Turnbow was unlucky . . . and bad.

If you check out Baseball Prospectus‘  front page today, it looks like Derrick Turnbow was not only awful last year, he was also unlucky.  People have made a big deal about how he made the All-Star team and then promptly posted a 21.32 ERA in July, followed by ERAs of 5.19 and 15.88 in August and September.  That’s pretty bad — he ended up with a 6.87 ERA on the year.  But according to the graphic on BP, the relievers behind him let 6 more of his baserunners score than league average performances bullpen would have (a -6.2 BRP). If there would have been league average performances behind him, he would have given up six fewer runs.  Given that he only pitched 56.3 innings last year, six runs can mean a lot.  Adjusting his ERA for this difference would shave a full run off his ERA (5.85), which is still bad, but slightly less bad.  Plus, he pitched in front of a below average defense that might have added 0.15 to his ERA.  Which makes him, well, still bad. I’m not trying to stick up for Gomer, obviously.  I think he’s a thrower, not a pitcher, overrated, and that the Brewers were stupid to hand him a three-year deal for $10mil.   Still, this just serves to remind me that there’s more to what we see from the “baseline stats”– there’s usually a whole ‘nother story to decihper.

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