« Strikeout Rate Gains And Losses | Main | Five for Friday: Call-up Watch »

Is Barry Zito For Real?

Seven starts in, we've already read quite a bit about Barry Zito's renaissance.  Consider me a skeptic.

I'm not doing anything too advanced here, but Zito's numbers outside of his 1.90 ERA are not impressive.  His walks are still high - 3.6 per nine innings.  His strikeout rate is his worst since '03 - 5.7 per nine.  We could blame a lot of this on his last start - without it, his walk rate is 2.55 per nine.  On the other hand, eliminating a pitcher's worst start will often give a huge boost when he's only made seven.

Zito has excelled in two areas - hits and home runs allowed.  6.3 hits allowed per nine is not a reasonable expectation moving forward.  You just don't see pitchers do that over an extended period.  His BABIP is quite low at .241, though we have to credit Zito for posting four other low-BABIP full seasons in his career (including .242 in '03).  Zito has also not allowed a home run so far this year, despite a career rate of 0.94 per nine coming into the season.  His 44.4% groundball rate is a career-best, so maybe he will continue doing a better job preventing the longball.  Still, that rate doesn't place him on the groundball leaderboard.

XFIP is always a good way to see how a guy has really pitched.  Per FanGraphs, Zito's is 4.49.  If the reduced strikeout rate continues Zito may have a hard time even matching last year's value of $5.43, from here on out on a prorated basis.  You may want to hang on to him for now, though, as his next start is against the Astros.

Full Story |  Comments (0) | Categories: Starters

Site Map     Contact     About     Advertise     Privacy Policy     MLB Trade Rumors     Rss Feed