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Philly Homers, is Jon Lieber getting beat around or unlucky?

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Postby JustAnotherYanksFan » Fri May 12, 2006 12:56 pm

Yeah, I remember from when Lieber was on the Yankees that he always had an amazing K/BB ratio but that was partly because he'd throw a lot of pitches right over the heart of the plate, so he'd also get hit a lot. In the end, he'll still be a solid pitcher over the course of the entire season and I think it's reasonable to expect that his ERA and WHIP will soon begin to fall in line with his other stats. But I think he's the sort of pitcher who's good to have to fill out a Major League team's rotation but isn't necessarily going to be that valuable in fantasy, except maybe as an occasional spot-starter.
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Postby smoovethug » Fri May 12, 2006 4:25 pm

Yeah I don't think he's really worthy of a fantasy spot. He doesn't walk many but gives up a lot of hits and can't seem to avoid the big inning so far this year. He does fine for a few innings then the blowup comes. He can possibly turn it around but I would only suggest him for spot starts.
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Postby stevethumb » Fri May 12, 2006 6:10 pm

i believe he is in the top 2 or 3 alltime in BB per 9..the guy had a great 2nd half last year and will pay dividends for any one who buys him cheap now...his wins and whip will help any team
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Postby BobbyRoberto » Sat May 13, 2006 4:33 pm

As mentioned by others, Lieber's underlying stats are good:

1. His BABIP (see below) is .359. This number for most pitchers is around .290. It should come down.

2. His FIP (see below) is 3.74

3. His xFIP (see below) is 3.91

BABIP
Batting Average on balls put into play. A pitcher's average on batted balls ending a plate appearance, excluding home runs. Based on the research of Voros McCracken and others, BABIP is mostly a function of a pitcher's defense and luck, rather than persistent skill. Thus, pitchers with abnormally high or low BABIPs are good bets to see their performances regress to the mean. A typical BABIP is about .290.

FIP
Fielding Independent Pitching, a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible. The formula is (HR*13+(BB+HBP)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor (usually around 3.2) to round out the number to an equivalent ERA number. FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his fielders fielded. FIP was invented by Tangotiger.

xFIP
Expected Fielding Independent Pitching. This is an experimental stat that adjusts FIP and "normalizes" the home run component. Research has shown that home runs allowed are pretty much a function of flyballs allowed and home park, so xFIP is based on the average number of home runs allowed per outfield fly. Theoretically, this should be a better predicter of a pitcher's future ERA.
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Postby redjake » Sat May 13, 2006 5:34 pm

FIP and xFIP doesn't look too bad (much appreciation for the explanations, by the way) but I'm curious how they compare to others. Anyplace I can go to see that?
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Postby Wharton93 » Sat May 13, 2006 8:32 pm

His underlying skill set this season was in full display tonight. Hope you picked up him earlier in the week; he's won 2x this week.
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Postby BobbyRoberto » Sat May 13, 2006 9:04 pm

FIP and xFIP doesn't look too bad (much appreciation for the explanations, by the way) but I'm curious how they compare to others. Anyplace I can go to see that?


FIP and xFIP, along with BABIP for hitters can be found at
http://www.hardballtimes.com/

From the home page, click on Stats (top right) and put in the player's name next to Search for Player.

Hardball Times has some great stats to look at, including Ground ball rate, Line Drive rate, etc.

Speaking of Lieber, I just noticed his LOB% is very low this year, just 55.9%. LOB% is the percentage of baserunners allowed that didn't score. LOB% is used to track a pitcher's luck or effectiveness (depending on your point of view). <-explanation from Hardball Times Statistics Glossary. There's a link to an article that explains more. In '04, Lieber's LOB% was 67.8%. In '05, it was 72.5%. Heading into today's game, it was 55.9% for '06. That's very low and should also improve.

Great game for Lieber today, just a gem. I'm glad I used him.
Roger Angell: I was talking with Bob Gibson and I said: 'Are you always this competitive?' He said: 'Oh, I think so. I got a three-year old daughter, and I've played about 500 games of tic-tac-toe with her and she hasn't beat me yet.'
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Postby Music2004Man » Sat May 13, 2006 11:36 pm

Lieber looked pretty good tonight against a Cincy team that has been swinging the bats well all year. Griffey wasn't playing tonight and McCracken was leading off but as a Philly fan I'll take the solid start from Lieber.
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Postby Snakes Gould » Sat May 13, 2006 11:37 pm

his underlying skill set is that he sucks. plainly and as simply put as i can make it, hes not good. hes an innings eater with good control, therefore with his "under" powering stuff is liable to get to rocked any start he makes, even more so when he's pitching at home in citizen's bank park. I would say that him doing good is more lucky then him doing poorly.

and no i dont have any fantasy mccrackin or bill james stats. im just a well knowledged baseball observer and i know what i know, especially as a phillies fan.
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Postby BobbyRoberto » Sun May 14, 2006 1:03 am

Hmmm, let's see. Lieber won 14 games in 2004 and 16 games in 2005. In 2005, he had a 4.22 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 141 K. Is that the pitching of someone who sucks?

I'm not saying he's great, be he can be a useful starter.
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