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Bucs Pitching Through August 12

NAME/IP/ERA/VORP
Duke 46.7/1.54/20.6
Williams 116.3/4.18/13.9
Redman 147.7/4.75/12.8
Mesa 42.7/3.59/9.7
White 57/3.32/8.7
Grabow 32.3/3.34/8.3
Gonzalez 28/3.21/7.5
Torres 60.3/4.03/5.8
Vogelsong 59/5.03/3.0
Wells 133.3/4.86/2.7
Fogg 136.7/4.94/0.8
Meadows 50.7/5.33/-0.2
Perez 83.3/6.16/-4.1
Snell 23/7.43/-4.5

VORP measures the number of runs by which a player was better or worse than a typical easily-available replacement. It is cumulative. VORPs were calculated and invented by Baseball Prospectus.

NOTES:

  1. These figures don't account for Kip Wells' performance yesterday.
  2. Wells, Josh Fogg, Salomon Torres and Rick White all have VORPs disproportionate with their ERAs because they have allowed lots of unearned runs.
  3. It's interesting that the two pitchers who battled for the last spot in the Pirates' rotation this spring have been the Pirates' most productive pitchers so far. Zach Duke is 65th in the majors in VORP after just seven starts.
  4. Still, it's distressing that the Pirates' best pitcher is ranked 65th overall.
  5. Torres' two-year contract now looks bad for the Bucs.
  6. Ryan Vogelsong still doesn't really belong in the big leagues.
The Pirates' use of their pitchers hasn't been as bizarre and egregious as their treatment of their young hitters - pointlessly benching Ryan Doumit and, until this week, Brad Eldred - but it has still been uncreative. The fact that five Pirates pitchers have VORPs worse than Ryan Vogelsong's speaks for itself.

The Pirates have to keep using Wells, Ian Snell and, when he's healthy, Oliver Perez - the last two may be important parts of the team's future, and the first still has significant upside. But why are the Pirates apparently satisfied with, for instance, Brian Meadows? Meadows is a nice innings-eater at his very best, and this year has been far from his best. So what would be the harm in DFAing him and calling up Mike Johnston or Mark Corey? Also, Fogg needs to be stopped. A less complacent team would have already removed Fogg from the rotation and Meadows from the roster. The fact that there aren't replacements shaking management by the shoulders is not really relevant. When faced with performances as bad as Fogg's and Meadows', a smart team will experiment. To their credit, the Pirates seem almost ready to do this with Fogg. Let's hope, for our sake and for Snell's, it happens sooner rather than later.