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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I'm an avid sports and movie fan, and I love statistical analysis of almost anything.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jays' Pitching Staff Predictions for 2013

Assuming the Jays don't make any changes moving forward, other than re-signing Jason Frasor, I have made some predictions for each individual pitcher on the team. Obviously injuries can ruin any prediction, and maybe a few guys from the minors will force their way onto the big league team. I've only "assigned" 1,250 innings of work in my predictions because the other 200 or so innings will come from some of the guys on this list, and some guys not on this list. Basically, this list is meant to give a reasonable outlook of what should be expected from each guy individually, not the staff as a whole.

Here they are:

J. Johnson:        180 IP, 7.50 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, 0.75 HR/9, 3.60 ERA
B. Morrow:        180 IP, 8.25 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, 0.90 HR/9, 3.75 ERA
M. Buehrle:       180 IP, 5.00 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 1.00 HR/9, 4.25 ERA
R. Romero:        180 IP, 6.75 K/9, 4.00 BB/9, 1.00 HR/0, 4.50 ERA
J.A. Happ:         180 IP, 8.00 K/9, 4.00 BB/9, 1.10 HR/9, 4.50 ERA

C. Janssen:       050 IP, 9.25 K/9, 1.80 BB/9, 1.00 HR/9, 3.00 ERA
D. Oliver:           050 IP, 8.00 K/9, 2.50 BB/9, 0.50 HR/9, 3.00 ERA
A. Loup:            050 IP, 6.25 K/9, 1.50 BB/9, 0.75 HR/9, 3.25 ERA
S. Delabar:        050 IP, 13.5 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, 1.00 HR/9, 3.25 ERA
J. Frasor:          050 IP, 10.0 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, 1.25 HR/9, 3.75 ERA
B. Lincoln:         050 IP, 8.75 K/9, 3.25 BB/9, 1.25 HR/9, 3.75 ERA
S. Santos:         050 IP, 11.0 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, 0.75 HR/9, 3.50 ERA

As you can tell, I assume 180 innings per starter and 50 innings per reliever. It's unreasonable to assume otherwise. Yes Mark Buehrle has perpetually thrown 200 innings, but he's 34, and eventually he won't.

I'm pessimistic by nature. I am fairly certain at least one Blue Jay reliever will have a sub 3.00 ERA in 50+ innings, but when predicting based on a guy's skill-set and what I've seen from him in the past (not just the previous season, but his entire body of work, weighted more heavily to his previous season) it's important to remember that RPs that consistently have a sub 3.00 ERA in the AL East are really good.

My numbers show Romero as the worst starter in the rotation (along with certified non-ace J.A. Happ). A lot of people I talk to say "I think Romero will bounce back next year." To them, and people like them, I say this: if Ricky Romero doesn't bounceback in 2013, he will be out of MLB. It's pretty hard to argue against that. He was ghastly in 2012. Now, as I said earlier, my predictions are NOT solely based on a player's 2012 performance. Ricky does have a nice body of work prior to last season's debacle. So I think it's reasonable (there's that word again) to assume that he'll be something like a league-average starter next year, and in the AL East that gets you a ~4.50 ERA.

Why do I only have strikeout rates, walk rates, and home run rates? Why don't I have hit rates? That's a fair question, if you're asking it. Hit rates are erratic in the short-term, and K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 have been proven to be FAR better forecasters of future performance. There are exceptions, as always, but for the most part the above-mentioned metrics are the best indicators. I've thrown in ERA at the end, because ultimately that's what matters (actually, total runs scored, regardless of whether they're earned or unearned, is what matters, but whatever). Many predictors will provide FIP, or xFIP, estimates. I wanted to go out on a limb and predict "real" outcomes. I didn't predict each pitcher's record, mind you, because of the vagaries of wins.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

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