There's a tremendously well written piece by Matt Gelb right now on philly.com about the Roberto Hernandez signing.
I encourage all of you to take a look at it, if for only this small, but very meaningful nugget, directly from Ruben Amaro.
"We think Roberto Hernandez will help us," Amaro said. "Our scouts and our analytics people looked at the middle-of-the-road, back-end starters and we felt like he would be a good choice for us."
let me retype that for you.
OUR ANALYTICS PEOPLE LOOKED AT THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD BACK END STARTERS AND WE FELT LIKE HE WOULD BE A GOOD CHOICE FOR US
Gelb goes on to show, by way of explaining xFIP to the masses, exactly what Ruben meant there, and I encourage you all to read the piece.
But what encourages ME, and what should encourage every single person out there reading this, that has followed this site for years, is that for the first time in the history of this franchise an general manager used the term "analytics people" in conjunction with a free agent acquisition.
And not just any free agent acquisition.
A free agent acquisition on the LOW END. THE BACK SIDE. WHERE VALUE FROM ANALYTICS REALLY MEANS MORE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE.
Durbin, Qualls, Romero, Wiggington, Nix… SCHIERHOLTZ!!!
Need I go on?
Exactly the kind of players we've been screaming about for years? Exactly the place in the budget where we end up getting killed?
Not this time.
And if you look at Hernandez it's not difficult to believe that this is valid and truthful.
We're talking about a guy who:
- was willing to take a very low priced, short term deal
- over the course of his career (save 2010) put up xFIP, FIP, and Sierra numbers CONSIDERABLY lower than his standard ERA peripherals.
- in 2014 had a K/9 and BB/9 a full 3/4 points better than his career averages
- in 2014 saw a very strange spike in HR/9, mainly based on a very irregular HR/FB rate that more likely than not was luck induced.