Daily Notes: Ft. A Leaderboard with Yusmeiro Petit’s Name in It

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. A Leaderboard with Yusmeiro Petit’s Name in It
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

A Leaderboard with Yusmeiro Petit’s Name in It
Belabored Introduction
At a point in the not very distant past, right-hander Yusmeiro Petit was an actual, if slightly confounding, prospect, having compiled a 429:75 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 2.76 ERA in 346.0 minor-league innings through his age-20 season, during which season he recorded the large majority of his innings at Double-A. That he produced such high strikeout rates with a fastball that sat at 88-90 mph (or perhaps even lower) was regarded as a minor mystery. In any case, he appeared on Baseball America’s top-100 prospect list in both 2005 and 2006 — itself no small accomplishment.

In subsequent years, Petit was demonstrably less successful, striking out (an approximately only league-average) 18% of hitters in his best major-league season and posting ground-ball rates around 30% — which is to say, multiple standard deviations below league average. Petit’s advanced command and deceptive delivery were insufficient to retire more advanced hitters, was the consensus.

As such, it was mostly for curiosity’s sake that the present author noted in late April that Petit, now 28, was producing better defense-independent numbers with San Francisco affiliate Fresno than he had previously at the Triple-A level. And it was with only passing interest that the author noticed each week, whilst preparing the Fringe Five column that appears in these pages, that Petit was frequently among the Pacific Coast League’s top starters, so far as regressed defense-independent numbers are concerned.

Certainly, Petit’s start from this past Friday — during which he came within one out of the 22nd perfect game of the modern era — provides some cause for re-assessing his present talents (box). Nor should it be ignored that the right-hander actually produced a lower single-game xFIP in his previous start, at Arizona, when he recorded a 10:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 6.0 innings (box).

In the absence of a more robust examination, the author here has managed at least to present the leaderboard below — one of the very few in which Petit’s name has appeared since his early and dominant interval as a prospect in the Mets and Marlins systems. Among major-league starters over the last month, one finds, Petit has produced the second-lowest xFIP-. Among Giants starters, one finds in half-related news, Petit remains — and is likely to remain, until such a time as he goes all the way into that dark night — remains younger than Tim Lincecum.

Leaderboard: Starter xFIP Minus Over Last Month
Here are the top-10 starters (minimum three starts) by xFIP- over the last 30 days:

Rank Name Team IP TBF K% BB% GB% BABIP xFIP- Velo WAR
1 Jose Fernandez Marlins 33.0 123 31.7% 6.5% 47.3% .189 67 94.7 1.2
2 Yusmeiro Petit Giants 21.0 79 29.1% 5.1% 39.2% .269 71 88.5 0.9
3 Stephen Strasburg Nationals 26.2 97 32.0% 8.3% 45.6% .222 72 95.4 0.5
4 Kris Medlen Braves 27.0 103 22.3% 1.9% 41.6% .303 73 89.7 0.9
5 Sonny Gray Athletics 39.0 156 24.4% 6.4% 53.7% .264 73 93.0 1.1
6 Felix Hernandez Mariners 28.2 123 25.2% 7.3% 52.5% .333 73 91.4 0.9
7 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 34.2 140 25.0% 7.1% 50.5% .305 74 92.5 1.2
8 Yu Darvish Rangers 34.0 135 35.6% 11.9% 32.4% .246 74 92.6 0.6
9 Scott Kazmir Indians 25.0 114 27.2% 5.3% 31.1% .417 74 92.7 0.4
10 Zack Greinke Dodgers 43.1 167 25.2% 6.0% 46.8% .257 75 92.2 1.3

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Chicago NL at Cincinnati | 19:10 ET
Travis Wood (179.0 IP, 119 xFIP-, 2.3 WAR) faces Bronson Arroyo (179.0 IP, 102 xFIP-, 1.8 WAR). Of particular note regarding the former: he’s recorded the lowest BABIP-against (.241) among all qualified starters this season and would’ve posted the third-lowest BABIP-against (.244) last season, had he pitched five more innings.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Chicago NL Television.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire.

Note that these NERD scores are calculated using the methodology introduced recently and designed to account for the influence of playoff odds on the watchability of games. ***Unlike in recent iterations of this table, the author has adjusted the day’s NERD Game Scores such that, combined, they average 5.0.*** This allows said table to resemble more closely the Game Scores that have appeared here over the preceding four months.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Ervin Santana KC 7 0 8 6 4 CLE Ubaldo Jimenez 19:05
CC Sabathia NYA 6 2 5 2 5 BAL Chris Tillman 19:05
Jered Weaver LAA 4 0 1 0 1 MIN P. Hernandez 19:10
Kris Medlen ATL 7 0 3 0 6 MIA H. Alvarez 19:10
Travis Wood CHN 3 0 4 3 5 CIN Bronson Arroyo 19:10
Gio Gonzalez WAS 7 0 4 0 7 NYN Carlos Torres 19:10
Gerrit Cole PIT 10 5 10 6 10 TEX Yu Darvish 20:05
Max Scherzer DET 9 0 5 0 10 CHA Chris Sale 20:10
Randall Delgado AZ 8 0 4 0 6 LAN Ricky Nolasco 22:10
Jarred Cosart HOU 2 0 2 0 7 SEA Taijuan Walker* 22:10
Jhoulys Chacin COL 5 0 3 0 7 SF Tim Lincecum 22:15

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

13 Responses to “Daily Notes: Ft. A Leaderboard with Yusmeiro Petit’s Name in It”

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  1. mario mendoza says:

    Happy 1500th post, Carson.

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  2. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    A friend and I have tickets to Darvish v. Cole! Section 210 is on the second level almost to the left-field corner, a better view than it sounds and especially good for right-handed pitching. Most happily of all, it is situated directly in front of a fairly disused bar serving legitimate microbrewed refreshments. I shall toast Darvish v. Cole with two or three Rahr & Sons Texas Reds (amber lager).

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    • Lenard says:

      You mean to say you don’t currently reside in England!?


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      • Well-Beered Englishman says:

        You can take a punter out of Whitechapel but you can’t take the Whitechapel out of the punter.

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        • This is true, the many Whitechapel et al punters around here walk right past many suitable American gastro pubs to congregate at the shabby Cock n Bull or dusty Ye Olde Kingshead, whose many TVs never show baseball, just football, rugby and darts. Even British tourists congregate there, as if second-guessing their choice to visit the former colonies.

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        • Well-Beered Englishman says:

          This stubbornness is frankly confusing, given the invariable awfulness of faux-British pubs. Whether they are named after Sherlock Holmes, serve misspelled fare like “shepard’s pie,” add an e to the end of every noun for cuteness, or serve no beer more interesting than Guinness, American English pubs are merely a vehicle for the U.K. native’s inherent love of complaining, griping, and talking about how much home is better.

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    • This appears to have worked out well, in terms of overall game quality, no?

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  3. MDL says:

    Hey, what’d you do to the Team NERD scores?

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    • They’re based on playoff odds during September, I’ve decided arbitrarily. There’s a link above one can follow, if one’s so motivated. If one’s not that motivated, one can rest assured that they’re based on playoff odds.

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      • Eminor3rd says:

        So you’re watching Ubaldo v. Santana instead of Scherzer v. Sale?

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      • Todd says:

        Regarding that post, I’d suggest that 50% odds (whether targeting the division or the wild card) is too narrow of a target. The goal is to target uncertainty, so I’d say anything between (for example) 25%-75% provides enough uncertainty to be interesting, but should then drop off equally in both directions outside that range.

        Maybe it should be 40-60% instead, but the point is that it’s not really linear. Take 3 teams- a team with 50% chance, a team with 25% chance, and a team with 0% chance. The team with the 25% chance is a lot closer to the one with 50% in terms of playoff-related interest, than it is to the one with 0%. Or so I’d argue, at least.

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    • Well-Beered Englishman says:

      Playoff drama adjustment.

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    • Playoff Implications says:

      Houston v. Seattle at this point of the year lack playoff implications to make it worth watching beyond watching the players.

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