Mariners, White Sox, and A’s are essentially tied for the major league lead in defensive efficiency, turning 71.6 percent of all balls in play into outs. The M’s ranked 6th (70.1 %) last year, 1st (72 %) in 2003, 9th (70.5 %) in 2002, 1st (72.7 %) in 2001, and 3rd (69.9 %) in 2000. Since moving into Safeco Field, the M’s have never ranked out of the top ten in turning balls in play into outs. That’s not a coincidence.
According to BP’s playoff odds report, after sweeping the Angels this weekend, the M’s now have a 0.26 percent chance of winning the division and a 0.06 percent chance of winning the wild card. In other words, if we played the second half of the season 1,000 times, the Mariners would make the playoffs in about three of those.
The Mariners rotation of Pineiro, Moyer, Meche, Sele, and Franklin has been worth about 9 wins over a replacement level pitching staff and about 1 win less than an average pitching staff. Franklin has been the team’s top starter, being worth 2.3 wins over a replacement level starting pitcher. That ranks him 55th in major league baseball and 26th in the American League.
Speaking of Franklin, there’s good reason to expect him to perform significantly worse as the season goes on. His Fielding Independant ERA of 5.21 is a run higher than his actual 4.35 ERA, and his Expected Fielding Independant ERA, based on his component numbers, is 5.72. Both his FIP and his xFIP are worst on the staff. However, because the gloves have been turning 75 percent of his balls in play into outs, his ERA sparkles at 4.35. The next time someone tells you how “unlucky” Ryan Franklin is, remind them that his BABIP is 9th in the majors among starting pitchers. His teammates might not score him any runs, but they save him a buttload with their defense.
More pitching fun. There are 56 pitchers in the American League who qualify for the ERA title. Of those 56, the Mariners starting pitchers rank 32nd (Meche), 40th (Pineiro), 42nd (Moyer), 51st (Franklin), and 52nd (Sele) in K/9. The starters have struck out 255 hitters in 514 innings pitched for a 4.46 K/9 as a pitching rotation. If the M’s staff was one American League pitcher, it would rank 45th out of 56 in strikeout rate. Talk about pitching to contact.
Adrian Beltre is 5th among Mariners hitters in VORP. Seriously. Only Ibanez, Sexson, Ichiro, and Morse have provided more offensive contribution to the team than the M’s third baseman. He’s still 25th among major league 3rd baseman, however. Among those major league third baseman with a higher VORP than Beltre: Jeff Cirillo. Ouch.
Eddie Guardado has been about 2 wins better than a replacement level reliever, ranking him 4th best in the American League. Considering he’s doing it with a torn rotator cuff, he’s having one of the most remarkable seasons of any player in baseball this year. He’s basically dominating with nothing but chutzpah.