Making their own luck
In my last post I pointed out that Kenny Rogers, Nate Robertson, and Justin Verlander were the beneficiaries of some combination of good defense and good luck. Basically I was trying to point out that while all 3 had solid seasons, there were some breaks that were beyond their control that went their way. But I as thought a little more, specifically about gold glover Rogers, how much did the pitchers help their own cause?
Fortunately, Pinto has already published the individual PMR numbers for pitchers. By subtracting the pitcher’s contribution from the total team’s defense when he was on the mound, we can see who was leaning on the guys behind him the most.
The order of the list gets shuffled. Kenny Rogers accounted for a third of the plays above expected. And Justin Verlander had pretty much neutral defense behind him. Meanwhile, Nate Robertson got the most help.
In the comments to the other post Brian questioned why some pitchers consistently exceed or lag their fielding independent stats. The pitcher’s ability to help his own cause may – emphasis on may – in some cases be a part of the reason.