Community Projections: Starting Pitchers

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 17: Pitcher Shaun Marcum #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of the spring training game at Maryvale Baseball Park on March 17, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

This is something that should be a lot more fun this year. Last season, we projected the likes of Gallardo, Wolf, Dave Bush, Doug Davis, and Jeff Suppan. This time around things are looking up. 

Zack Greinke

ZiPS: 222 IP, 3.28 ERA (In AL, this would be a bit lower if adjusted to the NL)

2009: 229 IP, 2.33 FIP, 2.59 tERA, 2.16 ERA

2010: 220 IP, 3.34 FIP, 3.51 tERA, 4.17 ERA

We know Greinke will miss a start or two, but he's been extremely solid and durable the past two years. I'm curious to see where this projection ends up: we know he's capable of historical greatness, though it's probably unrealistic to ever project anyone to have as good a year as he had in 2009. I think it will end up somewhere between the two seasons, around 3. 

Yovani Gallardo

ZiPS: 159 IP, 3.49 ERA

2009: 185 IP, 3.97 FIP, 4.14 tERA, 3.73 ERA

2010: 185 IP, 3.02 FIP, 3.69 tERA, 3.84 ERA

A quick look might not show it, but Gallardo really did move to the next level in 2010. I don't know how realistic it is to project further improvement next year-- a 3 FIP is top of the line-- but if he's able to maintain his strikeout rate, limit the walks even more, and move up past the 200-inning barrier, it's awesome to think about what he could accomplish.

Shaun Marcum

ZiPS: 137 IP, 3.79 ERA

2009: Did not play due to injury

2010: 195 IP, 3.74 FIP, 3.77 tERA, 3.64 ERA

Marcum's questions may be much more about durability than his production. The three pitching metrics I chose to list here are all remarkably close to each other and probably correspond pretty well to what he should be projected at this year. ZiPS is just using a weighted average to project his innings, so it looks very low, as it should. 

Randy Wolf

ZiPS: 198 IP, 4.09 ERA

2009: 214 IP, 3.96 FIP, 3.94 tERA, 3.23 ERA

2010: 214 IP, 4.85 FIP, 4.96 tERA, 4.17 ERA

Wolf's lines here are interesting to look at. He significantly beat his peripherals in the past two years, posting a much lower ERA than would have been suggested by his stat line. 2010 was definitely a down year but there's definitely hope that he'll rebound to the low-4 ERA type skills that made the Brewers sign him. A return to that production might not get him a significant gain in ERA, but as the 4th starter in the rotation we'll gladly take anything above average, which is around 4.5. 

Chris Narveson

ZiPS: 145 IP, 4.76 ERA

2009: 47 IP (4 starts), 4.22 FIP, 4.45 tERA, 3.83 ERA

2010: 167 IP (28 starts), 4.22 FIP, 4.21 tERA, 4.99 ERA

I'm weirdly excited about Narveson. His peripherals starting last year were just fantastic, and if he were to repeat that performance I'd anticipate a better-than-average ERA, which is something remarkable for the 5th spot in a rotation. I don't think anyone really expects much from him but he could be a big-time contributor this year. 

*** Form is once again below the jump. As it was last year, under ERA just give us a true-talent estimate of their pitching talent on an ERA scale-- think of it as FIP, tERA, defense-neutral ERA, whatever you want.

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