Comments on: First Pitch: Locke’s Anti-Regression, Cumpton a Bonus, and Jamestown Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Sat, 15 Nov 2014 03:14:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: smurph Mon, 17 Jun 2013 14:59:58 +0000 I was also one of the ones who said Locke seems to have the grit and smarts to make the best of his talent. i.e. he knows how to pitch. While Tim kept saying his FIP would go down, it seems you ignored the possibility that he might improve enough in other categories to keep his meaningful stats close to his same numbers. No he likely won’t end the season with a sub-3 ERA, but it would not surprise me to see him win 12-15 games this year if he stays healthy.

By: Tim Williams Sat, 15 Jun 2013 15:25:48 +0000 1. I agree with you somewhat on this. I wrote about a month ago that I think the Pirates starters should be expected to end up in the .280 range, due to the defense behind them, and the tendency for a lot of starters to be ground ball pitchers. The problem is that a guy like Locke has been allowing a BABIP around .225, which is definitely going to regress. Maybe not to .300, but it will go down.

2. I agree with your “LHP in PNC” argument, which is why I prefer FIP for lefties. It doesn’t normalize the HR/FB ratio like xFIP.

By: rburgh Sat, 15 Jun 2013 15:10:53 +0000 Let me make myself a little more clear. I am 100% sure that Locke is not going to pitch to a 1.48 ERA for his career. My beef with xFIP restts on the following points.

1. It assumes that all pitchers are going to regress to the same BABIP. This is manifestly not the case. The Bucs’ DER a(accorsing to Baseball Prospectus) is .729, the median for all 30 teams is .706. That means that Locke’s BABIP is not going to regress to the league average, but to the league average -.023. That’s a significant difference.

2. It assumes that all pitchers are going to regress to a uniform HR/FB percentage. For a LHP who pitches his home games in PNC Park, that’s also manifestly wrong. In 36 home games the Pirates have hit 28 HR and allowed 20. That’s 1.33 HR per game (both teams). In 31 road games, the Bucs have hit 35 HR and allowed 34, that’s a rate of 2.23 per game. Assuming that home/ road flyball rates are relatively the same, that means that any Pirates’ pitcher’s HR/FB rate should regress to about 75% of the league average.

The current ML average BABIP is .281, Locke’s is .233. I think he should regress to a BABIP around .260, xFIP assumes he will regress to .281. His current HR/FB% is 10%, the ML average is 14.8%. xFIP assumes he will regress to a 14.8% rate, I think he will regress to 11.1%.

These two beefs that I have with xFIP will collectively make a HUGE difference in what xFIP predicts he would do in a neutral environment and I think he will be able to do in the Bucs’ defense / PNC Park environment.

End of rant.

By: Susanne Klich Langford Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:26:24 +0000 Yes, John…that is very un-Fox News of you! …very un-ESPN of you too!!!

Fred Langford

By: leadoff Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:08:48 +0000 When it comes to Locke I hate to say I told you so, but! I think I wrote not too long ago that I not only thought that Locke would not regress, but I thought he would get better, seems it fell on deaf ears.
There is a chance he could maintain a #1’s era, in fact much more likely he will maintain a #1’s era than he will end up at a #4’s Era. His current stats are #1 ERA stats. 5th best in major league baseball.
There are solid reasons why Locke is as good as he is, none of them can be explained with stats.
Remember this guy was a coveted pitcher in the Brave system.
You don’t have to throw 98 mph to be a No.1.

By: Cave Bonifield Sat, 15 Jun 2013 13:34:39 +0000 I just wanted to send kudos to all involved with this site.
I am a long time Pirate minor league follower and enjoy your in depth analysis and coverage immensely.

By: Lee Young Sat, 15 Jun 2013 13:25:41 +0000 a LOT of us wondered why Locke got pulled.

I bet the Dodgers were dancing in the dugout that Hurdle took him out….lol

By: deacs Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:07:30 +0000 Yeah I’ve gone back and forth with my buddy who’s a Phillies fan about this. He says unless you’re Matt Cain you’re not going to beat the system here when it comes to FIP. Or at least not by the difference that Locke had at the time. And I remember many readers prepared to go to James’ house with pitchforks and baseball bats after that article. Why did Locke get pulled by the way? I would think over the next couple days you can’t really count on Cumpton or Cole to go into the 8th. Not complaining cause they won but just wondering.

By: Lee Young Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:03:36 +0000 I have been a Locke fan since we got him, even during the Rudy Owens’ minor league pitcher of the year days. I always thought he’d be better than Rudy.

I am glad he is doing well. I just have a feeling he’s gonna be lots better than a #4 start. I think of Ted Lilly (in his prime) more than Tommy Glavine, altho, I wouldn’t mind Glavine…:)


By: Lee Young Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:01:01 +0000 John…don’t feel bad…I figured he was minor league org material all the way.

I hope he does well!!!