Anthony Vasquez Is Off To A Great Start

We need to talk, about everything

I'm aware that the Mariners are playing the Rangers right now. I'm also aware that the Mariners got throttled by the Rangers yesterday, and saw Felix leave his final start early after taking a liner off his arm. As for the first stuff, I don't care, and as for the second thing, it's bad, but Felix is fine, and it helps to prop up Michael Young as a villain. Sports are more fun with villains, and Michael Young is a hateable guy. Man, is that guy easy to hate.

The subject of this post is not today's game, or yesterday's game, but Friday's game. Or, more specifically and accurately, Friday's starter. Friday night, Anthony Vasquez turned in another stinker. He whiffed one over 3.1 innings, walking two, hitting one, and allowing three dingers. Granted, one of those dingers deserves a comical asterisk, but they all count the same.

Anthony Vasquez has made six starts, and he has not been very good. Now, we never expected him to be very good - he's essentially up here because the Mariners wanted a sixth starter and didn't have anybody else. But take a look at his numbers:

27.1 innings
12 strikeouts
13 walks + HBP
12 home runs

Those are terrible. Notably terrible. Why are they notably terrible? Two reasons. For one thing, Vasquez has as many home runs as strikeouts. Only three times in baseball history has a pitcher allowed at least ten home runs, and recorded at least as many home runs as strikeouts.

Pitcher Year HR K
Bill Kerksieck 1939 13 13
Reggie Grabowski 1934 13 13
Bill Hubbell 1923 13 8

Interestingly, all three of those guys pitched for the Phillies. The league K/9 in 1923 was 2.8. In 1934, it was 3.5. In 1939, it was 3.5.

And for a second thing, Vasquez is currently sitting on an 8.89 ERA, a 10.87 RA/9, and a 9.28 FIP. Since 1901, 5,691 pitchers have thrown at least 20 innings in the Major Leagues. Here are the five worst career FIPs:

8.43, Travis Blackley
8.69, Brett Jodie
8.76, Stu Flythe
9.19, Brett Hinchliffe
9.28, Anthony Vasquez

It feels appropriate that three of those five guys are or were Mariners. But anyway, Anthony Vasquez, right now, has the worst FIP of all time. Out of 5,691 different pitchers. The league FIP has changed, but Vasquez's FIP+ - or FIP- - is also the worst, so you needn't worry about adjusting for era. Anthony Vasquez's present FIP is historically significant.

Vasquez is in line to start the season finale on Wednesday evening. The team hasn't committed to giving him the nod, on account of his struggles, but he could still get the ball, which would jeopardize each of these nuggets. If he does pitch, I don't know what kind of results I'll be rooting for. I feel bad for Vasquez because getting knocked around like he has has to feel embarrassing, but on the other hand, history is history. It's hard to root against history.

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