Evaluating Five Pittsburgh Pirates Pitchers Using Deserved Run Average
By Noah Wright
Starting Pitcher Trevor Williams
In 2018, Trevor Williams was one of the Pittsburgh Pirates best starting pitchers. He finished the campaign with a 3.11 ERA, 3.86 FIP, and 1.18 WHIP in 170.2 innings. Although he wasn’t striking out too many batters, finishing with a 6.6 K/9 and 18% strikeout rate, he was decent at limiting walks. He let up a 2.9 BB/9 and 8.8% walk rate. Plus, he kept the ball in the ballpark. Williams gave up just 15 long balls, resulting in a 0.8 HR/9
Now, regression should have been expected. Williams had posted a 4.68 SIERA, and 4.28 DRA. Plus, his batting average on balls in play had dropped 30 points from 2017 to 2018. But Williams fell off a cliff in 2019.
Through an injury limited 145.2 innings, Williams posted a 5.38 ERA, 5.12 FIP, and 1.41 WHIP. Home runs were Williams’ biggest issue. He surrendered 27, resulting in a 1.70 HR/9 rate. He did improve his walk (2.7 BB/9, 6.9% walk rate) and strikeout (7.0 K/9, 17.8% strikeout rate) from 2018, so at least there was that.
Going forward, I don’t think you’re going to see too many more seasons where his ERA is in the low-3’s. Williams just isn’t that pitcher, and most of the ERA estimators point toward that. However, I think you’ll still see something more akin to his 2017 ERA of 4.07 or his 2018 FIP of 3.86. His DRA didn’t drop by that much from 2017 (4.49) to 2018 (4.28) despite the major drop in ERA. Williams should become less prone to the home run once again, which definitely will help.