Friday, May 1, 2009

What's Wrong With Josh Beckett

I told you something was possibly wrong with CC Sabathia. Based on his last start, I'd say he's fine.

I told you nothing was wrong with Jake Peavy. He hasn't yet shown that I'm right.

Let's look at another struggling star starting pitcher - Josh Beckett. His ERA is over 7. The good news is that his strikeout rate is 8.9, which is right about where I would have expected. His groundball rate is similar to last year too. I sometimes check whether there's been a sharp change (in either direction) in groundball rate to determine if something may be wrong with a pitcher. The bad news is that his control has been really awful, as he's walking over 4 batters per nine innings. That will be something to watch over his next two or three starts. At this point, I'd only discount his value ever so slightly in traditional leagues, but would generally favor other top starters over him in daily contest leagues until he shows good control for a couple of starts. Another slight concern in his statistics is that his strikeout rate may not be as good as it looks. Pitchers allowing lots of hits (whether through bad luck or not) face more batters. So the actual percentage of hitters that he's striking out is lower than it appears. In general, if you have easy access to the data, you're better off using strikeout percentage than strikeout per inning data.


Sarge said...

Command issues can be a sign of problems with elbows I believe. Would want to look at the f/x data to see his spped as well and how often and with what command he's locating his breaking ball. He's looked genuinely lost so far...

Scott Berger said...

Beckett, along with Cole Hamels, was on my DO NOT DRAFT list. I believe that Beckett is *good* but NOT top tier fantasy talent. To me, Javier Vasquez is a similar "fantasy baseball" player to Beckett and I was able to get him at the END of every draft and auction instead of overpaying for Beckett. I think too many people think of Beckett's dominating post-season performances and think he can do that throughout a season.

Jenifer said...

I agree with everything you said.

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