Why Are Fister, Wilk and Crosby 3-12?


The Tigers are 3-12 this year in the slot in the rotation that is normally filled with Doug Fister.  This includes 2 of Casey Crosby’s starts and all 3 of Adam Wilk’s starts.  While Fister has not pitched well lately- or at least not gotten good results- the 0.200 winning percentage shocked me.  I decide to look a little deeper. 

In the chart below the wins are indicated in green.

Fister Starts
Fister et al Starts

The first thing to note is that this rotation slot has received over 0.6 runs less on average than the Tigers typically score. Fister has also lost 3 games where he allowed 2 runs or fewer.  The Tigers scored 5 runs total in these games.  Fister himself is allowing an average of 3.2 runs per start.  This would look much better omitting his last two starts.  A quick internet search did not yield how many runs per start is the MLB average.  But among AL pitchers who have thrown at least 80 innings this year the median ERA is 4.46 so 3.2 runs per start is probable slightly, but not extremely high.  (I am using runs, not earned runs and I did not record the length of the starts, but it is probably slightly less than 6 innings on average.)

To dig a little deeper I could record how many innings each start went.  Crosby and Wilk did not go deep into games either because they did not pitch well, or because Leyland trusted his bullpen more than a 6th or 7th starter.  Fister left a game early the first time he went on the DL.  I could also focus on earned runs allowed instead of runs allowed.  But, I’d say the lack of run support is the real culprit here.  In other words this is mostly fluky and will probably average out.  I will resume blaming Young’s expected performance and Boesch’s and Raburn’s under performance for the Tigers’ disappointing season.

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