Well....making some pitchers look good, that's what.
Any day now this blog will have some commentary about some players and pitchers with hot BARB starts, but with the season less than a full week old, that seems premature. So, to stir the pot, here's a list of 15 pitchers off to great starts this year in MLB. These are by no means a list of the best pitchers, but just an objective rating of what BARB starters have had the best starts in "reality". People can always argue whether WHIP, ERA, wins, etc. is the best measurement, but the handy folk at Baseball Reference like to talk up WAR (Wins Above Replacement Value). In essence, the question asks, how much better has this player or pitcher performed above a league-average player at the same position, in this case starting pitchers.
Let the arguments and "yeah, but's..." begin:
2.5 Clayton Buchholz, ST. FRANCIS
2.1 Felix Hernandez, FROSTBITE FALLS
2.0 Clayton Kershaw, RIVERSIDE
2.0 Matt Harvey, ST. FRANCIS
1.9 Anibal Sanchez, NEW YORK
1.9 Justin Verlander, YUMA
1.8 Adam Wainwright, SIN CITY
1.6 Jhoulys Chacin, FROSTBITE FALLS
1.6 Matt Moore, SIN CITY
1.5 Jordan Zimmerman, LOS ANGELES
1.5 Shelby Miller, ST. FRANCIS
1.4 Yu Darvish, SIN CITY
1.4 Madison Bumgardner, SIN CITY
1.3 Travis Wood, ST. FRANCIS
1.3 Derek Holland, ST. FRANCIS
Now there were a couple of other hurlers who would've made this list....if only they were in BARB, you see. There's guys like Hisashi Iwakuma and Patrick Corbin (undrafted), as well as a handful of former BARB starters languishing in free agency. And, of course, there are some pretty good names lurking just below 1.3. As a rule of thumb, for a starter to be considered "average" they should have a season-ending WAR above 2.0. All-Stars will have season-ending WAR's above 5.00, and if a pitcher finishes the year with a WAR nearing 8.0, they are that rare breed, the pitcher who is also an MVP candidate. But it's still quite early.