Last night's Post-Game Thread had an interesting comment from Fred's Brim that got me thinking about Matt Guerrier's performance this year. Heading over to baseball-reference.com over lunch, here's what I found about Matty G:
- Guerrier has had 33 appearances for the Dodgers this year. In the first nine appearances, totalling 10.2 innings, he didn't give up an earned run. But that tenth appearance was a doozy, going 1.2 innings and giving up 5 ER, both blowing the save and taking the loss.
- From then on, in the 23 most recent appearances, he's given up ER on eight of those occasions, or almost 35% of the time. (Even if we include the first ten appearances, that's 27% of the time.) That compares unfavorably to almost all of the viable Dodgers relievers: Ramon Troncoso gave up ER in 3 of 9 appearances, or 33%; Blake Hawksworth, 6 of 19 or 31%; Kenley Jansen, 6 of 20 or 30%; Javy Guerra, 3 of 11 or 27%; Mike MacDougal, 5 of 29 or 17%; Josh Lindblom, 1 of 6 or 17%; Scott Elbert, 2 of 14 or 14%. Guerrier is still slightly ahead of yip-meister Hong-Chih Kuo, 4 of 9 or 44%; headcase Jonathan Broxton, 6 of 14 or 43%; and Borg-meister Lance Cormier, 7 of 9 or 78%.
- Guerrier does have the most appearances of any of the relievers mentioned, true; and, we've got small sample size issues working against us. But considering that, of the viable comps, Kenley Jansen and Scott Elbert both have higher ERAs but lower probabilities of ceding ER, shouldn't they at least be considered instead of Guerrier (especially Elbert)?
- Worse, Guerrier's most recent track record is worrisome; he's given up ER in four of his last four appearances, as well as six of his last 11 appearances. The trajectory is not good.
At the very least, this seems to indicate we may want to give Guerrier a little bit of a break. He's probably not the every-day reliever Don Mattingly has hoped he would be, so perhaps using him less regularly is a better option.