How Big Was the Gap Between the 2013 Mariners and Contending? Pitching

662px-Hisashi_Iwakuma== Mariners 2014 The Fleet Arrives? ==

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:

Team HR%+ BB%+ K%+ XBH%+ PSA+ Conv+ Comp
AL average 87 96 98 93 109 105 114
Tampa Bay 95 97 105 99 116 110 126
Cleveland 100 83 109 100 112 112 124
Texas 94 95 104 100 114 110 124
Seattle 84 101 101 84 112 103 115

Here’s starting pitching from the No. 1 & No. 2 starters only (based on innings pitched):

Team HR%+ BB%+ K%+ XBH%+ PSA+ Conv+ Comp
Tampa Bay 87 132 94 85 125 104 130
Cleveland 124 72 120 121 118 126 144
Texas 90 92 131 103 129 121 150
Seattle 101 132 116 97 142 118 160

Starting pitching from the No. 3+ starters (all not 1 or 2):

Team HR%+ BB%+ K%+ XBH%+ PSA+ Conv+ Comp
Tampa Bay 85 92 98 99 107 106 114
Cleveland 80 102 101 77 111 100 112
Texas 66 104 85 83 102 96 98
Seattle 60 109 75 56 93 83 76

And finally relief pitchers:

Team HR%+ BB%+ K%+ XBH%+ PSA+ Conv+ Comp
Tampa Bay 114 79 121 109 120 120 140
Cleveland 106 71 110 111 108 115 123
Texas 129 86 103 117 115 119 134
Seattle 96 68 118 104 109 115 124

===

Commentary:

  • 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.
About these ads

2 thoughts on “How Big Was the Gap Between the 2013 Mariners and Contending? Pitching

  1. Also of note, the Mariners’ ERA+ was well below average last year…yet their pitching was nearly average by the advanced metrics. The outfield defense is the cause of that problem, and the Mariners have taken some steps to remedy this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s