December 23, 2009

Is Vazquez the No. 4?

Why is everyone automatically deeming Javier Vazquez the No. 4 starter? Just because he’s an addition, doesn’t me has to wait at the end of the line. CC Sabathia is still the ace, definitely. However, I’d argue Vazquez has been just as good, if not better, than A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte over the past three years.

I think using a statistic that takes into account the league the pitcher has pitched in is best suited for this comparison. ERA+ (via Baseball-reference) is just like normal ERA, but factors in ballpark and league adjustments. A score of 100 means league average, above is better, below is worse.

  2007 2008 2009 3-yr AVG
Burnett 119 104 106 109.67
Pettitte 111 98 103 104
Vazquez 126 98 143 122.33

Vazquez stands out. They’ve all pitched approximately 200 innings per year too. I’m not sure where I’d put him, but I don’t see it as a no-brainer at No. 4 like everyone else.

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