Don’t relievers generally have lower ERA’s than FIP’s? Every time they come in with 1 or 2 outs, the chances one of their runners score are lower than if they came in with 0 outs, like a starter does. ERA normally reflects this, where FIP doesn’t.
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I believe Guerrier succeeds by inducing a good deal of “weak contact.” If this is true, it can probably explain why numbers as simple as K%, LD%, FB%, and GB% don’t explain ERA (or how ERA can consistently beat FIP. Unfortunately, right now a quantifiable stat for weak contact doesn’t exist. However, whenever HitF/X data is made available, I hypothesize that comps like these can be made.
For example, one could calculate overall effectiveness and effectiveness by pitch for a pitcher by comparing opposing hitters’ “off-the-bat” velocities overall and by individual pitches. Pitchers who seemingly draw weak contact should have this backed up by the numbers–are hitters actually making weaker contact? In addition, pitch values measured by wRC could eventually be evaluated by differential speed on contact off the bat. Likewise, hitters who consistently make poor contact (coughCarlosLeecough) would be punished by stats measuring velocity off the bat instead of excused by saying they were simply unlucky on BABIP.
As for evidence, other than my own eyes all I have to offer is the fact that LD% shows the closest correlation with BABIP (R^2=.19 FOR hitter, .27 for pitchers) while GB% and FB% have R^2 values under .05 for both hitters and pitchers in 2011. Additionally, Guerrier, Jesse Crain, and the great Mariano Rivera have career BABIPs of ~.270, much lower than the average accepted figure of .300. Unsurprisingly, their career ERAs have outperformed their FIPs by 1.06, 0.62, and 0.56, respectively. By the same token, relievers notorious for giving up hard contact like Bobby Jenks (BABIP .306) and Kevin Gregg (BABIP .300) have seen their career ERAs slightly higher than FIPSs (3.40 vs 3.16 for Jenks and 4.03 vs. 3.95 for Gregg).
I don’t know if this will be backed up by the hard HitF/X data but I have a strong suspicion it will. It seems unlikely that these guys have just been extremely lucky for several years and weak contact is my favorite explanation.