Welcome to the third installment of the stuff report. It’s kind of like Stuff’s return of the jedi – except with way less ewoks.
A couple of small changes this time around – to make the metric a bit more of a true leaderboard, I’ve implemented some inclusion criteria. For one, starters will only appear of they’ve made as many appearances as there have been weeks in the season. For relievers, they’ve had to have appeared in as many games as there have been weeks in the season. For the team averages, I’ve gone to a weighted average of stuff, based off the number of innings pitchers have thrown. So, for every team – every pitcher who has thrown any proprotion of an inning, has their Stuff score multiplied by the percentage of total innings their team has pitched. For example, if a pitcher has a stuff score of 1.0, has thrown 10 innings, and their team has thrown 100 total innings – their weighted contribution to the team’s stuff score would be:
Weighted Stuff = Stuff * (pitcher innings/total innings)
0.1 = 1.0 * (10 innings / 100 innings)
The sum of all pitcher’s weighted stuff scores are added together, to give a total for each team.
Compared to Volume 2 of the stuff report, there has been some significant subtractions from the list. Garret Richards and Chris Bassitt – both with elite stuff – have gone on the disabled list with elbow injuries, and will require Tommy John surgery. This leaves Noah Syndergaard and Jake Arrieta at the top of the leaderboard – somewhat running away from the rest of the pack. Their season average stuff has decreased in the past two weeks, but in both cases, the decline has been very small.
The best Stuff of any starting staff still belongs to the Mets. The Phillies also have a very exciting young pitching staff – and their top 5 ranking in the Starting Staff Stuff Metric gives a lot of reasons for hope in Philadelphia. Pulling up the rear of the starting staffs are the Blue Jays – though their Starting Pitcher’s performances this season have been amongst the very best in the league.
Kelvin Herrera remains a very, very bad man at the top of the list of relief pitchers. Second on that list is Pirates reliever, Arquimedes Caminero. He has the best name in the bigs, and the second best stuff of all relief pitchers.
Throwing 99mph really does favour well for having your stuff rank highly.
With the weighted average for Stuff – the Cubs currently have the best bullpen in baseball. The dominance the Cubs have shown so far has allowed them to not rely on their bullpen as much as other teams, but as the season wears on – it looks like they will have yet another weapon to unleash on the National League. As Arolids Chapman pitchers more innings for the Yankees – you can expect that bullpen to rise up in the ranks as well.