Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What About Brett? 

I’ve concentrated a lot of attention of late on the Phillies starting rotation: Jon Lieber, Cory Lidle, Gavin Floyd, Ryan Madson and, now, Cole Hamels. Brett Myers has gotten, for me, lost in the shuffle because he’s the one Phillies starter with a decent record. Lieber and Lidle, I’ve argued, do not deserve the scorn thrown at them, while Floyd and Madson largely do, I argued. Myers has skated by largely unnoticed to me.

So how is Brett doing? Let’s compare him to the Phillies:

Team: 1.04
Myers: 1.20

Team: 6.87
Myers: 7.18

Team: 3.26
Myers: 2.90

Confused about what I’m talking about? Here are the stats I refer to defined:
ERA – Earned Run Average: (Earned Runs * 9) / IP = ERA
FIP – Fielding Independent Pitching: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K / IP) + League Factor Evaluates a pitching by how he would have done with an average defense behind him by keeping track of things that a pitcher can control (walks, strikeouts, home runs allowed) as opposed to things he cannot (hits allowed, runs allowed).
Hr/9 – Home Runs allowed per nine innings.
K/9 – Strikeouts per nine innings.
BB/9 – Walks per nine innings.

Aside from home runs, Myers is out-pitching the team numbers. Generally speaking, he’s doing well, but nowhere near his current numbers. Look at the rotation by ERA:

Myers: 2.73
Lidle: 5.12
Floyd: 5.30
Lieber: 5.50
Madson: 7.18

Now look at with by FIP ERA:
Lidle: 2.95
Lieber: 3.35
Myers: 3.99
Floyd: 5.92
Madson: 6.14

Myers has benefited from some strong defense. I’m not saying that he isn’t pitching well. In fact, I suspect that the problem with his FIP ERA is that his home run totals are a little too high because he’s getting victimized by the Citizens bug: of the seven home runs he’s given up, five were at Citizens and two on the road, despite pitching (narrowly) more innings on the road (26 & 2/3 compared with 26). That’s interesting because the Phillies are doing pretty well with the long ball in 2006: allowing just 1.14 home runs per nine innings at Citizens, and 0.86 per 9 on the road. Brett is really struggling: 1.73 per 9 innings at home, 0.68 on the road. If he could learn to keep the ball in the park when at home, he’d be doing well.

I worry for Brett that he’s harkening back to his 2004 campaign when he surrendered 31 homers in 176 innings: 1.58 per 9 innings. For a ground-ball pitcher like him he gives up far too many long-balls.

Conclusions: I think Brett is pitching well, but he's in good company. Cory Lidle and Jon Lieber are doing just as well, if not better. Now with Cole Hamels in the rotation, the Phillies have a pretty fearsome foursome to throw at the opposition. Things are looking up these days.

What league factor do you use to calculate FIP?
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