Bruney locked up, but will he be the bridge?

via The NY Times

The Yankees locked up Brian Bruney today ($1.25 million), as he was their last arbitration-eligible player. Based on last year’s numbers, Bruney would seem like the best option in the 8th. He posted a superb ERA of 1.83 in 34.1 IP. He walked 16 and struck out 33. But, using my new best friend, it appears as though those numbers are likely to regress in 2009.

Analyzing his 2008 numbers, we see Bruney’s FIP was actually 3.45 (think of it numerically as an ERA with defense and other factors outside of the pitcher’s control, eliminated). Basically, Bruney’s Mariano-like ERA should have been closer to that number. For instance, Bruney’s career ERA is 4.34 and his career FIP is 4.59. Despite a poor defensive team, Bruney’s numbers were helped a bit by luck, defense, etc. This is just one aspect of Bruney’s numbers that foretells a significant regression in 2009.

His BABIP forecasts a similar future.

Bruney’s BABIP (BA on balls put in play) in 2008 was .200.… Click here to read the rest