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Kicking The Boxscore


You knew it was coming, but hey, at least I made it through a few days before trying to slam or tap the brakes on the Edwin Jackson love affair.




To state the obvious, he’s not going to possess a 0.93 WHIP or 0.64 ERA for the rest of the year, month, and probably not even the week. His numbers thus far are simply a mirage and the lake that lies ahead is actually a patch of quicksand. He’s going to sink, and fast. Take a look at Jackson’s core ratios: H/9, K/9, BB/9, K/BB.


I’m sure you notice that Jackson’s strikeout rates have fallen along with his walk rate, and that his K/BB rate has only marginally increased. Note his absurdly low hit per nine totals as well, which of course leads me to the trend stats:


By now, if you’ve been reading me for any amount of time, you know how much I stress the old xBABIP – BABIP method of finding whether a pitcher is lucky or unlucky so you can surely guess my feelings on Jackson’s chances of continuing his success, even if it's saved him only five hits (using (xBABIP*chances)-(BABIP*chances) to derive projected hits). Factor in that Jackson’s not striking more people out, but is thankfully walking less but hasn’t been hit like he will be, and frankly I’m not overly optimistic on his chances of being overly successful going forward.

As for Jason Hammel, all of his numbers look dead on, and his K/BB rate is at an even 4, higher than any of his previous numbers, but otherwise nothing to worry about. If the Rays are going to move one of them in a trade once the rotation gets healthy, I hope for our sake they pick Jackson. 

In case you were wondering about James Shields, his problem is simply a slight increase in walks; his BB/9 jumped a full walk, from 1.5 to 2.5 during the 18 innings he’s thrown. Don’t be too concerned, he walked five in this first 19 innings last year before settling in.

Last year about 30% of Carlos Pena’s flyballs went for homeruns, keep that in mind when his percentage falls from the current 42.9 range down towards 25-30.

Believe it or not Carl Crawford is hitting more line drives than he’s ever done before. Nearly 23% of his balls in play have been of the liner variety, making it likely that his .227 BABIP, and therefore slump, will soon end. 

If Eric Hinske seems more patient than before it’s because he has been. A 4.16 P/PA is 0.07 pitches more per PA than his previous career high. Carlos Pena is also seeing a career high, 4.5 pitches.  Jonny Gomes meanwhile is seeing the fewest pitches per plate appearance since his rookie year.

Another note I’d like to address, but not spend a whole post on, is B.J. Upton’s defense. Thus far it’s been terrible and the excuses for his poor play only irritate me more. If I have to hear that the ball has a weird break or tail on it when Upton misplays a line drive one more time I may go nuts. Think back as far as you can, how many times have one of our outfielders or an opposing outfielder misplayed a ball and had the excuse that the "ball broke funny"? I like B.J. and I’m not making him a goat but to act like his defense is the result of poor luck is ridiculous. At this point he’s simply not a valuable defender when it comes to catching the baseball.