Tag:Edinson Volquez
Posted on: June 5, 2008 5:21 pm

Stat of the Week

Another installment of the John Dewan Stat of the Week, reprinted with permission:

What's better than ERA to measure a pitcher’s effectiveness?

June 5, 2008

For hitters, for years and years, it was batting average that was thought to be the best single statistic to look at to evaluate a hitter. In the last couple of decades, the weaknesses of batting average have been exposed and the value of getting on base and hitting for power have become better recognized. The stat that is becoming the new standard for hitters is OPS—On-base percentage Plus Slugging percentage.

For pitchers, the standard is ERA. Compared to batting average, it provides a much better representation of effectiveness. It measures the most important quality of a pitcher's job, preventing runs. However, it too has its flaws. The biggest flaw is that a pitcher's ERA can be greatly affected by the pitchers that immediately follow him in a game, both positively and negatively.

Enter Opponent OPS. This is a stat that you hardly ever see. It makes just as much sense to look at Opponent OPS for pitchers as it does to look at a hitter's own OPS. We just recently added this as a leaderboard titled "Opponent OPS" to Bill James Online and I wanted to share it with you.

ERA is going to continue to be the standard, and I will personally look at ERA for every pitcher, but I think Opponent OPS may be a better indicator of a pitcher's overall effectiveness. In fact, in a way, we've been suggesting this for quite a while as we've published component ERA in the Bill James Handbook. Component ERA is, in essence, a restated Opponent OPS since it is based on nearly the exact same components that go into OPS, namely hits, home runs, walks allowed, and hit batsmen. Opponent OPS adds in doubles and triples allowed as part of the equation.

Here are the Opponent OPS leaders thus far this year:

Opponent OPS—2008
Player  OPS ERA 
Ryan Dempster, Cubs  .561 2.75
Edinson Volquez, Reds  .563  1.32
Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks  .567  2.69
Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays  .568  2.63
Jose A. Contreras, White Sox  .570  2.89
Ervin Santana, Angels  .592  3.02
Cliff Lee, Indians  .603  2.45
Roy Halladay, Blue Jays  .609 2.94
Joe Saunders, Angels  .614  2.63
Tim Lincecum, Giants  .624  2.23

The number one guy so far this year is a surprise, the Cubs' Ryan Dempster. Dempster struggled as a starter and did well as a reliever earlier in his career. Now he is turning it around and doing great as a starter after having some relief problems late last year.

Copyright © 2008 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

You cannot expect Dempster, Volquez and Contreras to maintain their wicked pace. But the inclusion of Santana and Saunders is interesting. Those guys have become big-time winners for a solid pitching-and-defense contender in Anaheim. Scott White has a distaste for Saunders, but the rookie is a bit mistaken on what is a pretty solid young lefty.


Posted on: May 8, 2008 10:35 am

He went to Jered?

OK, I have to shift gears on Jered Weaver now. He looks too risky to consider a must-start two-start pitcher at this point. He was beaten up pretty badly Wednesday.

I still trust he will turn it around and be a winner for you, but you might not want to take that risk next week.

Let's replace Weaver with a young arm that clearly is too good to sit:

Must-start two-start pitcher
Edinson Volquez CIN
(05/13) vs. FLA Mark Hendrickson 
(05/18) vs. CLE Paul Byrd 
95 percent owned 81 percent starting


Posted on: May 7, 2008 5:45 pm

Video notes for Pitching Planner

-- Rich Harden returning Sunday ... Chad Gaudin to the bullpen
-- Gavin Floyd red hot ... is this guy for real? Yeah, he is.
-- Edinson Volquez is, too. Who do you like better Cueto or Volquez?
-- Sidney Ponson, too? Is he for real? Um, not really. High-risk for AL-only leagues still.
-- Bronson Arroyo struggling. What are the Reds to do? Homer Bailey?
-- Dodgers going without a No. 5 starter whenever possible? Jason Schmidt or Clayton Kershaw a candidate? Sure, around June 1.
-- Joe Borowski will return as the closer.
-- Eric Gagne struggling. How long can they stick with him?

Must-start two-start pitcher
Jered Weaver ANA 
(05/13) vs. CHW John Danks 
(05/18) vs. LAD Derek Lowe 
94 percent owned 72 percent starting

Must-sit two-start pitcher
Barry Zito SF
(05/12) vs. HOU Roy Oswalt 
(05/17) vs. CHW Mark Buehrle 
34 percent owned 11 percent starting

Two-start sleepers (50 percent ownership of less)  
Mike Mussina NYY
(05/13) @ TB Edwin Jackson 
(05/18) vs. NYM John Maine 
50 percent owned 32 percent starting

Kevin Slowey MIN 
(05/13) vs. TOR Jesse Litsch 
(05/18) @ COL Jeff Francis 
16 percent owned 6 percent started

Nick Adenhart ANA 
(05/12) vs. CHW Mark Buehrle 
(05/17) vs. LAD Brad Penny 
21 percent owned 7 percent starting


Posted on: April 3, 2008 6:22 pm

Here's Johnny!!! Holy Cueto!!!

It might already be too late to say pick him up, but Johnny Cueto sure set the world on fire in his major league debut. Dominican Diaper Dandy indeed.

No hitter into the seventh, allowing just a solo homer to Justin Upton for his lone hit and lone run through seven innings.

10 K's. 10 friggin' K's.

The most impressive part of his performance was how much he pounded the zone and kept his pitch count down. Young pitchers tend to tread lightly, but Cueto was a go-getter.

If you missed out of Cueto, there is a consolation prize. Edinson Volquez, the Reds' No. 5 starter. Pick up Volquez now if you have room -- especially if you missed the boat on Cueto.


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