Everybody has different ways to evaluate a relief pitcher’s performance. ERA is probably the worst because a reliever’s ERA can get wrecked by one bad outing and it will take weeks of appearances to fix it. FIP is a little better, but not perfect. Logan’s ERA is 2.57. But his FIP is 1.95. SIERA has its uses and lists Logan at 1.95. And that success is despite a BABIP that is way high at .392. But what I like the best are the strikeouts.
Some current wisdom states that there are only three things a pitcher can control: Homers, strikeouts and walks. I have a few problems with that as the batter has a few things to say about those as well with plate discipline, home run to fly ball ratios and batted ball data. But anyway, Logan is doing really well in two of those three categories. He has allowed only one homer all season. And after posting his best K/9 rate of his career last season at 9.94, he is way better this year with a K/9 rate of 13.29. His walk rate is up slightly to 3.0/9 but that’s still not bad. But those strikeouts are even more impressive and I’ll tell you why.
Batters against Logan are showing more discipline this season. While he induced a swing rate on balls outside the strike zone last season at 31.4 percent, this season, that rate is at 28.8 percent according to Pitch/FX and even so, Logan is getting them to strikeout. His swing and miss rate is 16.1 percent, easily the highest of his career and amazing compared to his career average of 11.1 percent. Last year, his swing and miss rate was 12.3 percent and that was his previous high before this season.
Naturally, Logan is more effective against left-handed batters. They have a combined OPS against him of .584. Right-handed batters have an OPS of .847 and that, admittedly, is high. But he has struck out eleven of the 37 right-handed batters he has faced. Logan has also been much more effective on the road than he has been at home.
And Logan has only allowed one hit to the last nine batters he has faced. It’s gotten to the point where I say, “Oh good.” when Boone Logan is called upon to pitch. That feels very strange. There is something unnatural about it. But of all the Yankee relievers that currently reside in the bullpen, I probably trust Logan more than any of them. His OPS against is .613 with men in scoring position and his left on base percentage is 83.3 percent. Perhaps I am the voice in the wilderness, but that voice is saying, “Huzzah, Boone Logan!”