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Vancouver Canadians Pitchers – July 17th

After getting in the hitter’s stats on the 1st of July I had promised to do the pitchers by mid-month.  Unfortunately that didn’t seem to work out, but we’re not too late, so without further ado.  The pitcher’s stats just over a month into the season.

I’ve ordered the stats by FIP, simply because it was Daniel Norris‘ FIP which was always halfway decent when I talked about his ‘peripherals’ being better than his counting stats as he struggled through his first pro season.  As a metric, it’s an excellent measure of how pitchers are, themselves, preventing runs and what their future performance may hold.

As I’ve  used fangraphs.com for the table, here is their definition of FIP:

Name Age IP K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 AVG WHIP BABIP LOB% ERA FIP E-F
Michael Kraft 22 1 18 9 2 0 0 1 0 100.00% 0 2.76 -2.76
Chase Mallard 22 9.1 7.71 0.96 8 0 0.211 0.96 0.267 58.30% 0.96 3.33 -2.37
Yeyfry Del Rosario 20 12 12 6 2 0 0.128 1.08 0.217 78.60% 2.25 3.34 -1.09
Jairo Labourt 20 28.2 10.99 5.34 2.06 0 0.165 1.19 0.25 73.70% 2.83 3.51 -0.69
Justin Shafer 21 12.1 10.22 2.92 3.5 0.73 0.278 1.54 0.359 51.10% 5.84 3.51 2.32
Jose Fernandez 21 14.1 7.53 4.4 1.71 0 0.295 1.74 0.367 64.00% 5.02 3.55 1.47
Miguel Castro 19 33.1 9.45 3.24 2.92 0.54 0.203 1.11 0.267 79.60% 2.43 3.61 -1.18
Brett Barber 23 8 5.63 1.13 5 0 0.25 1.13 0.296 72.70% 2.25 3.63 -1.38
Joe Lovecchio 23 15.2 7.47 2.87 2.6 0.57 0.258 1.34 0.313 71.40% 2.3 3.89 -1.59
Garrett Pickens 24 4.2 13.5 7.71 1.75 0 0.125 1.29 0.222 71.40% 0 3.97 -3.97
Andrew Case 21 21.1 8.86 2.53 3.5 0.84 0.238 1.17 0.298 86.20% 2.53 3.99 -1.46
Francisco Gracesqui 22 11.2 8.49 4.63 1.83 0 0.135 0.94 0.192 92.90% 0 4.19 -4.19
Daniel Lietz 20 7 6.43 6.43 1 0 0.091 1 0.118 85.70% 0 4.47 -4.47
Mark Biggs 21 12.1 10.95 9.49 1.15 0 0.357 2.68 0.488 48.50% 11.68 4.49 7.19
Kamakami Usui 24 11.1 7.15 3.97 1.8 0.79 0.286 1.68 0.333 56.10% 7.94 5.17 2.77
Starlyn Suriel 20 32 6.75 3.38 2 1.13 0.24 1.28 0.269 82.90% 3.09 5.2 -2.1
Tim Mayza 22 16.1 7.71 6.61 1.17 0.55 0.299 1.96 0.365 64.40% 4.96 5.41 -0.45
Zakery Wasilewski 21 36.1 5.2 3.47 1.5 0.99 0.273 1.46 0.297 70.00% 4.95 5.52 -0.57
Alberto Tirado 19 12.2 7.11 8.53 0.83 0.71 0.204 1.74 0.237 69.40% 4.97 6.28 -1.31

(all stats as of close of play July 17th)

Eliminating both recent call-ups Michael Kraft and Chase Mallard for sample size reasons, let’s look at Yeyfry Del Rosario.  After starting the 2014 season in Lansing’s bullpen, with some pretty good results, the Dominican native joined the C’s for the start of the short-season.  In a bullpen that has had some uneven performances, YDR has easily been the most consistent arm, giving up three earned over 12 innings pitched while striking out a man and a third per.  He still puts too many on with free passes, but he’s not in the minority on this C’s team, with 9 of the 19 staff members sporting BB/9s over 4 (and Kamakaze Usui is not far off).

Speaking of poor walk rates, I suppose you can say that Jairo Labourt has improved after his demotion from Lansing where he put on an incredible 12.86 per 9.  In the Northwest League he’s rocking a 5.34 BB/9 ratio which, as I said, is better, but not great.  What has been very good for Labourt is the career high 10.99 K/9 rate.  Labourt has never been a huge strikeout guy early in his pro career and his walk rates make for low K/BB ratios but seeing him live for the first time, there’s no doubting his stuff.

I spoke briefly to C’s pitching coach Jeff Ware about Labourt and he said, although they aren’t happy with the walk rate, the big lefty has been doing a much better job repeating his delivery while engaging his lower half more effectively.  I asked about the varying fastball velocity I got while charting Labourt.  Ware said he’s still messing around with his 2-seamer, trying to maximize the movement on the pitch, so will see no one velocity in the lower 90s.  It’s the 4-seamer that Jairo can ramp up to 96/97 and he uses that to finish hitters off.

In regards to Miguel Castro, if you eliminate the third of an inning blowup he had versus Hillsboro his numbers shrink per below:

Castro Current IP HR ER HBP BB SO FIP
2014 33.1 2 9 1 12 35 3.57
Minus The ‘Inning’ 33 1 3 1 9 34 2.96
ERA 2.45 to 0.82

I know, this is creative accounting, as the inning did happen, but say it didn’t (and I’ll probably do so throughout the season).  Castro would be sitting third in the Northwest League for FIP as far as qualified pitchers are concerned.  And he’s a full 11 months younger than current league leader (and NWL repeater), Arizona Diamondbacks prospect, Ben Eckels.

So, Castro has been great, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for Jairo, but what about the other three of the original five starters?

Both Zak Wasilewski and Starlyn Suriel have struggled as of late and their inflated FIPs suggest that they may continue to do so.  As I said when charting Wasi (and Suriel falls into the same category) without premium stuff, they’ll rely heavily on their ability to spot their fastball before working in secondary offerings.  The big test for these two will be when teams see them for a second or third time and coaches can game-plan for them.  How they adjust will decide how successful their season ends up.

Alberto Tirado?  It’s hard to imagine how things could be any worse.  First he was demoted, then he was rested in Vancouver with a supposed ‘dead arm’ issue, and now he’s in the bullpen.  Looking at his numbers since he joined Vancouver, he doesn’t give up a ton of hits, but, like Labourt, he puts too many guys on with an inability to find the strike zone.

Going forward, the C’s are going to try and get him into as many games and situations as they can.  I got to see him for the first time Thursday night when he entered the game in the 8th with the C’s up by two in what had been a pretty see-saw game. More high leverage than garbage time.

After walking the leadoff hitter (from my vantage point, the umpire missed a few calls on that AB) Tirado struck out the side, flashing a mid 90s fastball and good looking slider.  I look forward to seeing him again soon as his delivery is interesting.

I know this is a bit amateur hour, but a quick snippet of Tirado’s final strike-out:

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