Pitchers Who Should Maintain or Improve as 2009 Continues

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Pitchers Who Should Maintain or Improve as 2009 Continues
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

This list of hurlers who have posted solid to superb numbers to start the season contends that these guys, who all shouldered heavy expectations to begin the season, should continue to enjoy success or possibly improve, based on their peripheral numbers.

I, as always, rely heavily on walk and strike out rates, batting average on balls in play, hit distribution (line drive, flyball and ground ball percentage), and contact rates in forming my opinions.

I also have added a new number, called FIP, which is a fielding independent pitching statistic, taking into account only those numbers a pitcher actually controls: HR, BB, HBP, and Ks, all in a per inning formula.

Set up on a scale closely equivelant to ERA, it provides a different perspective on a pitchers results in the early going.

Thanks to fangraphs.com for the stats, particularly FIP, and go here to read Dave Cameron's full explanation of this "new" metric: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/pitcher-win-values-explained-part-two

As always, comments or questions are welcomed.

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