Fangraphs is Wrong about the Pirates Rotation

I respect the opinions of the analysts at, but they are dead wrong in their estimation of the current state of the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation.

Fangraphs recently posted an article which assessed the Pirates starters as being in the bottom third of major league rotations. I’m not seeing it.

The major league average xFIP for starting pitchers last year was 3.91. Here are the 2013 xFIPs of the top six starters on the Pirates current roster:

Francisco Liriano:  3.12

Gerrit Cole:  3.14

Charlie Morton: 3.69

Wandy Rodriguez:  4.00

Edinson Volquez:  4.07

Jeff Locke:  4.19

The Pirates sixth best starter had an xFIP of just 4.19, which is in the range of a #4 starter. And Brandon Cumpton, who is likely the Pirates seventh best starter, had a 3.40 xFIP over 30.2 innings in 2013.

That’s real depth.

The top five starters listed above had an average xFIP of 3.60 in 2013 – 31 points better than the league average for starting pitchers. And that 3.60 xFIP would have placed the Pirates 5th among the 30 rotations in major league baseball last year.

But Fangraphs did not make their assessment based solely upon what the Pirate starters did last year. They used 2014 projections. So, let’s take a look at the projections that are listed on fangraph’s pages.

(The projections list FIP, but they do not list xFIP, which adjusts for HR/FB percentage.)

The average FIP for major league starting pitchers in 2013 was 3.95. Here are the FIPs projected for Pirate pitchers. (Average of Steamer, Oliver, and ZIPS projections on

Liriano: 3.41

Cole: 3.71

Rodriguez: 3.92

Morton: 3.93

Locke: 4.10

Volquez: 4.16

Cumpton:  4.30

The projections for the top five starters averaged 3.81. That’s 14 points better than the league average for starting pitchers in 2013 and would have placed 9th among all major league teams.

The projections for all SEVEN starters averaged 3.93, which would have ranked 14th of 30 in 2013.

Again, the major league average FIP for starters in 2013 was 3.95. Fangraphs’ own projectionists expect the Pirates top seven starters to have a FIP that is 2 points better than league average. So, how can fangraphs possibly conclude that the Pirates starters are in the bottom third of major league rotations?!

I’m not seeing it.

In a previous post, I looked at the xFIPS of the 139 pitchers who threw at least 100 innings as a starter in 2013 to determine the respective xFIP ranges of #1 through #5 starters. (My methods can be found at this link.) These were the results:

#1.  0 – 3.45

#2.  3.46 – 3.74

#3.  3.75 – 4.03

#4.  4.04 – 4.29

#5.  4.30 +

Here is how the current Pirate starters ranked on the #1 – #5 scale in 2013:

#1.  Liriano: 3.12 xFIP;  Cole: 3.14 xFIP

#2.  Morton: 3.69 xFIP

#3.  Rodriguez: 4.00 xFIP

#4.  Volquez: 4.07 xFIP; Locke: 4.19 xFIP

That is not a bottom third rotation.




457 thoughts on “Fangraphs is Wrong about the Pirates Rotation

  1. Pingback: What Numbers Would Stephen Drew Post as a Pirate? | SABER BUCS

  2. Nice article. I will def keep those xfip numbers in my head when I’m talking about the pirates rotation. I always get criticized when I say Morton when healthy puts up number 2 pitcher stats and hat Wandy is still a solid 3 when healthy. I think these numbers also justify not having to give Burnett 17 million because our rotation is just fine. Along with Crumpton and Tailion, we have depth and top of the rotation impact sitting in AAA respectively.

    • We here so much about #1 starters through #5 starters that I wanted to put some kind of measure to it. Based on the 2012 xFIPs of 139 starting pitchers, you were right about Morton being a #2 and Wandy being a #3.

      The rotation would obviously be better with Burnett, but I think much of what he gave the Pirates can be made up by having Liriano, Cole, Morton, and Rodriguez for the full season. None of them spent all of 2013 on the 25-man roster.

      I really like the Pirates depth. Locke, may be their sixth starter and he has #4 numbers. Baseball Prospectus wrote that Brandon Cumpton probably would be in some other teams’ rotations. His only chance to be with the Pirates out of spring training is more than one injury to starters.

  3. Pingback: Wasting Starling Marte; Torturing Jose Tabata | SABER BUCS

  4. Pingback: Could Burnett Return to New York? | SABER BUCS

  5. ” Fangraphs’ own projectionists expect the Pirates top seven starters to have a FIP that is 2 points better than league average.”

    The Pirates Lg Adjusted ERA is lower the other teams due to the park factors at PNC. So having a league average FIP when the adjustments are accounted for would actually be below average. I agree though, I don’t see the rotation as being bottom third. If you are comparing the 5 starters projected to pitch the most innings, maybe they would be slightly below the mid point. But the depth of 6th, 7th, and 8th guys should move them solidly into the top half.

    • Would the park adjustments make the Pirates ERAs and FIPs higher, since PNC is more of a pitcher’s park?

      Either way, I can’t the see rotation as bottom third.

      • Adjusted league averages and park factors impact WAR values. They are part of the calculation for WAR. ZiPS projects the Pirate starters to have a 3.70 FIP, 7th best in the league. However, ZiPS projects the Pirate SPs to only provide 10 total WAR, good for 25th place. A 3.70 FIP is much more meaningful in a hitters park than a pitchers park. ZiPS is projecting the Yankees rotation to have nearly the same ERA and FIP as the Pirates, yet the Yankees are projected to produce an additional 6.5 WAR.

  6. Pingback: Trackback

  7. Pingback: Ron Groshek

  8. Pingback:

  9. Pingback: Trackback

  10. Pingback: Trackback

  11. Pingback: Trackback

  12. Pingback: Trackback

  13. Pingback: Florencio Rinebarger

  14. Pingback: Trackback

  15. Pingback: hay day cheats

  16. Pingback: Trackback

  17. Pingback: Trackback

  18. Pingback: Hay Day Cheats

  19. Pingback: Trackback

  20. Pingback: Trackback

  21. Pingback: Trackback

  22. Pingback: Trackback

  23. Pingback: Trackback

  24. Pingback: Trackback

  25. Pingback: Trackback

  26. Pingback: Trackback

  27. Pingback: Trackback

  28. Pingback: Trackback

  29. Pingback: Cheats for Poptropica

  30. Pingback: Trackback

  31. Pingback: Need legal advice?

  32. Pingback: Trackback

  33. Pingback: where to find garcinia cambogia max

  34. Pingback: testosterone boosters

  35. Pingback: youtube.coM/watch?v=-ypGoBqbtg0

  36. Pingback: see this here Tempe DUI lawyers

  37. Pingback: cantik alami

  38. Pingback: minileningen informatie

  39. Pingback: Carpet Cleaning Machines

  40. Pingback: paintless dent removal training

  41. Pingback: paintless dent removal training

  42. Pingback: paintless dent repair training

  43. Pingback: Advertise for free

  44. Pingback: muscle gain supplements

  45. Pingback: buy adderall online

  46. Pingback:

  47. Pingback: pdr tools

  48. Pingback: paintless dent removal training course

  49. Pingback: paintless dent repair training course

  50. Pingback: discount membership

  51. Pingback: Love Letters For Him

  52. Pingback: ถ่ายรูป

  53. Pingback: commonwealth tower condo price

  54. Pingback: electronic vapor cigarettes

  55. Pingback: ingredients in vapor cigarettes

  56. Pingback: check it out

  57. Pingback:

  58. Pingback: super cool website

  59. Pingback:

  60. Pingback: credit monitoring

  61. Pingback: kosiarki

  62. Pingback: personal loans for fair credit

  63. Pingback: elo boost

  64. Pingback: dvd Covers and other graphic materials

  65. Pingback: top rated garcinia cambogia extract

  66. Pingback: free credit score equifax

  67. Pingback:

  68. Pingback: african mask template

  69. Pingback: ถ่ายรูป

  70. Pingback: garcinia cambogia gnc ingredients

  71. Pingback: Kids

  72. Pingback: where to buy garcinia cambogia extract gnc

  73. Pingback: natural sleep pills

  74. Pingback: watch this in youtube

  75. Pingback: url man

  76. Pingback: struisbaai accommodation

  77. Pingback: Strategic Campaigns Incorporated

  78. Pingback: pauly 888

  79. Pingback: why not try this out

  80. Pingback: Soccer IQ

  81. Pingback: vick strizheus big idea mastermind

  82. Pingback: free netflix account and password

  83. Pingback: big idea mastermind reviews

  84. Pingback: web hosting packages

  85. Pingback: ช่างภาพรับปริญญา

  86. Pingback: Get Free Xbox Live Codes New Method!

  87. Pingback: Retail Pro Ecommerce Integration

  88. Pingback: fat burner for men

  89. Pingback: jawatan kosong

  90. Pingback: no deposit casino usa

  91. Pingback: buy cheap electronics

  92. Pingback: colon cleansing

  93. Pingback: online dating site

  94. Pingback: natural remedies for nail fungus

  95. Pingback: eiaculazione precoce

  96. Pingback: Riconquistare un ex

  97. Pingback: eiaculazioni precoce

  98. Pingback: eiaculazioni precoce

  99. Pingback: business listing for free

  100. Pingback:

  101. Pingback: electric cigarette sample

  102. Pingback: major credit bureaus

  103. Pingback: PMP Certification)

  104. Pingback: web hosting services reviews

  105. Pingback: free government credit score

  106. Pingback: 3 credit reports

  107. Pingback: Unlock iPhone Chile

  108. Pingback: Great Music

  109. Pingback: rower mtb

  110. Pingback: cheapoair promo codes

  111. Pingback: dr oz on weight loss

  112. Pingback: finance fundation

  113. Pingback:

  114. Pingback: cheapoair promo code

  115. Pingback: food safety

  116. Pingback: samsung universe

  117. Pingback: cheapoair promo code

  118. Pingback: cheapoair coupons

  119. Pingback: promo code for cheapoair

  120. Pingback: cigarette

  121. Pingback: plural design

  122. Pingback: cheapoair coupons

  123. Pingback:

  124. Pingback: cheapoair promo code

  125. Pingback: hyundai hybryd

  126. Pingback: healthy food options

  127. Pingback: cambogia garcinia reviews

  128. Pingback: web hosting trial

  129. Pingback: Lunatik Promo Code

  130. Pingback: dr oz garcinia

  131. Pingback: Garcinia Cambogia

  132. Pingback: steve organic farmer

  133. Pingback: best local seo services

  134. Pingback: electricians san jose ca

  135. Pingback: harrah's casino

  136. Pingback: switch gigabit 24 port

  137. Pingback: south west houston ac repair

  138. Pingback: Commercial Signs Dallas Texas

  139. Pingback: homerun improvement

  140. Pingback: cheapoair coupon codes

  141. Pingback: annual free credit score

  142. Pingback: oc bail bonds

  143. Pingback: Dallas Business signs

  144. Pingback: moneys to nevil

  145. Pingback: online internet marketing courses

  146. Pingback: promo code for cheapoair

  147. Pingback: Minneapolis SEO Guide

  148. Pingback: cheapoair coupom

  149. Pingback: home security company

  150. Pingback: hd wallpapers

  151. Pingback: Best Austin SEO Consultant

  152. Pingback: buy soundcloud favorites

  153. Pingback: home security systems company in london

  154. Pingback: articulo

  155. Pingback: 3d text maker

  156. Pingback: pure garcinia cambogia

  157. Pingback: meadville auto insurance

  158. Pingback:

  159. Pingback: google page ranking

  160. Pingback: whittier bail bonds

  161. Pingback: intruder alarm

  162. Pingback: burglar alarms installation in london

  163. Pingback: home security systems company

  164. Pingback: party rentals burbank

  165. Pingback: Resources

  166. Pingback: los angeles artificial grass

  167. Pingback: locksmith revere boston ma

  168. Pingback: hantverkare gavle

  169. Pingback: macintosh laptop

  170. Pingback: Lunatik promo code

  171. Pingback: Lunatik coupon code

  172. Pingback: Lunatik discount

  173. Pingback: hamdard products for premature ejaculation

  174. Pingback: Lunatik discount code

  175. Pingback: Lunatik coupons

  176. Pingback: Lunatik coupons

  177. Pingback: Lunatik promo codes

  178. Pingback: Lunatik coupons

  179. Pingback: read here

  180. Pingback: Lunatik discount code

  181. Pingback: Lunatik promo code

  182. Pingback: Lunatik coupon

  183. Pingback: lunatik coupon code

  184. Pingback:

  185. Pingback:

  186. Pingback:

  187. Pingback: best way to get rid of cellulite

  188. Pingback: Lunatik promo codes

  189. Pingback: paintless dent repair training

  190. Pingback: youtube subscribers for reverbnation

  191. Pingback: Lunatik promo code

  192. Pingback: vik uslugi Sofia

  193. Pingback: Lunatik coupon code

  194. Pingback: Lunatik coupon

  195. Pingback: apple cheat

  196. Pingback: Provestra Side Effects

  197. Pingback: KOHLER K 18495 CP Symbol Handshower Polished B000MVP0WK

  198. Pingback: J Life Authentic Traditional Kakefuton Silk Filled B002LG284W

  199. Pingback: Waterproof Fitted Mattress Pad Twin B0017WHK30

  200. Pingback: marietta basement remodeling

  201. Pingback: junk removal atlanta ga

  202. Pingback: general contractors in atlanta

  203. Pingback: stress free property management

  204. Pingback: Lunatik promo code

  205. Pingback: Timbangan Digital Harga

  206. Pingback: modnaja odezhda

  207. Pingback: onlain magazin bashmag

  208. Pingback: on-line magazin boutique ru

  209. Pingback: ElitDress

  210. Pingback: upholstery long beach

  211. Pingback: ElitePeoples.RU

  212. Pingback: ElitePeoples.RU

  213. Pingback: what drugs help you last longer in bed

  214. Pingback: Dallas SEO Company

  215. Pingback: handyman kennesaw ga

  216. Pingback: Online Jobs At Home

  217. Pingback: blog de noticias

  218. Pingback: buy reverbnation plays cheap

  219. Pingback: oceanside fencing contractor

  220. Pingback: knives whtf01 antique micarta handles b009m8oan4 392

  221. Pingback: gardena 8882 u telescopic trimmer highcut b0030beioa 3226

  222. Pingback: waterchef premium under sink filtration system b00bk6vgb0 4746

  223. Pingback: inprint biometric gun safe midnight b0042wp0ne 3166

  224. Pingback: affiliate tracking

  225. Pingback: head west copper beaded bronze b009rljrhu 6875

  226. Pingback: fanimation fp8014sn pedestal ceiling nickel b004mxm6ee 5239

  227. Pingback: american furniture alliance montego walnut b001l5hko2 685

  228. Pingback: Indoor Air Quality Testing in Los Angeles

  229. Pingback: where to buy wholesale snapback hats

  230. Pingback: overnight catsitter

  231. Pingback: dieta

  232. Pingback: Provestra Reviews

  233. Pingback: coco palms condo

  234. Pingback: Босоножки Kate

  235. Pingback: Кардиган River Woods

  236. Pingback: Топ R95th

  237. Pingback: Туфли Valor Wolf

  238. Pingback: Жилет Gas

  239. Pingback: BDSM

  240. Pingback: Кеды Fred Perry

  241. Pingback: gde luchshe kupit bra mercur 88296

  242. Pingback: naples cat boarding

  243. Pingback: Matthew Mainen

  244. Pingback: kupit 25 rubley sochi 2014

  245. Pingback: garcinia

  246. Pingback: video bokep

  247. Pingback: garcinia cambogia

  248. Pingback: Lunatik promo code

  249. Pingback: bForex company

  250. Pingback: bForex company

  251. Pingback: Penerjemah Tersumpah

  252. Pingback: bforex

  253. Pingback: Lansing Movers

  254. Pingback: dht blocking shampoo

  255. Pingback: dht blocker shampoos

  256. Pingback: Work from Home Ideas

  257. Pingback: soundcloud track promotion

  258. Pingback: dht blocking shampoo

  259. Pingback: Medicine

  260. Pingback: ottawa apartments

  261. Pingback: Take The Race

  262. Pingback: virus

  263. Pingback: cheapoair promo codes

  264. Pingback: cheapoair discount

  265. Pingback: Cheap Rolex

  266. Pingback: Permaculture Activist

  267. Pingback: escort in Iquique

  268. Pingback: potencja opinie

  269. Pingback: Where to buy center

  270. Pingback: Where can i buy

  271. Pingback: Where can i buy

  272. Pingback: Where can i buy

  273. Pingback: sztachety PCV

  274. Pingback: Where to buy center

  275. Pingback: sauder water highboy stand estate b002rrfbwg 4561

  276. Pingback: chevrolet blazer keyless entry remote b003rwjf68 3906

  277. Pingback: cheapoair promo code

  278. Pingback: cheapoair coupon code

  279. Pingback: UIC Asian Computer Services Pte Ltd

  280. Pingback: Avnet Singapore

  281. Pingback: dog boarding in naples

  282. Pingback: furniture

  283. Pingback: naples pet sitters

  284. Pingback: brochure design uk

  285. Pingback: Cute Viagra boys suits

  286. Pingback: puahate owner

  287. Pingback: dragons world hack

  288. Pingback: online home equity loan

  289. Pingback: arm to fixed rate

  290. Pingback: best payday loans lenders

  291. Pingback: northstar lending

  292. Pingback: school

  293. Pingback: one song one day

  294. Pingback: consolidation debt program virginia

  295. Pingback: local payday loan lenders

  296. Pingback: loanpocket com application

  297. Pingback: Garden Bridges

  298. Pingback: mold removal toronto

  299. Pingback: buy twitter retweets

  300. Pingback: Ashley

  301. Pingback: antalyahomes

  302. Pingback: Trackback

  303. Pingback: Electric bicycle

  304. Pingback: Electric bicycle

  305. Pingback: where to buy instagram followers

  306. Pingback: miniclip

  307. Pingback: best harrisburg dui attorney

  308. Pingback: obligacje

  309. Pingback: forex

  310. Pingback: permaculture

  311. Pingback: website

  312. Pingback: website

  313. Pingback: bankruptcy attorney harrisburg pa

  314. Pingback: click here

  315. Pingback: pay per click

  316. Pingback: internet marketing

  317. Pingback: hans christian andersen stories

  318. Pingback: FYRM

  319. Pingback: stone grilling

  320. Pingback: check out the post right here

  321. Pingback: premature ejaculation training program

  322. Pingback: dietista barcelona

  323. Pingback: levitra

  324. Pingback: health

  325. Pingback:

  326. Pingback: why do i last longer the second time

  327. Pingback: SEO Singapore

  328. Pingback: moon bounce

  329. Pingback: inflatable castle

  330. Pingback: bounce house

  331. Pingback: kravmaga berkshire

  332. Pingback: Toronto Freelance Web Design

  333. Pingback: Concurso foro20

  334. Pingback: portland bankruptcy attorney

  335. Pingback: hd radeon 7990

  336. Pingback: Trackback

  337. Pingback: tournage porno amateur

  338. Pingback: seguro viagem europe

  339. Pingback: seguro viagem europe

  340. Pingback: microsoft email free

  341. Pingback: rolety katowice

  342. Pingback: streaming video

  343. Pingback: bathroom remodel northern virginia

  344. Pingback: cheap viagra pills uk

  345. Pingback: Afghan DJ

  346. Pingback: ios games hacks

  347. Pingback: cheapest generic viagra online

  348. Pingback: Ways To Make Money

  349. Pingback: (PMI Certification

  350. Pingback: car title loans

  351. Pingback: no cydia hack

  352. Pingback: iherb coupon codes

  353. Pingback: cheapest private prescription viagra

  354. Pingback: iherb coupon

  355. Pingback: Trackback

  356. Pingback: Slotomania Free Coins Ipad

  357. Pingback: spielen

  358. Pingback: how to make beat

  359. Pingback: Timbangan Digital

  360. Pingback: plyty poliweglanowe

  361. Pingback: terapia –

  362. Pingback: noclegi ustron

  363. Pingback: najlepsi bukmacherzy

  364. Pingback: virus removal

  365. Pingback: pharmacie andorre cialis

  366. Pingback: funny commercials 2014

  367. Pingback: iherb coupons

  368. Pingback: iherb discount code

  369. Pingback: somanabolic muscle maximizer review

  370. Pingback: laserowe usuwanie blizn Rzeszów

  371. Pingback: skup samochodów Warszawa

  372. Pingback: iherb coupons

  373. Pingback: funny painful fails

  374. Pingback: iherb coupon

  375. Pingback: Blog

  376. Pingback: address

  377. Pingback: Online Games

  378. Pingback: Comment...

  379. Pingback:

  380. Pingback: funniest commercials

  381. Pingback: Diindolylmethane

  382. Pingback: big trucks

  383. Pingback: domki ogrodowe

  384. Pingback: meble szafki rtv

  385. Pingback: krajowy rejestr firm

  386. Pingback: projektowanie opakowan

  387. Pingback: porady prawne katowice

  388. Pingback: buy viagra

  389. Pingback: tworzenie stron internetowych

  390. Pingback: Sklepy meblowe

  391. Pingback: - Katowice

  392. Pingback: jasa website

  393. Pingback: Klimatyzacja Kraków

  394. Pingback: lustro

  395. Pingback: oddymiane

  396. Pingback: pool nets los angeles

  397. Pingback: Trackback

  398. Pingback: clinique hartmann

  399. Pingback: calling card software

  400. Pingback: hotels

  401. Pingback: buy cialis

  402. Pingback: Lie detector

  403. Pingback: bargains

  404. Pingback: leczenie nieplodnosci Bydgoszcz

  405. Pingback: cialis moins cher en pharmacie

  406. Pingback: handmade art tiles

  407. Pingback: serwis Gerda kraków

  408. Pingback: Kazakh National Medical University in Almaty

  409. Pingback: niwelator laserowy

  410. Pingback: cialis pas cher a paris

  411. Pingback: Throne Rush Gems gennerator

  412. Pingback: GOPRO DEALER INDIA

  413. Pingback: Tech

  414. Pingback: cat vines

  415. Pingback: {amoxil pediatric suspension|amoxil dosage cats|amoxil and the contraceptive pill|color amoxil|amoxil with a rash|amoxil for dogs|amoxil photosensitivity}

  416. Pingback: achat cialis pro

  417. Pingback: aftrekken in

  418. Pingback: Baseball Fundraiser

  419. Pingback: tadalafil en pharmacie

  420. Pingback: geile hoer in

  421. Pingback: Start

  422. Pingback: lida

  423. Pingback: Advogado familia

  424. Pingback: mycie okien

  425. Pingback:

  426. Pingback: Health

  427. Pingback: corvette wiring harness

  428. Pingback: acheter cialis 20mg

  429. Pingback: clean

  430. Pingback: uslugi remontowe poznan

  431. Pingback: ilipo warszawa

  432. Pingback: kancelaria prawna

  433. Pingback: Hardened PC Security

  434. Pingback: friv

  435. Pingback: bathmate x40 xtreme

  436. Pingback: Finance

  437. Pingback: szybka pozyczka przez internet

  438. Pingback: adwokaci Katowice

  439. Pingback: sale konferencyjne

  440. Pingback: krzem organiczny

  441. Pingback: kosmetyki mineralne

  442. Pingback: Liberty

  443. Pingback: Strike Force Heroes 2

  444. Pingback: licence seo

  445. Pingback: capture his heart

  446. Pingback: best leeds builders

  447. Pingback: iherb coupon code

  448. Pingback: tadalafil 20mg

  449. Pingback: Lamborghini Aventador

  450. Pingback: Dobry Fryzjer Krosno

  451. Pingback: Trading

  452. Pingback: iherb coupon

  453. Pingback: water ionizers

Leave a Reply