Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Researching Comments: Felix Hernandez 2014 versus his 2010 Cy Young Season

Trying something new today, i'm looking at the comments section of this article from Yahoo! to answer some of the reader comments to see how accurate they are and to have some writing material.

The first comment from this article up for analysis is:

"Appropos of nothing in this fine column, Felix Hernandez is having a way better year than even the year he won the Cy Young. It's just nuts.
His worst start of this season -earned run-wise - was a start in which he 1) got the win, 2) went 6 2/3, 3) walked nobody, and 4) struck out 7.
Jeez. The King indeed. "     


Which raises the question of:

Is Felix Hernandez 2014 season better than his 2010 Cy Young Winning Season ?          

To look at this, I went to his player page  to compare the two areas.

Section 1: Projected ERA:

For projected ERA, I look at ERA, FIP and xFIP and use the following formula (ERA+xFIP+xFIP+FIP+FIP+FIP) with the intent of not completely disregard the ERA on the surface but giving stronger consideration to fielding independent pitching

2010: ERA 2.27, FIP 3.04, xFIP 3.14 gives us a projected ERA of 2.94
2014: ERA 1.95, FIP 2.07, xFIP 2.38 gives us a projected ERA of 2.15

Winner: 2014

Section 2: Ground Balls

2010: 53.9%
2014: 56.1%

Winner: 2014

Section 3: K/BB Ratio

2010: 3.31
2014: 6.06

Winner: 2014

In this case, the reader comment was very correct in that Felix Hernandez has managed to exceed the high expectations surrounding him based off of seasons such as 2010 where he came away with the Cy Young Award. One interesting thing to note is that he has changed around his pitch repertoire this year in that he is throwing less fastballs this year (44% versus 57% for career) and he has began to rely on his change up more (30% this year versus 17% for his career).

If this is a sign of things to come over the next few years, this is very good news for Mariners fans and very bad news for opposing hitters but also very good news for baseball.

Accuracy of Commentary: Home Run

Information referenced in this article found on fangraphs.com