Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dodgers extend Chad Billingsley

By Mike Moritz

Just two nights ago, and just days before the greatest annual single-day in baseball- Opening Day- the Los Angeles Dodgers and right handed, starting pitcher Chad Billingsley came in agreement to a three-year, $35 million extension. Billingsley will earn $6.3 million in 2011, it will be his second of three seasons as an arbitration eligible player. The deal would buy out Billingsley's final year of arbitration eligibility and his first two free agent seasons. The deal will kick in after this season. The thing is, and Fangraphs noted this as well, it looks to me that Billingsley got cheated a little bit, he could have gotten a little more money out of this deal.

It seems as though Billingsley has long been underrated. His 3.55 ERA and 3.68 FIP are solid and his 3.07 FIP was his career best. For his career, he strikes out hitters at an above average rate, 8.19 K/9. I really do not have much to say about him; he has been pretty consistent for the most part (exclude 2009).

His command is not stellar, but it is not bad either, just barely worse than average: he walks 3.89 per nine innings. He does not have an overpowering fastball, his average velocity is 91.7 mph for his career and does not a devastating differential between his fastball and change-up; he throws an 84.5 mph change. His slider runs at about 84 mph. Take a look at his break for his pitches:

His slider breaks a good amount. That's all I have to say about his breaking pitches.

Billingsley is a huge ground ball pitcher. His career 46.8% GB rate rose to an even better 49.6% mark last year. Because of that, he rarely gives up fly balls: 34.4%. Even if he did turn into a fly ball pitcher for some weird reason, it would not hurt him that much, Dodger Stadium has a park factor of just 94 for right handed hitters (but a 116 factor for lefties, luckily, most hitters in the majors hit from the right side).

His skill set is stable and is a general recipe for consistency, which, for the most part, is correct. You can easily expect about 2.5 strike outs for every walk and a ton of ground balls. He's a pretty straight forward pitcher. I still think he could have gotten a bigger contract so this was a good move by GM Ned Colletti. 

Said full time writer for fangraphs.com, Dave Cameron,

"Steadier than he's given credit for, you can pencil Billingsley in for 200 innings of good performance."

It was put perfectly. Billingsley will once again be the number two starter behind Clayton Kershaw and will begin their attempt at a bounce back season with new manager, Don Mattingly.

Oh, and by the way, tomorrow is Opening Day. Greatest day of the year. Get pumped!

(Statistics in courtesy of: fangraphs.com and statcorner.com)

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