Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Projections for Tigers Starting Pitchers in 2007

Earlier in the week, I combined the results from 5 respected projection systems to come up with one set of projections for Tigers batters in 2007. Today, I'll do the same for the Tigers starting pitchers.

The 5 probable starters plus 3 potential replacements are listed in the table below. The table is color coded. Every pitcher projected to fall in the top 30 percent of the league’s starters for ERA is coded in blue. Every pitcher projected to fall in the bottom 30% is coded in red. The middle 40% are in black.

Jeremy Bonderman (3.81) and Justin Verlander (3.97) are projected to be blue ink (top 30%) starters. Verlander's projected ERA in 2007 is higher than his actual 2006 ERA (3.63) but this would not necessarily be a decline in performance. Verlander did not pitch as well as his ERA in 2006 as he had FIP of 4.47 and very ordinary peripherals (strikeout, walk and ground ball rates) . There is a good chance he could pitch better this year than last year and still not reach the same low ERA again.

Two other pitchers who are expected to have higher ERAs this year are Kenny Rogers (4.31) and Nate Robertson (4.34). As is the case with Verlander, this is primarily a matter of the projection systems saying that their ERAs will be more in line with their peripherals. It doesn't indicate a big decrease in performance.

A more ominous projection is the 168 innings pitched for Verlander. Most of the systems think there is a good chance that he'll pitch fewer innings this year than last. There is some concern about his big jump in innings pitch and second half tired arm last year. I have the same concern so I don't think the projections are pessimistic.

The good news is that none of the starters or most likely replacements have a red ink (bottom 30%) ERA. I think we can expect another good year from the Tigers starters in 2007. Next time, I'll look at the relievers.


Table: Projections for Tigers Starting Pitchers in 2007

Pitcher

IP

ERA

Bonderman

201

3.81

Rogers

182

4.31

Verlander

168

3.97

Robertson

194

4.34

Maroth

136

4.68

Ledezma

97

4.54

Miner

118

4.66

Miller

79

4.37

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