In 2010, Adam Wainwright put together a monster season. 20 wins, 2.42 ERA and superb 1.05 WHIP made him the runner-up for the Cy Young that season. Expectations were at an all-time high heading into 2011, but fans’ hopes were crushed only a few days into spring training.
A little elbow discomfort during batting practice turned into a big problem on February 21, 2011. The doctor prescribed season-ending Tommy John surgery for the all-star hurler. Fans would have to wait until 2012 to see Waino’s encore.
Once 2012 finally rolled around, fans were eager to see there premier pitcher dominate batters once again. However, things did not exactly go as planned.
Wainwright got off to an awful start, losing his first three starts and racking up a 9.88 ERA. Things got better as the season went on, but Wainwright’s 14 wins and 3.94 ERA fell well short of expectations.
As 2013 approaches, expectations for Waino are unclear. Should we expect another season like 2012? Do not count on it. You can bet on Wainwright having a great rebound year this upcoming season for the Cards.
Yes, Wainwright had a tough 2012 season, but he showed plenty of promise. He was able to toss three complete games and had several outings where he gave up 2 runs or fewer. However, the most telling statistic comes to us from the sabermetric world.
BABIP (batting average on balls in play) tells us the percentage of balls put into play against pitchers that fall for hits. A typical BABIP usually lies between .290 and .300 with very little variance. In 2010, Wainwright posted a .275 BABIP, which is excellent. In 2012, Waino’s BABIP soared to .315.
BABIP, more than anything else, is a statistic that relies on luck. About 95% of pitchers will have a career BABIP lies somewhere between .290 and .300. The seasons of good and bad BABIP will even out over time.
That being said, it appears as though Waino’s insane BABIP of 2010 has been evened out by his rather poor one last season. One would have to expect that it should fall back closer to normal this upcoming season. Even if his BABIP can fall down to around .300, he will look much more dominant in 2013.
LOB% (left on base percentage) measures the percentage of base runners that a pitcher leaves stranded. Wainwright’s LOB% for his career has usually been around 75-80%. However, in 2012 he put up a rather mediocre 67.8% LOB%.
The 67.8% is definitely an outlier on Waino’s career stat sheet. He has shown no signs of posting such a low percentage consistently. Expect for his LOB% to rise and approach his career numbers. By leaving more runners on base, his ERA will drop lower and lower.
The one thing that Wainwright really has going for him is how well he looked last season. Yes, his stats were worse than usual and his stuff was not always so electric, but if you saw him on the right night, he looked like a Cy Young candidate.
He was able to absolutely shut down and stifle offenses several times in 2012. The 2010 Wainwright made some appearances this past season, so his only real problem was pitching like that guy on a consistent basis. An offseason of training will help his consistency.
Wainwright may not put together a monster season in 2013, but he will return as an ace in the league. He is much better than his 2012 statistics tell us. When he’s at his best, you would have a hard time finding a better pitcher in the league.
Wainwright will be a t his best much more in 2013. He will no longer be worrying about his injury, and he wants to show everyone that last season will not be typical of him. Wainwright will be a force to be reckoned with in this upcoming season.
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