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The IBI Awards: Most Valuable Pitcher

Jimenez edges Masterson in a tight battle

The IBI Awards: Most Valuable Pitcher
October 15, 2013
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The 2013 season proved quite successful for Cleveland as the team completed a 24-win turnaround and made the playoffs with a 92-70 record.

As a part of recapping the year that was, IBI is once again giving out some year-end awards. Unlike last year, we will be focusing only on Cleveland-centric awards. Today we unveil IBI's Most Valuable Pitcher:

Rank

Name

Points

1

Ubaldo Jimenez

55.5

2

Justin Masterson

49.5

3

Corey Kluber

27

4

Scott Kazmir

21

5

Cody Allen

12.5

6

Joe Smith

6

7

Danny Salazar

5

8

Bryan Shaw

2.5

9

Marc Rzepczynski

1

 

The second half surge of Jimenez gave him the approval of the majority of IBI, a worthy choice thanks to his 3.30 ERA, 3.43 FIP, and 3.2 fWAR in 182.2 inning. I voted for Masterson personally (3.45 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 3.4 fWAR in 193.0 innings), though I have no issue with anyone who went the other way.

Despite missing a lot of September with an injury, I find it interesting that Masterson ended with 10.1 more innings. Not that it matters much. Jimenez and Masterson both struck out more than a batter an inning and walked a few more than you would necessarily like to see, but all in all, both finished in the vicinity of #30 in Fangraphs WAR; not top-shelf aces, but at least for 2013, legitimate top of the rotation starters.

Kluber, Kazmir, and Allen rounded out my top-five.

Here's what the rest of IBI thinks:

Tony Lastoria:

1. Justin Masterson
2. Ubaldo Jimenez
3. Joe Smith
4. Scott Kazmir
5. Marc Rzepczynski

Joe Smith helped fill in a back-end pen role and kept it together with Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez struggling all year. Marc Rzepczynski was only with the team for two months but his pickup and performance the rest of the way helped solidify the back-end of the bullpen. Scott Kazmir had an amazing comeback year and was brilliant at the end of the season. Jimenez had an extraordinary second half and really came on strong late to help guide the Indians to the playoffs.

But, again, like with the Most Valuable Hitter, it comes down to consistency with me, and the guy who was consistent from Game 1 until Game 163 was Justin Masterson. Ubaldo was great for one half of the season, but pretty average or below average the other half. Masterson was good both halves of the season going 10-7 with a 3.72 ERA in the first half and 4-3 with a 2.81 ERA in the second half. He is the true ace of the staff and really took a step forward this season and has become one of the top starting pitchers in all of baseball. He rebounded well from an inconsistent 2012 campaign and became an All-Star this season and just flat out dominated.

Jim Pete:

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

2. Justin Masterson

3. Scott Kazmir

4. Corey Kluber

5. Danny Salazar

This is a no-brainer. The easy and conservative answer here is Justin Masterson, and that certainly wouldn't be a bad pick. But, he truly can't touch what Ubaldo Jimenez did during the second half of the season (and really, the whole season, at the end of the day). Jimenez wasn't the best pitcher in baseball in the second half, but he certainly was top-five. He was an ace in every sense of the word. There were several pitchers that surprised this year, but none was more dramatic than Jimenez, who went from a bottom five pitcher in all of baseball during his first 1 1/2 years, to a top five pitcher during his last half-season. He essentially carried this club when Masterson was injured, missing the last month. Consider this: In September, Jimenez was third in the league in innings pitched (41 1/3, an inning behind David Price), was second in the league in strikeouts (three behind Cliff Lee), the Indians won all six of his starts (including the final wild card-clinching game), and his ERA was a stout 1.09. I'll take brilliant over consistent any day of the week.

Steve Orbanek:

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

2. Justin Masterson

3. Scott Kazmir

4. Corey Kluber

5. Danny Salazar

This is a tough one as all five of these starting pitchers were especially valuable to the Indians this season. A strong case can be made for Justin Masterson, but I go with Jimenez simply for the fact that his top performances came at such a pressing time. In the second half, Jimenez posted a 1.82 ERA in 13 starts and 84 innings of work. He also walked just 27 batters across that span while striking out 100. What made the performance even better was the fact that Jimenez really stepped up in September once Masterson went down with the strained oblique. In that month, Jimenez went 4-0 in six starts and posted a 1.09 ERA. It may have taken two years, but Jimenez finally became the ace that the Indians envisioned back when they acquired him in 2011.

Michael Hattery:

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

2. Corey Kluber

3. Justin Masterson

4. Scott Kazmir

5. Danny Salazar

An absolutely tremendous moment if you are an Indians fan, when no reliever is even close to consideration. Although Salazar and Kazmir were strong as the season closed and really for its entirety, the race for most valuable arm comes down to Jimenez, Kluber, and Masterson in that order. In this race, FIP and xFIP were unable to create any sort of sizable differentiation. Thus the final factor was whose performance was most essential in the Tribe reaching the postseason. The answer, simply, Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez was not just good; he was special in the most important stretch of baseball for Cleveland in five years. In this manner, no one came close.

Stephanie Metzger:

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

2. Cody Allen

3. Justin Masterson

4. Bryan Shaw

5. Joe Smith

My love for Cody Allen wasn’t quite enough to tip the scales completely in his favor, but he was a close second. If anything, I’m just pleased to see he’s generated talk from national reporters for Rookie of the Year ballots. Six months ago, I never would have guessed I’d be choosing Ubaldo Jimenez for this category. Masterson was also a close tie, but Ubaldo took the final notch in my “pro” column when he stepped up as Masterson went to the DL. I wish I could understand what triggered Ubaldo’s success this year, other than some mechanical adjustments, but for now I’m going to tip my cap to Mickey Callaway.

Jeff Ellis:

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

2. Justin Masterson

3. Corey Kluber

4. Scott Kazmir

5. Cody Allen

Allen makes the list because he was reliable in the pen and made more appearances than any other pitcher on the team. Kluber was a near All-Star for the first half of the year and Kazmir gave the Indians a lefty starter who could pile up the strikeouts. The top pitcher award came down to Ubaldo versus Masterson. I went with Ubaldo because of his dominance down the stretch.  Masterson was great all year but never quite achieved the peak level that Ubaldo did down the stretch. 

Jake Dungan:

1. Justin Masterson/Ubaldo Jimenez

3. Corey Kluber

4. Scott Kazmir

5. Danny Salazar

The only reason why I give Masterson and Jimenez co-awards is because they finally became what the Indians organization was hoping for: a strong #1 and #2 at the top of the starting rotation, particularly in the second half before Masterson got injured. While they don’t stand up with the Kershaw/Greinke or Scherzer/Verlander combos, they were effective in going deep into games for the most part and more importantly, giving their team a chance to win. Jimenez may be heading for free agency this offseason, but Masterson will stay for at least one more year.

Nathan Kemp:

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

2. Justin Masterson

3. Cody Allen

4. Joe Smith

5. Danny Salazar

Jimenez is the only Indians starter to not get hurt this season and he has posted a 1.83 ERA since the All-Star Break. All of his peripheral stats, including WHIP, swing-and-miss rate, and GB% have improved dramatically this season.

Arthur Kinney:

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

2. Justin Masterson
3. Corey Kluber
4. Scott Kazmir
5. Cody Allen

Jimenez's spectacular turnaround provided the Indians with a top-shelf starter they weren't expecting to get.  Something that came in handy when Masterson went down with a late-season injury.  Kluber and Kazmir helped stabilize he rotation while Allen did the same for an often-shaky back-end of the bullpen.

Charlie Adams:

1. Justin Masterson

2. Corey Kluber

3. Ubaldo Jimenez

4. Cody Allen

5. Scott Kazmir

Masterson, despite missing his last several starts, is the team leader in: wins, starts, innings and strikeouts. His rate stats are tremendous too, as he places in the top-three in ERA, FIP and xFIP. He's the definition of "valuable".

Michael Goodman:

1. Ubaldo Jimenez

2. Justin Masterson

3. Corey Kluber

4. Scott Kazmir

5. Cody Allen/Bryan Shaw 

It’s hard to argue against Justin Masterson being number one on this list, but I weigh Ubaldo’s contributions in September heavily and give him the nod here. He stepped up in a big way when Masterson went down. Kluber’s emergence and Kazmir’s bounce back year were equally important, but I’m giving the nod to Kluber. His peripheral numbers were outstanding and his inclusion in the rotation early in the season really settled things down when Kazmir and Jimenez were trying to get their footing. It was hard to pick between one of Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw. Both were equally important in their roles this year and provided 145+ excellent innings of relief. 

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at jpiasci1@gmail.com. If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

Nick
October 15, 2013 - 5:29 PM EDT
A win in May counts the same as a win in September, but the pressure in that is certainly not the same. In the end Ubaldo gets the slight edge because Tony said it himself.....he made 6 more starts to close the season. The pressure was on Ubaldo and he came up clutch, but a May game was not do or die and September it was.
Hermie13
October 15, 2013 - 4:54 PM EDT
@Jim

Actually that was just a general statement not really directed at anyone in particular. Was more showing that Ubaldo only carried the team for 1 month, whereas Masterson did it for 5.
Jim
October 15, 2013 - 3:40 PM EDT
I believe I said he carried the team in a month that Masterson wasn't pitching...

Not sure if you were referencing me Hermie...but I never stated that Jimenez carried the Indians for the entire second half of the year.
Hermie13
October 15, 2013 - 3:34 PM EDT
Ubaldo's 2nd half was amazing, no way around that. His September was just unheard of.

That said, as someone mentioned, Masterson was having a great 2nd half too. From the All-Star break thru the end of August:

Ubaldo: 7 starts, 2-5, 42.2 IP, 2.53 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
Masteron: 8 starts, 5-3, 53 IP, 2.89 ERA, 1.17 WHIP

Obviously Masteron got hurt and Ubaldo became the greatest pitcher in baseball the last month...but I don't feel it's completely accurate to say Ubaldo carried the team in the 2nd half. Masterson did a lot of that too again throwing 10 more innings than Ubaldo during that grind that was end of July/August.
Jim
October 15, 2013 - 3:28 PM EDT
I don't think relievers shoulda been in the mix at all...

...and believe me when I say...I'm no Ubaldo fan...

I am most certainly not.
Tony
October 15, 2013 - 3:26 PM EDT
Looking a little deeper, it should be pointed out that Ubaldo was still the pretty ordinary pitcher he was until August 10th. So it isn't even a first half and second half thing. From the start of the second half up until Aug 10th he was rather mediocre, the walk rate was way high and he was inconsistent with his outings....and still had trouble pitching deep into game.

So he essentially was really good for 50 days of the season from Aug 10 to Sept 29. That is 10 starts. So he was very good for a THIRD of the season yet was up and down from awful to good the rest. I understand it is a what have you done for me lately thing.....but it is that inconsistency most of the year and some pretty favorable pitching matchups as well which makes it tough to put him over Masterson.
Jim
October 15, 2013 - 3:23 PM EDT
Oh, and I 100% think that if Jimenez sucked in September, the Indians wouldn't have made the playoffs.

I also agree that if Masterson sucked in April or May...or Kazmir in July or September, or Kluber in June or July, or McAllister in May...

that you could make the same point...

but please...good lord please...don't tell me that a September game carries the same weight with regards to pressure as a May game.

I hear the crap that pro players play every game the same...

but that's garbage.

I remember September...and May...and June...and April...

but there's a weight to any stretch in any sport that brings with it more stress and more critical decision making.

OF COURSE there are other factors that can be taken into effect, but how good would Masterson have been in April and May if Mark Reynolds didn't play for this team...or what about Kluber in June in Kipnis didn't play for this team...or...

it goes for everyone.

Was Masterson the anchor?

Sure.

Does that mean he's necessarily the most valuable pitcher?

No...

He very well could be...but no way is it cut and dry...and like I said...you can make a case that even though he was the anchor, he was only the BEST pitcher on this team for two months.

Same as Ubaldo.

So...the fact that he DIDN'T suck as much as Ubaldo the other months...does that make him the MVP?

Maybe.

I don't like Jimenez as a starter...but he was just electric those last two months...and I don't have a short memory. Just carries more weight to me.

I do like the Masterson innings eating as well...and likely would have had Masterson as my MVP if he pitched in September...and was even just decent.

That did weigh into my thinking for sure...
Hermie13
October 15, 2013 - 3:21 PM EDT
@Jim

Here was the best pitcher (via fWAR, which I'm not saying is the best/only stat to use) by month for the Tribe:

April: Masterson
May: Masterson
June: Masterson
July: Kazmir (narrowly beating Kluber and Masterson)
August: Ubaldo
September: Ubaldo

Ubaldo accumulated a 2.2 fWAR in the month of September alone!! Kazmir also posted an insane 1.4 fWAR in September (Masterson never was at or above 1 in any month). In fact, no Indians pitcher posted a 1 fWAR in any month til September.
Jim
October 15, 2013 - 3:15 PM EDT
I had a much longer post here, but will just leave it at this...

I will gladly admit that Masterson was the most consistent starter for the Indians from April until the end of August.

I'm sure a month by month look at all the starters would be an interesting one...

If I were to guess, I'd say Masterson was the best starter in April and May, with Kluber in June, Kazmir in July, and Jimenez in August and September.

Now I'm fine for those that say that wins are equal in the early months compared to the later months.

That's true...

...but the outliers are excessively different. I'm not even going to argue that point. I'm fairly sick of folks trying to wipe out all the old adages. Sure, metrics seemingly shut down a lot of old misconceptions, but a lot of this comes from folks that have no clue what it is to play in a game that could cost you your season.

Sorry, it's just different.

Masterson was certainly fantastic for the Indians this year, which is why I rated him second.

If you look at Jimenez and his numbers during the second half of the year, you can not even arguably say that his half was more dominant that any of C.C.'s during his Cy Young year, and the same can be said for Cliff Lee's Cy Young year as well.

I know it's just a half-year, but he carried this team in a month in which Masterson was OUT, and Kluber and McAllister were average or less than so...and did it in a dominating fashion.

His first half is overblown a bit by Ubaldo-apologists (of which I am certainly not), but think that he SO dominated in the second half, and really was so far above the rest of the staff in the final two months (especially September), that he is the MVP of this team with regards to pitchers.

Of course...again...I had Masterson second, so it's not like I had Jimenez running away with it...

...but I think there's a lot of anti-Ubaldo-bias out there (deservedly so, and I'm one of them) that want to ignore Ubaldo's utter dominance over a two month span (especially after he got bumped in early August) because he was such a dog during his first two years with the team.

Reminds me of that Carlos Santana bias a bit...

different, obviously, because Santana has performed. Folks don't like Santana because he's not a gaudy power-hitter in the 90's Indians form, and will never live up to his hype. folks don't like Jimenez because he didn't live up to his hype in his first 1 3/4 years here with the Indians.

I'm fine with both bias, to be honest. They are fair complaints..but so is the other side.

September of 2013 was the most exciting time in six years of Cleveland Indians baseball. Who was at the center of that?

Ubaldo Jimenez.

MVPitcher
Tony
October 15, 2013 - 3:06 PM EDT
The cumulative totals may be close, but this is a case where a hot 6-7 week stretch to end the year made Jimenez look much closer than he really was to Masterson. Check out some of these month by month numbers when both were pitching:

April
Masterson: 3.12 ERA, 3.69 xFIP, 0.8 WAR, 0.45 HR/9, 3.79 BB/9, 8.70 K/9, 6.7 IP/start
Jimenez: 7.13 ERA, 4.23 xFIP, -0.1 WAR, 1.50 HR/9, 4.88 BB/9, 7.13 K/9, 4.8 IP/start

May:
Masterson: 3.02 ERA, 3.32 xFIP, 0.8 WAR, 0.65 HR/9, 3.02 BB/9, 9.50 K/9, 6.9 IP/start
Jimenez: 4.23 ERA, 3.34 xFIP, 0.3 WAR, 1.30 HR/9, 4.23 BB/9, 11.06 K/9. 5.5 IP/start

June:
Masterson: 4.29 ERA, 3.04 xFIP, 0.6 WAR, 1.07 HR/9, 3.00 BB/9, 9.00 K/9, 7.0 IP/start
Jimenez: 3.09 ERA, 4.32 xFIP, 0.2 WAR, 1.13 HR/9, 5.06 BB/9, 9.00 K/9, 5.3 IP/start

July:
Masterson: 3.12 ERA, 2.80 xFIP, 0.8 WAR, 0.00 HR/9, 3.46 BB/9, 9.69 K/9, 6.5 IP/start
Jimenez: 2.83 ERA, 4.97 xFIP, 0.1 WAR, 0.94 HR/9, 5.02 BB/9, 6.59 K/9, 5.7 IP/start

August:
Masterson: 3.76 ERA, 3.73 xFIP, 0.3 WAR, 0.70 HR/9, 4.46 BB/9, 8.22 K/9, 6.4 IP/start
Jimenez: 3.10 ERA, 3.27 xFIP, 0.9 WAR, 0.31 HR/9, 4.03 BB/9, 11.48 K/9, 5.8 IP/start

It wasn't until the middle of August when Jimenez started out performing Masterson (coincidentally right after he was skipped in his start against the Tigers and after the Marlins bombed him).

Just hard to look past a pretty lackluster first 3-4 months for Jimenez. The ending was fantastic, but again, just luck with a report card at school you have to look at it all evenly and can't weigh one period greater than the other.
Hermie13
October 15, 2013 - 3:02 PM EDT
@MikeH....I'm mostly with you in regards to starts vs relievers in terms of value.

That said....I can see where some would at least lean towards relievers this year. Smith did have a 1.8 rWAR and Allen a 1.4 rWAR. That was the 3rd and 4th highest marks for Tribe pitchers (behind Masterson then Ubaldo). Not saying I agree with those rankings at all (fWAR has all 6 Tribe starts ranked 1-6), but just throwing those numbers out there for more discussion.

I did go Smith over McAllister. Debated this one but McAllister getting hurt bumped him down a peg for me.
Adam
October 15, 2013 - 3:01 PM EDT
I agree with those who are saying Masterson. Ubaldo's 2nd half sticks out because it's fresh in our mind, but without Masterson, we wouldn't have even been in the playoff picture heading into the AS break. Despite Justin missing a good chunk of the 2nd half, he still threw 10 innings more than Ubaldo. Ubaldo was a 5 and fly pitcher for most of the first half of the year, really wasn't until the end of July that he started giving some length on a consistent basis.

In my mind, if we're being objective, it has to be:
1) Masterson
2) Jimenez
3) Kluber
4) Kazmir
5) McAllister

To me, a decent starting pitcher is worth more than an above average (not elite) reliever. Without ZMac, Kazmir, and Kluber at the bottom of the rotation, Smith and Allen wouldn't get many high leverage situations to pitch in.
Mike H
October 15, 2013 - 2:53 PM EDT
Completely agree on the innings issue. That is the best that can be made for Masterson as their numbers in terms of cumulative total are almost identical and Ubaldo had more success late.
Pitching well over a large collection of innings is immensely valuable. Which is why, I was shocked with so many relievers listed. When clearly not one of them was even top 6 when discussing "value".

But once again just a difference in how people value assets.
Hermie13
October 15, 2013 - 2:46 PM EDT
In 18.2 innings (3 starts) Masterson had a 7.23 ERA and 1.554 WHIP against the Tigers. In two of his 3 starts he went 7 innings.

In 13 innings (3 starts) Ubaldo had a 6.92 ERA and 1.846 WHIP against the Tigers. Went 6 innings just once (won that game though).


Fair to say, the Indians as a whole were just garbage against the Tigers this year....one big black on the club.


I can defniitely understand where people are coming from with Ubaldo. I just feel innings get overlooked with regard to Masterson. Tony mentioned it, but Ubaldo really struggled to give us innings early on. Masterson made 3 fewer starts (though had 3 relief appearances) yet threw 10 more innings. May not seem alike a lot, but Masterson averaged 6.5 IP per start...Ubaldo only averaged 5.7 IP per start.

That's 2.5 extra outs a game Masterson got...over his 29 starts that's 73 outs Masterson got more than Ubaldo...well over two games worth. Saved the bullpen a ton over the course of the year. Something that I think is underrated here.
Tony
October 15, 2013 - 2:35 PM EDT
Too much emphasis is put on the end. I agree, that's what we remember, especially since it was a tight finish. But the wins still count the same all the rest. Had the Indians fell a game short we'd be looking back to key losses all season as to why they missed. So, hence, all losses and wins are important throughout the year. Same goes for that big start by Kluber on April 28th. That was just as important a win as the Ubaldo start on the final day of the season.

I disagree on the notion of not trusting Masterson in big games. He did struggled against Detroit....but that's not a very good example given the face Jimenez struggled against them too this year to the tune of 12 runs (10 earned) in 13 innings against the Tigers this year AND the fact his manager and front office had no faith in him the final homestand against the Tigers that they bumped him in favor of Salazar. And for as big as the games were down the stretch, Ubaldo was pitching against nothing but the Twins, White Sox and Astros the final three-plus weeks.

Jimenez had a super bounce back half season. It's not one of those either or things which drives me crazy. "If Jimenez is not unbelievable down the stretch the Indians don't make the playoffs".....which is just not true. Because there are so many other factors there and throughout the season that are just as important. Had Kazmir not been almost as sensational down the stretch, had Masterson not been the unquestioned anchor of the staff for the first four+ months, had Jason Kipnis not gone on a hot tear in mid-May through July, etc.

In any case, good banter and makes for a good debate as like I said people view things differently!
Mike H
October 15, 2013 - 2:14 PM EDT
A win in May is worth the same as a win in September.
That has always been an interesting phrase to me: I battle over it personally all the time. I cannot determine where I fall, in a simplistic sense I agree every win is the same.
On the other hand, on the last day of the season, with home field advantage for a playoff game on the line, 6 2/3 innings with 13 K's means a lot more to me than a 6 inning, 5 K win against Toronto on opening day.

Also Masterson got rocked in important games: Against Detroit he gave up 15 ER's in 18 1/3 innings. So when it mattered most I didn't trust him. So as "stable" or consistent as he was, when games mattered most, he folded.

I love Masterson but I must disagree.
Hermie13
October 15, 2013 - 2:01 PM EDT
Fair point Mike H...

Though when you look at the season as a whole, Masterson had the higest fWAR, highest rWAR, led the team in IP (despite missing most of September), and led the team in wins.

Ubaldo had a great year but a win in September is worth the same as a win in April or May.
Tony
October 15, 2013 - 1:57 PM EDT
And that is ultimately what it comes down to for me Michael. Consistency. Who could be relied upon all year. Masterson anchored the staff all year and was reliable and consistent all year up until that Sept 2nd injury. Can't say the same for any other starter on the staff. All of them went through rough extended rough patches.
Mike H
October 15, 2013 - 1:53 PM EDT
On the other hand. The case can be made that Masterson was not even the best starter on the team in the first half and he certainly wasn't in the second half. In fact he wasn't even the third best according to FIP in the second half of the season.

First half:
Kluber 95 IP, 8.91 K/9, 2.08 BB/9, 3.40 FIP, 2.97 xFIP

Masterson 135 IP, 9.11 K/9, 3.59 BB/9, 3.40 FIP, 3.38 xFIP.

Of course he has the innings pitched advantage but that is basically it compared to Kluber. One could easily argue that Masterson was not the best pitcher on the staff in either half.
In terms of stability a case could be made for Justin but I think you have to add some weight to pitching at an ace level for the last month of a pennant race.
BrianM
October 15, 2013 - 1:50 PM EDT
You make a valid point Tony, but this season will be remembered as the year we finally made the playoffs again, and Ubaldo's performances will be the ones I remember from the season. It turned out that we literally need to win every game down the stretch. If Ubaldo had faltered once, everything would have been different. He came up huge.

1a Ubaldo
1b Masterson
1c Kluber
4 Kazmir
5 Smith
Tony
October 15, 2013 - 1:30 PM EDT
Some interesting votes. Again, the beauty of everything seeing what they see and how beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

I do find if surprising how Cody Allen finished higher than Joe Smith. Allen was good but also pitched in the 6th-7th inning on a regular basis.....meanwhile Smith filled a huge role as the setup man and was dominant. I just don't get how Allen was better than Smith in that regard. Smith was the most important guy in the pen this year.....and I don't think it is even close.

As for Ubaldo....he had a great second half. But here is my thing. Up until Masterson got hurt BOTH were having great second halves. Here are their numbers in the second half up to the point Masterson got hurt:

Masterson: 8 starts, 4-2, 2.89 ERA, .217 BAA, 6.2 IP per start, 3.4 BB/9, 8.7 K9
Jimenez: 7 starts, 2-5, 2.53 ERA, .217 BAA, 6.0 IP per start, 4.2 BB/9, 10.3 K/9

They were pretty much dead even as far as their second half performance up to that point, so I just don't get where Ubaldo was that much different than Jimenez in the second half. Sure, he made 6 starts after that and was stellar while Masterson was out.....but I just don't see how 6 great starts in September trumps a pretty shitty first half (4.56 ERA, 1.2 HR/9, 4.8 BB/9, 8.6 K/9, .747 OPS, 4.16 xFIP). And he only averaged 5.1 innings a start over 19 starts in the first half, so constantly taxed the bullpen.

Meanwhile, Masterson was an All Star and for THREE months carried the staff while the Indians worked to get Jimenez straightened out, Kazmir going, and dealing with injuries to McAllister and waiting for Kluber to arrive. So for as much as we make of Ubaldo's sensational final month sans Masterson, I feel it is a great disservice to overlook how Masterson carried the staff for the first three months....heck, first five months. Without his first half performance the Indians are nowhere close to sniffing the playoffs in September.

But this is why I love these awards.....brings up good talking points and debate.
Hermie13
October 15, 2013 - 10:20 AM EDT
And agree with Daingean...Calloway deserves a ton of credit. And interested to see how the pitching does with Gomes as a full-time catcher. Santana only started 5 games behind the plate in September to Gomes's 22. Tribe's staff had the lowest team ERA in the month of September in the AL...by a decent margin. Makes you wonder how much (if any) was Gomes being back there vs Santana.
Hermie13
October 15, 2013 - 10:17 AM EDT
I'd give the slightest of nods to Masterson here. Ubaldo was unreal down the stretch but without Masterson in the 1st half it wouldn't have mattered.

Kluber is 3rd to me just ahead of Kazmir 4th. I like Smith 5th too as he did anchor that backend when Perez and Pestano struggled.
Daingean
October 15, 2013 - 9:20 AM EDT
I'd have to go Ubaldo but I think Calloway and Yan Gomes gets a lot of credit. It will be interesting if U can keep it up next year (where ever he plays).

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