Sunday, February 27, 2011

WERC for Tigers Relievers

As promised in my earlier article on reliever Weighted Component ERA (WERC), I'll now take a look at WERC for Tigers relievers.   Again, WERC is what a pitcher's ERA "should be" based on walks, hit batsmen, strikeouts and hits.  A more detailed description was given in my introductory post.  

The table below shows that Jose Valverde had a much lower WERC (2.78) than FIP (3.78) in 2010 which says that he was very good at limiting hits.  Good relievers tend to be better at inducing weak contact on batted balls than starters and Valverde's .265 career BABIP suggests that he has that skill.  His FIP was hurt by an increased walk rate in the second half which was probably related to his injured elbow.  

Benoit was one of the most dominant relievers in the majors by any statistic in 2010.  The Tigers are paying him to repeat that performance in 2011 or at least have an ERA simlar to his 2010 FIP.  If he stays healthy, he should be a tremendous setup man behind Valverde.

Like Valverde, Ryan Perry had a better WERC (3.78) than FIP (4.23).  In his case, his FIP suffered from a relatively low strikeout rate (6.5 K/9) for a reliever. Last year, he was working on his control and was successful walking two fewer batters per nine innings than he did in 2009.  This year, the Tigers hope he'll put it all together and be their second set-up man 

With Phil Coke moving to the starting rotation, the Tigers are counting on Dan Schlereth to fill the top lefty reliever role.  His 4.62 WERC shows that he was hit pretty hard last year, but I don't think we need to be concerned about an 18 2/3 inning sample.  The biq question with him is control.   


Table 1: WERC for Tigers Relievers, 2010


Player
Team
G
IP
ERA
FIP
WERC
Joaquin Benoit
TBR
63
60.1
1.34
2.43
1.15
Joel Zumaya
DET
31
38.1
2.58
2.50
2.62
Jose Valverde
DET
60
63.0
3.00
3.78
2.78
Ryan Perry
DET
60
62.2
3.59
4.23
3.78
Phil Coke
DET
74
64.2
3.76
3.23
3.82
Brad Thomas
DET
49
69.1
3.89
4.39
4.49
Daniel Schlereth
DET
18
18.2
2.89
4.20
4.62

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