Thursday, November 10, 2011

Justin Masterson: Arbitration

Justin Masterson registered a 4.1 WAR in 2011, worth 12.3 million dollars according to the Halladay Standard. However, he had a -.7 WAR in 2010 and a .6 in 2009. This was after a 2.3 WAR in 2008, so he has been all over the place. His career PE is .73 (adjusted PE of .65), mostly as a starter. He has given up just .49 HR/9IP. In 2011, his best year, he had a .45 PE, with an adjusted PE of .52, basically all as a starter. He gave up just .46 HR/9IP, and had an awesome TR of 11.34. In 2010, he gave up .7 HR/9IP, with a PE of 1.94. However, his adjusted PE was 1.17, and he suffered through a .324 BABIP. If we knocked off the extra .020 percent from his BAA because of his BABIP, his adjusted PE would be under 1, which is solid for a starter. His TR was a decent 9.32, a drop-off from 2011 (or I guess to get our chronology right, his 2011 TR was a big upgrade). There are also other reasons for the difference. He had more walks in 2010 than 2011, and it led to a higher WHIP and lower K/BB ratio in 2010. 2011 was actually the outlier in his career, he walked 2.71 per 9 innings compared to his career 3.49 ratio. In his successful in 2011, he actually had more balls put in play, he walked less people and struck out slightly less. With his league average BABIP, 2011 really gave us a window into who Masterson is and the results are good. The big question is whether walk rates are predictive like strikeout rates are believed to be. I really don't know, and 2011 was a large enough sample size to convince us that it wasn't fluky. But, his career averages suggest it should go up in 2012. No other metric suggests Masterson has changed majorly as a pitcher. This means he should probably walk more in 2012, and not be quite as effective as 2011 but still be better than 2010 as he was mercilessly unlucky then. He is a big time groundball pitcher at 2.07 GB/FB, and he has a career SIERA of 3.86. The Indians have a pretty good pitcher here, and they should hang on to him.

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