Big Ten Conference Recap: Indiana Pitching

The team pitching recaps from the 2010 season are all linked to under the 2010 Season Recap tab. This is the fourth installment, focusing on the Indiana Hoosiers

The Indiana Hoosiers finished the Big Ten conference season just 12-12 while finishing a game over .500 at 28-27 when you include non-conference play.  The Hoosiers had no problems plating runs, scoring 432 all season which was good for second best in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, they had problems preventing other teams from doing the same, allowing a league-high 444 runs.

Below are the raw stats for each of their pitchers in 2010:

Name CLASS K% BB% K-BB% BABIP Pitches TBF
Carr, Matt JR* 0.084 0.154 -0.070 0.288 468 143
Ernest, Matt SO* 0.083 0.183 -0.100 0.350 205 60
Heban, Greg FR 0.100 0.300 -0.200 0.333 43 10
Hoffman, Jonny FR 0.110 0.119 -0.008 0.378 767 236
Igel, Matt SO 0.145 0.184 -0.039 0.418 912 255
Kleman, Jerry FR 0.090 0.220 -0.130 0.358 350 100
Leininger, Drew SO 0.161 0.074 0.086 0.304 1393 417
McKinley, Mike FR 0.145 0.170 -0.025 0.337 555 159
Monar, Blake SO 0.136 0.273 -0.136 0.400 81 22
Roof, Derek FR 0.125 0.153 -0.028 0.408 255 72
Sabourin, Jerrud JR 0.133 0.084 0.048 0.317 272 83
Smith, Casey FR 0.116 0.204 -0.088 0.370 509 147
Squires, Chris SR 0.243 0.141 0.101 0.402 990 276
Stadler, Walker FR 0.129 0.133 -0.003 0.364 1004 294
Swift, Dylan JR 0.000 0.132 -0.132 0.194 123 38
Wilson, Ethan SO* 0.115 0.212 -0.096 0.200 182 52

K% – Strikeout Percentage (K/total batters faced)
BB% – Walks and Hit Batter Percentage (BB+HBP/TBF)
K-BB% – Difference between K% and BB%
BABIP – Batting Average on Balls In Play
Pitches – An estimated pitch count total from Boyd’s World
TBF – Total Batters Faced

I’ve included each players class in 2010. An asterisk denotes that the player was a redshirt player.

Indiana had 10 pitchers start at least one game last season, but I will focus on just the top five, and throw the rest under the reliever section.

First, here’s the above stats adjusted against the 2010 conference average:

Name CLASS K+ BB+ K-BB+ BABIP+
Carr, Matt JR* 54 66 -167 116
Ernest, Matt SO* 53 40 -239 99
Heban, Greg FR 64 -62 -478 103
Hoffman, Jonny FR 70 96 -20 91
Igel, Matt SO 93 39 -94 79
Kleman, Jerry FR 58 8 -311 96
Leininger, Drew SO 103 135 206 112
McKinley, Mike FR 92 52 -60 103
Monar, Blake SO 87 -38 -326 84
Roof, Derek FR 80 67 -66 82
Sabourin, Jerrud JR 85 126 115 108
Smith, Casey FR 74 22 -212 93
Squires, Chris SR 155 77 243 83
Stadler, Walker FR 83 84 -8 95
Swift, Dylan JR 0 85 -315 144
Wilson, Ethan SO* 74 15 -230 142

The Starters

  • Drew Leininger started 13 games for the Hoosiers — 3 more than any other pitcher — and accrued two more appearances out of the bullpen. Leininger showed a good ability to miss bats and a Jarred Hippen-like ability to avoid the walk as well. That all adds up to a fantastic K-BB+. There’s a chance for BABIP regression as his BABIP was about 12% better than league average, but going into his Junior year, the Hoosiers have to be excited at having his talents back atop the rotation.
  • Walker Stadler was the only other Hoosier to have double-digit starts with 10. He also had another 9 appearances out of the bullpen, but unlike Leininger, Walker was below average across the board. Just a freshman, Stadler’s got time to improve, though. The fact that the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder was put into the weekend rotation as the Sunday Starter as a true freshman speak to his talent. I’d expect his numbers to increase next year with a year’s experience — and strength and conditioning — under his belt.
  • Fellow true freshman Jonny Hoffman picked up 8 starts and 15 appearances overall. Hoffman had a 11% K rate and 11.9% BB+HBP rate. That puts his BB+ close to league-average, but his K-rate well below-average. He doesn’t have a huge body type and I wasn’t able to dig up any scouting info on him, but you’d like to expect positive returns next year as he grows and is a sophomore.
  • Matt Carr is a redshirt Junior that picked up 6 starts. He had off-season elbow surgery after his Sophomore season and came back to make 6 rather uninspiring starts. A poor strikeout rate coupled with a very poor walk rate leads to bad things. In this case a 5.79 ERA.
  • True Sophomore Matt Igel picked up 5 starts and 19 total appearances. He posted a bit below-average K rate but an abysmal walk-rate; his BB+HBP rate was 18.4%. He also had a .418 BABIP that compounded his troubles. Putting guys on base unnecessarily and an extraordinarily high BABIP resulted in trouble: an ERA of 9. He pitched better than his ERA indicated but not much better.

The Relievers

  • Jerrud Sabourin had nine appearances out of the Hoosier ‘pen with three starts. Above average BB+ and below-average K+ though Sabourin is listed as a Infielder/Pitcher. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder played in the Cape Cod League this summer and completely flopped. He posted a .189/.263/.267 line with 5 of his 17 hits going for extra bases (1 homer).
  • Casey Smith really struggled out of the Hoosier pen — a common wart of nearly every pitcher on the roster — with control. 20.4% BB rate and just a 11.6% K-rate. He did have a .370 BABIP which may come down, but he’s not helping his own cause. Just a freshman, though, so there’s hope.
  • Mike McKinley picked up 18 appearances (2 starts) for Indiana and struck-out a slightly below-average mark of 14.5% of batters faced. Again, he struggled with command and walked 5.5% the amount of batters versus the league average. He’s also just a freshman.
  • Completing the troika of freshman relievers, Indiana turned to Jerry Kleman 11 times (2 starts). He, however, had the worst problem with command — 22% BB rate — that is nearly double the league average. He also didn’t miss bats (9% K rate) and his BABIP wasn’t egregious at .358 versus a league average of .345.
  • Finally we come to the closer Chris Squires. The Senior battled a very inflated .412 BABIP, but his underlying numbers — 24.3% K-rate, 14.1% BB-rate — were very good. His ERA (4.33) took a bit of hit because he isn’t the best in keeping unnecessary hitters off the bases and his inflated BABIP. Squires signed with the Florida Marlins after his career ended at IU. He carries a high leg-kick and a deceptively quick arm to help him miss bats. There’s a very informative interview with him here. He was the only Hoosier pitcher taken in the MLB draft in June. Squires has dominated since signing with the Marlins. He lit up short-season ball before getting bumped to High-A Jupiter where he’s struck out 28.8% of batters and walking just 6.1%. This report puts him around 91-94 in the Great Lakes League in 2009 with a good change-up around 80 and a splitter with great late, sharp movement.

It’s pretty clear to see why Indiana finished around the .500 mark: they could mash with the best of them, but a team of pitchers that couldn’t keep runners of the base paths — or strike them out — can undermine even the best of offenses.

Next up in the series will be the Michigan Wolverines.

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