Before you understand Jeff Locke, you should know that you probably won’t understand Jeff Locke. This will be a post without a real conclusion, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be interesting!
A couple things we know to be true about Locke: Over the last two seasons, he’s made 51 starts, and has logged 292 innings. In that time, he’s posted a very respectable ERA of 3.69, which puts him in the same company as guys like Jeff Samardzija and Dallas Keuchel. Over that same time period, however, he’s also posted a less-respectable FIP of 4.18, which puts him in the same company as guys like Travis Wood and Edinson Volquez. Put another way: Locke has outperformed his peripherals like few others in baseball.
Now, some things we know to be true about the Pirates: They have, arguably, baseball’s most distinct organizational pitching philosophies, which include both pitching inside and pitching low at extreme rates. As a team, they’ve outperformed their peripherals like few others in baseball, and that’s likely at least partially a result of their organizational pitching philosophies. The last thing we know is that they recently chose Locke over Vance Worley for the final spot in the rotation, which came as a bit of a surprise considering Worley’s dominant comeback last season.
Worley still made the rotation, on account of Charlie Morton‘s injury, but that’s beside the point. The Pirates chose Locke over Worley, and, to an extent, that’s telling. For these facts alone, we have reason to be interested in Locke. It’s not often one finds oneself saying that, so the time is now. Let’s investigate Jeff Locke.
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