Mariners reliever Juan Nicasio is scheduled to undergo season-ending knee surgery, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets. It seems the procedure will be “cleanup surgery, nothing catastrophic,” Corey Brock of The Athletic adds.
Nicasio has dealt with right knee issues throughout the season and endured multiple stints on the disabled list as a result. The 31-year-old last pitched Aug. 2, when he allowed two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning in a loss to Toronto. He’ll wrap up his season with a hideous 6.00 ERA across 42 innings, though FIP (2.99), xFIP (3.17) and SIERA (2.58) suggest Nicasio deserved far better in the run prevention department. Nicasio logged excellent strikeout and walk rates (11.36 K/9, 1.07 BB/9), to his credit, and he was victimized by an unusually high batting average on balls in play (.402) and an abnormally low strand rate (58.1 percent).
Assuming Nicasio returns at full strength in 2019, the Mariners will hope he experiences some positive regression during what will be a contract year. Seattle signed Nicasio to a two-year, $17MM guarantee in free agency last winter, but the deal obviously hasn’t panned out thus far for the club.
Another Juan bites the dust.
This made my day.
David Phelps, Drew Smyly, Sam Tuivailala and Nicasio- Ms have had such bad luck in pitching acquisitions over the last two seasons.
Add Simmons to the list, Rzep as well, though it wasn’t an injury that made him stink.
But to be fair, Ramirez, Leake, Gonzales, LeBlanc, and Colome have all been great. It’s been a mixed bag.
Peripherals are nice. Nothing else is. He’s lost 2 MPH on his fastball, and everything is thrown down the middle, he has 0 command. He does get unlucky with very weak contact hits, but it doesn’t change the fact that everything is left over the middle of the plate.
That has to be one of the biggest difference between ERA and FIP I’ve ever seen.
You aren’t kidding, those numbers are absurd. It’s really a shame, Nicasio was quite good for the Bucs last year and I hate to see him being the victim of both some bad health and bad luck in Seattle.
No Soup For Yu!
And this is where I can’t possibly understand the argument for fWAR. Fangraphs says Nicasio has been worth 0.8 wins this year because his FIP is good, but bWAR indicates he’s been worth -1.0 WAR, which given that his ERA is 6.00, makes way more sense. I’ve never understood the argument for fWAR for pitchers, because in the short term, I’d much rather have a guy with a 3.00 ERA, even if his peripherals were awful, than a guy with a 6.00 ERA with good peripherals. Despite the bad peripherals, the guy with the lower ERA is at least giving you a chance to win. I realize long term that those results won’t hold up, but would any team in their right mind remove a 3.00 ERA starter from the rotation for a guy with a 6.00 ERA because the latter pitcher has better peripherals?
But isn’t it because fangraphs is assigning a lot of that negative value to the defense that was behind him? Because fip is more predictive than era and that’s really the point of war.
No Soup For Yu!
WAR is about value. If your ERA is 6.00, I don’t care if your FIP is 3.00 or 0.30, you’re not contributing to the team’s success. WAR shouldn’t be about predicting what your value should be, but by assessing your value based on the bottom line. They don’t detract from a position player’s WAR if he has a high BABIP, because a .290 hitter today is better than the .200 hitter right now, even if the .200 hitter will eventually do better and the .290 hitter will fall off. Fangraphs believes that if your ERA is 9.00 but your FIP is 1.00 that you’re an all star when most teams would sooner DFA that pitcher than stick with them for another start.
ERA doesn’t account for things that are out of a pitchers control, though. Defense and inherited runners that score off other pitchers factor in.
That said, Nicasio has given up some meatballs and I would absolutely argue he hasn’t been worth .8 WAR. The point is that you should never look at one stat to determine value.
I’ve wondered if the Yankees might be interested in a Nicasio-Gray swap. Their salaries will be similar next season, Gray has already been relegated to mop-up duties with NY, why not try their luck with a reliever? Seattle always needs a starter and Gray has thrived in the AL West.
This at least makes some sense for both clubs, assuming Nicasio recovers quickly in the offseason.
That’s a good idea, but there’s probably better places for the Yanks to dump Gray.