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  1. Kudos on a great read Monsieur Cistulli. What might be some reasons why the commonly high-thought-of Lackey and Lee were not so highly ranked by tRA*?

    Comment by Sandy Kazmir — December 15, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

  2. The duo beat out Cliff Lee’s 22 Indians starts, but not his 12 Phillies appearances.

    Gio is quite good. His stuff is great enough to make him a clear breakout candidate in ’10.

    Comment by Adam Reynolds — December 15, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

  3. Cliff Lee has had a ridiculously low HR/FB rate for two years running. I’d expect him to continue to outpitch his tRA*, but probably not by as much.

    Comment by lookatthosetwins — December 15, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

  4. You’re in France, with your lady … and you’re scouring baseball stats leaderboards?

    Wow, just wow. *big grin*

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 15, 2009 @ 8:36 pm

  5. Why is no one surprise to see Kuroda on this list…
    Is it just me who don’t know Kuroda the Great?

    Comment by Kampfer — December 15, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  6. I went to Aix-en-Provence in the summer! Very scenic area of France. How random.

    Nice article btw

    Comment by Ewan — December 15, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  7. Bonjour!

    Je veux dire que Gio has great stuff. He’s just a wee bit, shall we say, emotional. Something goes wrong, and then he gets visibly upset, and then he starts–*gasp*–consciously thinking about how things are going wrong, and a little misfortune blows up into a big misfortune.

    That is to say, because he loses his cool too easily, the hits and walks he gives up aren’t as randomly distributed as the average player. He had a number of really, really bad innings.

    That’s probably something he can learn to control with experience. I expect his ERA to start resembling his peripheral stats more and more as he gets older and wiser, and those six-run innings become two- or three-run innings.

    Comment by Ken Arneson — December 15, 2009 @ 11:02 pm

  8. A ma connaissance il ne couvrent pas les nouvelles du baseball dans le journal L’Équipe!

    Comment by radiohix — December 16, 2009 @ 12:15 am

  9. So is tRA* vs. tRA like xFIP vs. FIP? It is just more of a future predictor than the picthers actual results?

    Comment by AthleticsBraves — December 16, 2009 @ 1:24 am

  10. Salut Carson,

    J’espere que vous passiez un bon sejour en France… Je suis jaloux, moi. J’ai passe pas mal de temps la-bas et la France me manque beaucoup.

    L’Equipe c’est pas mal – Ils ont tres bon site internet aussi, mais il faut aimer le foot ou le rugby, ou peut-etre le tennis… Ou le F1. En grand, il faut aimer autre chose que le baseball, parce que le baseball? Le baseball n’existe carrement pas en France. C’est triste.

    J’aime bien vos articles, mais quittez l’internet, amusez-vous avec votre femme, et rejouisiez-vous de bon temps qu’il fait la bas (certainement).

    Du vin, du fromage, les jollies francaises, et le joli temps qu’il fait. Je suis encore jaloux!

    Comment by Patrick — December 16, 2009 @ 1:25 am

  11. As an Astros’ fan, I have been very positive on Felipe Paulino’s chances to break out as a good young starter. He will be given the opportunity to become a regular in the Astros’ rotation next year. Paulino was jerked around by his manager (Cooper) last year, and that may have affected his transition into the majors. After a stint of good starting performances, Paulino was moved to the bullpen so that Cooper could insert an older mediocre veteran pitcher in his spot. Paulino, who had never come out of the bullpen in his minor league career, struggled as a relief pitcher. You will note a significantly worse result for his relief work, compared to his starting work. Paulino was eventually jerked back and forth between the rotation, the bullpen, and AAA. However, he ended up the season starting again and put up some decent performances. With a new manager and a commitment to giving him a good shot at the rotation, I think there is reason for optimism with Paulino.

    Comment by CJ — December 16, 2009 @ 9:48 am

  12. “That is to say, because he loses his cool too easily, the hits and walks he gives up aren’t as randomly distributed as the average player. ”


    That’s a common knock against Gio, but the numbers don’t really support it (at least not this year). Gio’s major league ERC in 2009 was even higher than his ERA, which suggests that distribution of hits and walks wasn’t really a problem for him. Further, his splits show that he was at his best with RISP. He also pitched much better in high and medium leverage situations than in low leverage situations.

    His AAA splits from 2009 also run contrary to the idea that he’s a headcase who loses it when guys get on. He had a 5.07 FIP and .295 BABIP with the bases empty, a 3.05 FIP and .234 BABIP with runners on, and a 2.83 FIP and .233 BABIP with RISP.

    His AAA splits from 2008 show the complete opposite trend, as he got beat up pretty badly with men on base.

    Comment by Danny — December 16, 2009 @ 9:57 am

  13. I’m pleased to find that my college French is still sort of working after so many years. Je suis aussi jaloux…

    Comment by geo — December 16, 2009 @ 11:05 am

  14. They are significantly different beasts, but they both involve regression. xFIP only regresses HR/FB to the mean, and regresses it 100%. tRA* has a more complicated set of regressions, and it regresses all components to the league mean. I believe xFIP regresses to 11% HR/FB all the time, whereas tRA* regresses to a league mean for that season alone.

    Comment by Michael — December 16, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  15. Could the AAA 2009 splits have something to do with a smaller sample size…

    Just my wild guess at explaining the phenom.

    Comment by BX — December 17, 2009 @ 8:39 am

  16. Sure, I’m not saying his splits prove anything one way or another. I’m just saying there doesn’t seem to be any evidence–at least in 2009–that Gio’s a headcase who loses it when things start to go badly. If anything, his 2009 splits suggest the opposite.

    Comment by Danny — December 17, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  17. Anyone find it odd that tRA* expects “regression” on each top 10 tRA pitcher that was listed in the table?

    I guess that’s why Paulino and Gio are so special because tRA* didn’t show up over their actual tRA…

    Comment by Dan Budreika — December 17, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

  18. Dan, not at all…

    That’s the idea of tRA – It’s got a built in regression (See StatCorner:

    The idea of that is that any performance has an element of luck in it, and we should assume the pitcher’s “true talent” (our best guess of what “should’ve done”/should do in the future, excluding again) is closer to average than it showed, whether it was really good or really bad.

    This is just a basic element of baseball statistics, and regressing to the leauge mean is something that gives better predictive results. Not always and everywhere, but done appropritely, it improves the overall quality of predictions… Which causes us to believe that it’s giving a better estimate of true talent.

    Comment by Patrick — December 17, 2009 @ 11:16 pm

  19. Sorry, where it says “is closer to average than it showed” should read “is closer to average than their performance in a given year suggests”

    Comment by Patrick — December 17, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

  20. One other thought, look at it another way:

    A pitcher has an absolutely amazing season. Take Zach Greinke for example.

    Is he more likely to have a better season or a worse one next year?
    A worse one, of course. Probably still really good – and he might be better yet – but it seems unlikely. He went a number of starts in a row without giving up an earned run, and a longer stretch still without giving up a home run. That’s not something that is at all likely to happen again, however good Zach is.

    And a pitcher who has a disaster of a season but is still considered good enough to stick in the major leagues… Is he more likely to be better or worse next season? Well, assuming he’s not ancient or injured, we figure next year will be at least a bit better.

    Comment by Patrick — December 17, 2009 @ 11:20 pm

  21. Anyone else see Kuroda come in at #6 in this tRA ranking? Anyone care to shed light into this? Seems the most puzzling placement of them all.

    Comment by saltybiscuits — December 21, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

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