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Guthrie Doubters stand up


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Well, Guthrie's is 228 as a starter according to Baseball Reference.

Whatever you want to look at, he is still well below league average and that is the bottom line.

That is a lucky rate...Not sure how you or anyone else can deny that.

It really doesn't matter what is BABIP as as starter is. Its a batted ball one way or another and the ball doesn't know if Guthrie is starting or relieving. BABIP shouldn't be seperated when evaluating a pitcher as a starter or a reliever, unlike K and BB rates.

Now, if you still want to use BABIP as a starter, then you also have to realize that his ERA as a starter is better than his overall ERA:

His overall ERA is 2.88 with a .239 BABIP.

His ERA as a starter is 2.41 with a .220 BABIP. So while the BABIP is lower, so is the ERA. It seems you are evaluating him as a guy with a 2.88 ERA and a .220 BABIP.

While he isn't going to keep his BABIP at .239, there are already stats that normalize his stats and they all show him to be still very good. Now, I know you want to determine how he handles himself with more runners on base, etc. but I think its really a stretch if that is what is holding you back from saying he can be at least be a solid #2 starter in the majors.

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I endorse this position. However, I do think it's possible that (1) defenders might play a bit better behind pitchers who work fast and throw strikes, and (2) regardless of that, two pitchers on the same team can get significantly different levels of defensive support, just as they can get different levels of offensive support.

Regardless of those factors, Guthrie has been outstanding, no two ways about it.

Gun to your head, Guthrie's ERA for the rest of the season, assuming his peripherals remain similar.

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It really doesn't matter what is BABIP as as starter is. Its a batted ball one way or another and the ball doesn't know if Guthrie is starting or relieving. BABIP shouldn't be seperated when evaluating a pitcher as a starter or a reliever, unlike K and BB rates.

Now, if you still want to use BABIP as a starter, then you also have to realize that his ERA as a starter is better than his overall ERA:

His overall ERA is 2.88 with a .239 BABIP.

His ERA as a starter is 2.41 with a .220 BABIP. So while the BABIP is lower, so is the ERA. It seems you are evaluating him as a guy with a 2.88 ERA and a .220 BABIP.

While he isn't going to keep his BABIP at .239, there are already stats that normalize his stats and they all show him to be still very good. Now, I know you want to determine how he handles himself with more runners on base, etc. but I think its really a stretch if that is what is holding you back from saying he can be at least be a solid #2 starter in the majors.

What is holding me back is simple.

He needs to end the year well and pitch well next year.

It boggles my mind that ANYONE would put the tag of #2 starter on a 28 y/o with mediocre success and a very strong half season in the majors.

That is just incredible to me.

You can like what he brings to the table and you can have your opinions on him...But to say that he is/will be a no doubt about it 2/3 starter is ridiculous.

I haven't seen any of the big Guthrie supporters even remotely talk about how they need to see him do it more to annoit him. He has just be given the title and it is absurd.

He has been very good...Much better than i thought he could be based on his age and career up until now.

However, he needs to keep it up.

If you want to say he is pitching like a 1/2 starter RIGHT NOW...Fine...I can go with that.

But i am talking about projection.

BTW, you are right, i should be showing his ERA as a starter, since i am doing the same thing with his BABIP.

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What is holding me back is simple.

He needs to end the year well and pitch well next year.

It boggles my mind that ANYONE would put the tag of #2 starter on a 28 y/o with mediocre success and a very strong half season in the majors.

That is just incredible to me.

You can like what he brings to the table and you can have your opinions on him...But to say that he is/will be a no doubt about it 2/3 starter is ridiculous.

I haven't seen any of the big Guthrie supporters even remotely talk about how they need to see him do it more to annoit him. He has just be given the title and it is absurd.

He has been very good...Much better than i thought he could be based on his age and career up until now.

However, he needs to keep it up.

If you want to say he is pitching like a 1/2 starter RIGHT NOW...Fine...I can go with that.

But i am talking about projection.

BTW, you are right, i should be showing his ERA as a starter, since i am doing the same thing with his BABIP.

I think this is all fair enough. I think you've moderated your position a good bit since May. Personally, I'm optimistic that Guthrie can be a no. 2 starter over the next several years, but I'm sure not going to portray that as a certainty. I agree with you that, considering Guthrie's track record before this year, he needs to prove he can do this (or something like it) two years in a row. There have been an awful lot of pitchers who came through Baltimore who had one good season they couldn't repeat.

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What is holding me back is simple.

He needs to end the year well and pitch well next year.

It boggles my mind that ANYONE would put the tag of #2 starter on a 28 y/o with mediocre success and a very strong half season in the majors.

That is just incredible to me.

You can like what he brings to the table and you can have your opinions on him...But to say that he is/will be a no doubt about it 2/3 starter is ridiculous.

I haven't seen any of the big Guthrie supporters even remotely talk about how they need to see him do it more to annoit him. He has just be given the title and it is absurd.

He has been very good...Much better than i thought he could be based on his age and career up until now.

However, he needs to keep it up.

If you want to say he is pitching like a 1/2 starter RIGHT NOW...Fine...I can go with that.

But i am talking about projection.

BTW, you are right, i should be showing his ERA as a starter, since i am doing the same thing with his BABIP.

This sums up my take on Guthrie as well.

Personally, I'd rather sell high right now. Just playing the odds, given his age & career numbers, I don't expect him to put up these elite level numbers long term. He could be the 5% that lives up to their potential latter in their career, but I'd rather let some other team take the risk and get them to overpay for the numbers he's putting up recently.

My gut feeling is that he comes back down to Earth a little and ends up a decent 4-5 league average type pitcher. Since I think some team would overpay for him right now, i'd move him while his value is sky high. If worst case scenario, we trade him and he keeps putting up these type of numbers, it's not the end of the world, since we got him for nothing in the first place.

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What is holding me back is simple.

He needs to end the year well and pitch well next year.

It boggles my mind that ANYONE would put the tag of #2 starter on a 28 y/o with mediocre success and a very strong half season in the majors.

That is just incredible to me.

You can like what he brings to the table and you can have your opinions on him...But to say that he is/will be a no doubt about it 2/3 starter is ridiculous.

I haven't seen any of the big Guthrie supporters even remotely talk about how they need to see him do it more to annoit him. He has just be given the title and it is absurd.

He has been very good...Much better than i thought he could be based on his age and career up until now.

However, he needs to keep it up.

If you want to say he is pitching like a 1/2 starter RIGHT NOW...Fine...I can go with that.

But i am talking about projection.

BTW, you are right, i should be showing his ERA as a starter, since i am doing the same thing with his BABIP.

Well, year-to-year projections are nigh impossible for any pitcher due to the injury frequency and other factors. And most of the Guthrie supporters have conceded the BABIP point. But you've failed to address one of the key points - his xFIP ERA is still very, very good (4.01.) That's good for 12th in the American League. While we're on that, do you consider Dan Haren to be a lucky fluke? the difference between his xFIP and his ERA is even greater than Guthrie's.

You can say he's been exceedingly lucky. And you'd have some data to back that up. But being lucky doesn't preclude him from also being very good. And he's been very good AND lucky.

Regarding his walk rate, I think 1970 posted something about his percentage of strikes thrown, which, while above average, is lower than you'd expect based on his walk rate. So you're right, he might start allowing more walks. But not that many more walks. And since the ability to throw strikes and avoid BBs is considered to be a pitcher skill, you will be hard-pressed to find a statistic that says he'll start reverting to his minor league numbers and allow 2-3 more walks a game.

For some pitchers, a light just comes on. Instead of approaching Guthrie with complete pessimism, what's wrong with guarded optimism? He's doing *everything* right, and his peripherals indicate that despite a bit of luck, he's still been pitching like a very good pitcher.

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. But you've failed to address one of the key points - his xFIP ERA is still very, very good (4.01.)
I did address it.
do you consider Dan Haren to be a lucky fluke? the difference between his xFIP and his ERA is even greater than Guthrie's.
Not a fluke but he isn't as good as his numbers indicate.
You can say he's been exceedingly lucky. And you'd have some data to back that up. But being lucky doesn't preclude him from also being very good. And he's been very good AND lucky.

I agree with this.

Regarding his walk rate, I think 1970 posted something about his percentage of strikes thrown, which, while above average, is lower than you'd expect based on his walk rate. So you're right, he might start allowing more walks. But not that many more walks
All i have ever said is i expect his BB rate to be around 3, which is still well below his MiL equivalent and still very solid...Just not the 1.5 or so that it has been.
For some pitchers, a light just comes on. Instead of approaching Guthrie with complete pessimism, what's wrong with guarded optimism?
The post you quoted is about as guarded optimism as guarded optimism gets.

And, instead of just assuming that he is a 2/3 starter after years od mediocrity, why don't you acknowledge the fact that projecting him to be that good long term is way too early to do.

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What is holding me back is simple.

He needs to end the year well and pitch well next year.

It boggles my mind that ANYONE would put the tag of #2 starter on a 28 y/o with mediocre success and a very strong half season in the majors.

That is just incredible to me.

You can like what he brings to the table and you can have your opinions on him...But to say that he is/will be a no doubt about it 2/3 starter is ridiculous.

I haven't seen any of the big Guthrie supporters even remotely talk about how they need to see him do it more to annoit him. He has just be given the title and it is absurd.

He has been very good...Much better than i thought he could be based on his age and career up until now.

However, he needs to keep it up.

If you want to say he is pitching like a 1/2 starter RIGHT NOW...Fine...I can go with that.

But i am talking about projection.

BTW, you are right, i should be showing his ERA as a starter, since i am doing the same thing with his BABIP.

You see, this is where it becomes the can half full, half empty routine. Firstly, I have never "annointed" him. All I have done is say how dominating he has been- mainly because there are so many ready to call him a bust as soon as he has a rough outing, which I find ridiculous. I like to point out how he continues to impress even when under adverse situations. Coming off a few tough outings, a lot speculated he was folding. HE WAS NOT. I wanted to make A POINT of noting that.

But just in as much as you say we are annointing him without seeing him enough, you are doing the exact opposite. Noone, at least me, said he was a surefire ace from here on out. Where did someone say that? I said I think he will be, and I stand by that. Of course there is a small hint of uncertainty, but isn't there with EVERY pitcher who comes out of nowhere to put up great numbers like this. YOu are just as similarily saying he won't- or at least making the case for- him NOT being that guy for the rest of his career, as we are saying we think he will be.

NOONE is certain of it, but based on the intangibles he brings, along with his positive attitude, and poise on the mound- not to mention his stuff- I think it's real easy to at least put him on a pedestal fo rnow. What's wrong with that?

I realize the whole making of this post was a bit of a "challenge" to find kinks in the armour, but is it just to be the devil's advocate and point out that there ARE "reasons" to doubt, or do you really feel he won't amount to anything more than a 3 or 4 starter?

I don't see how you can diminish what's he done by saying you need to see more. AS I said, whether he continues to be a great pitcher for years to come, he is not a fluke. This year he is one of the premiere pitchers in the American League (can u imagine if he were in the NL?), and regardless of the future chances of "luck" stats reverting to normal, it doesn't change his consistency and dominance this year.

With his relaxed demenour and attitude, I would indeed prefer him over Daniel Cabrera at this point- on a side note to respond to an argument within this thread. I feel the chances of Guthrie staying close to this level of production are just as, and actually much more, high as the chance of Cabrera becoming the dominant pitcher we've been waiting for. I could see him being a late blooming Greg Maddux type... just laid back and happy to be playing the game...

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I just wonder how arguments like this one we're having were made BEFORE some smart baseball guy came up with stats to track things like this. The guy must have had an axe to grind with some pitcher he hated- so he looked for a stat to make a point of how "lucky" he was, rather than good! :)

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I need to see Guthrie finish strong and pitch well next year before I'll be ready to say he is a legitimate #2 caliber pitcher. I know it is a vast oversimplification but with his background I need to see more to convince me that Guthrie's 2007 season is not analogus to say Adrian Beltre's 2004 season.

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You've got to at least let him go through the league long enough to let teams make adjustments to him and vice versa. Then, you'll get a better read on where he really stands.

There are only three AL teams that Guthrie has started against twice since joining the Orioles.

You can express what you think or hope he is or will be, but I don't think even the "experts" can tell you at this point.

I like what I've seen though, and I'll predict a 3.72 ERA the rest of the way.

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