Wednesday, May 02, 2018

My 2018 Giants: When Will This End? Out with Cueto, In with Suarez

As I assume you all know, Cueto was placed on the DL with elbow soreness, and Suarez was brought up to pitch in Tuesday's game, replacing him, as the DH to make up the rained out Dodger's game early in April was played on Saturday, and forced the Giants to bring up someone to keep the rotation going with the normal days of rest.

Unfortunately, the Giants were mum about what this could mean for Cueto.  However, it was noted that Cueto is going to see Tommy John Surgery creator, Dr. Andrews, for a second opinion, as we speak, so it has reached that point.  Ironically, Will Smith just returned from his TJS today with a good 2-K shutout inning.

As always, thank you to Baseball-Reference.com for their data, I would not be able to do any of my work without their wonderful database.
ogc thoughts

Luckily, we have a day off tomorrow, so even though Cueto will be missing his turn of the rotation, that falls on tomorrow, and Stratton can pitch his regular starting day with the normal 5-day rest since he pitched the same day as Cueto on Saturday, during the doubleheader.  Otherwise, the Giants would have needed to bring up another pitcher to start tomorrow.

I still don't know why they forced Stratton, who was probably sleep deprived, to fly out and start on Saturday.   It would have been better for them to adjust Suarez's schedule so that he would pitch instead of Stratton on Saturday, and had Stratton instead pitch on Tuesday, after he gets some needed rest, in the day Suarez had been slotted to start for a while now.  Unfortunately, Stratton got clobbered quickly and had his worse start by far since joining the rotation full time.  Time to start another good streak (I think it was 14 starts of 3 runs or less allowed).

In any case, Suarez pitched well again on Tuesday, as I hoped that he would.  So far he is showing what I thought he had when I made him my dark horse candidate to make the starting rotation for opening day, as the fifth starter.   In two starts, he has pitched 12.1 IP, gave up only 8 hits and 1 walk, had 12 strikeouts, but already has given up 3 homeruns, for a 4.38 ERA, with a 4.60 FIP, but 3.11 xFIP, which regresses to the mean the excess homers he gave up.  Of course, we have no idea if he will be like almost everyone else (in terms of homers given up), or if he's just gives up a lot of homers (which some do).  Either way, that gives a good range for his talent level, his peripherals are great, as his strikeouts and lack of walks is excellent, as well as the few hits given up, but that's a ton of homers.

Looking forward, the rotation should follow this order:  Stratton, Blach, Samardzija, Suarez, and Holland.  If Suarez could continue to pitch somewhere close to what he's been doing with his peripherals, and Samardzija can pitch like he is capable of doing (as he did in 2016 and parts of 2017), the Giants might still be okay after losing Cueto for at least 10 days.  Stratton, Samardzija, and Suarez could deliver the regular good DOM type of starts, Blach would be the Zito-role starter, and Holland so far has been the quintessential 5th starter, fungible and replaceable.

Holland Highlights Hiding

To say the least, Derek Holland has not been great for the Giants so far looking at his overall numbers:  5.70 ERA, 4.57 FIP with his results today.  Certainly not as good as I was hoping when he made the rotation, I thought he would make a good back of rotation starter (which he has) but also thought that he would show more than that, at least be a middle rotation guy (or better, in an perfect world).

But perhaps SSS is affecting him greatly.  His start today was okay overall (5.0 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 1 homer), so it should not affect his tERA of 3.84 or SIERA of 4.33 much, probably lowers them.  And those are much better stats than his ugly 5.70 ERA or mediocre 4.57 FIP would suggest.  In addition, per Baseball Savant, he has had a .319 wOBA, which is slightly worse than average (it's scale is supposed to be around OBP, and the NL OBP is .318, but wOBA - unfortunately, not available by league - is less than OBP, as most teams wOBA is less than their OBP.   It is less by 7.67, so wOBA is roughly .310).

I am now thinking that Holland could be pushed out of the rotation when either Cueto or Bumgarner returns to the rotation first, assuming Suarez continues pitching well, but his underlying peripherals look a lot better than what his overall numbers are looking like, so we will see what happens.   He's safe for now (barring injury), as Cueto could be out for over a year (recovery takes 12-14 months after the surgery, which takes us to July 2019) and Bumgarner is still at least 4 weeks away from returning, so he has time for his overall stats to stabilize nearer to what his peripherals suggest per tERA and SIERRA.

2 comments:

  1. Suarez per Statcast has xwOBA of .306, which would rank about 40th place in the majors if he had at least 100 results (65 so far), which is very good, like #2 results for him so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And his slider has xwOBA of .243, which is around 30th best or so.

      His four-seam fastball has a .319 xwOBA, which is around 30-40th in the majors (not as up on starting pitchers anymore, fair number of relievers), which is again #2 type of results.

      Curveball, which is his third most used pitch, has .263 xwOBA, which is 74th in the majors, almost exactly median point (155 total pitchers, so a little better than median).

      So he has 3 pretty effective pitches so far in the majors.

      Delete

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