Here's the list of 2007 NL ERA qualifiers who posted the following:Code:Player IP HR HR/9 BB BB/9 WHIP ERA Bailey 140 17 1.09 53 3.41 1.26 4.31 Volquez 180 24 1.20 75 3.75 1.40 4.45 Cueto 35 6 1.54 10 2.57 1.25 4.63 Affeldt 85 11 1.16 37 3.92 1.49 4.55
1. < 5.00 ERA
2. =/> 1.40 WHIP
3. =/> 1.16 HR/9
Now, their respective DIPS/FIP ERA's:
Arroyo: 4.34 DIPS/4.51 FIP
Chico: 5.37/5.53 FIP
Livan Hernandez: 5.62/5.78 FIP
Josh Fogg: 4.94/5.12 FIP
Apparently, we're expecting both Volquez and Affeldt to be Arroyo rather than what we more reasonably should expect (your astute observation of a likely 5.00+ ERA). Yet Arroyo only got away with those D-independent numbers due to a BB rate of 2.69 per 9 IP (far lower than doug is projecting for either pitcher). Secondly, there's no way that Cueto is likely to get away with an ERA of only 4.63 if he's allowing 1.54 HR per 9 Innings. That's pure fantasy.
And I left Bailey up there as a great case study of what happens when we get all starry-eyed about prospects. Bailey's going to be only 22 years old this May. doug is projecting a BB/9 rate of 3.41 for him, but we need to realize that the last time Bailey produced a BB/9 rate that low was in Sarasota. His career MiLB BB/9 rate is 4.23 yet, in his first full season in the Show, do we really expect him to walk nearly a full hitter per nine fewer?
A good number of those ERA projections are unrealistic considering the peripherals doug is suggesting. It's not that I don't wish every season that the Reds' pitching was going to get incredibly lucky all at the same time, but I get back to reality pretty quickly.