How Accurate was PECOTA in 2011? (Part Two)

Yesterday we looked at PECOTA’s accuracy when it came to the Tigers offense in 2011. Today, we dig into the pitching, both starting and relieving. Again, as the current 2012 PECOTA is behind a pay wall at Baseball Prospectus I wont be posting a chart of those stats, (I’d suggest you all subscribe not just for PECOTA every February, but for some of the best writing in sports.) rather, I’ll take a look at the 2011 PECOTA for the Tigers main offense and how those players responded.

2011 PECOTA SP

W L ERA GS IP H SO WHIP WARP
Verlander 14 8 3.32 32 212.1 197 198 1.25 5.5
Scherzer 11 7 3.61 26 145.2 132 143 1.29 3.6
Porcello 10 10 4.40 28 160.2 175 78 1.39 2.3
Penny 9 9 4.44 25 145.2 159 85 1.42 1.8
Fister 9 8 4.37 23 131.1 147 76 1.37 1.2
Below 5 9 5.99 19 93.1 110 64 1.71 -0.1
Turner 8 8 4.59 23 108.2 117 66 1.43 1.7
Oliver 10 10 4.67 27 146.2 153 115 1.48 1.7

2011 TIGERS SP

Rk Pos W L ERA GS IP H R ER SO WHIP
1 SP Justin Verlander 24 5 2.40 34 251.0 174 73 67 250 0.920
2 SP Max Scherzer 15 9 4.43 33 195.0 207 101 96 174 1.349
3 SP Rick Porcello 14 9 4.75 31 182.0 210 103 96 104 1.407
4 SP Brad Penny 11 11 5.30 31 181.2 222 117 107 74 1.563
10 SP Doug Fister 11 13 2.83 31 216.1 193 76 68 146 1.063
13 SP Duane Below 0 2 4.34 2 29.0 28 16 14 14 1.345
18 SP Jacob Turner 0 1 8.53 3 12.2 17 13 12 8 1.658
20 SP Andrew Oliver 0 1 6.52 2 9.2 11 7 7 5 1.966

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Generated 2/12/2012.

2011 PECOTA RP

W L ERA G GS SV IP H BB SO WHIP WARP
Valverde 3 1 3.37 63 0 20 64.2 54 28 67 1.27 0.8
Coke 6 4 4.25 49 11 1 96.1 99 38 72 1.44 1
Benoit 4 2 2.95 72 0 1 71.2 58 28 79 1.19 1.3
Schlereth 2 1 3.76 38 0 0 43.1 37 26 47 1.45 0.3
Alburquerque 2 0 5.22 32 0 0 42 45 25 35 1.65 -0.5
Dotel  3 1  4.05 54 0 4 51 45 24 59 1.35 0.3
Balester 7 8 5.35 44 18 0  130.2 147 55 85 1.55 0
2011 TIGERS RP
W L ERA G GS GF SV IP H ER BB SO WHIP
Jose Valverde 2 4 2.24 75 0 70 49 72.1 52 18 34 69 1.189
Phil Coke 3 9 4.47 48 14 6 1 108.2 118 54 40 69 1.454
Joaquin Benoit 4 3 2.95 66 0 13 2 61.0 47 20 17 63 1.049
Daniel Schlereth 2 2 3.49 49 0 16 0 49.0 36 19 31 44 1.367
Al Alburquerque 6 1 1.87 41 0 11 0 43.1 21 9 29 67 1.154
Octavio Dotel 5 4 3.50 65 0 21 3 54.0 36 21 17 62 0.981
Collin Balester 1 4 4.54 23 0 9 0 35.2 38 18 14 34 1.458

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Generated 2/12/2012.

So, let’s start at the top:

Justin Verlander

Everyone knows that Verlander was always one tweak away from figuring it all out. Once he got past past those first inning troubles he’d be the next Roger Clemens. Well, that kind of happened in 2011. His 8.6 WARP destroyed the projection and nothing else needs to be said.

Max Scherzer

Mad Max pitched nearly 200 innings and beat his SO and Wins projections, but only provided a 2.4 WARP due to his high ERA and WHIP. Like Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young he’s coming into his age 27 season this year, and like last year PECOTA likes him. We’ll see if he responds.

Rick Porcello

At the beginning of the year plenty of people were worried about Porcello, even Dave Dombrowski said he was concerned. By the end of the season he had beat his expected wins, SO, and innings, but his ERA was too high, his WHIP was still pretty brutal and he provided a 1 WARP, a big difference from the 2.3 that was expected.

Brad Penny

I felt like including him just to irritate Tiger fans. He’ll be playing in Japan this year (and making some $$$) but it’s worth noting that he provided a -0.4 WARP when he was expected to contribute nearly 2 wins (although, those were projections based on pitching in St. Louis).

Doug Fister

Fister provided 3.1 wins in Seattle in 2.6 in Detroit for a total WARP of 5.7. To say that he destroyed his projections is akin to Verlander. This years PECOTA suggests that his 2011 was an outlier. He’ll be a very interesting player to pay attention to this year.

Duane Below, Jacob Turner, Andy Olver

I combine these three because they are a little different when it came to their PECOTA projections last year. When it comes to prospects and players in the minor leagues, PECOTA will occasionally include more realistic ones based on how they could perform in the big leagues if given an opportunity. For example, PECOTA had no knowledge of Brad Penny or Doug Fister playing with the Tigers at the time. Based on skill, if given the opportunity they saw Andy Oliver starting 27 games, Turner 23, and Below 19. 2012 PECOTA has Turner pitching and starting 23 games, Oliver 11, and Below 8 (playing in 28 total).

Jose Valverde

The perfect season wasn’t expected, nor was the 2.7 WARP, although relievers are usually difficult to predict (more so than starting pitchers and offense at least) in general. Only 20 saves was a bit low as a prediction, but he hadn’t saved 40+ games since 2008 up to that point. This year PECOTA likes him a bit more.

Phil Coke

This is where PECOTA is great. The Tigers said Coke would start all year, but much like a lot of writers and bloggers, PECOTA said no, he’ll get a third of a season in and go back to the bullpen and that’s exactly what happened.

Joaquin Benoit

Benoit’s matched his projections’ 2.95 ERA, 4 wins, and his actualy 1.5 WARP was pretty close to the expected. This year, PECOTA likes him just as much

Daniel Schlereth

PECOTA was pretty close with Schlereth as well. Mark’s son posted a 0.7 WARP, beating his projection by about a half win, and in 2012 PECOTA likes him the same.

Al Albuquerque

This year, Albuquerque will obviously be out until around the All-Star break and PECOTA reflects that, and also expects him to come back and strike out over a batter an inning. Last year he was worth 1.6 wins, completely obliterating his projection of -0.5, however, mos spent the whole year waiting for hitters to start adjusting, and they just never did.

Octavio Dotel

Dotel played for Toronto and St. Louis last year (ultimately winning the World Series with the Cardinals. He posted a 0.6 WARP with both clubs, and doubled his projected value. This year, PECOTA likes him in Detroit, right below Benoit and Valverde’s value.

Collin Balester

Oh, and it’s Collin with two L’s. Don’t make that mistake and spell it with one. PECOTA saw him starting and relieving last year, though Washington ignored those projections, and it looks like he was better for it. He posted a -0.3 WARP even though he was projected to be replacement level (that had a lot to do with the 18 starts PECOTA thought he would get). This year, they are a bit bullish on him. It’ll be interesting to see how Leyland uses him, and how he responds to his new surroundings.

It’s worth mentioning that Ryan Perry, the pitcher traded to Washington to Balester had a -0.4 WARP last year and is projected to be replacement level this year for Washington.

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