TigsStats: 2009 Starting Pitchers

The time has come for another year of TigsStats! We start off 2009 in review by first taking a look at the big league club and how they performed this past season.

Justin Verlander - Age: 26

IP

ERA

FIP

BAA

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

WHIP

GB/FB

LD%

XBH%

240

3.45

2.83

.243

10.1

2.4

.8

1.18

.57

.23

.073


As good as Verlander was in 2009, you can make a decent case that he actually could have been better – his FIP was more than half a point lower than his ERA, he struck out more than a batter per inning (en route to leading the league in K's) and kept his average against well down. Verlander is a fly ball pitcher, so his GB/FB ratio is low, but really any discussion along those lines is just nitpicking. Verlander should be in line for another stellar season in 2010.


Edwin Jackson - Age: 25

IP

ERA

FIP

BAA

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

WHIP

GB/FB

LD%

XBH%

214

3.62

4.34

.247

6.8

2.9

1.1

1.26

.66

.20

.087


Up until the final month of the season, Jackson was in line for a banner year, and even with his struggles toward the end, still posted a career-best ERA. However, his FIP was up in the mid-4's indicating the results might have been just a tad better than his production. Jackson still struck out a solid number compared to his walks, limited runners on the basepaths, but like Verlander is a fly ball pitcher, and in turn he gave up more long balls. The Tigers got a workhorse in Jackson, and should continue to get that in 2010.


Rick Porcello - Age: 20

IP

ERA

FIP

BAA

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

WHIP

GB/FB

LD%

XBH%

170.2

3.96

4.87

.267

4.7

2.7

1.2

1.34

1.21

.19

.071


Porcello, the 20-year old rookie, had high expectations on him, and as much pressure as there was on the youngster, he likely exceeded even the highest of expectations. But things weren't perfect for Porcello; despite his sub-four ERA, his FIP was almost a full point higher, and his K:BB ratio was less than two. Porcello was however outstanding at keeping the ball on the ground. A return to the mean might be in store for Rick, but given the likely development that should occur, a similar season in the stat line should be a good showing for 2010.


Armando Galarraga - Age: 27

IP

ERA

FIP

BAA

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

WHIP

GB/FB

LD%

XBH%

143.2

5.64

5.54

.284

6.0

4.2

1.5

1.57

.68

.23

.090


Galarraga's struggles throughout 2009 were well documented after such a successful season in 2008 – however, all of his peripheral stats from the previous season indicated he was due to struggle, and those struggles were obvious in '09. His ERA was high, his K:BB was less than two, he was more susceptible to the long ball, and he allowed too many baserunners as batters adjusted. There's the hope that he can make some adjustments, but given his track record, he's likely to be an innings eater at the back end of the rotation, at best.


Jarrod Washburn - Age: 34

IP

ERA

FIP

BAA

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

WHIP

GB/FB

LD%

XBH%

43

7.33

7.10

.300

4.4

3.3

2.5

1.56

.69

.21

.114


Everyone hoped Washburn would be the key that would help keep the Tigers in first over the last two months of the season, but with the exception of one great start against Kansas City, Washburn was a disaster, battling injuries and eventually getting shut down in mid-September. Washburn was riding a lucky streak coming to Detroit, and when he arrived that luck ran out, as the ball jumped off his bat and out of the park. Washburn can still be effective, but it won't be with Detroit next season.


Dontrelle Willis - Age: 27

IP

ERA

FIP

BAA

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

WHIP

GB/FB

LD%

XBH%

33.2

7.49

6.31

.294

4.5

7.5

1.1

1.93

1.09

.17

.063


The frustrations with Dontrelle Willis continued in 2009 as it was another season of the D-Train unable to regain the magic that he had with the Marlins before coming to Detroit. Dontrelle's problems aren't complicated – he can't throw strikes, so he walks far more than he strikes out, and so long as he keeps allowing lots of baserunners, he'll continue to be ineffective as a big league pitcher.


Lucas French - Age: 23

IP

ERA

FIP

BAA

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

WHIP

GB/FB

LD%

XBH%

29.1

3.38

3.91

.275

5.8

3.4

.6

1.50

.40

.24

.105


French gave the Tigers a few solid starts in the middle of the season before heading to Seattle in the deal for Washburn, and while his numbers with the Tigers were solid, he likely benefitted from being a new pitcher on the scene without a comprehensive scouting report on him. For the Tigers though, his K:BB ratio was solid, and his FIP was still under four. But like Galarraga, his lack of overwhelming stuff and track record led most to believe he wouldn't keep it up, and that was proven true as he struggled with the Mariners.



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