Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Brandon McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks
Skinny on McCarthy: Before you look at McCarthy’s 1-7 record and dismiss him as a pitcher, look deeper into McCarthy’s statistical numbers. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Yes his record is an eye sore at 1-7, yes his home run/fly ball rate is a staggering 20.8%, and yes he is giving up 1.36 home runs per 9 innings. You can chalk those numbers up to a variety of factors. But when you go past those unlucky metrics, you can’t help but notice McCarthy’s 7.8 strikeouts per 9 inning, his stellar 1.61 walks per 9 inning and his 54.8% ground ball rate.
On top of those metrics, McCarthy holds a 3.87 FIP and a 2.86 xFIP – ranking 10th in the MLB. The purpose of these two FIP statistics is to create a metric that can measure a pitchers ERA by determining his performance based on results a pitcher can control. (Here is FanGraphs definition for you) In a nutshell, it helps filter out things like BABIP, where weakly hit balls fall in like a “Texas Leaguer” fly ball. So what these two FIP metrics would indicate to us is that McCarthy has actually pitched pretty well this year and has been victimized by unlucky factors on a regular basis. Considering that McCarthy’s BABIP, runners left on base and home run metrics are well above the league average, the case that McCarthy has been unlucky is a strong one.
Although Chase Field is slightly larger than the Rogers Centre in terms of dimensions from home plate, the power alley gaps are larger at Chase Field. When you consider that 4 of McCarthy’s 6 home runs he has served up at home have been solo shots, the tune of him being unlucky increases.
The fact that Brandon McCarthy is in the final year of his contract fits the rental bill GM Alex Anthopoulos would like. McCarthy does not walk batters, has a high ground ball rate and would not cost the Jays a top-tier prospect; making McCarthy an ideal candidate for the Blue Jays to target. Maybe the Jays could even swindle utility man Martin Prado in the deal, or a bullpen arm.