Starting Pitcher Chris Archer
Chris Archer was awful in 2019, but the metrics point to a better future for the former All-Star. He posted a 5.19 ERA, 5.09 FIP, and 1.41 WHIP in 119.2 innings of work. He did maintain a strong strikeout rate of 10.8 per 9, and 27.2% strikeout rate, but other than that, Archer struggled mightily. He walked 4.1 batters per 9 innings, and gave up 25 home runs. 2019 was, by far, the worst season of his career.
His ground ball percentage also took a sharp downturn going from the mid-40’s in seasons past to just 36.3%. Archer’s hard hit rate rose to a career high 40.1%, and so did his line drive percentage (24.2%). However, in years past, ERA estimators have been fairly kind to the right hander. Archer’s highest SIERA before 2019 was 3.88 in 2013, and his highest FIP was 4.07, which also came in 2013. However, 2019 was the first time he posted a FIP over 4 since that year.
DRA has also been fairly nice to Archer, even since his arrival in Pittsburgh. Last season, DRA put him at 4.42 which might not seem too good, but it was about 10% better than the league average. Archer should bounce back in 2020 to some degree. I’m not saying we’ll see the 2015 version of Chris Archer, who finished 5th in Cy Young voting, but I’d expect something closer to his 2016-2017 numbers. As his DRA says, that’s fairly plausible.