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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Twitter: Mitchell Lichtman

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2014 at 06:56 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:14 AM (#4736018)
Follow-up question, then: What's the maximum length of time that a pitcher's ERA can be bad and his xFIP pretty decent before someone with a baseball IQ above 50 decides the guy's no good?
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:31 AM (#4736022)
Should I know who Mitchel Lichtman is?
   3. RJ in TO Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4736024)
Should I know who Mitchel Lichtman is?


He's MGL! The world's least judgemental Sabrmetricianatic!
   4. Lassus Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4736027)
How does one get that baseball IQ number? If only we had an IQ expert somewhere on the site!
   5. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4736029)
If he doesn't look like the comic book guy from the Simpsons, then I'm greatly disappointed in God.
   6. tfbg9 Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4736035)
Well, he has a beagle. That's kind of nice. No?
   7. RJ in TO Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4736036)
Also, for a guy who apparently likes baseball, he sure seems to hate it when other people enjoy baseball.
   8. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4736044)
Yeah, MGL overstates things a lot .... but Lincecum was terrible in 2012, and again in 2013, and is having another rough go of it this year. He sure did have a great outing last time, though.
   9. Cooper Nielson Posted: June 26, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4736055)
He's still good enough to be in a major-league rotation, I think. And his FIP isn't too bad. So depending on how you low you set the bar for "good pitcher," he might qualify. I still root for him.

Weird that he didn't throw a no-hitter until he started sucking, and now he's thrown two.
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 26, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4736080)
He's MGL! The world's least judgemental Sabrmetricianatic!

Ah! I never knew what his name was.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: June 26, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4736097)
What was this in response to?
Who made the claim?
Who defended it?
   12. McCoy Posted: June 26, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4736102)
If I had to guess one way or the other I would say that this was MGL simply harumphing into someone's oatmeal.
   13. Moeball Posted: June 26, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4736103)
No-hitters against the Padres don't count.

They're a minor league team.

There was only one guy in the starting lineup that Lincecum faced that had an OBA over .300.

The pitcher, Ian Kennedy, was the worst hitter in the lineup for the Padres - but not by much.
   14. SoCalDemon Posted: June 26, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4736120)
He's still good enough to be in a major-league rotation, I think. And his FIP isn't too bad. So depending on how you low you set the bar for "good pitcher," he might qualify. I still root for him.


Over the last 3 years, he has ERA+ of 68, 78, and 77 (or ERA- of 147, 128, and 130 [I don't understand why anyone would feel strongly about one versus the other, since they are just inverses of each other, but....]), or 475 innings of 74 ERA+ (135 ERA-). He has a bWAR of -2.4 (negative WAR each of the last 3 years), or -6.1 WAA. Unless you want to go full fangraphs (I love FIP and xFIP, and over short time periods, or when their disagreements with ERA balances out over time, as they do for 80-90% of pitchers, they are generally predictive of future results) and ignore results entirely, I don't think there is anyway that Lincecum is a deserving starting pitcher. Even looking at Fips, he has looked distinctly mediocre over the last 3 years. I totally get why he is out there though. He won back to back Cy's not that long ago, he seems to still have good stuff a lot of the time, and has thrown two no-hitters in the last year. If there is any guy that you are going to take a chance on and hope he gets it together, he is the guy. But I don't think there is any way that you can look at the Lincecum of the last 500 innings and see anything but a replacement-level (at best) pitcher.

Hell of a game last night though.
   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4736144)
What was this in response to?
Who made the claim?
Who defended it?


It's a hell of a lot harder to refute the claims people are making, I'll have you know.

   16. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4736145)
No-hitters against the Padres don't count.


It would be a lot easier for Mitch and company if they just played the games in a simulator.
   17. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4736151)
It would be a lot easier for Mitch and company if they just played the games in a simulator.

Stra-o-matic now, strat-o-matic forever!
   18. Sleepless in Munich Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4736168)
Unless you want to go full fangraphs (I love FIP and xFIP, and over short time periods, or when their disagreements with ERA balances out over time, as they do for 80-90% of pitchers, they are generally predictive of future results) and ignore results entirely, I don't think there is anyway that Lincecum is a deserving starting pitcher.


Yeah, but these are the important questions, right? Are we talking about a "long" period of time?

Since the start of the 2012 season, Lincecum's ERA-/FIP-/xFIP- line is 131/110/96. But until the 2011 season, his career line was 74/72/77. So there is no clear pattern of underperforming his peripherals for Lincecum.
Now, he clearly isn't the pitcher that he was a few years ago. And it is entirely possible that he declined in a way that hurts his ERA way more than his FIP and xFIP. But it is also entirely possible that he declined somewhat and at the same time he was unlucky, resulting in a way steeper decline in results than his actual decline in ability.
   19. JE (Jason) Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4736169)
Calcaterra:
I don’t think anyone reasonably thinks that Tim Lincecum is the same pitcher today that he was three or four years ago. And I don’t think appreciating his no-hitter yesterday — or even his messy no-hitter last year — requires one to make a judgment about his overall quality. Yes, people will go overboard when stuff like that happens, but c’mon.

Put differently: lighten up, Francis. Maybe pick a different battle? That game was as fun as hell to watch and seeing an outstanding performance from someone who has lost the thread in his game in many ways is way, way more uplifting and inspiring than seeing someone at the top of their game remain at the top.
   20. shoewizard Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4736170)
If he doesn't look like the comic book guy from the Simpsons, then I'm greatly disappointed in God.


God's sense of humor not as good as we would like
   21. boteman Posted: June 26, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4736234)
#20 - Looking at that photo all that comes to mind is "Bueller? ... Bueller?"

I watched the last 4 innings of yesterday's Giants game as the sense built that Lincecum might get the no-hitter, knowing that he hasn't been The Timmeh for a while now. But I think that notion in itself is what drew the attention of so many: we were kept on the edge of our seats by the knowledge that this special happening could collapse like a house of cards in a hurricane, so get it while it lasts. It wasn't just another run-of-the-mill Nolan Ryan no-hitter.

Yes, yes, it crossed my mind that he was facing the lowly Padres, but you could make the same claim about Strasburg's debut game in which he struck out 14 Pirates and walked none; they weren't exactly world-beaters in 2010, but Stras was just starting his MLB career. In Lincecum's case it's all the more special because who knows if he will ever approach a dominant level again?
   22. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: June 26, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4736376)
I don't think there is anyway that Lincecum is a deserving starting pitcher

Well, based on this article from after the 2010 season, here was the average ERA for each rotation spot:
#1/#2 – 3.36 ERA
#2/#3 – 3.88 ERA
#3/#4 – 4.38 ERA
#4/#5 – 5.15 ERA

Based on that, Lincecum is definitely a 4/5 starter in MLB. Now, he may not be paid like a back-of-the-rotation guy, and a contending team would certainly be well-advised to be looking for an upgrade for his spot. But he is "a deserving starting pitcher".
   23. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 26, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4736410)
The run environment has changed drastically since then. 74 ERA+ isn't acceptable.

And it is entirely possible that he declined in a way that hurts his ERA way more than his FIP and xFIP.

His slugging percentage when he allows batters to make contact has gone from .446 in his Cy Young years to .550 since 2012, and it's not all home runs. Diminished stuff and not-great control is a recipe for lots of hard contact.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: June 26, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4736460)
The run environment has changed drastically since then. 74 ERA+ isn't acceptable.


Majority of the teams in baseball, get around 80 era+ out of their fourth or fifth starter, sure they mix them up, but if you look at each teams roster and look at the lowest era+ out of the pitchers with the most innings on the team, you are going to find that nearly every team is putting up a significant chunk of innings to a guy pitching in the 75-85 in era+. There are a lot of reasons that they are doing that(some like Verlander are expecting a bounce back, others are just throwing stuff against the wall to see what ticks, but for the most part the majority of the teams in baseball will see 200+ innings thrown by a starter(or combination of starters) putting up era+ around 80.
   25. bigglou115 Posted: June 26, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4736466)
@14 ERA+ and ERA- aren't just inverses of each other. Here's a thorough explanation of the differences, not ERA- is usually referred to as aER here.

http://walksaber.blogspot.com/2010/03/esoteric-ramblings-about.html?m=1
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: June 26, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4736488)
[I don't understand why anyone would feel strongly about one versus the other, since they are just inverses of each other, but....]


Because the scales are off on era+, especially when dealing with very good numbers.
   27. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 26, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4736544)
Majority of the teams in baseball, get around 80 era+ out of their fourth or fifth starter, sure they mix them up, but if you look at each teams roster and look at the lowest era+ out of the pitchers with the most innings on the team, you are going to find that nearly every team is putting up a significant chunk of innings to a guy pitching in the 75-85 in era+. There are a lot of reasons that they are doing that(some like Verlander are expecting a bounce back, others are just throwing stuff against the wall to see what ticks, but for the most part the majority of the teams in baseball will see 200+ innings thrown by a starter(or combination of starters) putting up era+ around 80.

Those are sixth and seventh starters receiving battlefield promotions, and they're better than he is. That isn't an argument in favor of his being rotation-worthy.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: June 26, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4736551)
Those are sixth and seventh starters receiving battlefield promotions, and they're better than he is. That isn't an argument in favor of his being rotation-worthy.


Just looking at teams last year, majority of the teams in baseball had a guy with an 85 or lower era+ in the top four innings pitched. Obviously teams are going to try and upgrade their worse guy, but teams historically get 80 era+ out of their 4th and 5th guys. era+ for a league average starter is right around 94-96,
   29. PreservedFish Posted: June 26, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4736655)
Majority of the teams in baseball, get around 80 era+ out of their fourth or fifth starter


And the majority are not pleased with that performance.
   30. G.W.O. Posted: June 26, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4736656)
At least Lincecum was once a very good pitcher, whereas MGL has always been - and will always be - an #######.
   31. cardsfanboy Posted: June 26, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4736689)
And the majority are not pleased with that performance.


I don't doubt that, if you look at teams they will constantly go through a parade of arms trying to get better, and not really succeeding other than a few lightening in the bottle situations. (Look at Baltimore last year)
   32. thetailor Posted: June 26, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4736692)
I am starting to get interested in Lincecum again. After a putrid 2012, his 2013 wasn't all that bad ... by FIP standards, that is.

He has followed up that defensible 2013 with an identical 2014. Is there a chance that 2012 was the outlier and that he's on a run of bad luck insofar as 2013 and 2014 are concerned? If you look directly from 2010 and 2011, and skip 2012, you can certainly have a more optimistic view of 2013 and 2014.

2011: K/BB 2.56, ERA 2.74, FIP 3.17, WHIP 1.207
2012: K/BB 2.11, ERA 5.18, FIP 4.18, WHIP 1.468
2013: K/BB 2.54, ERA 4.37, FIP 3.74, WHIP 1.315
2014: K/BB 2.31, ERA 4.42, FIP 3.92, WHIP 1.342

He's clearly not the pitcher in 2013-2014 that he was in 2011 ... but if you were to ask me who he more closely resembled, the 2011 Timmy or the 2012 Timmy, I think the answer would have to be the former.

FIP likes him as a 3.80 ERA guy over the last 1.5 seasons. Maybe he's worse than that, but if that amount worse means 4.00 ERA, that to me makes him a "good" pitcher.


   33. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 26, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4736817)
Majority of the teams in baseball, get around 80 era+ out of their fourth or fifth starter

I did an article about this on this site back in 2006. My findings -- expected ERA+ for each of the five rotation slots:

#1 slot ERA+: 123 or so
#2 slot ERA+: 106 or so
#3 slot ERA+: 96 or so
#4 slot ERA+: 89 or so
#5 slot ERA+: 78 or so

I reckon an ERA+ of around 78 or so is replacement level. An ERA+ of 74 over 2.5 seasons is horrible.
   34. Baldrick Posted: June 26, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4736859)
Those are sixth and seventh starters receiving battlefield promotions, and they're better than he is. That isn't an argument in favor of his being rotation-worthy.

They MIGHT be better. They might not. If his peripherals aligned with his ERA, you would have a stronger argument. But since there is at least a plausible reason to believe he will match the peripherals going forward, it's not at all crazy to run him out there as a 4th/5th starter.

It particularly seems pretty obvious that he's not WORSE than a 74 ERA+ which a lot of the 6/7 guys might well be.
   35. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 26, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4736864)
How does one get that baseball IQ number? If only we had an IQ expert somewhere on the site!

"A baseball IQ of 50 is half mental."
   36. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 26, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4736868)
Well, based on this article from after the 2010 season, here was the average ERA for each rotation spot:
#1/#2 – 3.36 ERA
#2/#3 – 3.88 ERA
#3/#4 – 4.38 ERA
#4/#5 – 5.15 ERA

Based on that, Lincecum is definitely a 4/5 starter in MLB


Lincecum is on my NL only Roto team because I had a brain fart during our auction and for some reason thought he had a good FIP last year...

he's been bad, outside of the no-no he's been unspeakably godawful...
2012-2014, 300+IP by ERA+
Rk Player ERA+
1 Barry Zito 72
2 Tim Lincecum 74
3 Joe Blanton 74
4 Edinson Volquez 74
5 Jerome Williams 82
6 Jordan Lyles 82
7 Ryan Vogelsong 83
8 Joe Saunders 83
9 Lucas Harrell 84
10 Erik Bedard 84 


Timmah DOES have the best FIP on the list (cold comfort to my roto-team)
If he pitched to his FIP his ERA+ would be 88, merely garden variety, 4th starter bad
   37. SoCalDemon Posted: June 26, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4736942)
ERA+ and ERA- aren't just inverses of each other.


ERA- = ERA/Lg Avg ERA, ERA+ = Lg Avg ERA/ERA.


Because the scales are off on era+, especially when dealing with very good numbers.


In 1990, Eck had an ERA+ of 603, meaning he gave up ER at 1/6th of the league average rate. His ERA- was 17, meaning he gave up ER at 1/6th the league average rate. To me, ERA- is more intuitive, but ERA+ is more easily available on bref (fangraphs has ERA-, but in general I like bref's layout way better for stats, so I use it more; others like fangraphs more, these things happen), and in the end they mathematically give you the same exact information. Assuming you know LgAvg ERA, if you know ERA+ you can get ERA- and visa versa.

I reckon an ERA+ of around 78 or so is replacement level. An ERA+ of 74 over 2.5 seasons is horrible


Yes. 5th starters are about this bad on average (but a bit better), and 5th starters tend to get sent down, converted to relief, traded, or cut in short order. The only reason Lincecum has stuck around for 475 innings of this is because he is Lincecum (which, as I said earlier, is a totally rational decision, IMHO; once a pitcher has shown they can be the best pitcher on the planet for an extended period, and a solid #1/2 for another two years after that, you give them a lot of rope [somewhat depending on whether you are in playoff contention, which is an issue for this years Giants]).
   38. Walt Davis Posted: June 26, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4736948)
Paging Dave Cameron, Mr. Da ...

Ohhhh... Baseball IQs over 50. Never mind.

:-)

MGL might also be disagreeing with the SF Giants who signed Timmeh to a 2/$35 M contract just this past offseason.

In the other thread, I noted that Lincecum through 30 and Nolan Ryan through 30 are kinda similar -- with very different career arcs. Anyway, it wouldn't shock me if he turned into a Fergie Jenkins/Bert Blyleven type. He'll have to improve his control, then the HRs won't hurt so much.

2011: K/BB 2.56, ERA 2.74, FIP 3.17, WHIP 1.207
2012: K/BB 2.11, ERA 5.18, FIP 4.18, WHIP 1.468
2013: K/BB 2.54, ERA 4.37, FIP 3.74, WHIP 1.315
2014: K/BB 2.31, ERA 4.42, FIP 3.92, WHIP 1.342


One issue here is that league average K/BB is 2.65 these days while it was 2.33 in 2011. He was league average in 2013 but below in 2012.

On 4th/5th starters ... I've been pointing out for years that the typical team gives about 40-45 starts to guys who finish the season with an ERA+ of 85 or below. That average though is inflated somewhat by terrible teams that were giving over 100 starts to such pitchers -- in the old days, you could count on the Rays or Rangers to have 2-3 durable lousy pitchers in their opening day rotation plus injuries.

But most of the rest were injury/suckitude replacements. The value in a guy like, say, Jason Marquis or Jon Garland-- i.e. the type of pitcher that Lincecum hopes to be now, albeit with a higher K rate -- is to keep those 6th/7th guys off the mound. But being a durable 6th/7th starter is not very valuable and it's not somebody you want in your "intended rotation."

If these are the results we can expect from him in the future, he's Ty Wigginton or Miguel Cairo or Willie Bloomquist or, I dunno, maybe as good as Chris Carter (HRs = Ks). He's nowhere near as valuable as Ike Davis or Kendrys Morales. He is probably better than JP Arencibia. :-)

Lincecum would be a great guy to take a flyer on, it could all be just a run of bad luck. But 2/$35 wasn't a flyer.

Note that Haren was supposed to be a similar guy. He had ERA+s of 88 and 80 for 2012-13; this year he's at 93 but that's substantially out-pitching his FIP which is substantially higher than his 2012-13 FIP. He's still giving up 1.5 HR/9 and his Ks are down. At least he was only 1/$10 although he's on pace for the $10 M option to vest. But at least he's holding the line right around 85 ERA+. (Lincecum's FIPs are much better, I don't know if FIP is park-adjusted but Haren has been in pitchers' parks mostly anyway I think.)

Liriano was another one and last year he was great. This year he's back to a 78 ERA+ with a much better FIP again. His HR/9 and H/9 have both gone back to the sorts of numbers he posted in 2011-12. But Liriano's two years cost the Pirates only $7 M total.

On the other hand, Kazmir last year was a much more unlikely bounce back, but he did put up league average results AND his FIP was much better than his ERA. Now he's on a 2/$22 contract, getting great results, ERA much better than FIP but the FIP is way better than league average (although maybe not if we need to park adjust).

Durable with a FIP better than ERA is probably a good place to look for a bargain. But I am guessing that guys with league average or slightly worse FIPs who are getting replacement-level results are only worth a flyer (Liriano ... the second year was an option if I remember right). If the best-case scenario is league-average, it's just not worth the risk that (for this guy) ERA is a better indicator than FIP or that the truth is somewhere in-between.
   39. Dan Posted: June 27, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4737207)
Lincecum's control isn't the issue, his command is the issue. If his control was an issue, his FIP and xFIP wouldn't look good. His problem is that he cannot hit the edge of the strike zone, and he never has been able to. He used to have good enough stuff to overcome this lack of command, but now he doesn't and he gets hit hard when he throws strikes.

Assuming you know LgAvg ERA, if you know ERA+ you can get ERA- and visa versa.


You don't need to know lgAVG ERA. ERA- = 10000/ERA+ and vice versa. ERA- makes much more sense to use because it lets us compare quantities with the same denominator. ERA+ actually tells us how a league average pitcher does compared to the pitcher in question rather than telling us how that pitcher is compared to league average, which is generally a nonsensical way to make comparisons. No one is ever going to ask you, "how much worse was a league average pitcher at preventing runs than Pedro Martinez in 2000?" The question will almost always be "how much better was Pedro at preventing runs than a league average pitcher?" And to answer that question you need to use ERA-.
   40. Baldrick Posted: June 27, 2014 at 02:02 AM (#4737218)
You don't need to know lgAVG ERA. ERA- = 10000/ERA+ and vice versa. ERA- makes much more sense to use because it lets us compare quantities with the same denominator. ERA+ actually tells us how a league average pitcher does compared to the pitcher in question rather than telling us how that pitcher is compared to league average, which is generally a nonsensical way to make comparisons. No one is ever going to ask you, "how much worse was a league average pitcher at preventing runs than Pedro Martinez in 2000?" The question will almost always be "how much better was Pedro at preventing runs than a league average pitcher?" And to answer that question you need to use ERA-.

Argh. The first part of this directly refutes the second part.

It doesn't matter how you phrase the question. As long as you understand the answer, it's literally the same information. As you just said. ERA+ tells you how much better he was at preventing runs than a league average pitcher.

If it is truly the case that people are regularly misunderstanding ERA+, and that this misunderstanding would be rectified by a large-scale shift toward a new nomenclature, then I suppose I could get on board. But generally speaking it's far easier to improve people's understanding of widely used terms than to insist on them learning a whole new way of describing things.
   41. Walt Davis Posted: June 27, 2014 at 03:52 AM (#4737235)
his FIP and xFIP wouldn't look good.

But his FIPs aren't good. His FIP this year is 3.92 vs. a league average FIP of 3.73 and (if they're not park-adjusted) he's in a pitchers' park. Last year he was dead league-average. The year before that it was 4.18 vs. 3.91. Walks are part of the problem -- he's had league average H/9, worse than average BB/9 leading to worse than average WHIP for the last three years. FIP is more about K/BB and contact rates than about K and BB per se and his K/BB has been below league-average. This year he's not much above average in K/9 even (although probably still well above for starters).

If you take the difference between his RA9 and his ERA, add that to his FIP, compare that to b-r's RA9opp for the last three years, he's below average in 2012 and 14 and a smidgen above average in 2013.

Add it all up and, at best, you can claim the fancy stats show him to be an average starting pitcher but probably a bit below. Like I said, if "best case" is that his true talent is league average while performance is much worse than league average, that's probably not a guy to take a flyer on, certainly not if you're going to pay him league average or better starter money.
   42. thetailor Posted: June 27, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4737466)
But his FIPs aren't good. His FIP this year is 3.92 vs. a league average FIP of 3.73


MLB average starter ERA is 3.91 and FIP is 3.88. In the NL it is 3.79 ERA and 3.81 FIP. Not much different, but we're talking about a SP who posted FIP of 3.74 last year. He's not junk.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: June 27, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4737711)
He's not junk.

He's not good. That was the claim I was responding to.

As I'll say for the third time, he is league-average by FIP and replacement level by ERA. That is a perfectly good pitcher to take a cheap flyer on in hopes the FIP says more than the results. That is not a pitcher you project or pay to be average.

I'll note that ZiPS projected him to a 3.50 FIP this year, a 98 FIP- ... a bit above average. But ZiPS also recognizes that there is some predictability in results and projected him to a 3.80 ERA, 106 ERA- (about 94 ERA+). That difference is not team defense or at least not much, no other Giant pitcher has a gap like that and some have projected ERAs slightly lower than their FIPs.

Now ZiPS did project his results to be an average starter but that's because, for some reason, it projected his FIP to be a good bit better than average starter. It got that wrong. For RoS, it projects 3.98 ERA and 3.71 FIP. Using your numbers, that's a below-average NL starter before park effects.

He's over 450 innings into this conundrum. At some point, we've got to consider him more Glendon Rusch. I'm not sure anybody ever under-oitched their FIP so badly -- 5.04 ERA vs 4.29 FIP in nearly 1500 IP. But even he managed an 88 career ERA+ and only had one fullish season (120 IP) with results as bad as Lincecum 2012-14 ... and that was the year his WHIP was 1.75 (3.87 FIP vs 6.42 ERA). Naturally the next year his ERA finally matched his FIP and he had a 127 ERA+. Didn't last.

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