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    Default Porcello at it again




    The guy people say never improves might be one of the best examples of steady improvement by a young player that I can remember. He has the best FIP and xFIP of his life and has improved by roughly .3-.4 in FIP every single year.

    2009 4.77
    2010 4.31
    2011 4.06
    2012 3.81

    Another starting pitcher is not the solution to our problems. Our big 4 can get it done.

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    Look at Bumgarner. Much better example of a young pitcher improving.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonjd View Post
    Look at Bumgarner. Much better example of a young pitcher improving.
    He is?

    2010 3.66
    2011 2.67
    2012 3.56

    and he pitches in one of the best pitchers parks in baseball, with a non terrible defense behind him..
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    and even if Bumgarner is better, that doesn't degrade Porcello. The man is 18th in FIP in the AL, top 50 overall. That puts him in the category of #2 or #3 starter. He's definitely a hell of a #4 that's for sure.

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    The problem is that FIP undervalues strikeouts. His K% is up 0.2% from last year. He has seen a fairly dramatic (1.2%) increase in swinging strike % (although it's still not very good) which is encouraging. I think his slightly different style of pitching this year is an improvement, and he's still young. He needs to show a consistently good pitch besides the sinker though, and I don't think he's really done that yet.
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    Just because another, possibly better player can be found does not make Rick chopped liver.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
    The guy people say never improves might be one of the best examples of steady improvement by a young player that I can remember. He has the best FIP and xFIP of his life and has improved by roughly .3-.4 in FIP every single year.

    2009 4.77
    2010 4.31
    2011 4.06
    2012 3.81

    Another starting pitcher is not the solution to our problems. Our big 4 can get it done.
    It seemed to go somewhat unnoticed in his general collapse in the 5th inning on the 16th that that was harder than RP has thrown since he was a rookie. There is just too much going on with RP right now to get any kind of read on where he is going to end up - he is basically learning to pitch all over again with more emphasis on power vs breaking balls instead of just sinker/sinker/sinker, and he clearly does not have it all figured out yet. It's beating a dead horse to say it but even JL pretty much admitted RP should have had the luxury of doing what he is attempting to do now in Toledo in 2009. Kudos to Jones though for helping him find the missing 6 mph. If he cannot improve his ability to put out batters when under stress and win more consistently, at least he will have failed having brought all his potential weapons to the fight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gehringer_2 View Post
    It seemed to go somewhat unnoticed in his general collapse in the 5th inning on the 16th that that was harder than RP has thrown since he was a rookie. There is just too much going on with RP right now to get any kind of read on where he is going to end up - he is basically learning to pitch all over again with more emphasis on power vs breaking balls instead of just sinker/sinker/sinker, and he clearly does not have it all figured out yet. It's beating a dead horse to say it but even JL pretty much admitted RP should have had the luxury of doing what he is attempting to do now in Toledo in 2009. Kudos to Jones though for helping him find the missing 6 mph. If he cannot improve his ability to put out batters when under stress and win more consistently, at least he will have failed having brought all his potential weapons to the fight.
    figuring it out to the tune of the best FIP of his career. So be it. Take out his one start in April against Texas, which ridiculously skews his stats and you have an even clearer picture.

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    I really don't think we should trade for a starter.

    We need a 2B badly...long-term, short-term. We need a corner OF less, but I'd still rather have one of those than another SP.
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    Bumgarner's home/road ERA are the same. He's really good.

    On Porcello's FIP: I don't care what it is. That doesn't indicate that he's improving. He's way too easy to hit. People square the ball up against him. Sure, he's suffering from BABIP woes, but with the Tiger infield, and the fact that he pitches to contact so regularly, it's no surprise that his BAA is .320, and his OPS against is .827. He's really easy to hit. So easy in fact, that he is last the league in BAA, and second to last in hits allowed, only because James Shields has thrown 20 more IP.

    I've been a huge Porcello supporter for a long time. I just haven't improvement. No, he wasn't "rushed". If he hasn't developed a curveball in 3 MLB seasons and 3 springs, he wouldn't have developed one in AA or AAA in the last three years either. He's working with the best coaches and the best players. Plus, at some point, his sinker would have been so good that he'd dominate upper minors hitters anyway.

    It's great that for 5/7 starts or 6/9 starts he's good for 6 innings. It's impossible to get past a few facts, however. He's gone 8 innings one time this year, has only gone 7 innings twice since may 1, and has given up 7+ hits in 12/18 starts.

    Until Porcello is more consistent, he is what he is, a 4th/5th guy who is hittable. For the min, 2 million, 4 million, even 7 million, that's pretty good. That even has value on the market, especially with his young age. But he's going to be worth 10+MM here soon, and his value is considerably less at that price. I'm anxious to see what the Tigers decide to do with Rick.

  11. #11
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    WHIP:
    2009: 1.336
    2010: 1.389
    2011: 1.407
    2012: 1.593

    ERA+:
    2009: 114
    2010: 85
    2011: 87
    2012: 89

    Hits per 9:
    2009: 9.3
    2010: 10.4
    2011: 10.4
    2012: 12.0

    He has increased his K/9 from 4.7 to 5.5 in 4 years, he doesn't get enough strikeouts. Porcello isn't the worst pitcher out there, but he certainly struggles to find any sort of consistency and is way too hittable.

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    Stats. To me Porcello racks up really good stats in the 1 out of 4 starts in which he is good. He teases us with how good he can be, but then goes back to his disasterous ways. All I know is what I see - and what I see is a pitcher that gets clobbered too often. I'd be thrilled if they could trade him as part of a package for a legit #2. Sometimes stats really are misleading. Maybe he should be a relief pitcher - since he seems to be doing okay the first time through the lineup. But his ego would be too hurt by a move to the bullpen.
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    Porcello is very dependent on his defense (especially infield defense). The Tigers are a terrible defensive team. Porcello might be improving or he might not but he'll never look like a very good pitcher while he's on the Tigers as they are currently constructed. On the right team he's a #2 or #3 starter. On the Tigers he's just not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T&P_Fan View Post
    WHIP:
    2009: 1.336
    2010: 1.389
    2011: 1.407
    2012: 1.593

    ERA+:
    2009: 114
    2010: 85
    2011: 87
    2012: 89

    Hits per 9:
    2009: 9.3
    2010: 10.4
    2011: 10.4
    2012: 12.0

    He has increased his K/9 from 4.7 to 5.5 in 4 years, he doesn't get enough strikeouts. Porcello isn't the worst pitcher out there, but he certainly struggles to find any sort of consistency and is way too hittable.
    You do know the stats you cherry-picked are just as indicative of a ground ball pitcher pitching with a horrible defense behind him, right? That's why people are looking at FIP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    You do know the stats you cherry-picked are just as indicative of a ground ball pitcher pitching with a horrible defense behind him, right? That's why people are looking at FIP.
    They are not cherry picked. Those are common stats to use. I even used one stat (ERA+) that he has shown improvement in the past 3 years (marginally) and then I cited the increase in his K/9. So explain how when I show 4 stats, two of which have shown improvement in the last 3 years, can be considered cherry picking?

    And give me a break, most of the hits Rick gives up would still be hits with the best defenders in baseball playing. He gets hit hard, that is just a fact.

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    Baseball-Reference has a stat (RAA) which tries to adjust for team defense behind a pitcher. It estimates how many runs the defense allowed and subtracts that from the runs scored. Porcello has an RAA of 3 this year meaning he has saved the Tigers an estimated 3 runs compared to an average pitcher. His annual numbers are:

    -4
    13
    16
    3

    You can see that his first year was not that good in his rookie year and benefitted from a strong defense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T&P_Fan View Post
    They are not cherry picked. Those are common stats to use. I even used one stat (ERA+) that he has shown improvement in the past 3 years (marginally) and then I cited the increase in his K/9. So explain how when I show 4 stats, two of which have shown improvement in the last 3 years, can be considered cherry picking?
    The problem is none of those stats address ground ball rate or defensive support. Porcello pitched in a completely different environment in 2009 compared to 2012. FIP doesn't answer the question either. FIP only tells us how a pitcher does on things he controls himself. It doesn't tell us anything about hits allowed which are partly his responsibility and partly the defense.

    And give me a break, most of the hits Rick gives up would still be hits with the best defenders in baseball playing. He gets hit hard, that is just a fact.
    The majority of hits any pitcher gives up would be hits regardless of the defense. However, there is always a proportion of hits that could go either way, especially ground balls and his defense hurts him there. If the defense allows just one hit every two starts, that would make a big difference in his ERA over the course of the season.
    Last edited by tiger337; 07-19-2012 at 11:18 AM.
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    I saw the thread title and assumed he had an arrest or two in the past that I forgot about...
    .

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    How many stats do we need, if any, to tell us that Porcello gets hit hard?

    I mean, we all watch the games, Porcello throws a lot of hittable pitches, that is why a lot of stats don't do him any favors.

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    Porcello doesn't miss a lot of bats...and on a staff where the other starters average a K per inning or real close to it (Smyly), he sticks out even more. He's not a good fit for our team. He really needs a good defense to be effective and the closest "plus" defender to him is 300ft away in CF. I think he'd be an interesting trade chip...

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    Quote Originally Posted by T&P_Fan View Post
    How many stats do we need, if any, to tell us that Porcello gets hit hard?

    I mean, we all watch the games, Porcello throws a lot of hittable pitches, that is why a lot of stats don't do him any favors.
    We watched all his games in 2009 and he was hit hard then too, but he had a much lower ERA due to strong defense. He does get hit hard, but he has good control and keeps the ball on the ground. Someone like that is very dependent on his defense and he has horrendous defense behind him this year. Even just one missed play every three games could add about a half run to a pitchers ERA. Using ERA or WHIP to compare 2009 versus 2012 just doesn't tell us very much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    We watched all his games in 2009 and he was hit hard then too, but he had a much lower ERA due to strong defense. He does get hit hard, but he has good control and keeps the ball on the ground. Someone like that is very dependent on his defense and he has horrendous defense behind him this year. Even just one missed play every three games could add about a half run to a pitchers ERA. Using ERA or WHIP to compare 2009 versus 2012 just doesn't tell us very much.
    I had to respond to this quote, as it tends to support one of my contentions, that being much of ERA is dependent on the defense on the left side of the field.
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    The defense hurts Porcello, but if you strike out less than 6 per 9 you probably aren't very good. Strikeouts are just too important for a pitcher to be reliably effective if they have a lot of games with 1, 2, 3 strikeouts and Porcello does. He doesn't get swings and misses reliably.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotigers View Post
    The defense hurts Porcello, but if you strike out less than 6 per 9 you probably aren't very good. Strikeouts are just too important for a pitcher to be reliably effective if they have a lot of games with 1, 2, 3 strikeouts and Porcello does. He doesn't get swings and misses reliably.
    The other item (granted this is from watching hime pitch on TV) that is noticeable is that for a sinker ball pitcher, he seems to leave too many balls up in the strike zone. I tend to think this has hurt him this year. OTOH, it would be nice to see more strikeouts from him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T&P_Fan View Post

    And give me a break, most of the hits Rick gives up would still be hits with the best defenders in baseball playing. He gets hit hard, that is just a fact.
    but this is exactly what FIP charts and it directly disagrees with you. That's my greater point here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotigers View Post
    The defense hurts Porcello, but if you strike out less than 6 per 9 you probably aren't very good. Strikeouts are just too important for a pitcher to be reliably effective if they have a lot of games with 1, 2, 3 strikeouts and Porcello does. He doesn't get swings and misses reliably.
    This all may well be true, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find 50 starters better than him. So maybe he isn't "very good" but he is a pretty damn good option for the role we use him for. He is better than almost all 4th starters and probably most #3s as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotigers View Post
    The defense hurts Porcello, but if you strike out less than 6 per 9 you probably aren't very good. Strikeouts are just too important for a pitcher to be reliably effective if they have a lot of games with 1, 2, 3 strikeouts and Porcello does. He doesn't get swings and misses reliably.
    I think it is hard to be a reliably effective pitcher when you are so dependent on other players (and random chance to a lesser extent) to get outs. More strikeouts reduce the amount you are dependent on your defense and thus makes it easier to be reliable. Porcello would benefit more by being in front of an average or good defense than someone like Verlander but part of that is because Verlander is just better than Porcello. That doesn't change the fact that we probably wouldn't be having this conversation if he were in front of an average or good defense.
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    Yeah, I don't think Porcello is terrible, I just don't think he's that good either, and his level of improvement is disappointing to me.

    I definitely agree that on a very strong defensive team he'd probably do quite well
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    Quote Originally Posted by T&P_Fan View Post
    They are not cherry picked. Those are common stats to use. I even used one stat (ERA+) that he has shown improvement in the past 3 years (marginally) and then I cited the increase in his K/9. So explain how when I show 4 stats, two of which have shown improvement in the last 3 years, can be considered cherry picking?

    And give me a break, most of the hits Rick gives up would still be hits with the best defenders in baseball playing. He gets hit hard, that is just a fact.
    Prove it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotigers View Post
    The defense hurts Porcello, but if you strike out less than 6 per 9 you probably aren't very good. Strikeouts are just too important for a pitcher to be reliably effective if they have a lot of games with 1, 2, 3 strikeouts and Porcello does. He doesn't get swings and misses reliably.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
    The guy people say never improves might be one of the best examples of steady improvement by a young player that I can remember. He has the best FIP and xFIP of his life and has improved by roughly .3-.4 in FIP every single year.

    2009 4.77
    2010 4.31
    2011 4.06
    2012 3.81

    Another starting pitcher is not the solution to our problems. Our big 4 can get it done.
    So, here's my problem. I agree that Porcello is better now than he was. The problem is, the Tigers defense is not going to get a lot better anytime soon. It appears that Fielder and Cabrera are going to stay where they are, and both of them are terrible. No one in the organization is even close to major league quality at short or second once Peralta is gone, and the Tigers have shown what they think of defense by continuing to put Raburn at 2b and play Boesch in the OF.

    Porcello may have improved, and I agree FIP/xFIP are strong indicators that he HAS improved. I just don't think it's enough to be a league average or better starter with the Tigers.

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    Porcello's .358 BABIP is the highest of anyone in baseball, and that has a lot to do with his high ERA and WHIP. The poor defense has a lot to do with that, but he also has a 23.7% LD rate. It's never been above 19% in his career and it's currently 12th highest in all of baseball. This shows that he's been very hittable, and it's not just because of poor defense.

    There's things to like about Porcello, like his increasing K rate and increasing GB rate since 2009. But his BB rate, while still low, has also been slightly increasing. His xFIP is exactly the same as last year at 4.02 and his SIERA is only one point lower (4.14 to 4.13). This shows no improvement at all; that he's the same pitcher as last year.

    I think in order for Porcello to take the next step, he's going to have to put up a 6.0+ K rate, a 55%+ GB rate and lower his LD rate to below 20% again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
    This all may well be true, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find 50 starters better than him. So maybe he isn't "very good" but he is a pretty damn good option for the role we use him for. He is better than almost all 4th starters and probably most #3s as well.
    This may be true from the perspective of what HE is doing in isolation. In his environment, he is not one of the top 50 most effective starters in the majors, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobSk View Post
    This may be true from the perspective of what HE is doing in isolation. In his environment, he is not one of the top 50 most effective starters in the majors, IMO.

    Rob
    I tend to disagree when looking over lists of current SPs, but you may be right. I know people hate this sort of thinking, but bad defense, K rate and LD% and all, without that Texas start he's been a 4 ERA guy. The Texas start and the Minnesota start 2 starts ago really skew his WHIP as well. Most of the time out he's a guy who goes out there, gives us solid innings and gives us a chance to win. I don't think he gets credited as such though. I'm not saying he's great, but there are probably a lot of guys out there that people think are better than Porcello that simply aren't. At worst, he's a plus as a #4 and gets more hate than he deserves by a good margin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeyAbbott View Post
    The other item (granted this is from watching hime pitch on TV) that is noticeable is that for a sinker ball pitcher, he seems to leave too many balls up in the strike zone. I tend to think this has hurt him this year. OTOH, it would be nice to see more strikeouts from him.
    Even though he seems to have the pitches in isolation, he hasn't seemed to have mastered the sinker low/climb the ladder with the 4seamer combination. It should be a better K combination for him than it is.
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    Let's say Porcello is being significantly hurt by the Tigers defense. Does anybody really expect our defense to get better anytime soon? I don't like it but the Tigers are committed to Cabrera at third and Fielder at first...and will probably end up with Peralta back at shortstop. That bodes very badly for Porcello. We would be better off trying to get a 4th strikeout pitcher to pair with Verlander, Scherzer, and Fister in the playoffs...at least for the forseeable future.

    I am certainly not ready to give up on Porcello but I would have no problem trading him to get more of a sure thing that can help us in this year.

  37. #37
    Nastradamus is offline MotownSports Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hart View Post
    Let's say Porcello is being significantly hurt by the Tigers defense. Does anybody really expect our defense to get better anytime soon? I don't like it but the Tigers are committed to Cabrera at third and Fielder at first...and will probably end up with Peralta back at shortstop. That bodes very badly for Porcello. We would be better off trying to get a 4th strikeout pitcher to pair with Verlander, Scherzer, and Fister in the playoffs...at least for the forseeable future.

    I am certainly not ready to give up on Porcello but I would have no problem trading him to get more of a sure thing that can help us in this year.
    Well this was part of my point. I think if you go get a Barney type, it coudl help our rotation, especially Porcello and Fister, more than adding another pitcher with the same defense might. I don't think Cabrera and Peralta are so awful, but Prince is

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    Nastradamus is offline MotownSports Fan
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    Holding tight on that 3.7 FIP, 3.8 xFIP

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    ballmich is offline MotownSports Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
    Holding tight on that 3.7 FIP, 3.8 xFIP
    Ironically, most other stats show continued deterioration. I think Porcello has one more season to show some improvement across the board, otherwise he's a trade or non-tender possibility after 2013.

    Fister is really the pitcher that I had Porcello pegged to be. And it's really disappointing that I don't think Porcello will ever get there.
    Manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem.

  40. #40
    Longgone is offline MotownSports Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballmich View Post
    Ironically, most other stats show continued deterioration. I think Porcello has one more season to show some improvement across the board, otherwise he's a trade or non-tender possibility after 2013.

    Fister is really the pitcher that I had Porcello pegged to be. And it's really disappointing that I don't think Porcello will ever get there.
    Well, Fister was a few years older than Porcello, when he finally "got there".

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