Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Football's Over



So the Super Bowl is over and pitchers and catchers report in only 15 days. The Nationals still have a plethora of starters and the closer and closer we get to the start of Spring Training and the start of the season, the more likely it looks that the Nationals won’t be trading Zimmermann, Strasburg, or any of the other starters. While in the long run I still maintain that the Nationals will regret missing out on the chance to restock their farm system, for 2015 it’s going to pay dividends. Of course, this collection of arms leaves an odd man out in the form of Tanner Roark. But I wouldn’t expect Roark’s role to be limited to relief work alone.

During the season, teams give starts to players outside of their starting five rotation all the time. It could be due to injury, weather, travel, or (in the case of the Nationals and Cubs last year) Gay Pride Parades, but major league teams always have a need for an extra starting pitcher and those extra starts add up pretty quickly over the course of a full season. While the Nationals have been lucky the last couple years and haven’t had a major injury to a top line starter, they have still had a fair share of spot starts handed out. Here are the players who have started games for the Nationals over the last 3 years who were not part of the regular rotation and their results:

2014









W
L
G
2
3
15
7
50.2
2.49
3.09
3.62
0.6
0
3
5
5
25.2
5.61
4.5
4.28
0.1
0
1
3
1
9
9
3.69
4.65
0.1










2013









W
L
G
2
7
13
13
71.1
4.04
3.66
4.25
0.9
1
3
9
9
51.2
3.66
3.49
3.8
0.7
4
1
16
7
60.1
3.28
4.03
3.96
0.3
7
1
14
5
53.2
1.51
2.41
3.14
1.4
0
1
3
3
12
7.5
8.38
4.56
-0.4
1
1
12
1
20.2
8.71
4.55
4.68
-0.1










2012









W
L
G
4
1
6
6
32.2
4.13
3.71
4.7
0.4
2
3
10
5
32.1
6.68
5.85
5.43
-0.4
4
2
45
1
72
2.88
3.97
4.21
0.2










Last year saw Blake Treinen fill in admirably during the middle of the season, although his FIP and xFIP point towards luck playing a big role in that success. Meanwhile, Taylor Jordan and Taylor Hill looked to be a little out of their league in their brief big league appearances in 2014. 2013 saw the initial emergence of Taylor Jordan and the discovery of Tanner Roark, after some failed starts by Zach Duke and Nate Karns. Finally, 2012 was even more of a mixed bag after the great Chien-Ming Wang experiment went down in flames and one of my favorites, John Lannan, was on his last legs as a National.

All in all, the Nationals had 50 starts go to several long relievers and minor league prospects over the last three years, averaging nearly 17 starts a season that are being filled by a grab bag of not ready for prime time players. In 2015, this won’t be the case. Instead of calling up a minor league arm who might not be major league ready or look to stretch out Craig Stammen in a start, the Nationals can turn to Tanner Roark, one of their best pitchers in 2014. So while Roark will have a limited role in 2015 compared to 2014, his impact will be much larger than most would think. And if the Nationals have a major injury to a starter in 2015, something they have been very lucky to avoid the last few years, their insurance policy in Roark is better than any other you can find.

Super Bowl Thoughts

It's not baseball related, but for what it's worth, I thought the Seahawks should have run the ball, although I think the decision is getting hammered by the media more than it should and Liam Neeson was the star of the commercials, by far

No comments:

Post a Comment