FanPost

My 2012 Pitching Predictions

If you missed my Hitting Predictions, they are here.

For pitchers, I looked at:

games started = GS, games played for relievers = GP

innings pitched = IP, IP/Game started for starters = IP/GS

hits allowed = H, runs allowed = R, earned runs allowed = ER

home runs allowed = HR, walks allowed = BB, strikeouts for = K

walks and hits per inning pitched = WHIP

H/9, HR/9, BB/9, K/9, K:BB

ERA (noted as ERA) = ER*9/IP

fielding independent pitching (scaled to ERA, noted as FIP) = (((HR*13)+(BB*3)-(K*2))/IP)+3.17749

uttiWAR - pitcher's WAR as best I could figure it

After the jump are the predictions:

Starting Pitching

Teams rarely use just 5 starters anymore - because of injuries, young pitchers throwing too many innings, etc. For the Cardinals, I hope I am correct; I only have them using 6 starters all year - I have 5 pitchers making 25 or more starts - and all of them making 20 starts or more, but only one getting to 30 starts - Kyle Lohse. I don't know what that says about our rotation.

Adam Wainwright

28 GS - 180 IP - 6.429 IP/GS

57 R, 52 ER, 2.60 ERA

155 hits, 47 BB, 1.122 WHIP (7.8 H/9, 2.4 BB/9)

161K (8.1 K/9) and 13 HR (0.7 HR/9)

3.43 K:BB and 3.11 FIP

4.9 uttiWAR

Adam Wainwright is a true ace of a rotation. I would love to pencil him in for his normal 230 innings. At this type of production, Adam would be looking at a 6.3 uttiWAR season with 230 innings pitched. However, coming off of Tommy John surgery, I do not see him passing 180 or so innings...I hope I'm wrong and he goes on to throw that extra 50 - as long as it is pain free.

Chris Carpenter

25 GS - 174 IP - 6.960 IP/GS

68 R - 62 ER - 3.21 ERA

166 hits, 42 BB, 1.195 WHIP (8.6 H/9, 2.2 BB/9)

136 K (7.0 K/9) and 12 HR (0.6 HR/9)

3.24 K:BB and 3.23 FIP

3.3 uttiWAR

Again, this is what you expect out of your ace. With his typical 230 innings this would be an approximate 4.5 uttiWAR season out of Carp. However, he is currently injured. I have him missing 7-8 starts. I hope that this is all he misses. I hope it's not all season - again. Carpenter, when healthy, has been one of the best pitchers in the entire game. His problem is staying healthy. It is once again this year. I could see this being 0.0 WAR in 0 IP just as easily as the prediction I have above. I felt optimistic.

Jaime Garcia

33 GS - 200 IP - 6.061 IP/GS

95 R, 73 ER, 3.29 ERA

202 hits, 63 BB, 1.325 WHIP (9.1 H/9, 2.8 BB/9)

164 K (7.4 K/9) and 14 HR (0.6 HR/9)

2.60 K:BB and 3.39 FIP

1.9 uttiWAR

Jaime Garcia rounds out the Cardinals' triumvirate of starting pitchers that I have a ton of trust in when they are healthy. Garcia is just 2 great years removed from Tommy John surgery himself - the very surgery that Adam Wainwright undertook last season. Garcia is worth 1.9 uttiWAR in my predictions, if he could just go a little deeper into games, he could reach 2 uttiWAR very easily. The problem with Jaime is this: he is very particular about how things should be. When things don't go his way, he does not buckle down like Carp. He folds like origami. In 2011, NL pitchers gave up 9.4% more runs than earned runs. As you see, I have projected (for Jaime above) this stat at 30.1% for Jaime. That might sound ridiculous until you put it in context. It has plagued him basically his whole career above AA.

2011 (MLB) 29.9%
2010 (MLB) 30.6%
2009 (R/A+/AAA) 41.7% (only 9 games, 8 starts because of injury)
2008 (AA/AAA/MLB) 15.1%

Kyle Lohse

30 GS - 183 IP - 6.100 IP/GS

96 R, 86 ER, 4.23 ERA

194 hits, 49 BB, 1.328 WHIP (9.5 H/9, 2.4 BB/9)

111 K (5.5 K/9) and 18 HR (0.9 HR/9)

2.27 K:BB and 4.05 FIP

0.7 uttiWAR

Kyle Lohse needs to be his inning-eating self this year. He cannot have a year where he averages under 6 IP/start. Our bullpen will be over-worked, as is, with Carpenter missing time and with Westbrook in the rotation and with Garcia freaking out when men are on base due to an error or moving up due to a misplay. Lohse is unspectacular, but effective, when he is working well. 2008 and 2011 were fantastic seasons for Lohse. 2009 and 2010 were injury-plagued but more in line with the rest of his career prior to him coming to the Cardinals. If you think that the 2008/2011 version of Lohse is the real Lohse, you will believe I have low-balled him. If you think the 2009/2010 version of Lohse is the real Lohse, you will believe I am pipe-dreaming with my predictions. I decided to take the middle road.

Jake Westbrook

26 GS - 147 IP - 5.654 IP/GS

77 R, 72 ER, 4.41 ERA

157 hits, 54 BB, 1.435 WHIP (9.6 H/9, 3.3 BB/9)

87 K (5.3 K/9) and 13 HR (0.8 HR/9)

1.61 K:BB and 4.25 FIP

0.6 uttiWAR

While Jake Westbrook's uttiWAR is very similar to Lohse's in less innings pitched, I believe that it is mostly coming from his ability to get out of jams when needed. Unfortunately, my predictions have him getting into way more jams than we can afford to get into if we expect to win the division this year. I have Lance Lynn also throwing 20 games and 100 innings in the rotation. His 5.000 innings per start are much better than Westbrook's 5.654 innings per start (not in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality.) Therefore, I have Westy only starting 26 games instead of 30-33 games like he could. Westy's innings are blah innings - whereas Lynn's could be electric.

Lance Lynn - 6th starter and bullpen man

20 GS - 100 IP in rotation - 5.000 IP/start - also 15 games in bullpen for 25 extra innings (totals 35 G and 125 IP)

51 R, 51 ER, 3.67 ERA

121 hits, 45 BB, 1.328 WHIP (8.7 H/9, 3.2 BB/9)

111 K (8.0 K/9) and 10 HR (0.7 HR/9)

2.47 K:BB and 3.52 FIP

2.1 uttiWAR

Like I said above, Lynn's innings will be electric. His K/9 would be 2nd best in the rotation. His FIP is nearly ¾ of a point lower than Westbrook's and over ½ a point lower than Lohse's. Jaime is very good, but Lynn's uttiWAR is predicted higher than Garcia's in less innings. Yes, I do have a "man crush" on Lynn, but I don't believe that any of this is above or beyond any real expectations of what the kid can do if given an opportunity. Much like with Craig's prediction, I went with the statistical data and not so much my gut.

Bullpen

The bullpen that I have currently constructed is with Lynn only throwing 15 times for 25 innings out of the pen due to his move to the starting rotation. The top 4 in the pen could all be quite stellar in their amount of innings - plus two of the last three's predictions just seem a little bit low to me, but I can't justify any better at the moment. Here we go:

Fernando Salas

70 G - 77 IP

26 R, 25 ER, 2.92 ERA

58 hits, 24 BB, 1.065 WHIP (6.8 H/9, 2.8 BB/9)

81 K (9.5 K/9) and 7 HR (0.8 HR/9)

3.38 K:BB and 3.19 FIP

1.9 uttiWAR

Fernando Salas was excellent last year and I see no reason to lower those expectations this year. I have him earning the most uttiWAR from our bullpen, despite not being in the closer role. I see him as a guy who can go multiple innings or be a "fireman." I don't know how he gets it done when his "stuff" is not as "electric" as a Motte or Sanchez or Lynn; but the fact is Salas strikes out people at an alarming rate, barely gives up hits, and refuses to walk large amounts of people. What else do you want from a 2nd year player out of Mexico?

Eduardo Sanchez

60 G - 60 IP

18 R, 17 ER, 2.55 ERA

40 hits, 27 BB, 1.117 WHIP (6.0 H/9, 4.1 BB/9)

74 K (11.1 K/9) and 3 HR (0.5 HR/9)

2.74 K:BB and 2.71 FIP

1.7 uttiWAR

Watching Eduardo Sanchez throw his slider is like having a fine wine, or like having fine dining, or like anything else that is extravagant in this world we live in. I am pretty sure that, not only are hitters fooled at least 1/3 of the time on his slider, umpires are fooled at least 1/3 of the time on his slider. That, of course, are the rose-colored glasses talking - however, if Sanchez ever learns to bring down his walk rate while not significantly affecting his K/9 rate or H/9 rate, he has the chance to be one of the most special relievers in the history of baseball - at least for a season or ten. There were not very many people in the majors who got as many swings and misses as Sanchez last year and my predictions have him keeping it up for 60 more innings this year - in the same type role as Fernando Salas, above.

Jason Motte

75 G - 65 IP

22 R, 19 ER, 2.63 ERA

51 hits, 19 BB, 1.077 WHIP (7.1 H/9, 2.6 BB/9)

63 K (8.7 K/9) and 4 HR (0.6 HR/9)

3.32 K:BB and 2.92 FIP

1.6 uttiWAR

Jason "Applesauce" Motte is the third of the flame-throwing right-handers to appear in these predictions. His numbers are very similar to Salas and Sanchez's except that they come with a HUGE beard and a "closer" tag next to them. While Salas and Sanchez will hopefully be racking up the holds, Motte will hopefully be racking up the saves. Motte strikes out less than the other two men, despite using a 95-100 MPH fastball; however, harnesses his pitches in and walks less as well.

Kyle McClellan

50 G - 65 IP

24 R, 22 ER, 3.05 ERA

57 hits, 24 BB, 1.246 WHIP (7.9 H/9, 3.3 BB/9)

47 K (6.5 K/9) and 6 HR (0.8 HR/9)

1.96 K:BB and 4.04 FIP

1.4 uttiWAR

Kyle McClellan spent last year in the rotation and did not put up his normal numbers. It is not surprising for that to happen. Adam Wainwright started for 6 years in the minors before relieving for one year. Then, it took him three to four years in majors to pitch better than those relief statistics in his first full year with the club! Why would we expect McClellan, who hadn't been primarily a starter since 2004, to put up the same numbers he normally does? What I do expect is for McClellan to take those experiences he learned in the rotation and apply them to his relief role and come back to it pitching like he normally did out of the bullpen. I don't think he'll revert back to 2010 form, when he was a 1.9 bWAR reliever - but having him at 1.4 uttiWAR will probably seem high to many here.

Mitchell Boggs

57 G - 71 IP

33 R, 30 ER, 3.80 ERA

72 hits, 28 BB, 1.408 WHIP (9.1 H/9, 3.5 BB/9)

56 K (7.1 K/9) and 5 HR (0.6 HR/9)

2.00 K:BB and 3.70 FIP

0.8 uttiWAR

I really only have 2 things to say about Mitchell Boggs. The first is that he was the prime beneficiary of innings pitched in the bullpen when it was revealed Carpenter was missing at least opening day. I had him around 50 innings and jumped him up to cover much of Lynn's out of the pen. Secondly, I wish I could put his numbers higher based on him learning a split-finger this spring and finally figuring out that pitching in relief should not yield the same numbers as pitching in the rotation - you can leave it all on the line, Mitch! In all good consciousness (sans rose-colored glasses), I can't.

Marc "Scrabble" Rzepczynski

75 G - 62 IP

30 R, 27 ER, 3.92 ERA

58 hits, 28 BB, 1.387 WHIP (8.4 H/9, 4.1 BB/9)

60 K (8.7 K/9) and 5 HR (0.7 HR/9)

2.14 K:BB and 3.65 FIP

0.5 uttiWAR

I think much of the same about Scrabble as I do about Boggs - except from the left side. He knows that he has a defined relief role this year - being jostled around in Toronto like Boggs here (starter/reliever/starter/reliever). Hopefully that will improve his numbers beyond what I have above. Even though he is not a true LOOGY, the Cards will rely heavily on Scrabble in innings when multiple lefties will come to the plate with just one or two righties expected to be up soon...but they will also use him as a LOOGY at times.

JC Romero
35 G - 23 IP

12 R, 9 ER, 3.52 ERA

22 hits, 16 BB, 1.652 WHIP (8.6 H/9, 6.3 BB/9)

18 K (7.0 K/9) and 2 HR (0.8 HR/9)

1.13 K:BB (ICK!) and 4.83 FIP

0.1 uttiWAR

JC Romero is getting old - fast. If he pitches like this, he could be the first 2011 Franklin/Batista cast away of 2012 from the bullpen. If he puts up these numbers, he needs to be gone by the All-Star break. The biggest problem with that is the conventional wisdom of lefty v. lefty matchups. Kyle McClellan will do amazingly well versus left-handed batters. If the Cardinals can use KMac as a right-left shutdown matchup instead of Romero, when things falter, then bringing up another pitcher (or moving Lynn back to the bullpen when Carp gets back) would not result in a better player being sent down.

Others

As we all know, things do not always go as they should or could, so I have six guys set aside to throw the last 18 innings of relief for the Cardinals this year. It is more than likely that more than one of these guys will be used and that all 6 could be used for 10-20 innings each at some point if things get really dicey on the injury front. I will list them from what I see as being the best to what I see as being the worst options.

Shelby Miller - 13th man - option #1

18 G - 18 IP

7 R, 6 ER, 3.00 ERA

16 hits, 7 BB, 1.278 WHIP (8.0 H/9, 3.5 BB/9)

20 K (10.0 K/9) and 1 HR (0.5 HR/9)

2.86 K:BB and 2.84 FIP

0.3 uttiWAR

The excitement about Shelby Miller's eventual arrival (although not necessarily in 2012) probably surpasses that of Adam Wainwright's. If Shelby Miller starts as the AAA ace and is hot while Westbrook starts the year at #5 and is COLD, look for people to be calling for Miller before Memorial Day 2012.

Chuckie Fick- 13th man - option #2

18 G - 18 IP

8 R, 7 ER, 3.50 ERA

17 hits, 8 BB, 1.389 WHIP (8.5 H/9, 4.0 BB/9)

12 K (6.0 K/9) and 1 HR (0.5 HR/9)

1.50 K:BB and 3.90 FIP

0.2 uttiWAR

Fick would give serviceable innings - not quite as strong as Miller's. This, in no way, says that Fick's potential is anywhere near that of Shelby Miller's, however. Fick is just further along in the process of being ready for a call-up, having thrown 119 AAA innings already.

Adam Reifer - 13th man - option #3

18 G - 18 IP

8 R, 8 ER, 4.00 ERA

22 hits, 7 BB, 1.611 WHIP (11.0 H/9, 3.5 BB/9)

13 K (6.5 K/9) and 1 HR (0.5 HR/9)

1.86 K:BB and 3.62 FIP

0.2 uttiWAR

The next three guys (Reifer here, then Freeman, then Cleto are all slated for the same 1.611 WHIP, but all go about it in wildly different ways. Reifer allows a bit more hits, but hardly walks anyone. He is at option #3 because of his ability to keep runs off the board in comparison to the other two.

Sam Freeman - 13th man - option #4

18 G - 18 IP

10 R, 7 ER, 3.50 ERA

18 hits, 11 BB, 1.611 WHIP (9.0 H/9, 5.5 BB/9)

13 K (6.5 K/9) and 2 HR (1.0 HR/9)

1.18 K:BB and 5.01 FIP

0.0 uttiWAR

Freeman puts up his 1.611 WHIP by giving up less hits, but walking the most of the three 1.611 WHIP guys. He is at #4 because he gives up less runs than Cleto.

Maikel Cleto - 13th man - option #5

18 G - 18 IP

13 R, 10 ER, 5.00 ERA

20 hits, 9 BB, 1.611 WHIP (10.0 H/9, 4.5 BB/9)

15 K (7.5 K/9) and 2 HR (1.0 HR/9)

1.67 K:BB and 4.46 FIP

-0.3 uttiWAR

Cleto is the 1.611 WHIP guy who is right in the middle. He gives up his fair of hits, but not as many as Reifer. He walks his fair share of guys, but not as many as Freeman. Cleto also has the most potential out of these three, I believe. He has an electric fastball that needs to be harnessed before he can put up incredible numbers in the big league bullpen on a regular basis. I could see him pulling a Sanchez from last year - or I could see numbers more like the next guy...

Francisco Samuel - 13th man - option #6

18 G - 18 IP

15 R, 13 ER, 6.50 ERA

18 hits, 21 walks, 2.167 WHIP (9.0 H/9, 10.5 BB/9)

18 K (9.0 K/9) and 1 HR (0.5 HR/9)

0.86 K:BB and 5.40 FIP

-0.5 uttiWAR

Samuel's arm is more raw than Cleto's. He has precisely zero accuracy - according to the statistics. His K/9 number is what still excites the organization and scouts. His H/9, BB/9, K:BB, and FIP scare the begeezus out of everyone - including myself. However, if he ends up being the 19th person the Cards throw out of the pen this year, then we're pretty screwed anyway, amiright?

Looking back, I probably should add Nick Additon and Adam Ottavino to the 13th man options, but I'm too tired of looking at numbers. I also completed these numbers before I saw Rosenthal throw - so he's not there either. Sorry.

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