Nobody can deny that Jeff Locke is having a spectacular year, whether or not he can sustain it, at this point, Locke is an all-star quality pitcher, and deserves a trip to New York this month for the mid-summer classic. Locke has posted an incredible 8-1 record, an ERA of 2.12, and a WHIP of 1.147 over 102 innings this year. He’s displayed great command of his pitches, seemingly having the ability to put his nasty two-seam fastball wherever he wants to. Locke has gotten a lot of attention, and deservedly so, but what about Francisco Liriano?
In 2013, Liriano is 7-3, with an ERA of 2.23, and a WHIP of 1.286 over 60.2 innings of work. The only things that would genuinely hurt Liriano’s case is the time that he missed to rehab after breaking his arm in the weirdest injury of 2013, and the relatively limited number of innings that he’s worked (averaging 6.02 innings per start).
Comparing some of Liriano’s slightly more peripheral numbers to Locke’s, his K/9 and BB/9 are better than those of Locke, with Liriano posting a K/9 of 9.9 compared to Locke’s 6.1, while Liriano gives up 3.4 BB/9, compared to Locke’s 3.9. Liriano has done all of this work while remaining relatively under the radar, and he deserves more credit for his work this year.
He’s been a highly valuable contributor to a pitching staff and a rotation full of highly valuable contributors, and should be credited for that. He might have a hard time gaining a spot in the mid-summer classic due to his lack of innings and the time he missed early, but he certainly deserves recognition for the stellar job he’s done in Pittsburgh this year. So, if you had to pick one between Jeff Locke and Francisco Liriano for the all-star game, who would it be?