Maybin, Nolasco, Pinto, xFIP


FanGraphs has these awesome sections on their player pages that #1) shows the amount of what pitches a player has seen and #2) showing the rate a player swings, his contact, and if he's swinging at stuff out of the zone or in the zone.

For all the talk that Maybin shouldn't hit 8 because he won't see fastballs:
He has seen a FB 57% of the time. Emilio, in the #1 spot, has seen a FB 60% of the time. The ML average last year was 60%. In other words, he is seeing a ton of FBs. Someone who doesn't see FBs is Dan Uggla, who has only seen 50% FBs for the second year running now. Or Miguel Olivo, who has only seen a FB in the mid-40's for several years now

The main thing is that, when it comes to secondary pitches, Maybin is seeing a slider 30% of the time. The ML average last year was 15%. So he's seeing double the amount of sliders than a normal player.

Now it should be noted that there is still "noise" here. 24% of the pitches Maybin has seen has been untrackable. At the end of the season, this goes down to the 1-2% range. Small sample size is hurting here.

Also, to all the "Maybin just gets junk" thing

58.8% of the pitches he has seen have been in the strike zone. 51% is the ML average.

Now for the real problem:

Maybin has swung at things outside of the strike zone 25.7%. The ML average is 25.5%. He's doing fine here.

Maybin has swung at things inside the strike zone 72% of the time. The ML average is 65.5% of the time. This normally wouldn't be an issue, but why it is:

Maybin's rate of making contact with balls inside of the zone is just 75%. This is really, really bad. The ML average is 88%.

In other words, he is not hitting the pitches he is suppose to be hitting. He is having major contact issues.

So yes, it seems the issue is still that he can not recognize sliders from fastballs.

The problem is, he's now in a league where pitches can now throw sliders for strikes.

Looking at these numbers, I severely doubt he'd be approached any differently at any other spot in the line up.

He has a whopping 71% first pitch strike rate. The ML average is 58%. That means that, out of his 31 Pas, only 9 have been 1-0 counts, 22 times he has started 0-1.

This also doesn't appear to be just a thing that has only just now started happening. In both his '07 and '08 call ups, he's been around the same in contact rates. His career contact of balls in the strike zone is just 78%.

AAA definitely might not be the worst idea in the world if he continues to have problems (obviously you don't make a move based off of 11 games). He needs to be able to recognize the difference between a FB and a slider if he wants to have ML success. Though also unfortunately, the only way to learn a ML slider is the have experience in the major leagues. Growing pains suck but as is said a billion times, not everybody is Hanley and Cabrera.


the problem definitely isn't throwing strikes. Last year, 67.6% of his pitches went for strikes. His previous two starts, he threw for a strike 67% of the time. Tonight he threw for a strike 69% of the time.

He's also still within the strike zone around the same rate.

He just seemed to have a problem finishing guys off. Like the Lannan AB. Which shouldn't carry over throughout the season.

He had a .467 BABIP on the night and now has a .380 BABIP on the year.

He's still not walking guys. He showed tonight he can still K guys, with 1k per IP. HRs are always going to be a problem but HRs are always going to be a problem with FB pitchers.

Sitting back and actually observing the numbers, I'm a lot less worried about Ricky.


I'm sure most of you know what FIP is, but just a quick reiteration, FIP looks at the three main things a pitcher is responsible for (K's, BB's, HR's) and shows what his expected ERA would be. It's not perfect; GB pitchers normally out perform their FIPs due to their ability to limit all XBH [as FIP only looks at HRs and not 2b/3b/ect]. Absolute dominant guys like Pedro out-perform their FIPs because their harder to get base hits off of, and hittable guys underperform their FIPs, as FIP goes under the assumption that every pitcher is around the .300 BABIP threshold. It takes away the defensive factor, it takes away "luck" (i.e. broken bat singles or hard line drives right at guys, which should equal themselves out over time but often don't in small sample sizes), it helps show what exactly a pitcher does to help his own cause.

But anyway, going back to Pinto.

Pinto has had a pretty good ERA in the majors so far at 3.92, just barely below the league average ERA. But his FIP is all the way up at 4.78, nearly a full run above and very very poor.

A lot of people point to the start of last year as saying hey, Pinto figured it out. Fredi over worked him, hence why he was horrible at the end. And ERA would show as much. First two months of the season, he finished with a 1.57 ERA. He'd post a 7.71 ERA the rest of the way.

And he was definitely overused. Through the four months of the season, he appeared in 58 games, 53% of the games the Marlins played. If he was around the entire season, he'd have thrown in 86 games with 112 innings. No doubt, obscene and stupid.

The issue though is, was he actually good at the start of the season?

The first two months of the season, he finished with a 4.77 FIP even though he had a 1.57 ERA. How? Just a .188 BABIP, extremely low, just 5 hits per 9 innings.

But he wasn't striking people out. He'd finish those two months with just a 6.30 K/9, and he was still walking a ton at 5.50 per 9. It was really a tale of two months (in April, he K'd at just a 3.85 rate per 9, but also walked at only a 2.89 rate. But then May came, his K's came back at a 9.17 rate, but so did his walks at a 8.60 rate).

Without a doubt he was overworked last season, and that showed in his regression in the later months. But I'm also willing to say a lot of that was normalization.

His K-rate has gone down every season. His hr-rate has gone up every season. His BB rate went down in '07 compared to '06 (although that's no compliment considering his '06 bb rate was 8.19), but it went up again last year.

Yeah, he K's a lot. But he also gives up a ton of HRs. He also gives up a ton of walks. Both of which shows up in the minors as well.

And for being left handed, he also a 4.64 FIP against left handed batters, barely better than his 4.86 FIP against right handers. While part of that has to do with his huge HR rate against LHB (1.41 HR/9), if we normalize that to the rate to be expected out of him (1 hr/9, or 6 HRs over his career), he still has a 4.14 FIP, well below what an average reliever would do, let alone an average left handed pitcher against a left handed batter.

I mean yeah, his K rates are obscene. He's just 26 years old. He is left handed. My problem is right now, he is set up as the #1 go to left handed pitcher. And that to me is a problem.

I mean, let's look at our bullpen. Out of our 7 pitchers, we have 3 things we have faith in to atleast be around average (Lindstrom, Nunez, Kiko), and 4 that we're worried about (Pinto, Kensing, Meyer, and Penn).

To me, if you only have one left hander in your top 5 bullpen, you want your #6 guy to be left handed, and you're #7 guy is then just a right handed long relief option. And if Pinto was our #6 guy, that'd be great. Let him see if he can work out his stuff there.

But Pinto isn't. He's, what, our #4 at the moment with Kensing #5? That right there is the fault with our bullpen. Kensing is basically in the same boat as Pinto: Bunch of K's, bunch of walks, bunch of HRs, carer FIP of 5.17 with a 4.79 last year, but just 26 years old if he could figure out his control he'd be ace. Put him as the #7 guy and money. Have him as your #5 guy and f***.

Right now we have 4 out of option, high upside former good prospect still young with something to prove players, perfect molds of #6 and #7 guys. The upgrade in the bullpen consists of either two of those breaking out, or replacing two of them.  And considering Pinto is arbitration eligible at the end of the season and Kensing will be in his second year of arbitration, and Meyer/Penn still have starting possibilities, they're easily the guys to point to considering how we have to run things.

Right now I'm just real pissed we didn't sign Ohman. If things "work out", Proctor is healthy this season and replaces Kensing in late May/early June, or one of Tucker/Ceda/whoever figure it out in AAA. But outside of Tank figuring it back out, we have no LOOGY, anywhere. And we're probably going to have to give up another Gaby Hernandez this year to fix the problem.

I sure as hell hope Pinto (And Kensing) prove me wrong this season but I really don't have much hope.


xFIP is an interesting stat that tries to normalize HR/FB numbers as well as taking park into account.  Because of this, it should do a better job of matching future results than FIP does.  Basically, it does what I did with the post about Lindstrom's HR rates.  League average is 10%, and it's normally in a 8.5-12.5% range.  Since, afaik, xFIP doesn't take past history into account, it should be a little off since it likely rates off 10% though not sure.  Available at Hardball Times.

Notables from last year:

xFIP: 4.24
FIP: 3.13
ERA: 3.14
HR/FB: 2.4%

Andrew Miller-
xFIP: 4.63
FIP: 3.96
ERA: 6.54
HR/FB: 7.6%
Bolding for emphasis since a big deal was made out of his FIP by a lot of people, myself included.  So kinda ehh to that, never noticed his HR/FB earlier.

xFIP: 4.47
FIP: 5.10
ERA: 6.08
HR/FB: 18.7%
Yeah, likely not going to repeat that HR/FB lol.  He should still be in the upper-tier of HR/FB though do to his lack of stuff and still be around a 5 FIP.

xFIP: 4.54
FIP: 4.83
ERA: 5.57
HR/FB: 17%

Leo Nunez-
xFIP: 5.15
FIP: 3.75
ERA: 2.98
HR/FB: 4.2%

xFIP: 4.77
FIP: 3.75
ERA: 2.88
HR/FB: 4.7%
Like Andrew, I never actually paid attention to his HR/FB, so this basically explains why projections are so hard on Volstad and can't really blame them.  But his GB rates should hopefully improve (58% in the minors, just 52.6% in the majors), and his control should improve aswell considering how good it was in the minors.  Give him a 58% GB rate (which would be a 0.65 HR/9), a 2.7 BB rate, and a 5.5 K rate, we're talking about a 3.82 FIP, then keeping in mind that FIP is generally over for GB pitchers since it doesn't take other XBHs into account, and yeah, I think we're good here.

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