Here is a look at some pitchers and what their trends suggest for 2013.
-In his 11 year career, Aaron Harang had his two best ERA seasons the past two seasons. However, his walk totals were abnormally high last season, posting his worst BB/9 ratio since his rookie season. His SO/9 have been trending downward over the past six years. His SO/BB ratio was also his worst since his rookie season. However, his H/9 was the second best of his career. Put the good and bad together, and you get a .500 pitcher, which Harang was with the Dodgers. In 2011 with the Padres, he was 14-7. If you remove that season, over the past five seasons, Harang is 28-48. He’s a huge risk at this point in his career.
2013 Projection: 8-11 4.66 ERA
-Jake Westbrook posted his best ERA since 2004. He posted the best HR/9 of his career. His BB/9 was his best since 2006. His ERA was his lowest since 2004. The past two seasons, his numbers are trending upward slightly, so Westbrook could have another solid season if that trend continues.
2013 Projection: 13-9 3.90 ERA
-Ricky Romero was horrible in 2012 after three solid seasons to start his career. His BB/9 were way up and his SO/9 were significantly down. The numbers are so alarming, he could very well be hiding an injury. It would be sad to think we’ve already seen the best of Romero. If there is not an injury, he’ll win games with a potent Blue Jay lineup. Romero is someone to watch in Spring Training.
2013 Projection: 7-6 3.88 ERA possible injury shortens his season.
-Ricky Nolasco has a career 4.49 ERA. His WHIP is trending the wrong way for the past three seasons. His walks have been increasing while his SO/9 continues to fall. The current trend suggests Nolasco will have a rough 2013.
2013 Projection: 8-14 4.61 ERA
-Before writing off Dontrelle Willis, it is important to note that in his last full season (2011) with
the Reds, Willis’ so/9 innings was his best since his rookie season with Florida in 2003. Though his
BB/9 was high, it was his lowest total since 2007. His overall WHIP was his best since 2006. It would appear that there is life left in his fastball. If he can overcome anxiety issues, he could be worth the gamble.
2013 Projection: 4-7 4.50 ERA
-Homer Bailey has been over .500 each of the past four seasons. He has lowered his ERA every year since 2008. He set career bests across the board. His continued ascent suggests that Bailey could be a Cy Young candidate in 2013.
2013 Projection: 17-7 3.39 ERA
-Tim Hudson has never had a season under .500 in his 14 year career (197-104). His ERA and WHIP is trending up slightly, but not at an alarming rate. Nothing suggests a big drop off in production. He has now pitched more years for the Braves than the A’s. As his fastball has lost zip, he has learned how to pitch and spot his pitches and speeds well. Another solid season is in order for Hudson.
2013 Projection: 14-7 3.86 ERA
-Bruce Chen has taken abuse from media and fans alike, but he is 35-29 in his last three years for the Royals. He does not have a good or bad trend, as his numbers are all over the board. He did post his best ever strikeout totals in 2012, but his worst ERA in three years. There is no consistency in Chen’s numbers. That pretty much defines his career.
2013 Projection: 10-12 4.34 ERA
-Ubaldo Jimenez‘s stats are heading in one direction: south. In 2012 he posted career worsts in ERA, losses, and WHIP. His SO/9 was a career low 7.3 while he gave up more HR/9 than ever before. He is 23-34 over the past three seasons. Over the past three years, he has gotten progressively worse. A move to the bullpen may be for the best.
2013 Projection: 6-12 5.11 ERA and a move to the bullpen
-Despite years of potential, Brandon McCarthy has never won more than 9 games in a season. Assuming he can overcome the brutal injury that cut short his 2012 season, he could be poised for a big season…especially with a move to the NL. In his last two seasons in Oakland, he had a 3.29 ERA, a 1.179 WHIP, his SO/9 were up, and his BB/9 dropped. Health has always been a factor for McCarthy. If he can stay healthy for an entire season, he could finally have that breakout season.
2013 Projection: 12-7 3.49 ERA
-Kevin Millwood is 14-31 over the past three seasons. While his HR/9 was near a career best, his SO/9 totals continue to fall and his WHIP remains consistenly high. It’s hard to believe he’s been pitching for 16 years now, but he has. His time as a starter may be over unless an injury forces him into a rotation.
2013 Projection: 5-8 5.12 ERA as a spot starter/reliever
-Brian Matusz‘ stock is at an all time low, and with good reason. He showed brief glimpses of being decent in 2010, but has shown nothing since. ALL of his numbers are trending downward. Because he is capable of an occasional strikeout, a move to the bullpen is the only logical choice for him. The scouts were wrong about him.
2013 Projection: 5-11 5.00 ERA and a move to the bullpen
-Jon Niese is on a nice run. In 2013, he had career bests in wins, ERA, and WHIP. His BB/9 and his SO/BB ratio has improved each of the past four seasons. His SO/9 dipped slightly, but not enough to be concerned. Look for Niese to continue to ascend.
2013 Projection: 14-13 3.33 ERA
-Don’t let 2012 fool you. Cliff Lee was still mighty effective. He did give up more HR/9 than usual, but that was the only red flag of his season. He still led the league in SO/BB. And the last time Lee finished a season 3 games under .500, he went 22-3 the following season.
2013 Projection: 15-8 3.30 ERA
-Joe Blanton pitched better than he was given credit for. His ERA was high, but he posted the best strikeout total of his career, as well as SO/9. He had his best WHIP and BB/9 since 2007. He also had his best SO/BB ratio of his 9 year career. Blanton could be a find for teams like the Mets or Yankees looking for an inning-eater for the back end of their rotation. Blanton is a potential sleeper.
2013 Projection: 14-9 4.14 ERA
-Edwin Jackson has seen his IP decrease each of the past four seasons. Last season, he had the best WHIP of his career. His BB/9 numbers and so/9 have improved over the past few years. Jackson could be poised for a breakout season…even if it is with the lowly Cubbies.
2013 Projection: 15-13 4.05 ERA
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Fantasy Tagged: | Aaron Harang, Brandon McCarthy, Brian Matusz, Bruce Chen, Cliff Lee, Dontrelle Willis, Edwin Jackson, Fantasy, Homer Bailey, Jake Westbrook, Joe Blanton, Jon Niese, Kevin Millwood, Ricky Nolasco, Ricky Romero, Tim Hudson, Ubaldo Jimenez