If Paulino can continue to cut down on his walks, I don’t see why he can’t have some success. FIP doesn’t take into account his bloated HR/FB rate, 16.9% is way too high, and should come down considerably. With his flyball rate, and a 10.9 HR/FB rate, I put him at around 1.2 HR/9, which would help his FIP a lot.
Paulino was the 43rd best starter in baseball in tRA* (regressed), better than John Lackey, Matt Cain, Jurrjens, Cliff Lee, Buehrle. Not that he is better than those guys, but he was to a degree unlucky. His k/9-bb/9 suggests it is a very good bet his results improve. Kind of like Wandy Rodriguez heading into this year. Although Wandy’s 2008 e.r.a. wasn’t nearly as high.