Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wang vs Hughes

I mentioned this before, and now I am going to detail why Phil Hughes should be starting over Chein-Ming Wang.

Both pitchers have made starts and both have seen bullpen duties with Hughes currently in the relief role.
There has been a lot of speculation on why manager Joe Girardi is keeping Wang in the rotation as opposed to having Hughes, a starter his entire pro career. Is it because Wang dropped nearly 24 points off his ERA since being placed on the DL? Or is it because the pen is weak and Hughes is this years Joba? Hughes Rules. Doesn't sound intriguing. There are a lot of questions, and each question has a reasonable answer whether we agree with it or not. After all, Girardi is making the big bucks, not us.

So here to help is a chart and graph filled post on the comparisons of Wang and Hughes.

* * * * * * * * * *

Wang this season suffered from embarrassing losses to the Orioles (Apr 8), Tampa (Apr 13), and Cleveland (Apr 18). His ERA sky rocketed to a disgustingly 34.50 before being placed on the disabled list. After a AAA stint (13 IP, 0 ER), Wang made his return in the bullpen. His first outing gave the Yankees nothing to be excited about giving up two runs in three innings. He then went on to pitch 5 scoreless innings over two game droppng his ERA to 16.07 before becoming pre-DL Wang again.
As you can tell by the graph above, Wang's ERA dropped considerably after his DL vacation and then has a downward trend tailing off. The reason why the downward drop is not consistent is the fact that he returned to the starting rotation. After allowing only two runs in eight relief innings, he went on to give up 5, 3, 3, 3 runs in his next four starts. Neither one of the three run games qualified for a quality start as he was taken out by the fifth inning.

June 4: Gave up five runs against Texas in 4 2/3 innings for the no-decision.

June 10: Gave up three runs against Boston in 2 2/3 innings for the loss. He left with a runner on base.

June 17: Gave up three runs against Washington in five innings for the loss. This loss was mostly in fault by the offense since they could only squeeze out four measly hits.

June 23: Gave up three runs against Atlanta in five innings. Yankees offense again was slacking as they were shut out in another four-hit slugfest.

To talk about extremes, opponents are batting a perfect 1.000 against Wang in a 3-0 count. In comparison, they are .200 in a 3-1 count, which is Wang's most favored count.

* * * * * * * * * *

I used two different lines in this graph for the simple fact that Hughes was moved from a starter to reliever. Clearly in his second start against the Orioles, Hughes was at his worst. He gave up eight runs and was out before the second inning came to a close. Since that start Hughes has been consistently lowering his ERA. That was also his last start as Wang made his return from Tampa to the rotation.
Hughes was then bumped to the pen where he continued to improve his stats.

NOTE: If it wasn't for his Oriole bashing, Hughes would have an ERA of 3.09. Something to take note on especially for you fantasy team owners.

* * * * * * * * * *

If we were to compare the two using their season stats it shows that Hughes tops Wang in some of the more important offensive stats. The one that stands out the most is Hughes BAbip is nearly half of Wangs.
The team win-loss percentage is the winning percentage of the Yankees during each pitchers outing, whether they get the decision or not. Wang's .143 percentage is equivalent to the Yankees winning 1.5 out of ten games. As for Hughes, the Yankees win close to six games out of ten. Again, it is also noted that in past games that Wang has started, the Yankees run support has been relatively weak.
Even though both pitchers have extra-base hit percentages (XBH%) above the league average, it is shown that Wang gives up 3% more XBH that Hughes. This stat could be easily thrown out since both pitchers have had that one bad bad game.

* * * * * * * * * *

In this next segment, you will see that both pitcher have excelled in their relief roles. These next charts makes it tough to clearly decide who should be in the bullpen.

It is quite evident that Wang has fared quite well in the pen as his batting average against and BAbip are a significantly lower and his strikeout to walk ratio has nearly tripled. Readers must keep in mind that Wang's stats have been tapering off in his favor and that I have only compiled season stats up to today.

* * * * * * * * * *

This is where the argument for Hughes to be a starter is questionable. Granted he has the stuff and ability to start games, but his reliever duties are pretty damn enticing. His strikeout to walk ratio explodes and is complemented by a WHIP under 1.000. Batters are hopeless against him as charted by his BAA and BAbip. Clearly he is the best candidate for the bullpen...or is he?

The charts below are side-by-side comparisons of both pitchers in a starter and reliever role.


Stat Wang Hughes
K/BB 1.38 2.07
BAA .416 .276
WHIP 2.571 1.500
BAbip .462 .307
ERA 14.27 5.45


Stat Wang Hughes
K/BB 3.50 7.00
BAA .300 .135
WHIP 1.375 0.656
BAbip .364 .182
ERA 2.25 1.69

* * * * * * * * * *

If I were to run the team, I would swap Hughes and Wang. Granted they are performing effectively in their current positions. The bullpen would still benefit with Wang according to his stats. Hughes would also benefit and could very well serve as the 7-8 inning guy before handing it off to Mariano Rivera. Wang is very capable of doing the same exact thing. Both has shown that they can prove worthy of pen duties and keep the Yankees in the game with minimal to no damage.
As for the starting role, it's a different story. Before Wang was on the DL, he was absolute garbage with an ERA higher that most airline altitude heights. Hughes had a bad game against Baltimore throwing his pitching stats out of order and has since done nothing but improve himself.
The rotation could use consistency in Hughes as the 5th man and Wang in the pen as the #1 guy to go to before Rivera closes it out. Either way, it will not hurt the bullpen and it will more likely improve the starting five
These are my opinions and I have used stats to back up my claims, but like I said in the beginning, Girardi is making the big bucks to make decisions.


Labels: , , , , ,

Add to RootZoo
BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 6:34 PM


Post a Comment

« Home


By far, the online casino reviews can be found at Looking for a top online sports betting website? Try When Pro football starts, look to for the best NFL betting news and information. At the end of the season, enjoy first class SuperBowl betting by joining our top sportsbook sites.

Blogging Sponsorships

If you would like to sponser on this site, contact:

Vote 2008 Bloggers Choice Awards


Baseball Terminology

Terms and Abbreviations

Front Office

Owner [-]
Bio [-]
Location: Plainview, New York, United States

I have, and always will be, a true Yankees fan. Don't give me that bandwagon crap; bandwagon fans are for people who need to belong.

Public Relations [â??]
Enter your email address below to subscribe to Bronx Bloggers!

powered by Bloglet


The Bandwagon

Baseball Reference
National Baseball HoF
Yankees Official Site
SportsWorld NY
A Must Read
Cheating Barry
Live Soccer Streaming
The Sports Flow
The Sports Hernia
Sports Blog Directory
Big Reds Blogger
Sport For People
SportsBlog NY
Sports Betting
Smarter Sports Blog
Sport Blog Man
Don Mattingly Online - The Official Website!

The Back Page


Web Page Hit Counters eXTReMe Tracker

Disclosure statement
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.