An article of mine titled “Low Risk-Any Reward?” was published in the most recent issue of SABR’s newsletter, By the Numbers. The article looked at low-risk pitcher signings from 2002-2007 and sought to find out if they were really worth the risk. This year, at least one such low-risk signing is performing pretty well. His name is Shawn Chacon and you may remember the 30-yr old Alaskan from his past work with the Rockies, Yankees, and Pirates.
Chacon has made seven starts this year and is yet to receive a decision. Yes, you read that correctly: he is still 0-0. While Aaron Harang has been unlucky in his decisions received, Chacon hasn’t even gotten the chance to receive unmerited decisions.
He has gone six or more innings in all but one start and allowed more than three runs just twice; ironically, they were his most recent starts.
On the year he has pitched in 45 innings, surrendering 40 hits and 22 walks, while striking out 32 batters. With five home runs allowed and a 1.45 K/BB ratio, his ERA of 3.60 is a bit misleading of his skill level; his FIP suggests it should be closer to 4.48.
His 1.38 WHIP greatly benefits from a 78.2 LOB% and hitters are producing at a slash line of .244/.332/.402; an OPS of .734. Oddly enough, Chacon is the first pitcher I’ve come across here whose BABIP perfectly correlates with his xBABIP via frequency of line drives. His 15.0% LD would suggest a BABIP of .270. His actual BABIP? .269!
He has cut back on his usage of fastballs by nearly ten percent, filling the void with three percent more sliders and six percent more curveballs. His next scheduled start is May 11th. Hopefully he can get a decision then or else Odalis Perez’s record of 18 ND’s in 2004 may soon be in jeopardy.
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