Who Broke the Pitchers?

I was starting to do my recap when I noticed the Old Gator’s posting about Jose Fernandez. His numbers are fairly mediocre. Uh, Fernandez’s. I don’t know anything about Old Gator’s. I started thinking, quite a few pitchers we normally associate as aces are starting 2016 having a rough year. Fernandez only one of several. Who broke the pitchers? This looks like the work of a nefarious, dastardly villain, the likes of which we haven’t seen…

Look at Matt Harvey for example. Roll the video tape.

(Warning, warning, warning. Small sample size alert! Size matters. Sorry.)

In 2015, 27 year old RHP Harvey was the owner of 2.71 ERA in 189.1 innings pitched, with an ERA+ of 136, a WHIP of 1.019, FIP 3.05, K/9 8.9, and a K/BB 5.08. Fastball avg 95.9 mph. BABIP .285. Contrast that to 2016 where in 34 IP, he is carrying an ERA of 4.76, ERA+ 83, WHIP 1.559, FIP 3.79, K/9 6.6, and K/BB 2.27. FB avg 94.1 mph. BABIP .355.  Gotham has a problem?

Leftie David Price is another broken ace. Some will say something along the lines, “Oh, he signed his big contract, of course he will be no good” to which I saw phooey. I never say phooey. I don’t where that came from. This pitcher is a competitor; he wants the ball. In 2015, playing for the Tigers and Blue Jays, 30 year old Price did the following in 220 IP: 2.45 ERA/1.08 WHIP/FIP 2.82. K/9 9.19, K/BB 4.79, BABIP .304 (career .298). FB avg 94.2 mph. In 2016, this is his line: 6.14 ERA/1.28 WHIP/FIP 3.01. K/9 12.03, K/BB 5.44, BABIP .385 FB avg 92. Where things get interesting–look at that K/9 ratio. The FIP is pretty good too. It’s better than Harvey’s in 2015, which we can all agree was a pretty good year. I think Price might have a better year in store up ahead.

My team’s very own Chris Archer, although to be fair, the beginning of his “issue” may have started late last year, although the numbers don’t reflect it when you look at it in a calendar year. Numbers can be used to manipulate? Who knew! 2015 stats:
212 IP, 3.23 ERA/1.14 WHIP/FIP 2.96. K/9 10.70, K/BB 3.82, FB 95.2, BABIP .311. His 2016 line: 32.1 IP, 5.01 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, FIP 4.75 (OH LORD HELP US)… okay, I’m going to move along. You get the idea. He sucks this year, except for one performance.

So, I need to get going to work on the recap, but including Jose Fernandez, here are 4 pitchers we normally associate with excellence who are just flat out poopy-butts this year. Dallas Keuchel is another one I was thinking about too, but I need to get going, those recaps don’t write themselves.

Is this an epidemic? Normal variation? What other pitchers did I miss? Any theories you might have? What villain did this? Did Arrieta steal all the goodness for himself?

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22 thoughts on “Who Broke the Pitchers?

  1. Johnny Cueto. He and Archer started struggling about the same time last year. I should know; they are both keepers of mine. A lot of prognosticators were worried about Cueto having thrown too many innings in the last three years. But if you break down his performance to date, the stats are rather good overall. He has two horrendous innings in what are otherwise five pretty good starts.Can’t say he won’t have problems, but right now it’s small sample size.

    Dallas Keuchel. Houston is panicking, but the stats say they shouldn’t. ERA=5.11, but FIP=3.26. His BABIP is .348, compared to .269 last year. It suggests, at least that he is pitching into some bad luck. Although walks are up substantially, to about 4/9 innings. He had terrible control problems the last game. He is a soft tosser and an edges pitcher. He isn’t hitting the edges for the moment. Nolan Ryan was on talk radio the other afternoon and said his arm slot was off. I hope that’s all it is.

    Shelby Miller. OMG!! Last year he was the best pitcher with a lousy record, courtesy of the Barves. This year it’s all on him. BB/K = 1.0 (!!) HR/9 innings= 2.3. FIP=7.2(!). His BABIP is essentially identical to last year. But he’s either walking or giving up home runs to everybody. I haven’t seem him pitch, but have read reports that his mechanics are a wreck. He split a finger because it hit the ground in his delivery (!). I have dropped him for now. Sounds like he needs a serious retooling a la Kazmir three years ago.

    Ken GIles. Mechanics. But no one knows exactly what to do, except sob as they watch Velasquez tear it up for the Phillies. I have the feeling that this will work out – he’s young – but the Astros sure gave up too much.

    I agree on Price. The fundamentals are still good. The K’s and the FIP look fine. The BABIP is astronomical. Hopefully that will even out. Maybe the Sox will learn to field. Or maybe Fenway wasn’t the best choice for a lefty.

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  2. In the case of Keuchel and Harvey, it’s because the Gods relish messing with me so much. Even my guy Bumgarner is only doing pretty good not real good. And a number of hitters are playing below their norm. No ice cream for you Brian Dozier until you stop trying to pull everything!

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