This year’s Washburns
I was looking through this year’s crop of free agent starters for bargains, and I thought I’d share.
An average pitcher strands about 70% of the runners they allow — they don’t score. If a pitcher gets lucky, they can get a low and deceptive ERA and a huge free agent contract. Like Jarrod.
So here’s the top five:
CC Sabathia, 77.7%
Ryan Dempster, 76.7%
Jamie Moyer, 76.6%
Ben Sheets, 75.5%
Paul Byrd, 73.9%
If you see any of those guys get a huge contract in part because of their ability to pitch out of jams, may it not be your team doing the signing.
Conversely, if you look in the other direction, you might find someone who had terrible luck in their free agent audition and may find fewer teams sniffing around.
The worst five:
Kenny Rogers, 66.6%
Sidney Ponson, 66.2% (do not want)
Livan Hernandez, 64.8%
Mark Hendrickson, 64.3%
Greg Maddux, 64.1%
I’d love to see Maddux in Safeco, seriously — he’s ridiculously smart, he’d be able to pitch to the park, right? And he’s Greg Maddux. It’d be great.
Or for a different way to look at this, here’s the players with the biggest gaps between their ERAs, which appear on their baseball cards, and their FIP (which stands for something) as a rough cut:
Who, ERA to FIP
Livan Hernandez, 6.05 to 4.94
Andy Pettitte, 4.54 to 3.71 (and in Safeco Field…)(and who remembers his drug use anyway?)
Mark Hendrickson, 5.45 to 4.76
AJ Burnett, 4.07 to 3.45
Kenny Rogers, 5.70 to 5.22 (still not particularly good)
(best? Jamie Moyer)