Thursday, January 12, 2012

Couple Thoughts On The Chen Extension

After the success of controversial signings Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur it's hard to blame Dayton Moore for thinking he has the midas touch. It wouldn't surprise me if he's spent the offseason hanging out at top notch casinos or the best sports betting sites. Moore extended his Kenny Rogers ways onto the 2012 and 2013 teams gambling that Francoeur's 2011 season was legit, and that Bruce Chen's performance the next two seasons will help the team compete, as well as trump whatever draft pick they would've received if Chen had rejected arbitration and signed elsewhere.

The Francoeur extension was predictable and I really didn't have a problem with it, I mean somebody has to play right field and Wil Myers clearly isn't ready. Chen, on the other hand, caught me off guard and was more than a little perplexing. It's apparently widely accepted that Chen has been the Royals best starter the last two seasons but I don't know how accurate that is. I suspect that leading the team in wins both years has been the catalyst for the myth but a quick stat comparison shows that Greinke was better in 2010.

W L ERA GS IP BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
Zack Greinke 10 14 4.17 33 220.0 55 181 100 1.245 9.0 2.3 7.4 3.29
Bruce Chen* 12 7 4.17 23 140.1 57 98 101 1.375 8.7 3.7 6.3 1.72
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

The 80 inning gap is not insignificant, nor is the difference in WHIP, BB/9, SO/BB and SO/9. Last season Chen did lead the team in ERA+ (108) but he was third in innings pitched, second in WHIP, fourth in SO/BB and fifth in SO/9. So, yeah, he may have been the top starter but he wasn't overwhelmingly so. In fact, I'm not convinced Everett Teaford can't be every bit as effective as Chen in 2012, he'd be considerably cheaper too. So while I sort of understand why Moore brought him back I just don't think it was necessary. But at least Chen's funny, so there's that.

2 comments:

Ray W said...

So Jeff, have you sent Bruce any good jokes yet ?

Jeff Parker said...

Haha, no I couldn't think of any.