Giants Starters' PQS for 2006 Season
Matt Cain - (31 starts: 52% DOM, 23% DIS; 2nd half, 15 starts: 67% DOM, 7% DIS): 3, 4, 1, 4, 5, 0, 1, 3, 3, 3, 0, 4, 5, 0, 5, 0/ 4, 4, 3, 5, 5, 0, 3, 5, 5, 5, 4, 5, 2, 4, 3
Brad Hennessey - (11 starts: 9% DOM, 27% DIS; 2nd half, 5 starts: 0% DOM, 40% DIS): 3, 2, 3, 1, 2, 4/ 3, 2, 2, 0, 0
Noah Lowry - (26 starts: 31% DOM, 27% DIS; 2nd half, 14 starts: 43% DOM, 36% DIS): 3, 1, 3, 2, 5, 2, 3, 0, 2, 4, 3, 2/ 0, 5, 4, 1, 4, 4, 3, 4, 3, 0, 0, 0, 3, 4
Matt Morris - (32 starts: 47% DOM, 16% DIS; 2nd half, 15 starts: 47% DOM, 20% DIS): 3, 4, 3, 1, 4, 1, 2, 3, 2, 5, 4, 5, 4, 3, 5, 5, 2/ 5, 3, 0, 3, 5, 1, 4, 4, 4, 4, 3, 2, 2, 0, 4
Jonathan Sanchez - (4 starts: 50% DOM, 50% DIS): 4, 0, 0, 4
Jason Schmidt - (32 starts: 56% DOM, 6% DIS; 2nd half, 14 starts: 43% DOM, 14% DIS): 3, 5, 4, 3, 5, 5, 4, 3, 4, 5, 4, 5, 4, 3, 4, 5, 3, 3/ 3, 4, 5, 5, 2, 5, 3, 2, 0, 4, 3, 0, 2, 5
Jamey Wright - (21 starts: 29% DOM, 19% DIS; 2nd half, don't matter): 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 4, 5, 4, 0, 3, 0, 3, 3, 2, 2, 4, 4, 1, 2, 2
Giants overall - 42% DOM, 19% DIS out of 157 games started
NOTE: I think technically, under the system, Lowry's first start and Morris' start where he promptly got ejected, should count against their totals, but I think under the extenuating circumstances, they should not, basically because this system tries to ferret out how the good performances by a starter and none of those games were zeros because of a poor performance. Lowry got injured early in the game; and Morris got ejected early in the game.
The Giants starters overall have been pitching very well in their games. A DOM near or above the 40% mark is indicative of good pitching; above 50% is great and above 70% is elite. A low DIS is also indicative of good pitching. So, generally, the Giants pitching has been doing OK this season and has been bordering on good overall. The rotation has stayed in the 40% range with their generally good pitching, where pitchers are considered to be among the better starters:
- Schmidt was very dominating for the first half of the season but he slipped a big notch in August and September, not only did he earned less DOM starts, but he had his first and second DIS start. Worse, he has been on a steep decline in the second half, falling to 43% DOM and 14% DIS, which is only good for a pitcher. For the season, at 56%DOM/6%DIS, the expected ERA or qERA (see this post) is about 3.64; his actual era was 3.59. For the second half, at 43%DOM/14%DIS, the qERA is about 4.39; his actual era was 4.76.
- Morris did not do well in September, unfortunately, but apparently he was affected by broken ribs, which was not diagnosed until basically the season was over. Despite that, his DOM/DIS numbers were pretty much the same both halves of the season. For the season, at 47%/16%, his qERA is about 4.41; his actual was 4.98. For the second half, at 47%/20%, his qERA is about 4.52; his actual was 5.85. Based on this, it would suggest that Morris pitched with a lot of bad luck this season, particularly in the second half.
- Lowry had a horrendous September, he literally turned into a pumpkin, running off 3 straight 0 PQS score games, before settling down to a 3 and a 4. He was very Hennessey-esque in 2006: when he was good, he was good, but when he was bad, he was bad. For the season, at 31%/27%, his qERA is about 4.95; his actual was 4.74. For the second half, at 43%/36%, his qERA is about 5.03; his actual was 5.34. He just generally had a very uneven season, hopefully it was that oblique muscle strain that lingered through the season and caused this inconsistency - after the great year in 2005, I don't see how it couldn't but you never know.
- Matt Cain just continued pitching well into September, running off four DOM starts out of 6 with no DIS, boosting his second half DOM/DIS to 67%/7% - those are Jason Schmidt 2004 type of numbers (69%/9%), those are elite pitcher's numbers. For the season, at 52%/23%, his qERA is about 4.45; his actual was 4.15. For the second half, at 67%/7%, his qERA is about 3.52; his actual was 3.26. So it appears that he didn't pitch as well as he appeared but he wasn't wildly over and these numbers are just estimates, anyway, plus I would take a 3.52 ERA in 2007 anyday from him.
- Wright and Hennessey: eh, it's late, not really worth going through those numbers, let's just say they were pretty bad, particularly at the end.
2007 Crystal Ball: Future Looking Brighter
Despite the expected loss of Schmidt, the rotation still has a lot of potential to do even better next season. Yes, losing Schmidt will be a blow, there is no way two draft picks will ever equal losing him, but Cain was very Schmidt-like in the second half of the 2006 season, plus Schmidt had a down (for him) year, so Cain will take the Schmidt role in 2007. Plus, he has a full season under his belt now and he'll be only 22 for next season! Given his maturity, youth, and zest for learning, the sky is the limit, so there is the potential for a big breakout year in 2007, not that 2006 wasn't breakout enough as it was.
Taking Cain's 2006 role will be Noah Lowry, hopefully. Lowry had a bad 2006 but at least had that injury to account for the horrible-ness that it was. Meanwhile, his 2005 was still a great season. Given his youth, he should be recovered health-wise in 2007, and while a repeat of 2005 would be a lot to ask for, matching Cain's 4.15 ERA would be a compromise between his 2005 and 2006 seasons and seem very doable to me, with a possibility for a big upside if it was the injury and he returns to 2005 form, which would give us a double ace situation.
Taking Lowry's role in 2007 would be Matt Morris. Lowry's 4.74 was only slightly better than Morris' 2006, so it should not take much to match that performance. Given that he started behind the 8-ball in 2006 by being very un-veteran like and suffering the jitters, then getting injured late in the season, taking out those types of performances should put him easily down to Lowry's, with the strong possibility of beating it handily if he can get his ERA into the low 4 range by being more consistent. Plus, it will be two years removed from his shoulder injury, his shoulder should be at full strength by now. Lastly, he pitched with some bad luck last season, as his qERA was a lot lower than his actual ERA, so the pendulum should swing him back to the mean, at least part way, which is all he needs to match Lowry.
Taking Matt Morris' role in 2007 is most probably a journeyman free agent. He should hopefully match Morris' 4.98 ERA in 2006 as we will probably be paying him a lot of money, potentially. I am hoping the Giants sign Greg Maddux, though I expect him to do like the other free agents and use the Giants to drive up his price, only for him to reject the Giants for a lower bid from the Dodgers or Padres (he lives in SD area). Particularly since Boras is his agent. But if we can snag him, obviously he most probably would do better than 4.98 ERA, one would hope. I would even swap him with Morris in this analysis, putting Maddux in his spot, and perhaps even elevate him to #2 in this rotation, relative to 2006 performance. Plus, there is always the outside chance that the Giants end up re-signing Schmidt, which would change all of these positionings all for the better.
Lastly, probably Jonathan Sanchez will have the last spot in the rotation. Jamey Wright had an 5.19 ERA in that spot. That is a pretty low bar for Sanchez to jump. As good as Sanchez appeared at times last season, one would hope that he can at least match that ERA, with the strong potential to beat that ERA if he can settle down into the starter's role. The plus is that we will have Hennessey in the bullpen as the first to go to if Sanchez should falter as a starter. Then the plus plus is that the two of them can be bad the first half of the season, then perhaps Lincecum will be ready to come up and show what he got. Any way you slice it, we should be covered here by the three and be able to at least match that ERA and perhaps better it if Sanchez can pitch as well as he did when he was relieving.
So, I think this shows that our rotation for 2007 is probably going to be, at worse, about the same as it was in 2006, with the strong possibility for great improvement from a number of different areas:
- Continued growth from Cain
- Lowry returning to 2005 form
- Morris returning to first half 2004 form
- Signing a good starter for the #4 spot
- Sanchez being able to translate all those strikeouts in the minors into the majors
- Lincecum coming up mid-season and continuing to dazzle hitters
Even if no free agent is signed for the #4 starter, I don't think it would be that hard to imagine Sanchez matching Lowry's 2006 stats and Hennessey matching Wright's 2006 stats, in the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation. Though, obviously, that would decrease the odds of improving the rotation overall from 2006.
But even in this situation, there are enough good scenarios above to make me believe that the odds are good for overall improvement for the Giants rotation in 2007 versus 2006, with the outside chance of the Giants having a pair of Ace-type starters leading the rotation, and the remote chance that the Giants have a trio of Aces - a lot would have to go right for this to happen, but I think that the chance exists, as small as it may be. Now if only I could say the same for the starting lineup.
Methodology ExplanationPlease look at my link to the side for my explanation of Baseball Forecaster's methodology. Or try the link above, that post has a link to an article of their's.