Bill James’ projections: Jays starting rotation


Here are the Bill James Handbook Projections for the Jays starting pitchers:

Ricky Romero:

Traditional: W-L: 12-13 / ERA: 3.91

Advanced: FIP: 4.07 / K/9: 7.13 / BB/9: 3.38 / HR/9: 0.90

James’ projections for Romero reflect what most sabermetrically inclined fans already know. Romero’s 2.92 ERA in 2011 was built on an unsustainably low BABIP (batting average on balls in play)-.242, which explains why his FIP (fielding independent pitching) was nearly a run and a half higher than his ERA (it was 4.20).

None of this is to say that Romero isn’t a terrific pitcher. He is- and I expect him to settle in closer to a 3.50-ish ERA next year.

Brandon Morrow:

W-L: 11-10 / ERA 3.68

FIP: 3.55 / K/9: 9.85 / BB/9: 3.72 / HR/9: 0.90

Morrow’s projected stats are the exact opposite of Romero’s. In his case, the traditional stats are likely to get better, corresponding to his stellar career advanced stats.

It’s puzzling though, that James thinks Morrow will shed more than a run off his ERA from last season while posting significantly worse BB-K/9 rates. It also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that Morrow would equal his 11 win output from last year either, if he allows so many fewer runs.

Either way, everything points towards a big year from Morrow.

Brett Cecil:

W-L: 9-12 / ERA: 4.19

FIP: 4.31 / K/9: 6.88/ BB/9: 2.87 HR/9: 1.18

James’ system thinks Cecil is going to do a much better job at keeping the ball in the park- HR/9 rate dropping from 1.60 to 1.18. Thats pretty much where the improvement end though, as virtually all of his other peripheral stats stay about the same. James does see 191 innings from Cecil though- which I guess is a positive?

Kyle Drabek:

W-L: 5-9 / ERA: 4.85

FIP: 4.80 / K/9: 6.61/ BB/9: 4.85 / HR/9: 1.05

It was an ugly 2011 campaign for Drabek. The biggest issue: 6.29 BB/9.

James doesn’t expect Drabek’s command to dramatically improve and it hurts his overall numbers. There’s not a whole lot to say about a guy who had a 6+ ERA in MLB and a 7+ ERA in AAA. Except that he should eventually find a way to miss bats with his plus fastball and curve. It’s going to come sooner or later, unfortunately it looks like it’ll be more later than sooner.

Dustin McGowan:

W-L: 5-7 / ERA: 4.50

FIP: 4.43 / K/9: 7.79 / BB/9: 4.74 / HR/9: 0.96

112 innings of 4.50 ERA ball would be nice from McGowan, considering it wasn’t all that long a go that people thought he may never play pro ball again. It’s just really, really hard to predict what he’s going to give the Jays. He missed so much time and it’s not as if his tiny ’11 sample was overwhelming. While it’s unlikely that McGowan can pick up where his incredibly promising career left off back in ’08, his performance will be an intriguing story line next spring.

Henderson Alverez:

Curiously, there were no projected stats for Alverez, who figures to be a prominent part of the Jays 2012 rotation.