Monday, June 2, 2014

Excerpt: "Mark Buehrle"

"Let's just not confuse any of that with being the best pitcher in the league, even for two months. Buehrle's 2014 performance is right in line with his 2013 and 2012 and on and on, not some special peak season. I am admittedly surprised by this; I expected to see some skill change that explained the ERA, some Keuchel element to this story, but it's not there. Buehrle is the same average-plus metronome he's been for 15 years, roughly Andy Pettitte with worse teammates. It just happens that in addition to getting the run support and the bullpen support, he's getting an above-average distribution of outcomes on batted balls, one that seems to be more about variance than skill. By the end of the season, this will probably have washed out; I would expect Buehrle to end the year with an ERA in the mid-3.00s, and I expect his ERA the rest of the year to be very close to that 4.08 xFIP mark. "