Though the Seattle Mariners are enjoying a shockingly decent season, what success they’ve had has been despite, rather than because of, Justus Sheffield. I feel bad singling him out, but he’s the only Mariner starter with a negative fWAR, and his ERA sits at an abysmal 5.69. I was taught in kindergarten to give “compliment sandwiches”, so I’ll say that his inflated HR/FB gives him an xFIP of “just” 4.82, which suggests that the ERA might come down. There, Justus. Enjoy your open-faced compliment sandwich.
After I got done hissing and gnashing my teeth in the aftermath of Wednesday’s loss, I got to thinking: how rare is an ERA above 5.00, anyway? I mean, for qualified pitchers. For a pitcher to qualify, after all, the team has to stick with them.
It turns out that the Mariners have stuck with ten of them. Many of these guys did play during the steroid era, which obviously inflates their ERA’s. In fact, two of these guys finished with about two fWAR, which really drives home how much it sucked to be a pitcher back then.
Remember, this is just pitchers who threw enough innings to qualify (about 165 IP in most seasons).