Big Ten Conference Recap: Purdue Pitching

The team pitching recaps from the 2010 season are all linked to under the 2010 Season Recap tab. This is the tenth installment, focusing on the Purdue Boilermakers.

The Purdue Boilermakers finished the 2010 season at .500 in conference play with a 12-12 record, but had a very good 33-24 overall record. The strength of the ‘Makers was the pitching staff. I have them finishing fourth in the conference in estimated runs scored. However, their pitching staff led the conference by nine estimated runs allowed. Total that all up and I actually had Purdue as being the best team in the Big Ten in 2010.

Below are the raw numbers for the Purdue pitching staff last season.

Name CL K% BB% K-BB% BABIP Pitches TBF
Bischoff, Matt SR 0.240 0.043 0.197 0.326 1352 396
Cahill, Kevin SR 0.222 0.175 0.048 0.240 466 126
Calder, Tyler SO 0.071 0.143 -0.071 0.300 49 14
Collins, Sean SO 0.091 0.091 0.000 0.328 288 88
Gannon, Pat FR 0.139 0.099 0.040 0.324 342 101
Gunter, Calvin SO 0.186 0.110 0.076 0.386 602 172
Haase, Joe SO 0.157 0.114 0.043 0.273 471 140
Jansen, Matt SR 0.188 0.162 0.026 0.348 809 229
Mascarello, Blake SO 0.211 0.105 0.105 0.289 404 114
Morgan, Matt JR 0.228 0.091 0.138 0.368 1119 320
Ramer, Robert FR* 0.089 0.078 0.011 0.219 289 90
Schreiber, Mike FR 0.180 0.081 0.099 0.359 382 111
Sestak, Connor SR 0.067 0.133 -0.067 0.429 149 45
Sudbury, Mike SO 0.267 0.267 0.000 0.000 60 15
Wurdack, Drew SR 0.192 0.099 0.093 0.372 1076 313

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.

If you remember the league-average benchmark numbers I’ve referenced in each of these recaps, you can tell that this was a dominant staff. Below are the raw numbers adjusted against the league average.

Bischoff, Matt SR 154 163 469 106
Cahill, Kevin SR 142 48 113 130
Calder, Tyler SO 46 76 -170 113
Collins, Sean SO 58 121 0 105
Gannon, Pat FR 89 114 94 106
Gunter, Calvin SO 119 104 180 88
Haase, Joe SO 101 101 102 121
Jansen, Matt SR 120 60 62 99
Mascarello, Blake SO 135 108 251 116
Morgan, Matt JR 146 121 327 93
Ramer, Robert FR* 57 132 26 136
Schreiber, Mike FR 116 129 236 96
Sestak, Connor SR 43 84 -159 76
Sudbury, Mike SO 171 -32 0 200
Wurdack, Drew SR 123 114 221 92

Purdue didn’t need to use a lot of starters because they didn’t face many injuries on the pitching staff. The starters they did use, though, were all phenomenal.

The Starters

  • The pitching staff started with, perhaps, the most dominant starter in the Big Ten. Matt Bischoff struck out 24% of batters he faced while walking only 4.3%. And that includes hit-by-pitches! He only plunked three batters and walked 13 out of the 373 batters he opposed. He was taken in the 20th round by the Seattle Mariners. After signing, the right-hander went to rooking ball in Pulaski where he struck out 37.8% and walked (not including HBP’s) 6.% of the 119 batters he faced. He’s as valuable to his team in the Big Ten as anyone last year, so Purdue will miss their ace atop their rotation in 2011.
  • Incoming Senior Matt Morgan will presumably step into the top spot of the rotation. He didn’t exhibit as much control as Bischoff did — 9.1% BB% last year — but he had almost as many K’s with a 22.8% K-rate. It’s nice to have this right-hander back as the Boilermakers lost their other starter with at least 10 starts in 2010 in . . .
  • . . . Drew Wurdack. He wasn’t quite as dominant as Morgan or Bischoff, but still posted a 19.2% K rate and 9.9% BB rate — good for a 123 and 114 K+ and BB+.

The Relievers

  • Like Matt Bischoff, Kevin Cahill was the senior leader of the bullpen. Cahill K’d 22.2% of batters. However, his control was not good as he walked 19 and plunked another three batters. That worked out to a 17.5% BB rate (which includes HBP’s) — good for a 48 BB+. That is, how you say, not good. One thing that let him be successful with a 3.82 ERA is his .240 BABIP. I have him worth 10 unadjusted runs above average, but once you adjust for BABIP, he’s at just 2. He went in the 40th round to the Washington Nationals and posted good numbers after signing and being sent to rookie ball: 27.2% K, 9.8% BB over 20.1 innings and 92 batters faced.
  • The rest of the bullpen, and pitching staff in general, is pretty young. Sophomore Joe Haase faced more hitters than Cahill. However, he’ll need to improve his numbers as he K’d just 15.7% of batters and walked 11.4% — basically league average rates all around. He had just a .273 BABIP which led to his shiny 2.81 ERA but I have him at being worth 2 adjusted runs above average, like Cahill above.
  • I really like soon-to-be Junior Blake Mascarello. He struck out 21.1% of batters faced last year and walked 10.5% — for 135 and 108 K+ and BB+.
  • Mike Schreiber will be a sophomore in 2011 and he had a very successful freshman year out of the Boilermaker bullpen. He faced 111 batters and struck out 20 while walking 9 and hitting 0. That worked out to 18% K rate and 8.1% BB rate. I estimate his contributions at being 4 runs above average and adjusted for BABIP — he had a .359 BABIP against — he was worth 3 runs above average. His youth, success even with a high BABIP, and having the same or better production given his playing time than guys like Cahill or Haase spells good things for Schreiber in the future. He’s the one I’d keep an eye on the most for Purdue’s pitching staff.

Look back at my team-level pitching recap post, Purdue led the conference in K+ at 122 and was third in BB+ at 112. Breaking it down on the individual level, it’s no surprise why they were so successful — they missed a ton of bats, kept free passes to a minimum and didn’t plunk a lot of batters. They lost some key cogs that toed the rubber for them last year due to graduation, but Mike Morgan and a youthful bullpen and back-end of the weekend rotation show promise.

My plan from here is to show team-level Runs Above Average pitching numbers as well as returning RAA totals for the 2011 seasons. Ideally, I’d like to get team-level and individual-level hitting numbers done before the season starts, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to get it done as I’ve got some other projects I’m working on.


One Comment on “Big Ten Conference Recap: Purdue Pitching”

  1. Mike, I was wondering how you acquire all the data you use on this site. I know you’ve mentioned Boyd’s World and perhaps I overlooked it. Anyway, I love what you’re doing here and I’ve been intending to get into college baseball for awhile. I started a Hawkeyes blog this past summer and since baseball is my favorite sport, I plan to cover it as well as possible. Whatever help you could give me would be much appreciated.


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