Phil the Pirate

When the Pirates cut ties with Matt Morris they needed to replace his spot in the rotation. Opting to fill the role with someone already on the major league club, reliever Phil Dumatrait soon found himself a starter. Since assuming the position he has performed quite well; in fact, he has pitched better than in his relief appearances:

SP: 8 G, 44.2 IP, 35 H, 22 BB, 33 K, 3.22 ERA
RP: 10 G, 20.2 IP, 22 H, 13 BB, 13 K, 3.92 ERA

In terms of WPA, Dumatrait clocks in at -0.65 as a reliever but +0.28 as a starter; the +0.28 makes him the most productive Pirates starting pitcher. Additionally, his relief WPA took a severe hit in one outing—with a -0.666. His overall WPA comes in at -0.37 whereas he has a 0.49 WPA/LI and 0.28 REW.

Overall, Dumatrait is 3-3 with a 3.44 ERA, 4.08 FIP, 1.41 WHIP, and 1.31 K/BB. He isn’t the best at keeping runners off base but has stranded 75.8% of them.

Looking at his splits vs. batter handedness, lefties have made up just 20.3% of his total batters faced but he has handled them quite effectively:

RHB: 224 PA, .250/.327/.393, 24 BB, 33 K
LHB: 57 PA, .182/.368/.205, 11 BB, 13 K

He has kept batters to a quite low opposing OPS but batters produce better as the leverage of a situation increases:

High Lev.: 48 PA, .211/.313/.395, .707 OPS, .182 BABIP
Med Lev.: 105 PA, .227/.352/.352, .705 OPS, .271 BABIP
Low Lev.: 128 PA, .254/.331/.351, .682 OPS, .311 BABIP

His opposing OPS increases as the importance of the situation increases while their BABIP decreases. The Pirates have been a surprising 30-33 this season (better than many expected at this point) and Dumatrait’s seamless efforts in filling a rotation spot has been one of the major reasons. With their other starters underperforming it will be key for Phil the Pirate Swingman to sustain this general range of performance.

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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

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Tom Au
Tom Au

Phil Dumatrait is the new “Ian Snell.” So says Ian Snell himself. (Actually, Snell said that Dumatrait is the new ace, formerly Snell’s role.)

In any event, Dumatrait is shoring up Pittsburgh’s rotation. But don’t count out the rest of the staff. Duke is pitching solidly as well. Snell and Maholm stand to improve, given FIPs that are below their ERAs. (Both have high BABIPs.) Only Gorzelanny is pitching in line with his FIPs, and even he has good games more often than not; his bad scores are concentrated in a handful of outings.

With Morris out of the picture, if Pirate pitchers do as well for the remainder of the year as their FIPs suggest (and the Pirates have been a second half team), they could be a better than .500 team.