Who is the best pitcher in Marlins history?

Hello, I would like to introduce myself as the newest writer for Statistically
Speaking. I was recently a member of the blog http://4parl.wordpress.com until Zach
Sanders approached our blog and asked us to write for StatSpeak.net. My name is
Eric Cines, and I am a big fan of the Baltimore Orioles, though when I write I
try to stay as unbiased as possible. Other interests of mine include football,
basketball, and MMA.

In the Marlins
short history they have already won 2 World Series. To win 2 World Series, you
generally need very good starting pitching. So over the teams 16 years, who has
been there best pitcher? To Start with, I have narrowed down there pitchers to
a total of their 5 best.

Here they are,
with the stats they had as a Marlin

Kevin Brown– 2 years (470 IP) 2.30 ERA, 2.91
FIP, 13.9 WAR, 7.0 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and 3.68 K/BB

Kevin Brown also
was an instrumental part of the Marlins 1997 World Series run. Because of that,
you could probably increase his WAR from anywhere from 1 WAR based on playoff probability
added. (Playoff stats weren’t that great though, so he didn’t impact the team
as much in the playoffs)

Josh Johnson– 5 yrs (420 IP) 3.34 ERA, 3.54
FIP, 8.5 WAR, 7.64 K/9 3.28 BB/9 2.33K/BB

Josh Johnson is still only 25, and is pitching
his best season yet. Look for him to only improve.

AJ Burnett– 7 yrs (853 IP) 3.73 ERA, 4.01
FIP, 11.2 WAR 7.9 K/9, 4.0 BB/9 2 K/BB

Not important to
the 2003 WS because he was injured most of the year.

Josh Beckett– 5 yrs (609 IP) 3.46 ERA, 3.52
FIP, 9.6 WAR 9.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 2.72 K/BB

Also, in the
postseason of 2003, he had a 2.66 FIP, and a 2.11 ERA… that is deserving of at
least 1 WAR additionally.

Dontrelle Willis– 5 yrs (1022 IP) 3.78 ERA, 3.97
FIP, 14.9 WAR 6.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 2.2 K/BB

Willis though
was horrible in the 2003 postseason, pitching 12 and 2/3 innings giving up 12
runs. But he was important to the playoff run in his rookie year, which negates
the effects of his innings in the playoffs.

Overall, though
Dontrelle Willis has the highest amount of WAR at 14.9, I would give the award
of the best Marlins pitcher to Kevin Brown. In Half the amount of Marlins
innings, he had almost as much WAR, and had a much better ERA and FIP. He had
the best season pitching in Marlins history, and helped take them to the World
Series.

Two years from
now though, I would guess Josh Johnson may be the leader of WAR for the Marlins…
unless they trade him for more prospects.

Sources include http://www.baseballprojection.com ,
http://www.fangraphs.com, and http://www.baseball-reference.com 

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2 Responses to Who is the best pitcher in Marlins history?

  1. Zach Sanders says:

    Eric, what are your thoughts on Nolasco? Does he have a shot?

  2. Eric Cines says:

    Nolasco, at 7.9 WAR certainly has a shot, but IMO he is not as good of a pitcher as Josh Johnson, who is also currently ahead of him in WAR
    The major difference between the two that I’ve found is that Johnson has graded out above average on all 3 of the pitches he throws regularly ( like 5, 8.9, and 13 runs above average per 100 pitches respectively for his change up, slider, fastball…
    Nolasco on the other hand has an above average slider, and some other solid pitches like his split finger fastball, (and his curve which has been at 11 runs above average in the past), BUT his fastball has been horrible at -17.9 runs below average… he is also throwing his fastball at around 50% of the time, so if he can’t improve on that, I think he has a very little shot of being better than Johnson…
    Again though, one of the two could very easily be traded allowign the other to get the neccesary WAR (probably around 17 or so) to be IMO more valuable than Brown

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