Monday, September 10, 2012

Blake Beavan: Before and After

He even looks boring
This weekend series was brutal in so many ways, I think I'll just forget it and move on.  The Mariners got swept by the Athletics in a three game series while being able to manage a whole four runs in those three games.  Instead, let's take a look at everyone's favorite pitcher, Blake Beavan.

Earlier in the year, Beavan was sent packing back to Triple-A after impressing absolutely no one with his pitching.  He's not exactly an impressive pitcher to begin with, but even less so at the start of 2012.  He was sent down on June 10th after allowing six earned runs in two innings against the Dodgers.  He was recalled from Triple-A and made his next big league start on July 17.  While in the minors, he did reasonably well, which we won't get in to since, Triple-A.  Did a light snap on for Beavan after being sent to the minors?  Let's take a look and find out.  Fair warning: This is just for the starts he's made this season, so beware of small sample sizes!

 Through Beavan's first half in the majors, his ERA was an unseemly 5.92 in 62 1/3 innings of work.  He punched out 30 batters and only allowed 11 walks, which gives us a 2.73 SO/BB rate.  That's not exactly something to write home about, but neither is it completely horrendous.  The problem with Beavan wasn't the walks or strikeouts though.  He was getting hit, and hit hard.

Though he had only allowed twelve home runs through those twelve starts, only four of those came at home in five home starts.  The other eight came in 7 starts.  In home games, he pitched 25 innings, giving him a HR/9 rate of 1.44.  In road starts, he threw a combined 37 1/3 innings with 8 home runs given up.  That's a HR/9 of 1.93.  No matter the pitcher, giving up nearly two home runs per 9 innings pitched does not a successful pitcher make.  Combined, his HR/9 rate was 1.73, which is not a number that gets you rainbows and puppy dogs.

Through those first twelve starts, Beavan allowed a BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) of .298.  For comparison, an average major leaguer's BABIP is around .310-.320.  So in that regard, he was doing fairly well, although that's more about luck than actual skill.  His biggest problem before was the long ball.  Hitters were raking to the tune of an .861 OPS. 

No matter how you look at it, Blake Beavan was getting hit hard before his demotion in June.  Whether that's from pitch selection, location, sequencing, what have you, I'm not sure yet.  Maybe once I have this whole internet thing figured out.

After being promoted later in the year, he made his first start back on July 17th.  Thus far, he's made 10 starts with an ERA of 4.12 in 63 1/3 innings.  Already he's improved, lasting an after of 6 1/3 innings per start compared to roughly 5 1/3 per start before the demotion.  In the span of those 63 1/3 innings, he's allowed only 8 walks to go along with 31 strikeouts, good for a 3.88 SO/BB rate. It's a very small sample size, but we'll take what we can get.

The ten starts Beavan's made since his recall has been split down the middle.  Five on the road and five at home.  In the 5 road starts, he's managed to limit his home runs to three spanning 32 innings.  That's a HR/9 of 0.84.  Which, wow, that was unexpected.  I'm looking at the numbers and I still don't expect it.  In home starts, he's allowed five homers in 31 1/3 innings, giving him a HR/9 of 1.44, right in line with his home run rate at home before his demotion.  On the road, park factors also play in to the numbers, but even so, a drop from 1.93 to 0.84 on the road is nothing to sneeze at.

How about what the other teams are doing overall and not just homers?  I'm glad you asked!  Beavan has allowed a .726 OPS to opposing players.  That's not exactly ace worthy, but it would be a number closer to what you'd want to see in a 4th or 5th starter, like Beavan is and will be.

So Beavan has limited the damage done when the hitter makes contact.  At least, from what we can tell from the limited information I'm able to determine.  Maybe at some later date looking deeper into the numbers will tell a completely different story from the one I'm currently seeing.  At some point, I hope to be able to get more information out of some of the numbers out there on the interwebs and pass it along to the unsuspecting masses.  That's assuming anybody wants to learn more about Blake Beavan.  Here's hoping you have a little more sanity than I do.

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