Largely Irresponsible Leaderboard: Spring Training Pitchers

Last week, in a move that has been hailed as simultaneously “bold” and “very bold” by the author himself, I published a largely irresponsible leaderboard of regressed pitching leaders from spring training so far.

That post’s existence in the world was predicated on three conditions, as follow:

(a) Spring-training stats don’t appear to be very predictive of regular-season stats; but

(b) The return of baseball is exciting, and invites consideration of some sort; and

(c) Research suggests that, of all spring-training stats, pitcher strikeouts and (to a lesser degree) walks are probably the closest thing to predictive.

Owing to the wild success of that first post, what follows is the a second — and ever current — SCOUT pitching leaderboard for spring training. SCOUT- combines regressed strikeout and walk rates in a kwERA-like equation to produce a number not unlike ERA-, where 100 is league average and below 100 is better than average. Note that xK% and xBB% stand for expected strikeout and walk rate, respectively.

Player Team G GS IP TBF K BB xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Taylor Jordan WSH 3 1 7.0 29 11 0 27.2% 7.5% 75
Luke Putkonen DET 4 0 6.0 20 9 0 26.9% 8.0% 77
Aroldis Chapman CIN 3 0 5.0 20 9 0 26.9% 8.0% 77
Joaquin Benoit SD 4 0 4.0 16 8 0 26.6% 8.2% 79
Drew Hutchison TOR 2 2 5.0 22 9 1 26.4% 8.5% 80
Evan Reed DET 5 0 6.0 20 8 0 25.5% 8.0% 81
Zach Miner SEA 4 0 4.1 14 7 0 25.8% 8.3% 81
Carlos Carrasco CLE 3 1 7.0 27 9 1 25.0% 8.2% 83
Donnie Joseph KC 4 0 3.1 11 6 0 25.2% 8.5% 83
Seth Rosin LAD 3 0 8.0 34 10 1 24.4% 7.8% 84

Some notes:

  • Washington’s Taylor Jordan has produced the most impressive spring-training performance among all pitchers, it would appear. His most recent appearance, this past Saturday against a lineup of mostly Atlanta starters, was the best of his three total ones (box): 3.0 IP, 12 TBF, 6 K, 0 BB. While Ross Detwiler is probably the favorite to win the last spot in the Nationals rotation, Jordan could merit consideration for starting duties, as well.
  • Since last week’s edition of the irresponsible leaderboard, Detroit reliever Luke Putkonen has recorded two appearances and 3.0 innings, posting a 4:0 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the process. The performance isn’t very surprising: he produced an 87 xFIP- in ca. 30 major-league innings last year.
  • Toronto’s Drew Hutchison produced this past week the second of his two very strong spring appearances, recording the following line (box): 3.0 IP, 12 TBF, 5 K, 1 BB. Hutchison has an “outside chance” of winning a rotation spot, said John Farrell* at the beginning of the month. One assumes his spring thus far hasn’t hurt those chances.

*As several readers have noted, it is John Gibbons and not Farrell currently employed to manage the Blue Jays.

We hoped you liked reading Largely Irresponsible Leaderboard: Spring Training Pitchers by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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bkgeneral
Member
Member
bkgeneral

John Farrell is a very busy guy. Coaching Blue Jays and Red Sox at same time must be exhausting.

Yirmiyahu
Member
Jeff
Guest

Wasn’t that pretty much what he spent all of 2011 and 2012 doing anyway?