By The Numbers
My life is numbers. I like to share that passion with folks when given the chance. Sometimes they say I go too far, but I'm OK with that. I figure it's better to present too much data versus not giving enough. To that end, here are some of the more interesting numbers I've come up with in the third week of the MLB season. At the very least they might be very instructive as you try to determine the relative value of players for the 2014 season.
0: The number of walks that Tim Hudson has dished out over his first three starts covering 23 innings.
.100: The BABIP of Brett Lawrie, the worst in baseball. His career mark by the way is right on the league average at .291. I feel fairly confident that he will improve upon his 4.8 percent line drive rate.
.188: The batting average of Jhonny Peralta. I know he hit .303 last season but that masks the fact that he is a career .267 batter. Know what he has hit over his last 121 games? How about .291. He also has 15 homers and 63 RBIs in that time. The last time he hit .291-15-63 in a season? Try 2011. Sample size folks – too good last year, not this bad this year.
.258: The batting average of Jason Heyward over his last 118 games. This is getting a bit nerve racking, isn't it? Heyward also has a mere .725 OPS as he's hit 16 homers with only six steals across 437 at-bats. Wasn't he supposed to be an elite talent? Still think he is, but his production is terrible and he's as soft as a fresh croissant.
.261: The batting average of Martin Prado. For some reason he doesn't hit extremely well in April but it does get better as the season wears on. Here are his monthly career numbers: April (.277), May (.305), June (.304), July (.283), August (.321) and September (.271).
.477: The BABIP of Juan Uribe, the second best in baseball behind Bryce Harper (.485). We all know Harper is an elite talent, so I'll leave him alone for now. As for Uribe, come on. Only once in the past four seasons has he posted a BABIP over .260.
0.59: The NL leading ERA of Joe Kelly. He's headed to the DL with a hamstring that he injured running out a bunt attempt. I wish I new that Carlos Martinez would take over the rotation spot, but the Cardinals seem reluctant to use him as a starter right now, an it's fair to wonder how stretched out his arm is even if they wanted to slot him in the open spot. They might end up going with Tyler Lyons who allowed one run with six punchouts Wednesday in Triple-A.
0.86: The ERA of Mark Buehrle. If you multiplied that number by four you would end up with a mark of 3.44 which would still be fourth tenths below his career 3.82 ERA.
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1: The number of runs that Miguel Cabrera has scored this season through 11 games. He's scored at least 103 runs each of the past four years and the last time he failed to cross the plate 85 times was during an 87 game rookie effort in 2013.
1: The number of men who have thrown 450 innings since the start of the 2011 season that have a better ERA than Johnny Cueto. The mark of the Reds' hurler – 2.54 – is only behind the 2.20 mark of Clayton Kershaw. The number three man on the list is way up at 2.80 (Justin Verlander). Cueto, by the way, also leads baseball with 30 innings pitched through four starts this season, rather remarkable for a guy who has failed to throw 160 innings in two of the last three seasons. Cueto also has has a 0.80 WHIP on the year lowering his mark over the past four years to 1.10.
3.39: The ERA of Wily Peralta over his last 12 starts. He's also sporting a 7.3 K/9 mark and a 1.26 WHIP in that time. He may only be 6-4 if you look at the old record but he's darn near elevated himself to the level of being an every time he's out there on the hill he's in your starting lineup kinda guy.
3.83: The per nine walk rate of Tony Cingrani. That's not good folks, not at all. The NL average since 2012 is 3.00. Clearly he's way worse than that including a 4.67 mark early this season. You may not care because of the strikeouts or the fact that he's the career owner of a 2.83 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 127 innings. However, do you know how many hurlers in baseball last season threw 125 innings with a BB/9 rate of 3.80 and still had an ERA under 2.85? The answer is zero. In fact, no one who threw 75 innings did that. Moreover, if we go back to the 3.80 walk rate and 125 innings pitched do you know how many had an ERA under 3.00? Try zero. A 3.25 ERA? Zero. The best ERA in 2013 for a guy who threw 125 innings and walked at least 3.80 batters per nine innings was Matt Moore at 3.29 and the only other other hurler under 3.50 was Ubaldo Jimenez at 3.30. Be careful Cingrani owners.
4: The number of batters that have a GB/FB ratio of at least six this season. Here's the list, which one stands out? Christian Yelich (14.00), Jean Segura (11.33), Elvis Andrus (7.50) and Allen Craig (6.40). Yep, it's the last one. Craig's mark should stabilize since it's oh, about four times higher than his career mark of 1.43. Speaking of stabilizing, is that what we're seeing with Segura (but not in a good way)? His owners better hope not because if that's the case the worry meter should be at least at an eight out out of 10. Why? Segura is batting .241 with no homers in 13 games this season. 'Ray, small sample size.' You're correct. But what if we go back to mid July last year? Over his last 66 games Segura is batting .241 with one homer, 15 RBIs, a .270 OBP an a .585 OPS. Gulp is right. Scary times.
9.20: The career K/9 mark of Lance Lynn who has actually pumped that mark up to 11.00 this season (22 in 18 innings). Among pitchers who have thrown at least 425 innings since the start of the 2011 season only two men in baseball can better that mark. One is Max Scherzer (9.77). The second? It's not Clayton Kershaw (9.16), Cliff Lee (9.02) or Felix Hernandez (9.02). It's not even my favorite Tim Lincecum (9.06). So who is the only other man, besides Scherzer to have a better K/9 ratio than Lynn? Try on for size Chris Sale (9.33).
XXX: Do you know steals Mike Trout has in his last 80 games? Find the answer – which must be higher than nine but lower than 31 – in The Oracle Report: Panic Everywhere. You're likely to be very surprised.
32: The amount of homers that Evan Gattis would hit if he kept up his career pace for 500 at-bats. As it stands he has four homers in 37 at-bats this season and 25 in 391 career at-bats. No catcher in baseball his hit 32 homers in a season the 10 last years. The last to do it, and how is this for symmetry, was the Braves' Javier Lopez who hit 43 dingers in 2003.
36.4: The league leading HR/F ratio of... wait for it... Melky Cabrera. If you multiply his career HR/F ratio by five you end up with a mark of 36.5.
75.5: My height in inches. Yes, I'm a giant. I also wear a size 13 shoe ladies.
Don't forget to check out my other article - my Daily Trends piece - where I point out the best/worst starts of the day.
I'll take the Croissant. He's 24. It's April. He tried to catch a fastball with his teeth. His appendix blew up. No problem -- put him on my team. Love By the Numbers. Thanks!
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
- Ryan Zimmerman playing LF in his return Saturday
- Jacoby Ellsbury could miss the rest of the season
- Josh McCown expected to miss several weeks
- Jose Fernandez said he was cleared to throw
- Drew Stanton will start Sunday
- Vernon Davis is not practicing Friday
- Arian Foster (hamstring) is questionable Sunday
- Charles is practicing with Chiefs again on Friday
- Cecil Shorts will play on Sunday
- Jordan Reed has been ruled out for Sunday