Originally Posted by RedsBaron
While Wilson's ERA has dropped each of the last four years, so has the NL's ERA. BaseballReference.Com includes ERAs adjusted for playing conditions. In each of the last four seasons, Wilson's ERA was higher than the adjusted NL average: 4.88 to 4.48, 4.83 to 4.47, 4.64 to 4.29 and 4.36 to 4.01.
BaseballReference.Com also has an adjusted ERA for pitchers, where the higher the score the better, as it measures a pitcher against the league norm. For example, in 2004 Randy Johnson had an ERA of 2.60-matched against a league norm of 100, Johnson's score was 171. Wilson has been remarkably consistent by that measure-each of the last four seasons he has had a score of 92 versus a league average of 100. I'm sure WOY or Steel could explain this better, but as I understand it, this means that in all four seasons Wilson was mediocre, just below the average.
Nah. You did fine. You're speaking about ERA+, which is also park and league normalized.
Basically, when a pitcher hits the same ERA+ three seasons in a row (i.e. Wilson's 92 ERA+), it means that the pitcher's individual effort hasn't really changed. It might appear so, but only because factors beyond his control make it appear so.
Furthermore, Wilson's OPS Against and ERA drop in 2004 was generated primarily by a 10-point reduction in BABIP versus 2002 and 2003. We can either attribute that to luck or to the fact that the groundscrew turned the infield into a shrubbery nightmare.
If we believe in the luck explanation, then we know Wilson's going to revert back to previous OPS-Against form (read- over .800). If we trust the shrubbery explanation (take a look at his home/road splits), then Wilson's 2004 numbers (including ERA) were an environmental mirage. That's a scary thing considering that his numbers were below average even with the help of Miracle-Gro.
Either way, he's not worth what he's now being paid nor is he as good as he appeared to be in 2004, nor did anything improve due to his own performance versus previous seasons, nor does he project numbers as good as his 2004 end result.
And yet we still have folks who think that Wilson's last three years show a true pattern of "improvment" and are projecting that improvement for 2005. Smells a lot like the discussions circa last offseason.