Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 28, 2004
BASEBALL: AL FIP Leaders

The Hardball Times has some great stat reports that, among other things, absolve me from trying to calculate Defense Independent Pitching Stats in-season as I did last year. I decided to take a stroll through the American League "Fielding Independent Pitching" leaders - Hardball Times' latest riff on a pitching metric based on HR, BB and K, yielding "an approximation of what the pitcher's ERA would be with an "average" defense behind him." Looking solely at guys who have thrown 40 or more innings this season (a pretty low cutoff, just below the qualifier for the ERA title, but high enough to keep the list to starting pitchers who have been in the rotation most of the year), here's the short list of AL pitchers with a FIP below 4.00 through the end of last week (the last time they updated):

PitcherIPFIP
Curt Schilling63.12.78
Brad Radke553.43
Kenny Rogers61.13.52
Cliff Lee45.23.67
Tim Hudson68.13.70
Rich Harden43.13.72
Pedro Martinez57.23.77
Freddy Garcia563.78
Roy Halladay69.13.94
Tim Wakefield493.94
Jake Westbrook403.97
Mark Buehrle63.13.99

Yes, that's The Gambler in third place. The man gets no respect (albeit for good reasons). But he's definitely been a factor in the Rangers' resurgence. And one of the quiet stories of the season thus far has been the emergence of a competent pitching staff in Cleveland with Lee, Westbrook and CC Sabathia (4.33) all pitching OK. If you're wondering, the Yankees' Big Three all seem to fall off this list due to allowing too many home runs. For Mussina and Vazquez, at least, that's a perennial problem. Meanwhile, Rich Harden looks like he's ready to supplant Barry Zito in Oakland's own Big Three (Mulder is just shy of the list at 4.03).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:07 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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