What Did The Rays Lose By Replacing Scott Kazmir with Wade Davis?

In terms of on the field production I would say that answer is nothing. There are many that feel that the Scott Kazmir trade had an emotional effect on the team, but unless you know of a way to equate emotions into wins that argument is not one worth having since there is no answer. However, we do have the numbers on Scott Kazmir and his successor Wade Davis. Sure, Andy Sonnanstine made the first start in Kazmir's place, but Davis has since taken that spot and looks poised to carry the torch into 2010.

Scott Kazmir has been very good since going to the Angels. He has not only kept up his post DL form, but has improved in terms of home runs allowed and walks given up. If a team is looking for a pitching coach this off-season (Rays?) I don't know how Rick Peterson isn't the first guy getting that call. The good news for the Rays is Wade Davis has been just as good and even better in some categories.

 

IP

FIP

tRA

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

BABIP

WAR

Kazmir w/Angels

31.1

2.99

3.01

6.61

2.59

0.29

0.269

1

Davis

24.1

2.31

3.54

10.36

2.96

0.37

0.319

1

 

Of course small sample size rules apply here, but Wade Davis has held his own against the LA version of Scott Kazmir. In terms of WAR they are dead even. Davis's FIP is over a half run better thanks to a wonderful K/9 and just one home run allowed. Kazmir's FIP also benefits by one home run allowed in his 31 innings of work, but his K/9 has dropped from 7.38 with the Rays to 6.61 with the Angels. The good news for Angels fans is his walks have also dropped (nearly 1.5 per nine) and his average velocity is up to 92.3. It looks good for Mike Butcher, who was Kaz's pitching coach in 2006, but not so good for Jim Hickey, who is now regarded by many as the butcher of the current Rays staff.

Kazmir has the better tRA thanks to a line drive rate of 18.3% which is right in the neighborhood of his career total. Davis has a LD% of 29% in his first four starts. That obviously wouldn't last over the course of a larger sample size nor would his low LOB% which stands at 56.4% compared to the 80.4% Kazmir has with the Angels. Kazmir has also benefited from a lower than normal BABIP, while some would say Davis has been a smidge unlucky, but not much.

There are plenty of reasons for the Rays September swoon: Offense, Bullpen, fatigue, but swapping Scott Kazmir for Wade Davis in the rotation was not one of them.

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