Look, I know that STEAMER predicts more of the median for a player. That's the smart route and the safe route to take, especially when you think about what could happen if a player has a bit of a rough stretch or gets injured for a bit. It's why when I went to look at Bryce Miller, I was expecting to see a bit of a regression in his numbers compared to 2023.
It would make sense, right? Especially when you look at the projections so far for the three ptichers ahead of him in the Mariners rotation. Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert have all been projected for good seasons on there, but none of them as good as last year. It's mostly in part to the fact that their stats are projected to be worse than what we have seen in the past. So, it falls that we should expect the same for Bryce Miller, right?
Well, that's not the case, and I'm confused looking at it. They actually have his ERA nearly the exact same, actually .03 lower (4.29 compared to 4.32) but that seems in part to their raising of his FIP from 3.98 to 4.48. HIS BB/9 went up and so did his HR/9. His WHIP went up a fair amount as well, from 1.14 to 1.25.
The part that I don't get is how you can predict all of those numbers to go up and bring the ERA down WHILE having a much higher FIP. I just don't get the process there. If all his related stats were lower last year, shouldn't you be predicting a worse season by ERA? Maybe it's the FIP part, but it still seems like it would be worse.
They've also dropped his WAR down from 1.9 to 1.3, despite increasing his innings load by 12 innings. If Miller makes it through the season, then he is going to get six more starts than is projected, meaning his innings would go up by 33 innings to a total of 176. That would push the WAR to 1.6.
Sorry, I don't see it. I'm sure I'll agree with some of these a bit stronger at some point, but the Mariners pitching just seems low. It would be nice to see a 20th/80th percentile on the pitching predictions like we see on the ZiPS projections for hitters. Maybe the Mariners rotation will perform like many expect, and we will be looking at these same projections come next year with a prettier expectation. Especially for the youngster, Bryce Miller.