Wednesday, June 27, 2012
How much does losing Andy Pettitte cost the Yankees?
Andy Pettitte is expected to miss at least six weeks with his fractured ankle, which means a return to the starting rotation for Freddy Garcia. Garcia made four awful starts before being demoted but has had better results coming out of the bullpen in mostly low leverage situations.
|4/10 - 4/28||4||4||13.7||70||25||20||19||3||5||1||11||12.51|
|5/2 - 6/27||10||0||17.3||67||12||4||3||1||3||0||12||1.56|
|4/10 - 4/28||13.17||5.56||4.07||.431||31.5%||24.1%||40.7%||3.7%||23.1%||7.1%||15.7%||86.8|
|5/2 - 6/27||2.08||2.88||3.70||.204||41.8%||34.5%||12.7%||10.9%||5.3%||4.5%||17.9%||88.6|
fip: Fielding-independent pitching
xfip: Expected fielding-independent pitching
bb/bf: walks and hbp per batters faced
k/bf: strikeouts per batters faced
babip: Batting average on balls in play against
ld%: Percentage of batted balls that were line drives
gb%: Percentage of batted balls that were ground balls
fb%: Percentage of batted balls that were fly balls
iffb%: Percentage of batted balls that were infield flies
FBv: Average fastball velocity
We know relieving is easier than starting,, and that Garcia probably won’t have the same velocity that he’s had out of the pen. We can also assume that he won’t have a BABIP against of .204 and a HR/FB rate of 5.3% in his return to starting. But there’s more evidence that he’ll pitch decently than there is that he’ll be the 12.5+ ERA disaster he was in April.
I’m going to assume Pettitte won’t pitch for eight weeks as of today which puts his return around August 22. Picking eight weeks gives me 50 Yankee games, which lets me use a nice round number of 10 starts for Garcia instead of Pettitte. Here are their revised CAIRO projections for the rest of the season which include what they’ve done so far in 2012.
RAR: Runs saved above replacement level using RA
WAR: Wins above replacement level (RAR divided by 10)
If you fill the innings gap between the two with replacement level pitching, the Yankees lose about 1/2 win based on these projections.
But what if you think CAIRO’s insane and is overrating Garcia, underating Pettitte, or both? The first thing I’d say is if that’s what you think, this is probably not the blog for you. But let’s run with it anyway.
If Pettitte’s a 3.22 ERA pitcher now and Garcia’s a 6.39 ERA pitcher and they both pitched 60 innings, Pettitte would allow 21 runs and Garcia would allow 43. That’s a two win drop.
That’s not a realistic scenario, because if Garcia is a 6.39 ERA pitcher now, he won’t get 10 more starts. Those starts would probably go to someone like David Phelps or Adam Warren depending on how he does in his debut. But I think Garcia will be ok. Not great, but good enough. Even if he’s a win worse than Pettitte over 10 games it shouldn’t be a huge issue.
I’m more disappointed that we won’t get to see Pettitte for a few months, because his comeback has been a lot of fun to watch. I don’t think losing him now is going to hurt the team all that much, especially if CC Sabathia returns as soon as he can from the DL. And who knows, maybe six to eight weeks off will give Pettitte a better chance of being strong through the end of the year?
I’ve been concerned about how long Pettitte would be able to pitch effectively since he only pitched 129 innings in 2010 and obviously threw none in 2011. If by some miracle the Yankees steal the second wild card it’d be nice to have a full-strength Pettitte in the postseason rotation.
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