8 Jun 2015
The popular perception of Adam Warren is that he is becoming an invaluable piece of the Yankees’ rotation. With his 3.64 ERA, he is quickly becoming the third-best pitcher in the rotation and when/if Ivan Nova returns Warren isn’t the guy who should go back to the bullpen. It’s a nice story, but it is completely wrong.
Yes, Warren has a 3.64 ERA while Sabathia and Eovaldi have higher ones, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. For a better look, let’s rely on FIP and scratch beneath the surface. Warren hasn’t been good as much as he has been lucky. His FIP is a 4.67, higher than both Sabathia’s and Eovaldi’s. This isn’t a surprise as he is striking out only 5.3 per nine innings while walking 3.1. He is giving up more home runs than he historical has yet hitters are only hitting .247 against him. Add it all up, and his ERA will be going up in the not so distant future.
But that doesn’t mean that Warren isn’t valuable, he is just valuable in a different role- righty arm in the bullpen. If you look at Warren’s splits, you can see that something dramatic happens after pitch 50 in a game. His OPS against shoots up even though his BABIP is much lower than during his first 50 pitches. The Yankees need a righty arm in the bullpen and putting Warren back there when Nova returns is the right way to go.