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Little things make a big difference

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#1 Brandon

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 09:10 AM

Relievers are a harder group of pitchers to gauge because from 1 year to the next they can go from a great season to bad and back again. So I got to thinking about the season Jarod Burton is having. It is evident that his stuff is starting to decline but has he really been as bad or ineffective as his era would suggest?

In comparing the game logs of 5 relievers based on games pitched (GP), games with runs scored against (GRSA), games with multiple runs scored against (GMRSA), and scoreless games pitched (SGP). Here's how they stacked up.

Burton GP 32 GRSA 10 GMRSA 5 SGP 22
Fien GP 34 GRSA 7 GMRSA 2 SGP 27 (most effective reliever)
Perkins GP 32 GRSA 9 GMRSA 5 SGP 23
Deunsing GP 28 GRSA 4 GMRSA 3 SGP 24 (most likely to pitch a scoreless game)
Thielbar GP 28 GRSA 8 GMRSA 1 SGA 19 (most likely to not give up 2 or more runs)

This view does not take into account inherited runs stranded or scored just what is attributed to them. but from the looks of things Burton has been almost as effective as Perkins in terms of scoreless games and games in which they gave up 1 run or multiple runs. So I wonder if this view gets looked at by the Twins Jack Goin when they look at bullpen effectiveness or some version of it. I think this does a better job of showing how effective a reliever is when the numbers appear off, like having a 6 ERA. It all comes down to a few bad innings for Burton and yes he is regressing some but not to the extent we at Twins daily believe. I think the other stats can show where the regression comes from (walks are up and so is HR per 9 innings). Burtons hits given up per 9 innings is almost in line with career norms 29 hits in 30 innings. So the question is why is Burtons control off so much this year? Burton has also given up 9 walks in his first 15 innings and 6 in his last 20 innings which is less than 3 per 9 innings his last 20 innings. Also he has given up 5 Homeruns this season with 3 coming in his first 5 innings. His first 10 innings he gave up 9 earned runs and 10 in his last 20 innings. a 4.50 era isn't great but passable. In his last 20 innings he has given up 18 hits 2 HR 6 walks 16 K's That's a 1.2 WHIP and 7.2 k per 9 innings and 2.7 bb per 9 and 2.6 ks per bb. Those are solid numbers. So it stands to reason that Burton just had a bad start to the season and has turned a corner and will likely to produce from here on out. Maybe not as an elite reliever but as a solid middleman.

Edited by Brandon, 22 June 2014 - 10:22 AM.


#2 drivlikejehu

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 09:26 AM

Burton's xFIP is 5.25, which is unspeakable for a relief pitcher in today's game. He's one of the worst 10 relievers in baseball with more than 20 IP. Even a bad pitcher will have scoreless innings.

He walks guys, gives up homers, doesn't get strikeouts... if anything fans probably don't realize just how ineffective he is now. There's no indication he is a Major League pitcher anymore.

#3 Brandon

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 10:26 AM

Burton's xFIP is 5.25, which is unspeakable for a relief pitcher in today's game. He's one of the worst 10 relievers in baseball with more than 20 IP. Even a bad pitcher will have scoreless innings.

He walks guys, gives up homers, doesn't get strikeouts... if anything fans probably don't realize just how ineffective he is now. There's no indication he is a Major League pitcher anymore.


In a breakdown of Burton he seems to have been 2 different pitchers so far this season. the first 10 innings and the last 20. what's his xFIP for his first 10 innings and his xFIP for his last 20? The last 20 innings are more likely to continue since they are his most recent body of work.

I am not saying Burton is good. I am just saying he is no where near as bad as we seem to think he is.

#4 drivlikejehu

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 10:41 AM

The last 20 innings are more likely to continue since they are his most recent body of work.


Nope. The first 10 innings are equally predictive going forward. There is natural variation that occurs during the season. And even during Burton's "good" stretch, he has been mediocre.

#5 Brandon

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 10:59 AM

Nope. The first 10 innings are equally predictive going forward. There is natural variation that occurs during the season. And even during Burton's "good" stretch, he has been mediocre.


How exactly has he been mediocre during his good stretch?

#6 jokin

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 12:39 PM

How exactly has he been mediocre during his good stretch?


His xFIP during the good stretch is still 4.71. We're only talking about 21 IP since May 1, versus 30 IP for the entire season.

#7 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 02:47 PM

I'm with Drivlikejehu, Burton is done as an effective MLB releiver. There are not many things I despise in pitcher analysis than taking about a guy's stats when you take out the bad outings. You can't do that. Even if he started terrible and is now just merely ineffective, it's all part of who he has become. he's been trending downward the last couple seasons, and I think we're seeing natural regression to the point that he's no longer a viable option, not for late in the game, and not to be stopper. Walks, hits, HR's, that's not what you need from a bullpen arm. I'd like to see Burton gone and one of the guys from AAA, AJ Achter, for example, up to replace him in the pen. Lots of good things happening in AAA that the front office does not need to stick with the talent at the MLB level. There is ripe fruit ready to be picked!
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#8 Brandon

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 03:23 PM

I'm with Drivlikejehu, Burton is done as an effective MLB releiver. There are not many things I despise in pitcher analysis than taking about a guy's stats when you take out the bad outings. You can't do that. Even if he started terrible and is now just merely ineffective, it's all part of who he has become. he's been trending downward the last couple seasons, and I think we're seeing natural regression to the point that he's no longer a viable option, not for late in the game, and not to be stopper. Walks, hits, HR's, that's not what you need from a bullpen arm. I'd like to see Burton gone and one of the guys from AAA, AJ Achter, for example, up to replace him in the pen. Lots of good things happening in AAA that the front office does not need to stick with the talent at the MLB level. There is ripe fruit ready to be picked!


Paul, I have to disagree. I didn't cherry pick his good and bad outing. I merely stated he struggled to begin the season and has since improved back to a satisfactory level. Relievers are a volatile bunch because a few bad outings distort their numbers. I show this by comparing how the relievers are fairing in terms of outings where they give up runs and the ones where they don't. and Burton compares almost equally with Perkins except Burton has several outings where he gave up 3 and 4 runs. does a few bad outings make him a done reliever? No and I think the Twins feel that way too as he got the save today with a scoreless inning and 2 Ks. I do agree that Burton doesn't have top flight stuff but there is no way he is done based on his results.

#9 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 03:50 PM

A releiver with an ERA north of 5.50 doesn't have much cause to be a releiver in MLB. When he gives up runs, he tends to do so in bunches. That's not someone I want in my bullpen. Maybe TR and the FO have different thoughts, but having faith in Burton at this point seems like pissing into the wind.
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#10 jorgenswest

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 03:58 PM

It isn't predictive, but Burton made a big contribution today.