Stretching Out Chris Sale

Right now, we’re hedging our bets on Chris Sale, projecting that 29% of his innings come in relief. We have him throwing 129 IP with a 3.60 ERA, 9 wins and 15 holds. In this role he generates an impressive 9.8 K/9 with his 94.5 mph fastball. This line give him $9.30 of fantasy value making him our 72nd ranked pitcher.

But what if you don’t think Sale will make the rotation?

We give Sale 64 IP as a set-up man, Steamer forecasts a 3.34 ERA, a superb 10.5 K/9 and a fastball averaging 95 mph. Unfortunately, even with a handful of saves this line only provides $3.00 of fantasy value, making him roughly the 112th best pitcher available.

And if we let him face 850 batters over 30 starts and 200 innings? His strikeout rate falls to 9.5 K/9 and his ERA ticks up a bit to 3.74. He also wins 13 games, however, and throws his fastball at 94.3 mph. This makes him a $15.60 player, 22nd in our pitcher rankings.

Of course, Steamer doesn’t know how well his fastball will hold up over a full season and doesn’t know about his excellent changeup. But, based on what it does know, Steamer is bullish on Mr. Sale.

Comments (7)

  1. Jeff Chisholm

    How does one get holds as a starter?

  2. Jeff Chisholm

    Sorry, ignore the question. I missed the part where you said he would relief part of the season

  3. Jeremiah

    Brad Mills told Brett Myers today that he’s going to be the Astros closer. It would be interesting to see a similar piece to this one but in the opposite direction!

    1. J. Cross (Post author)

      I’ve been re-reading a thread on the book blog:

      that has me thinking that I should revisit my starter/reliever adjustments and make sure that I don’t have biases in my system. This is tricky stuff.

  4. Sean

    Could you also give us the projections that assume the following pitchers make the starting rotation please? THANKS!

    Cory Luebke, Daniel Bard, Neftali Feliz, Aroldis Chapman, Felipe Paulino, Jeff Niemann, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia

    1. Brian

      Maybe separate entries could be provided for players that could spend significant time at both SP and RP. Using that article from The Book it seems it would probably be pretty easy for us to extrapolate it ourselves anyway if we really need it.

      1. J. Cross (Post author)

        I think maybe what we’ll do is create a spreadsheet that has both starter and reliever projections for the batch of guys who are assigned split roles on our main spreadsheet.

        I was recently reexamining our SP/RP adjustments though and we are considering tweaking the way we’re doing this so I want to hold off on putting out this spreadsheet for now. Maybe something soon but we want to tackle injury risks and playing time projections first.


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