Phillies kwERA

Mike Fast put up a great article at The Hardball Times, highlighting the leaders in kwERA. What is kwERA? Fast explains:

A few years ago, Guy M and Tom Tango came up with a neat toy called kwERA that works a little bit like FIP, except that it ignores a pitcher’s home run rate. It’s a measure of strike zone dominance.

The formula is kwERA = [5.30] – 12 * (K-BB)/PA.

I hadn’t heard of kwERA before, so I tossed some numbers into a spreadsheet to see what the Phillies looked like.

Note that I used TBF (total batters faced) as opposed to the PA in Fast’s column. It didn’t change anything, but since TBF is one of the columns, it makes it easier to follow. Also note that I used the full season stats for Roy Oswalt and J.A. Happ, including their starts with their new teams. Lastly, Fast initially used 5.40 as a constant, but notes in the comments that it is league-dependent. As such, the constant I used instead is 5.30.

PLAYER ERA IP TBF BB K BB/TBF K/TBF K-BB/TBF kwERA
Ryan Madson 4.57 21.7 93 4 25 0.04 0.27 0.23 2.59
Roy Halladay 2.17 178.0 705 21 158 0.03 0.22 0.19 2.97
Jose Contreras 3.55 38.0 159 12 40 0.08 0.25 0.18 3.19
Roy Oswalt 3.53 135.0 549 36 124 0.07 0.23 0.16 3.38
Cole Hamels 3.56 139.0 586 46 138 0.08 0.24 0.16 3.42
Brad Lidge 5.09 23.0 103 14 28 0.14 0.27 0.14 3.67
Chad Durbin 3.43 44.7 189 15 40 0.08 0.21 0.13 3.71
Average 3.97 67.7 283 19 53 0.07 0.19 0.12 3.89
Joe Blanton 5.86 106.0 469 26 72 0.06 0.15 0.10 4.12
Jamie Moyer 4.84 111.7 460 20 63 0.04 0.14 0.09 4.18
Antonio Bastardo 5.11 12.3 54 9 13 0.17 0.24 0.07 4.41
Nelson Figueroa 3.46 26.0 104 9 15 0.09 0.14 0.06 4.61
Kyle Kendrick 4.37 127.7 534 34 64 0.06 0.12 0.06 4.63
David Herndon 4.08 35.3 156 10 16 0.06 0.10 0.04 4.84
Danys Baez 4.95 36.3 167 20 20 0.12 0.12 0.00 5.30
J.C. Romero 2.59 24.3 111 20 17 0.18 0.15 -0.03 5.62
J.A. Happ 4.03 22.3 82 15 10 0.18 0.12 -0.06 6.03

For you visual learners (click to open a larger version):

Those pesky Sabermetrics keep finding ways to make Madson look good and Happ bad! After all, Happ is a “Cliff Lee lite” and Madson doesn’t have a closer’s mentality.

Overall, though, the findings shouldn’t really surprise you. ¬†Halladay and Oswalt are at the top and Baez and Romero are at the bottom. Lidge may be the other surprise given that his control (5.5 BB/9) has been such an issue, but he averages more than a strikeout per inning pitched. Additionally, kwERA ignores home runs and Lidge has given up five of them in 23 innings of work and his HR/FB is at a whopping 18%.

kwERA doesn’t differ a great deal from other ERA estimators such as SIERA, as the differential ranges from -0.27 (Kendrick, 4.90 SIERA) to +0.46 (Figueroa, 4.15 SIERA). But I still thought it was interesting to look at — hopefully you did, too.

(inb4 “kwERA? More like kwEERA! LoLz!1!1!!!”)