Friday, August 21, 2009

AL Central Race: Peavy vs Washburn

The AL Central Race is getting closer and closer, which has made me grow more and more restless. During my bout with insanity, I've been attempting to make a case, in my own mind, of why the With Sox will win the division. Instead of keeping these nuggets of information solely to myself I decided to write them out, and share them with you good folks.

The first edition of crazy ramblings will be about the big pitching additions both clubs made. Lucky for me, both clubs made a lot of similar moves at the deadline, and then again at the next deadline. Lucky for you, I have the ingenuity to bring you the morsels of knowledge I tend to drop.

What got me started on this was this question: Was Jarrod Washburn ever good? I know he had one freakishly good year with the Angels, but other than that has he ever been good? I settle on no. He is not good. He will not be good in the future. He is not that good in the present. Then, I went on a mission to prove my previous statements correct.


Washburn has won more than 15 games once in his career: in 2002 he won 18. Other than that he has been hovering around 10 or 11 with just as many losses. Jake Peavy on the other hand has won 15 games twice with one freakishly good year in 2007. Okay, wins are a stupid stat because Washburn has played on the Angels (very good) and Mariners (very bad), while Peavy has played with offenses that have always been very bad. So, lets look at better stats.

Washburns career ERA is 4.05 with a low of 3.15 in 2002 and typically hovering around the mid 4.00's. Jake Peavy has a 3.29 with a low of 2.27, and is typically around the mid 3.00's. Well, Peavy has been pitching in Petco while Washburn throws in more normal parks, so Peavy's ERA+ is 3.56 while Washburn's is 4.10. Some other typical numbers, Peavy vs Washburn: Strike outs 210 vs 115, K/BB 3.10 vs 1.96, HR/9 .90 (will go up in the Cell) vs 1.15, FIP 3.47 vs 4.57 (ouch I was hoping Peavy would be better in that one). Still, in most categories Peavy has been much better than Washburn. O, and Peavy is 6 years younger 28 vs 34, and coming into his prime years.


This seems to lead to the fact that Peavy is plenty better than Washburn. But we all knew this right? I sure as fuck knew it. Then why the fuck were Tigers fans so happy about getting Washburn? Mainly, because he has been having a good year. How good has his year been though?

He has 8 wins with Seattle, and 0 wins with Detroit (Suckas). Washburn has a 3.18 ERA, 92 K's, 2.36 K/BB, a 4.32 FIP, and a .243 BABIP. Wait, he has a .243 BABIP! That is insanely low, meaning he has been insanely lucky this year. Hopefully, that will all turn around in the stretch run, and teams will start a feeding frenzy.

Now, lets look at Peavy's injury shortened season: 6-6, 3.97 ERA, 92 K's, 3.29 K/BB, 3.01 FIP, and .310 BABIP. That means Peavy has been slightly unlucky this year. Which will hopefully right itself once he cranks it back up for the White Sox.

Looks, like a pretty good present for the Sox. The FIP numbers aren't quite what I was hoping from Peavy, but Washburn's extremely lucky season has to turn around sometime right?


Cot's Baseball Contracts has Peavy with 3 years $52 mil still left on the books, while Washburn will be a free agent at the end of this year with the contract currently of 4 years 37.5 mil. This might be a win for the Tigers, if they have the foresight to not resign him. If they make the mistake of resigning, they will surely pay for it. Baseball Prospectus predicts huge attrition for Washburn, resulting in him being out of baseball by 2012. Also, predicting his wins, innings pitched, and ERA all to take a turn for the worse.

Baseball Prospectus predicts Peavy will have a lot of success these next couple of years, maintaining and ERA in the mid 3.00's and a large total of wins. All good things for the White Sox. Now remember, the switch to the much smaller US Cellular Field will make things harder for Peavy, but he has shown that he is a good pitcher, and will continue to be.

So, as far as the major deadline pitching acquisitions, it looks like the White Sox took a giant leap forward, while the Tigers took a small gamble at a small leap forward. All in all, that's a win for the White Sox.


  1. All I have to say is, "no shit zach."

  2. Who would have ever thought that Washburn's $57M contract would wind up being one of the least dumb deals of the decade for the Mariners?

  3. They can't all be winners tristan, but this may be the first of many comparison articles. Especially with division races. Rios vs Huff? Verlander vs Peavy? Cabrera vs ... (shit the sox have no answer to Cabrera).

    Maybe some others for the AL East too, NL Central too.

    Should I scrap these ideas?

  4. I like the idea. Keep 'em coming. I have to start going to classes soon and need something to read during the lectures.