This article is the second of two introductory articles to a Special Report — a series of ten articles previewing the 2014 Mariners and comparing the 2014 roster to the 2013 roster.
These initial articles lay down the foundation: how big of a gap was there to fill?
The next 10 articles examine the issue of how reasonable it is to expect the 2014 team to succeed in filling the gap.
Details on how to access the entire Special Report will be coming soon.
For the hitting part: go here.
Throughout, I employ my particular approach, which is a way (not the way) of measuring non-random skill elements that go into results on the field. First, avoiding non-random outs (for hitters) or getting the same (for pitchers). Second, producing non-random offense (for hitters) or denying the same (for pitchers). Third, the combination of the two. All the details are in these two articles, plus an additional note.
In each table, the very far right column is the key summary stat.
Now that we got that over with, we move on to pitching, and, as in the hitting article, we’re comparing the 2013 Mariners to the “three” Wild Card teams: Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Texas (Rays and Rangers tied for the second spot). That being the 2013 standard for seeing post-season action.
First off, the pitching figures will be a little less stark, because all the stats are keyed to the 10-year MLB average, and the trend has been decidedly toward pitching. Thus, the average AL team scored 88 composite hitting rating, and 114 composite pitching rating.
Strikeouts are up, relievers get more specialized and better (groomed from the beginning to be relief specialists), and (as Sports Illustrated described in its preview issue) right-handed sluggers are becoming a rare commodity.
So there will be a lot of red numbers.
Anyway, here’s where the four teams stack up on total pitching:
Here’s starting pitching from the No. 1 & No. 2 starters only (based on innings pitched):
Starting pitching from the No. 3+ starters (all not 1 or 2):
And finally relief pitchers:
- Mariners had league-average pitching overall, while the Wild Card teams were a cut above. But the breakdown is telling.
- Not surprisingly, the Mariners Nos. 1 & 2 starters were the best of the group. Of course, they were both Cy Young contenders.
- But the No. 3+ starters? Gave up a lot of hard-hit balls, and didn’t strike anyone out. They are the drag on the overall numbers.
- The relievers held their own, but gave up too many walks to keep up with the better bullpens.