The 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Bullpen As Projected By Bill James


At first glance, the individual projections that Bill James has for the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen don’t look too alarming.  But we did notice a couple disturbing trends.

The increase in projected walk rates for every bullpen arm except Daniel McCutchen and Tony Watson.

Daniel Moskos (59IP)  in line for more work than Tony Watson (48IP)?

The bullpen was quite effective last season, especially early in the season and nobody actually projected that success, so it will be interesting to see as more and more projections come out which way the bullpen is expected to go in 2012.

Joel Hanrahan is currently projected to finish with a 4-3 record.  James predicts 37 saves over 69 games and 67 innings pitched.  The HR number jumps out at me–six bombs are projected versus just one allowed by Hanrahan last season.  The predictions also see 9K/9IP and 3.09BB/9IP–a strikeout and a walk increase per nine innings over Hanranators 2011 total of 8K/9 and 2.1BB/9IP.   The ERA jumps from 1.83 to 3.36 which is likewise for his FIP.

Evan Meek hasn’t been forecasted.

Chris Resop is forecasted as improving in 2012 with a 4-4 record in 70 games and 66 innings pitched.  James sees the King reducing his hits allowed to just 61.  The strikeout numbers drop from 10.21 per nine in 2011 to a forecasted 9.14 per nine in 2012.  Walks per nine increase for Resop to 4.09 up from his 3.88 in 2011.  The ERA decreases to 3.68 with an even better FIP of 3.49.

Jason Grilli is expected to finish with a 3-3 record.  James predicts 48 games and 54 innings pitched.  James sees Grilled Cheese reducing his strikeouts per nine to 7.67 and his walks remain high at 4BB/9.  An increase in BABIP (316) also is forecasted for Grilli up from 268 last season.  The ERA takes a jump with the increased workload to 4.17 from 2.48 and his FIP 3.84 up from 3.30.

Chris Leroux is forecasted to wrap up with a 2-2 record.  James sees 36 games and 41 innings pitched for the 6’6″ Canadien in 2012.  An increasing walk rate is expected and Leroux remains strong with strikeouts coming in at 8.1K/9.  The ERA and FIP rise with the increased innings to 3.73 and 2.76 FIP.  Both are up from 2.88 ERA and 2.07 FIP which showed the excellent work Leroux did in limited opportunities last year.

Daniel McCutchen is expected to finish up with a 4-6 record.  James sees 73 games and 82 innings pitched for the Danimal in 2012.  An increase in homeruns seems to be the downfall for DCutch.  His strikeouts per nine increase to 5.71 from 5K/9 in 2011.  Walks per nine innings are reduced to 3.07BB/9 from 3.51 in 2011.  The ERA and FIP increase to 4.50 and 4.69 in 2012.

Tony Watson is forecasted for an improvement in 2012.   James sees a 3-2 record over 50 games and 48 innings pitched.  Strikeouts per nine are strong for what many expect to be the Bucs only leftie in the pen at 8.06K/9IP.  The walks are decreased to 3.19BB/9IP down from 4.39BB/9 in 2011.  The ERA and FIP come in at 3.38 and 3.83.

Daniel Moskos is forecasted for some struggles in 2012.  James sees a 3-4 record over 61 games and 59 innings pitched.  Strikeouts per nine remain low at 5.64K/9 which is actually an increase over the poor 4.07 from 2011.  The walks bump up to 3.81 per nine from 3.3 last season.  His  ERA jumps from 2.96 to 4.58 while the FIP does the same from 3.23 to 4.08.

We forsee Moskos being one of the most interesting stories in 2012 Spring Training.

Jared Hughes wasn’t projected by James.  We cant forget his seven straight scoreless efforts since his recall from AAA in 2011.  Hughes will push hard to make this bullpen.

Justin Wilson, Tim Wood, Tim Wood and Bryan Morris also appear to be in the mix for a bullpen spot in 2012.

The bullpen tallies up with 23 wins and 24 losses.  A quick check with the starters projections from James were 46 wins and 51 losses.  Thus a quick look puts the Bucs at 69 and 75.   Keep an eye out for an updated post early in 2012.  In the meantime grab a copy of James’ book.

A significant downgrade for Jason Grilli and an increase in the long balls allowed by Daniel McCutchen.

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Tags: Chris LeRoux Chris Resop Daniel McCutchen Daniel Moskos Evan Meek Jason Grilli Joel Hanrahan Tony Watson