Monday, January 10, 2011

Fun with Numbers: A Potential Fifth Starter

Choose one of the following, without attempting to discern who they are:

A - 221.2 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 8.4 K/9, 44.3% GB, 4.18 ERA, 4.27 FIP, 4.23 xFIP
B - 174.1 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 7.4 K/9, 36.0% GB, 4.23 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 4.37 xFIP

It's sort of difficult to choose, as both produced incredibly similar results in terms of run prevention. Pitcher A did permit an additional walk per nine, but I would argue that the extra strikeout and large disparity in grounders more than makes up for that - perhaps even more so, considering the short porch in left and the juggernauts of the AL East. Again, though, the end results are quite close.

Have you guessed who the pitchers are yet? Prepare for the beating of a dead horse . . .

Pitcher B is Phil Hughes, and the numbers you see represent his 2010 season. Those numbers are quite good, above league-average, and fairly impressive considering that this was his first full season as a starter. While they may not be the ace-like numbers that many came to expect following his sizzling first half, you'll hear no complaints from me should this turn out to be the norm.

Pitcher A is Joba Chamberlain, with his numbers as a starting pitcher. I assume that I'll be lambasted by those who are simply fed up with the back and forth, but I cannot help but feel that this is something that the Yankees must revisit. In what amounts to a full season's worth of innings, Chamberlain has been at least as effective as Hughes. Despite this, Chamberlain appears to be destined for a middle relief role, surpassed by Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, and "random pitcher off of the scrap heap" for consideration as the fourth or fifth starter. In my mind, it would be entirely inane to not give Chamberlain one more shot at the rotation.

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