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A Baseball Breakdown

Rebound, Breakout or Bust; Part 2 of an ongoing series: A Merry Cliffmas Edition

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I thought that since Cliff Lee has a special place in most Phillies fans hearts, I would use him as my topic for my Christmas post. Now if you read my Cole Hamels edition, you will know what I plan on doing in this series and that is, I plan on projecting how players, whether on the Phillies or just around the league, will perform next season. So without further ado, I present, my Merry Cliffmas to all of you.

Lee last year had a 69 xFIP-. For an explanation of xFIP- go here: http://www.fangraphs.com/library/ind.../era-fip-xfip/ Anyway, that basically means that, when adjusted for park factors and league, he was 31% above average. At age 33, he had a career year, which is somewhat suspicious, so I'm going to look further into it.

Normally when I'm looking into things like luck I would look at BABIP, but it is pretty much the same as his career, so I'll look at his LOB%. You may remember this term when people were talking about J.A Happ. (Remember him?) Well his LOB% was 81.4% compared to his career average 73% which basically means that he left way more people on base than normal. It's not enough to just accept this though, as there could be many factors that show different things that cause a high LOB%. For example, a high K% which is exactly what Lee had. You see, he had a 25.9 K% compared to his average of 19.3%. So, while I believe that Lee's LOB% will go down a little bit, not enough to severely affect his season.

So now that you know the facts, I will tell all you good little girls and boys what the verdict is. And I think that Lee will BUST. However, a bust for Lee is like a great season for most pitchers. So here are my projections for Lee next season: ERA: 2.72 (Thank you SIERA) and however many wins the team gets him.

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