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