First Half Review: The Starting Pitchers

Talking about the offense is relatively easy. When we get to run prevention, it starts to get more complicated. First, there's the issue of the team defense behind the pitchers. Defense remains difficult to quantify and often subject to debate. Secondly, and relatedly, there's the issue of how to credit pitching results. Do you reward a guy for beating the odds when it comes to stranding runners and not allowing singles? There's also a difference between looking at what happened, versus thinking about what will happen in the future.

Anyway, by this point just about everyone is aware of these issues. Let's cautiously look at the starters.

  • Royal starters, as a group, posted a 5.11 ERA in the first half, 13th best in the AL. (Only Baltimore was worse.)
  • The starters are 11th in K/9 (6.31) and 11th in K/BB (1.89).
  • Royal starters allowed 69 home runs, 4th worst in the league.

 

 

Rk Pos ERA GS IP R ER ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
1 SP Zack Greinke 3.71 18 119.0 57 49 113 1.160 8.8 1.0 1.7 7.6
2 SP Brian Bannister 5.56 18 102.0 65 63 75 1.500 10.5 1.6 3.0 5.3
3 SP Kyle Davies 5.57 17 95.1 61 59 75 1.521 9.4 1.0 4.2 5.7
4 SP Luke Hochevar 4.96 13 78.0 47 43 85 1.385 9.2 0.7 3.2 6.6
5 SP Gil Meche 6.66 9 48.2 39 36 63 1.849 10.4 1.3 6.3 5.5
Rk Pos ERA GS IP R ER ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
11 Bruce Chen* 3.81 8 52.0 24 22 110 1.308 7.1 1.0 4.7 7.4
12 Anthony Lerew 7.56 5 25.0 21 21 56 1.520 11.2 2.9 2.5 5.8
Team Totals 4.76 88 777.1 437 411 89 1.428 9.3 1.2 3.5 6.5
Rank in 14 AL teams 13 10 12 13
Rk Pos ERA GS IP R ER ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/13/2010.


 

  • Here are the tRA numbers for the starters, courtesy of Stat Corner. Good: Greinke with a 3.37 and Hochevar with a 4.47 (kinda). Bad: Davies with a 5.06, Chen with a 5.52, Bannister with a 5.97, Meche with a 6.84, and Lerew with a 7 something. Obviously, there's a huge gap between Chen's tRA and his ERA, so I wouldn't hold out much hope that he's going to be a useful pitcher going forward.
  • I think the stability of the starting rotation over the last few years has somewhat lulled us to sleep. Back in the bad old days, the rotation was a constant mess, with just utter randoms coming and going constantly. It hasn't been like that around here for awhile. Even with the injuries the Meche and Hochevar, they still made a fair number of starts, and have been replaced by just one guy each. Meanwhile, Greinke and Davies and Banny have chugged along. Only problem is, other than Greinke, no one has actually been good. All part of the first half theme of STABILITY, without results.
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