A month has ended and a new month has started and that means silly pitching graphs!
Since there’s not a whole lot of data out there yet I am just doing the basics. In case you’re not familiar: FIP is a statistic that only takes the things the pitcher directly controls (Walks, Hit Batters, Strikeouts, Home Runs) into account. xFIP normalizes the home run rate at the league average because pitchers all tend to have around the same rate on HR/FB% unless something weird is going on.
There are some measurements that take batted ball types into play like tRA and SIERA but I’m not including them in this round, maybe I will for May.
With that out of the way, here’s how the Yankees pitching staff did in April according to these three stats:
Very nice especially considering how bad Javier Vazquez has been. Compared to last year, it’s much much better. Thank you for a nice April, pitching staff. I expect them to come back to earth a bit when the rotation sees some more balls fly over the wall but it shouldn’t get too much worse if Vazquez or whoever replaces him pitches decently.
The bullpen has been shaky on and off but is bolstered by Mariano Rivera having a well, very Mariano Rivera month.
Next up is a look at the starters and their K:BB ratios:
What I am most impressed by, and what is probably the least sustainable is that A.J. Burnett is not walking dudes. This is a revelation because walking dudes is A.J.’s specialty. His strikeout numbers are down but I expect those to climb along with the walk rate.
Hughes has walked a few too many but I think that’ll get better as he goes on and “learns how to pitch” as people love to say. His start today against the White Sox was a nice start for that.
The next graph doesn’t mean anything really because of the sample size but it made me laugh and also cry at the same time so I decided to include it:
In April, the Yankees rotation gave up 10 home runs and 5 of those were from Javier Vazquez. This does not include his recent disaster start against the White Sox. CC gave up 2 and everyone else gave up 1. This is not going to hold, but hopefully everything gets spread out nice and easy instead of coming in bunches.
Here’s everyone’s HR/FB% for April, which should correct itself to 10-11% by the end of the year:
Little Phil is going to get pretty hard with a correction if he doesn’t start getting more groundballs. But I believe that he can. 55% of batted balls being flys is ridiculous and not likely to hold up, even if he does wind up with a pretty high percentage when it’s all over. His LD% is also pretty low so expect that to change. He’s had a great, weird, month and even as everything evens out you can expect him to be pretty good going forward.
What does May hold? Well, the Yankees rotation is going to give up a few more runs than they did over April but you can still expect them to be good. I have no idea what is going on with Vazquez so I can’t comment on that, that’s for the Pitch F/X experts and scouts to talk about and I am neither of those things.
Oh and also CC Sabathia is awesome.