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August Report Card: Pitchers


Click to enlarge. Mariners SP tRA for August 2010. Source

Back after July ended, I was pessimistic about the chances for the rotation to remain an asset without Cliff Lee and with the team clearly buried in the division. They were surprisingly adapt this past month however. It's a wonder how good a unit can look when you avoid the black holes.

DOUG FISTER: Slightly more strikes and a noticeable up tick in missed bats which Jeff made note of for Fister in August. Further good signs include an increase in ground ball rate and a drop in line drives. Fister allowed just one home run this past month, which goes a long way to securing yourself a good tRA and FIP. Those extra missed bats really paid off as well as Fister's strikeout rate jumped from 14% in July to 19% in August. Each month I expect Doug Fister to regress and each month he doesn't. In a season full of negativity, Doug Fister is a legit bright spot. GRADE: B+

LUKE FRENCH: Hey there Doug Fister-lite. That is what Luke French pitched like in August and why he was so surprising. A main difference is that he didn't get nearly as many strikeouts possibly owing to his abandonment of the slider. In fact, his strikeout to walk rate was pretty poor and while he avoided line drives, he's not and never will be a ground ball aficionado. Throw your slider, Luke. What you did in August isn't sustainable. THROW YOUR SLIDER! GRADE: C+

FELIX HERNANDEZ: After a slightly toned down Felix in July, he really came out and dominated in August. He threw a little fewer strikes overall and saw a rise in his walk rate, but his strikeouts were way up and his ground ball rate was where we like to see it in the mid to high 50s. Felix had a 2.88 tRA in July. It was 2.89 in August. Consistent greatness is nice. GRADE: A

DAVID PAULEY: Pauley continued to avoid being a disaster even with a full month's worth of starts which is cute. He actually can miss some bats which is good because he cannot throw strikes for much. His real weapon though is that he's been keeping the ball on the ground. He's not good or anything, but he was free and if you can find a 7th man for the rotational depth chart for free, that's neat. GRADE: D+

JASON VARGAS: The strikeouts continue to fall down from 16% to 13% in August. That's worrisome, but Vargas is still getting swings and misses at an okay rate and we have to realize that he may simply be gassed after his lack of innings in 2008 and 2009. In total, it was more of the same from Vargas in August just with fewer home runs, which is good! Go back to striking people out for a couple starts, Jason. Then shut it down and be proud of a perfectly decent 2010. GRADE: C-




Mariners RP tRA for August 2010. Source

August was more like what I hoped to see every month out of Brandon League. Tons of ground balls, a good swinging strike rate and a solid strikeout to walk rate.