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Michael Wacha: 2016 VEB Projections

VEB Projections Project

The beard and the squinting makes me think he spent the winter hibernating
The beard and the squinting makes me think he spent the winter hibernating
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's Note: Two years ago, Site Manager Ben Humphrey asked readers to provide predictions for Cardinals baseball players. Last year, he renewed that request, and although Ben is in blogger retirement, we at VEB are re-renewing the request to predict how the Cardinals will do.

We will not get to every player on the 40-man roster, but we will get to most. There will not be a defined order for the players, but players most assured of playing time will go first so we can let some of Spring Training play out. We will ask for standard stats. For hitters: Plate Appearances, Home Runs, RBI (gasp!), Runs, Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, and WAR. As trying to figure wOBA on is very difficult, we will use a rough approximation based on OBP and SLG ((1.7*OBP+SLG)/3). For pitchers: Starts, Games, Innings Pitched, K/9, BB/9, ERA, FIP, WAR, and Saves.

Next up: Michael Wacha

Michael Wacha's season was really a year in three parts. In April and May, Wacha pitched fairly well, with a 3.78 FIP, but his strikeout rate was just under six per nine innings. A shiny 2.27 ERA and 7-1 win-loss record made it seem like Wacha was pitching better than he actually performed. Then, in June, July, and August, Wacha did actually pitch better. He struck out nearly a batter per inning and he walked just 2.2 hitters per nine innings. HIs ERA was a great 2.97 with an excellent 2.91 FIP to match. His last five starts of the season, Wacha appeared worn down, lasting more than five innings just once, walking nearly as many batters as he struck out (18 to 19) and giving up seven home runs in just 24 innings.

His final 2015 line looked like this:

Michael Wacha GS IP K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP WAR
2015 30 181.1 7.59 2.88 3.38 3.87 2.3

Will Michael Wacha find a bit more consistency this year? Is he the solid pitcher from the first two months of last year, the near-ace of the middle months, or are there some major concerns due to the way he finished last season? His Steamer projection can be found on his FanGraphs player page, and his ZiPS can be found here.

How will Michael Wacha do this season:

Thank you for your help. Did you miss any other projections? We are a bit light for most of the relievers like Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness, and Jonathan Broxton. Please visit our projections section or click on the player links below.