Monday, April 16, 2012

The Worst Pitcher Is...

Tsuyoshi Wada should be coming off the DL soon, and the question is - does he go in the rotation or the bullpen.  Who does he replace on the roster when he comes back?  Well, the easiest way to determine this is to find out who the worst pitcher is so far.  So, let's get to it...

The Nominees

Brian Matusz

Brian has struggled to start the season  despite showing better stuff and an impressive spring, Matusz has struggled this season.  In his first 2 starts, Matusz has gone just 9.2 IP with walk and K rates of 7.45 and 4.66 respectively.  Matusz has been a bit unlucky (like having Kevin Gregg relieve him), exemplified by his BABIP against of .344 and an xFIP nearly 2 runs lower than his ERA.  Matusz has actually pitched better than his numbers indicate, the biggest issue being his lack of control.  If he can figure out why he can't locate his pitches, he could bounce back nicely.  Matusz's stats:

Troy Patton

Patton currently boasts a 7.71 ERA despite being one of the few relievers with a better K/9 ration than his BB/9 ratio.  xFIP is much more kind to Patton as it suggests his ERA should be somewhere 3.50, more than 4 runs lower than his current ERA.  Patton is a candidate for the worst pitcher on only a surface level.  Patton's stats:

Tommy Hunter

Hunter is the opposite of Patton, a pitcher who has pitched significantly worse than his surface level numbers would indicate.  Hunter currently sports a sparkling 2.77 ERA despite FIP and xFIP having him at 7.06 and 4.66 respectively.  Hunter has cost the Orioles .2 wins already this season according to Fangraphs.  The reasons for this?  A miniscule K rate of 3.46 batters per nine innings is an issue to look forward to for the rest of the season.  Similarly, a regression of his current BABIP against of .194 to the mean (currently .279) would likely result in a worse showing by Hunter going forward.  Hunter's stats:

Kevin Gregg

Where should I start?  Gregg walks .82 batters per inning.  That's 7.36 per 9 innings.  Meanwhile he strikes out only .55 batters per inning.  That's troubling.  His 12.27 ERA is slightly inflated (by a .462 BABIP) as FIP and xFIP have him at 9.45 and 8.17 respectively.  To be fair both of those would be absolutely terrible as well, but there's nothing that I've seen from Gregg that makes me believe that .462 BABIP is an aberration.  I think half the readers of this site could get a hit or walk against him right now.  Gregg's stats (sorry):

The Winner Is...
Kevin Gregg.  I REALLY wanted to pick Tommy Hunter who has looked pretty awful despite showing decent numbers (and by that I mean ERA).  I honestly think Matusz and Patton have legitimate reasons to stay where they are, but Hunter and Gregg have been pretty questionable overall.  In reality, I wouldn't be upset if Wada replaced Hunter in the rotation and Hunter moved to the bullpen, banishing Kevin Gregg off to a place where he only ever has to pitch the 9th inning (as that's the biggest cause of his woes thus far according to him).  What do you think?


  1. Any clue how Wada is going to perform? I haven't seen him pitch at all yet, so all I have to go on is that I've heard he's a soft tossing lefty. Those types of guys (the John Lannan's of the world) are not my favorite pitchers. I hope he can be better than that.

    1. Hard to say Kevin. He could surprise everyone and be Buehrle-esque, or pitch exactly how you would expect from a soft-tossing lefty.
      I will say that there is definitely a possibility of success pitching as an extreme control guy with decent movement. Think early 2000s Minnesota Twins rotation.