Is Storen Pitching Bad or Just Unlucky

Drew Storen (right) and Wilson Ramos
Drew Storen (right) and Wilson Ramos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Drew Storen has not had a very good couple of weeks.  He has a 4.05 ERA and two blown saves.  There are a few stats out there that help us guage the component of luck when it comes to pitching especially when dealing with a small sample size like two weeks.

Batting Average Ball In Play (BABIP): Measures the balls that fall in for hits.  The average BABIP is in a range from .290 – 3.10.  For the last two weeks the Nats relievers have a BABIP of .302, right in that range.  You can see below, over the last two weeks, Drew Storen’s BABIP is really high which would be the first indication that of fluke or unlucky

Name BABIP
Drew Storen 0.367
Ryan Mattheus 0.357
Craig Stammen 0.333
Rafael Soriano 0.266
Henry Rodriguez 0.205
Tyler Clippard 0.15

Next we need to measure the batted ball.  If the other team is hitting the ball hard on-line drives then obviously BABIP will be higher than weakly hit grounders.  With Drew, he is getting a low % of line drives.

Name LD% GB% FB%
Drew Storen 15.30% 47.50% 37.30%
Ryan Mattheus 23.60% 49.10% 27.30%
Craig Stammen 15.00% 63.30% 21.70%
Rafael Soriano 16.70% 37.90% 45.50%
Henry Rodriguez 22.20% 42.20% 35.60%
Tyler Clippard 27.50% 12.50% 60.00%

The third stat line to look at is % of strike outs.  With this stat, you can see why Clippard has been so good considering his high fly ball and line drive numbers.  He is striking out over one batter an inning.  Storen, is getting K’s but at half his career average of 22%.  One thing of concern is his walk rate is about twice his career average.

Name K% BB%
Tyler Clippard 37.50% 6.30%
Craig Stammen 17.70% 2.90%
Drew Storen 11.80% 8.80%
Henry Rodriguez 12.00% 16.00%
Rafael Soriano 10.30% 3.50%
Ryan Mattheus 9.50% 9.50%

I think Storen’s last few weeks is more about bad luck such a grounder making it through the infield and issuing slightly more walks than normal.

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6 thoughts on “Is Storen Pitching Bad or Just Unlucky”

  1. Nice work! I would add another couple of stats to look at to help understand Storen’s clunker of a year (thus far) – FIP, xFIP, and HR/FB. His current FIP is a full run higher than his career average, and is higher than his xFIP, indicative that he’s run into a bit of tough luck, and *should* regress back this season. As you described, his BABIP is sky high, which explains his high H/9, and his BB/9 this year is an all time low at 2.00. However, when you look at his HR/FB rate at 13.6%, then we find the real culprit – even though his LD% is low, when he gives up a flyball, it’s going out twice as often this year than over his career (7%).

    Add to it hitters making contact with pitches outside of the zone at an all time high, and it adds to a frustrating 2013 for Storen and Nats fans. The burning question – will he get anough chances and innings to work out of it, and revert back to the Storen of old?

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