The U Files # 69: Pitching Projections

Though the Mets are known for good pitching, they have not lived up to this reputation in recent years. The team has not made any moves to improve the pitching; the trio of veterans has not been moved and the team is leaving a spot open for a young homegrown pitcher. If the team is to win more than it loses, it will be counting on some aging pitchers to pitch more effectively this year than last.

Forecasting the production of a pitcher is not a fully reliable science. Year-to-year performance in statistics under the pitcher's control can be affected by random fluctuations. Sometimes a pitcher's runs allowed are not representative of how well he actually pitched. In making pitching projections, one must consider only those statistics that represent the pitcher's contributions to run prevention. One year of data is generally not good for generating projections, the best systems use at least three years of data to estimate a player's "true" performance level. The result is what one would expect outside of any unforeseeable changes in the player and noise – or what one would get on average if the same season were played many times.

The projections:

Year

IP

SO

BB

H

HR

R

ER

ERA

Jae Seo

185

107

49

200

21

95

85

4.14

Al Leiter

185

137

75

187

19

95

85

4.14

Steve Tracshel

190

109

67

205

23

104

93

4.41

Tom Glavine

180

82

70

201

21

104

93

4.65

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Braden Looper

81

54

27

79

6

36

32

3.56

David Weathers

81

65

34

76

6

37

33

3.67

Orber Moreno

45

42

19

39

2

18

16

3.20

Mike Stanton

47

34

21

46

4

24

21

4.02

John Franco

20

11

9

25

5

15

13

5.85



The fifth starter's job remains up in the air. If Grant Roberts, Tyler Yates, or Aaron Heilman were to win the job, they would be hard to project. Roberts lacks experience starting, though he has been successful in relief. Yates is recovering from injury and pitched a partial season in a starting role at class AAA Norfolk. Heilman has a successful minor league track record, but struggled to locate the ball upon his callup to MLB. If Roberts is not chosen as the last starter, he would likely take the last spot in the bullpen where he would project to an ERA of 3.6. The RA of the above projected performances equates to approximately 740 runs in a full season. How the pitchers not projected pitch in the missing innings would determine whether the Mets give up more or fewer runs.

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