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pacewon
04-27-04, 04:41 PM
First, what he does to the rotation…

Statistically, a healthy Jon Lieber reminds me a lot of Andy Pettitte.

Andy Pettitte's last 5 seasons (1999-2003):

ERA - 4.70, 4.35, 3.99, 3.27, 4.02
ERA+ - 95, 116, 112, 134, 109 (113.2 Avg.)
WHIP - 1.60, 1.46, 1.32, 1.31, 1.33
K:BB - 1.36, 1.56, 4.00, 3.03, 3.60

Jon Lieber's last 5 seasons (1998-2002):

ERA - 4.11, 4.07, 4.41, 3.80, 3.70
ERA+ - 105, 119, 97, 111, 109 (108.2 Avg.)
WHIP - 1.30, 1.34, 1.20, 1.15, 1.17
K:BB - 3.45, 4.04, 3.56, 3.61, 7.25

It should be noted that Pettitte only had 22 starts in 2002, while Lieber only had 21 in that same year, so it evens out.

It should also be noted that the two are very similar. Lieber allows less base-runners as a result of his very low walk totals which remind me a lot of David Wells, only Lieber slightly K’s a few more guys. As a result of his good control, Lieber gives up a lot of hits and a decent amount of homeruns. Pitching in Yankee Stadium will likely hurt him a little bit with the short porch in right mixed in with the fact that Lieber is a lot better vs. right-handed hitters (3-year splits from 2001-2003, which cover the last 56 starts he’s made, show .229/.244/.335/.579 vs. righties as opposed to .302/.332/.485/.817 vs. lefties). That being said, from what I’ve read the likely reason for lefties hitting him well was his less-than-average fastball, but as many articles have said he was hitting 93-94 mph in the spring and 91-92 mph in his minor league start the other day which is the most velocity he’s ever had on his fastball (increased velocity is common in pitchers returning from TJ surgery). His slider is murderous against righties.

Lieber’s return could be a huge asset. Consider that Brown and Vazquez are upgrades over Clemens and Wells based on what they accomplished last season. We hope that Moose straightens out and Lieber helps replace what we lost in Pettitte. Contreras may be a little lost right now but I’d take him over last season’s Jeff Weaver in a heartbeat, wouldn’t you?

What can we expect from Lieber in his first season back since Tommy John surgery? It’s hard to say. Upon Kerry Wood’s return from TJ surgery, he posted an ERA+ of 89 in 23 starts. Matt Morris had a 130 in 31 games (all relief appearances). John Smoltz had a 131 in 36 games (5 starts). It’s unpredictable, but based on Lieber having the most velocity he’s had in his career there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a very useful guy to us upon his return. Furthermore, Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus is quite the believer and says expect for Lieber to surpass everyone’s expectations for him this season.

Finally here is a great article I read about TJ surgery that has a bunch of interesting quotes from Kerry Wood, Tom Gordon, Billy Koch, and a few others who have had the surgery before. Interesting read:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2003-07-28-cover-tommy-john_x.htm

pacewon
05-01-04, 07:24 PM
7 IP, 5 hits, 0 BB, 3 ER, 3 K, 1 HR

91 pitches (69/22 strikes/balls)

ground balls/fly balls: 14-4

Anyone else care to join in on the ass-kissing yet? :)

KeepClaussen
05-02-04, 09:52 AM
Hes a average pitcher who gets by on great control. More like a RH David Wells rather then Petitte who got brutalized by the Yankee defense and is a much better pitcher

metalboy15
05-04-04, 07:15 PM
great stats!!!

RIyankee
05-04-04, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by KeepClaussen
He's a average pitcher who gets by on great control. More like a RH David Wells rather then Petitte who got brutalized by the Yankee defense and is a much better pitcher

I would think that a pitcher having great control for most of his career would be better than average.

justin32099
05-04-04, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by RIyankee


I would think that a pitcher having great control for most of his career would be better than average.

It's tough to be better than average when you don't strike batters out. When you do that, you put the ball in the hands of your defense. The control helps you not kill yourself, though. That seems, by my observation, to be David Wells's career--lots of very good outings, plenty of very bad outings.

Sabermetrics
05-08-04, 12:51 AM
Since this is the sabermetrics forum, a 7-2 GB/FB ratio isn't necessarily a good thing when Jetes and Wilson/Cairo are pairing up to field your ground balls. Lieber is a guy who has good control, average stuff, and doesn't strike out enough batters to be consistent with the Yankees defense as it is now, IMO.

3 year splits

vs. STL 5.11 ERA, 56 hits in 49 innings.
vs. FLA 8.47 ERA, 28 hits in 17 innings.
vs. CIN 2.85 ERA, 48 hits in 53 innings.
vs. HOU 3.25 ERA, 36 hits in 38.2 innings.
vs. MIL 6.37 ERA, 40 hits in 29.2 innings.
vs. PIT 2.73 ERA, 35 hits in 33 innings.
vs. SDG 3.72 ERA, 23 hits in 29 innings.

Inconsistent, lots of guys making contact, heavily reliant on defense.

(Only used stats for teams he had 3+ starts against.)

chanman7483
05-27-04, 12:42 PM
A great article ... thanks for posting.