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The Season That Was: Esmil Rogers

A quick look at Esmil Rogers 2013 season.

Esmil Rogers
Esmil Rogers
Tom Szczerbowski

Esmil Rogers came to us in a trade for Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes. The less we say about Gomes the better. Aviles was what we got from the Red Sox for letting our jerk former manager go off for his dream job.

I think it is fair to say that we were underwhelmed by the trade.

I kind of felt that Esmil was another hard throwing right-handed reliever, who seemed to have a kind of shaky relationship with the strike zone, so I didn't see the point of getting him.

Then came spring training and Esmil had a 6.39 ERA allowing 15 hits, 4 home rusn,  5 walks and 17 strikeouts, in 12.2 innings. Really should have liked that strikeout rate, but, perhaps for no good reason, Esmil was my least favorite pitcher, at the start of the season.

He wasn't that bad:

2013 - Esmil Rogers 5-9 46 20 0 0 0 1 137.2 152 76 73 21 44 96 4.77 1.42

Fangraphs had him at a 0.4 WAR, making him worth $1.8 million to the team.

Esmil's strikeout rate dropped a bunch from 2012 to 2013 (6.28/9 from 9.50), in part because of the change over from reliever to starter. His walk rate fell too (2.88/9 from 3.43). He gave up more home runs (1.37/9 up from 0.80).

His BABIP dropped some (.304 compared to .341 in 2012). He gave up about the same number of line drives (23.2%, up from 22.8) as the year before. About the same number of fly balls (47.2% from 47.4). A lot more of his fly balls went for home runs (15.8% up from 10.3).

His FIP was about the same as his ERA, at 4.73 but his xFIP was much better at 4.06.

As a reliever, batters hit .275/.338/.425 against him. As a starter they hit .281/.338/472.

Rogers was much better vs. RHB (.258/.291/.440) than against LHB (.297/.374/.480).

He had  a little better ERA on the  road (4.64) than at home (4.94), but the batter's slash lines were interesting. At home .273/.315/.494, on the road .285/.356/.434. So lower on base at home but higher slugging.

Rogers by month:

April: 12 relief appearances. 1-2, 4.15 ERA, batters hit .302/.339/.377 with 0 home runs in 13 innings.

May: 1 start, 11 relief appearances. 0-0, 3.94, batters hit .283/.380/.450  with 2 home runs in 16 innings.

June: 6 starts, 1 relief appearance. 2-1, 2.27, batters hit .217/.268/.357 with 4 home runs in 31.2 innings.

July: 5 starts.  0-2, 7.07, batters hit .336/.380/.528 with 4 home runs in 28 innings.

August: 4 starts, 1 relief appearance. 0-2, 7.66, batters hit .340/.388/.649 with 8 home runs in 22.1 innings.

September: 5 starts, 2-2, 3.71, batters hit .206/.287/.371 with 3 home runs in 26.2 innings.

July and August were pretty awful, the rest of the season was pretty good.

Esmil's longest win streak was 2. His longest losing streak was 5 games. He went from June 18th til September 2nd without a win, a stretch of 11 starts and 1 relief appearance.

His best Game Score was a 76 on September 8th against the Twins, he went 7.2 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 walk with 4 strikeouts. He had a 75 Game Score the start before that one. His worse Game Score was an 11, on July 29 against the A's (I was at that game in Oakland). He went 4.1, allowed 10 hits, 8 earned, 3 walks with 3 strikeouts in our 9-4 loss.

I don't know what to think about Esmil. He was shelled for July and August, the rest of the season was pretty good. Pitching Coach Pete Walker said a lot of good things about him. He seemed to have it figured out in September. I don't know what will happen with the guy next year. I'm hoping there will be a couple of added starting pitchers, but Rogers would be ok as 5th starter. He might surprise. It might turn out that the starter we saw in September is the real Esmil Rogers. But I wouldn't like to have to bet that he'll turn into someone that gives us 200 quality innings a year.