I'm not going to deny it: Jake Arrieta
has been extremely inconsistent this year. His last few starts have been terrible and many are pushing for him to lose his rotation spot.
While looking at Arrieta's ERA and the amount of ERs he gives up in each start, it's easy to see why people are getting tired of watching him pitch.
But looking a bit deeper into his stats, Arrieta has actually improved as the season has gone on even if his ERA may not show it.
He struck out more batters and walked slightly less, which led to a lower FIP
and xFIP. His HR/9 jumped a bit, but that was due to his increase in HR/FB%. He also got a bunch more ground balls in May.
What sticks out on the chart is his .133 jump in BABIP. That's obviously one of the biggest factors for his high ERA.
Some of you now may be wondering why Arrieta's ERA was still fairly high (4.45) in March/April. A lot of that has to do with his LOB%, which was 59.9% in Mar/April (only 59% for the season). His career LOB% is 69.0%.
Arrieta's career BABIP
is .023 points lower than his 2012 BABIP, and his 2012 LOB% is nearly 10% lower than his career LOB%. Arrieta is showing signs of improvement in nearly every area of his game this season, he's just been a bit unlucky lately.
I'm not concerned with Arrieta. I still feel his bad luck will normalize and when it does, his combination of stuff, strikeouts, and fairly low walk rate will turn him into at least the mid-rotation starter the Orioles are looking for.