Thursday, May 29, 2014

Your 2014 Giants: 10th Rotational PQS

A quick look at the 10th rotational PQS.

ogc thoughts

DOM is up to 52.1% and DIS is down to 20.8%.  DOM has been steadily rising over the weeks.  Just as importantly, DIS has been steadily dropping over the weeks.  In fact, the Giants have gone through three straight rotation rounds with no true DIS start (I am not counting Cain's start this rotation as DIS because he left with injury and not counting Hudson's start this time as DIS because he was taken out because of the rain delay, and while not pitching all that well, was headed for a Middle start.

This is the third straight rotation round where the starters compiled 3 DOM starts.  That is necessary to maintain a 60% DOM (3 starts of 5).  At 52.1% it is 6.4%-points better than where it was before this good stretch started, which was 45.7%.  And they were steady at 40% for a while there, before starting to rise with the 6th round.

  • Bumgarner:  50% DOM
  • Cain:  43.9% DOM
  • Hudson:  62.5% DOM
  • Lincecum:  60% DOM
  • Vogelsong:  50% DOM  
  • Petit:  33.3% DOM

So all are doing well (good is 40%+), and four are great, at or over 50% (elite is 70%+).

As noted, third straight rotation round where there has been no true DIS start.  This has been steadily dropping for six rounds (except for one hiccup in round 7, when Petit was off in that start).

  • Bumgarner:  30% DIS
  • Cain:  14.3% DIS
  • Hudson:  0% DIS
  • Lincecum:  30% DIS
  • Vogelsong:  30% DIS
  • Petit:  33.3% DIS
As I've discussed before, the key to keeping your ERA good is more by avoiding disaster starts then getting dominating starts.  A pitcher could have low DOM but still a very good ERA if he can limit the DIS starts as well.  I learned that with ol' Brad Hennessy long ago, he didn't DOM much but kept his ERA shining enough by avoiding the DIS as well.

While I would like to see less DIS starts from Lincecum and Vogelsong, they are our back of the rotation guys, you can live with that.  I'm still viewing this season as a learning season for Lincecum, so I'll take the good with the bad, but would note that he's 66.7% DOM/22.2% DIS in his last 9 starts.   Vogelsong was still getting into baseball shape early on, and has been superlative since, with three straight DOM starts and five of six (86.7%).  His last disaster start was start #4.  

Bumgarner has been the disappointment with 50% DOM/30% DIS.  He should be like last year, acting as our ace, but hasn't.  He had only 2 DIS starts last season and already has 3 so far this season.  However, there are mitigating circumstances to one of them, his first start.  

His first start was a new and pressure-filled experience, his first opening day assignment ever.  Plus, he was headed for a 2 PQS start (just need one more inning) but Bochy took him out with only 78 pitches.  He also was getting BABIPed a bit too, with 6 hits in 4 IP.  Still he should have been able to convert that into a 2-3 PQS (with one more K and no walks) if kept in the game.  

Plus, he has been doing better more recently.  3 of his last 4 starts were DOM (and now 4 of 5) and his last DIS start was his 6th start (next start is 11th).  So he seems to be in a pretty good spot right now with his pitching, he was totally dominating in his last start (next round).  

Petit has done great for us.  Most teams get crap from their emergency starter, usually don't even get more than 4-5 IP.   We have gone 8-3 with him up to this start (as we know, we lost his latest start to the Cubs, that is in next round's stats) in the last three seasons.   Teams sometimes don't get that from their ace (Bumgarner starts this season, Giants 7-4 including last start, which is for next round).   Petit had a true DIS start in his first start for us ever, in 2012, which I'm willing to chalk up to nerves.   Since then 5 DOM starts (four of them 5 PQS) out of 11 starts, and two of the MID starts could have been DOM starts if Bochy had let him go an additional 0.1-0.2 IP with no damage.  Still, 5 of 12 is good, period, but superlative to get out of your replacement starter.  And 3 DIS is only 25% DIS out of his starts, which is doable, and excusing that first start, puts him at 18.2%.

Cain has been up and down for us, but first his knife cut hurt him, then his hamstring strain.  He has not been able to get on a roll.  Yet with our top of the rotation struggling, relatively, to get their act together, we are still at or close to (depending on the day) the top of the majors in wins.  The silver lining with his missing starts is that his arm gets extra rest that hopefully will pay off later in the year.  He put on a great display of dominance to end 2013, with five straight 5-PQS starts before his elbow injury, then after one MID start, had two more 5-PQS starts.  And previous to his no-hitter, that was what we could expect from him, elite domination.  So as long as he is healthy, it's all good, and hopefully that rest will benefit him late season and hopefully in the playoffs.

As one can see, with small numbers, one bad start for whatever reason can screw up your DOM/DIS stats.  That is why I like to take a view of the alternative numbers so that you can see underlying trends that may (or may not) continue.  Of course, it is always better to up on an upswing than a down one, and I like to note them, good or bad.  So far, the past month or so has been great for the Giants starting rotation, even with Petit bringing things down (but not greatly).  If they can continue this, we will be back to the greatness of the 2009-2012 period in terms of starting pitching.  The only bad note among all this is that our K/9 has not been that strong this season so far, it has usually been elite, top of the NL range, but actually below average, at least for the team, so far.  Still, all in all, the starting rotation is in pretty good shape, and on an upswing for the most part.  This will be necessary for winning the division, as well as going deep into the playoffs.

2 comments:

  1. This year Petit seems to be good for about only 4 innings. Perhaps he has not been stretched out this year, like he was in the minors last year, and when he gets to the fifth inning he starts to fade. Lincecum and Vogey may be our 4th and 5th starters but they are getting significantly more money than most number 4 and 5 starters. How is it that a giants reject like Alfredo Simon, who pitches in a band box, is pitching better than our highly drafted aces, of LIncecum, Cain, and Bumgarner. How can that be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Petit is the good soldier and saying the right things, but I can't imagine that it is that easy coming in to start like he has been on short notice, and no bullpen sessions like a starter usually does, just in case he is needed to come in early. Last year, he was actually in the rotation and could throw in-between, that probably helped his consistency.

      If you want to focus on the money, fine. To me, once the money is paid, it's gone, just like it was when we had Zito, who was an even higher paid 4th and 5th starter. Sunk costs.

      Let me put it another way: Lincecum and Vogelsong are pitching as well as or better than, on a DOM% basis, many teams #1/#2 starters, and yet they are at the bottom of our rotation, money or no money. And the reason Vogelsong gets more money than Simon right now is because Simon has never had a full season as a starter with as good stats as he currently has. If he had, he certainly would be making a lot more than Vogelsong right now.

      Simon is pitching way above his peripherals. He's been very lucky the past couple of years per FIP, and meanwhile he's not striking out much of anyone, that'a a high wire act that normally will end in flames. But if you rather take a chance on that, just because he makes less, that's your choice.

      I prefer veterans who have some proven abilities. Simon is a 30+ YO who had nothing but suddenly gets to Cincy and now he's got a great ERA as a reliever and starter. His BABIP is .227 and I don't think anyone in history has ever done that in a full season.

      If one wants to, one can always go out and find some nondescript journeyman who is pitching great, much better (in their minds at least) than our top pitchers. Particularly early in the season when stats are skewed by some good or some bad starts. The season will prove out who is good and who is not, generally.

      Like Bumgarner tonight, you really want to complain about that?

      Delete

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