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Tuesday, October 02, 2012
The Case of the Medlen Medium (I’ll get right on it Perry!).
In addition to taking advantage of poor hitting teams, Medlen has also experienced some luck since becoming a starter. He has a .255 BABIP (batting average of balls in play) as a starter, which is very low for starting pitchers (by contrast Dickey- .278, Gonzalez- .271, and Cueto- .300) and suggest that Medlen is due for a significant regression to the mean, with .300 being a typical major league average). His career BABIP of .295 has come in a reasonable sized sample of 120 games, and is a better indicator of his true ability.
Regardless of luck or opponent, Medlen has gotten the job done spectacularly since becoming a starter, but his Cy Young push has accumulated narrative like a rolling stone gathers moss. A key reason cited why he deserves consideration for the award is the 23 game winning streak the Braves have run off with him starting. However, the streak is not confined to just this year and is actually spread out over three seasons. He simply hasn’t put together a large enough body of work to be considered a serious Cy Young contender in 2012.
Finding alternative explanations for Medlen’s incredible stint as a starter is not to take away from his ability or performance in any way, but rather serves to frame his results in more realistic terms. In baseball 12 games is a small sample size and can’t be extrapolated across an entire season. Even adding Medlen’s stint as an above average reliever earlier in the year can’t push him over the top for such an award. Medlen has likely been the best pitcher in baseball since the start of August, but that is indicative of a hot streak and not the best pitcher over 162 games. It’s great to give such a great young pitcher his dues, but once it’s time to determine who will win the Cy Young, voters will hopefully look past the hyperbole and evaluate his numbers with a realistic eye.
Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:52 AM | 52 comment(s)
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