Projecting Mike Leake, Lance Lynn, and Carlos Martinez

Mike Leake and Carlos Martinez were polar opposites in the rotation in 2016. Leake was expected to do great things because he was the big free agent signing of the team; unfortunately, he didn’t have a defense behind him and his numbers reflected it. Martinez was a question mark at the beginning of the season, but he ended up the ace by the end of the season. Lance Lynn was the reason the team went after Leake, after he had Tommy John surgery early in the off-season. What does 2017 hold for them?

Leake seems to be a little better in 2017, even is most of his numbers look close to the same. Let’s compare him to the other numbers on Fangraphs:

Projection G Record IP K BB FIP ERA WHIP WAR
Nyrdcast 29 11-10 179.1 122 43 4.05 3.98 1.27 2.0
Depth Charts 31 11-11 186.0 125 42 4.02 4.06 1.29 2.3
Steamer 31 11-11 186.0 125 42 4.02 4.06 1.29 2.3
Bill James 30 10-10 180.0 121 37 N/A 3.80 N/A N/A

It’s pretty surprising how close the different systems are; close to .500 in 180ish innings and allowing almost 4 runs per 9.

Initially I was happy with the numbers from my system; but when I compared them to 2016, they weren’t too much different. His record is a game and half better, but his FIP goes up and his ERA drops. His WHIP is slightly lower. But everything else is pretty close.

Hopefully the defense will make these numbers better than projected.

Lynn will be a more interesting case after missing 2016. Here are the projections:

Projection G Record IP K BB FIP ERA WHIP WAR
Nyrdcast 30 12-10 184.1 144 57 3.37 3.18 1.29 3.1
Depth Charts 23 8-8 130.0 117 46 3.93 3.88 1.29 1.9
Steamer 23 8-8 130.0 117 46 3.93 3.88 1.29 1.9
Bill James 31 11-9 180.0 167 65 N/A 3.70 N/A N/A

Again there isn’t much of a difference between the systems. My system (and Bill James’) like the record better and my system has a much better FIP, ERA, and WAR.

I think Lynn will have a slow start to the season, but will bounce back from Tommy John well. He’ll be close to his previous form and will eat a good deal of innings (not to 2014 levels though).

Finally, we have Martinez. The new ace for the team was rewarded with a contract extension. How does he respond?

Projection G Record IP K BB FIP ERA WHIP WAR
Nyrdcast 31 12-9 176.1 142 63 3.63 3.60 1.29 3.0
Depth Charts 32 13-11 202.0 192 72 3.53 3.52 1.27 3.7
Steamer 32 12-11 199.0 189 71 3.53 3.52 1.27 3.7
Fans 33 16-9 205.0 200 73 3.38 3.25 1.25 4.0
Bill James 31 13-10 201.0 186 72 N/A 3.54 N/A N/A

My projections are way below what I think he’s going to do; that’s because the system is still seeing his relieving time from 2014 and 2015, and he has 3 comps that spent more than half their age 25 season as relievers. I actually believe Martinez will be closer to 18-9 with a 3.11 ERA and 3.23 FIP in 32 starts; I also think he’ll have 181 strikeouts, 71 walks, and a WAR closer to 6.0.

So my system says he’ll be a lesser pitcher than the other systems while my gut says he’ll be better.

Like the hitters I’ve looked at so far (Fowler, Wong, Grichuk), the pitchers have been generally disappointing. If they all play to these numbers, Cardinal fans are looking at a long season.

One thought on “Projecting Mike Leake, Lance Lynn, and Carlos Martinez

  • February 12, 2017 at 6:28 am

    I Really think Lance Lynn will come out of the shoot better than people think. I know him personally! He is determined to be front line and ready to start at the beginning of Spring Training. Expect 15-17 wins from him this season. That is if Mike Matheney reframed from making his bone head mid to late inning pitching changes. Some times I think he pulls a starter just because it’s the 5th or 6th inning. Then pulls a reliever just because it’s the 7th and so forth the rest of the game! And sometimes when a starter has given up 5+ runs in the first 2 innings, he’ll leave him in to give up more runs!! Mind blowing how he handles his pitching staff and has a different batting order 5 days out of 7. Matheney could make a positive 10+ wins in a season if he’d just use common sense instead of looking at the back of the players baseball card!


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