Verducci calls this the Year-After Effect. Maybe he’s too modest for Verducci Effect. Maybe he’s worried his readers will confuse eponymous with Aesop. Maybe he should change his name to Humblebrag. His newest list went live last week. It’s here. The most interesting thing about it is how after a year the accuracy can be completely fudged because A) No one really pays that close attention the first time. B) Sports journalism goes something like this, “I’ll write one thing today and no one will check what I said last year.” C) There’s no C.
Verducci says this in the 2012 installment:
“The Effect has become easy to see over the years. In just the past six years, for instance, I flagged 55 pitchers at risk for an injury or regression based on their workload in the previous season. Forty-six of them, or 84 percent, did get hurt or post a worse ERA in the Year After. Two out of the nine pitchers I red flagged last year actually stayed healthy or improved: Gio Gonzalez of Oakland (since traded to Washington) and Ivan Nova of the Yankees. More typical, though, were the regressions last year by David Price, Phil Hughes, Mat Latos and Brett Cecil, all of whom I red-flagged — and all lost life on their fastball and saw their ERA jump by more than half a run.”
I’ll tell you what, that Verducci is his own best critic. He doesn’t even mention that he flagged Bumgarner and Beachy in 2011. Not one mention of this even though in his 2011 article Bumgarner is the lede. Two pitchers who he points out as being accurate this year — Latos and Price — had MORE innings in 2011 after this so-called effect. Price had a similar FIP and a much better xFIP. Latos was the same pitcher minus a bit of luck and a half K on his K-rate. Another pitcher he flagged in 2011 was Dillon Gee. Gee had a better xFIP in 160 2/3 IP and a much better K-rate compared to 2010. His only “hits” were Hughes, Travis Wood and Cecil. Honestly, everyone picked Wood, Cecil and Hughes to avoid. For Cecil, I said last year that there’s a good chance you’re gonna wanna drop him by April and, “His K-rate last year was terrible and his xFIP was 4.15 (in 2010).” So, let’s see, Verducci was right about three guys that everyone warned you about and wrong on 8 guys. If I could toot my horn as well as Verducci, I may never leave my home. Please, for the love that is all holy, when I roll out my starter rankings, don’t ask me if I’m worried about the Verducci Effect.