Scanning through the numbers from the first 32 games, and noticing quite a few pitchers (Martinez, Garcia, Siegrist, Oh) who seem to profit notably from extra rest.
Carlos Martinez was much better on five days last year. In eleven starts on 5-days’ rest, Carlos threw 9 quality starts, won 6 while losing only 2 with a 1.82 ERA. In 15 starts on 4-days, Carlos contributed 9 more quality starts. His record: 8-2 (with 3 lost wins) but the ERA just 4.01. Last year, Martinez received 6.29 support runs per game on four days, but only 2.80 on five.
It’s very few starts, but the same pattern seems to be developing. Two starts on 5-days has yielded 2 quality starts, a 2-0 record and a 1.80 ERA. His ground ball ratio is 65.1%. Three starts on four days have brought 1 quality start, a 1-2 record, a 3.18 ERA and 43.8% ground balls. The only notable early difference is run support. 12.00 runs per game on five days, 2.12 on four. Martinez already has 20 support runs in his first two starts on five days. In his eleven such starts last year, he was granted a total of 23 support runs.
Last year Jaime Garcia also pitched substantially better on five days of rest (instead of four). The 10 times he pitched with 5-days of rest, he contributed 8 quality starts, throwing 66.2 innings. His record was 7-2 (with one other lead blown by the bullpen) and his ERA 1.22 with an opponents’ slash line of .190/.233/.248. He got ground balls out of 64.7% of the batters who made contact against him. On four days, his numbers were ok. Four quality starts of 8, 3-2 record (also with a lead coughed up by the pen), a 3.78 ERA and a .270/.310/.344 line, with 59% of the batters hitting the ball on the ground against him.
Again, it’s very early this year, but that trend is developing again. It’s only 3 starts on four days and two starts on five days, but the results are 1-2, 2.95 and 1-0, 1.93 respectively. His ground ball percentage is 72.7% on five days and 57.4% on four.
Kevin Siegrist made 58 appearances out of the pen last year with at least one day of rest. Over those 57.2 innings, he allowed just 39 hits and recorded a 1.56 ERA. So far this year, his ERA is 1.04 when pitching with at least one day off. Four times this year, Kevin has pitched on consecutive days. The results, 3.1 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits (including a home run) and an 8.10 ERA. Last year the drop off wasn’t quite as severe, but still notable. With no rest in between appearances, Kevin pitched 17 innings over 22 games with a 4.50 ERA.
It’s still a little early to form any real opinions about Korean import Seung-hwan Oh, but the very early data suggests he’s another reliever who profits from a few days off in between appearances. So far, he’s only pitched 3 times on consecutive days, allowing 2 runs in those 3 innings with 1 strikeout. Five times he’s gotten one day off. In those appearances he has provided 4.2 innings. He has allowed 5 hits in those innings, but has struck out 6 and allowed just 1 run. In his 7 appearances on 2-days’ rest, Oh has been quite dominant – 0 runs, 2 hits and 11 strike outs over 7.2 innings.
Thirty-two games into the season and Trevor Rosenthal has only had the opportunity to save 6 games. At that pace, he would only get 30 chances all season. Nine of St Louis’ first 16 wins have been by more than five runs and two have been won on the last swing of the bat.
Last year, Rosenthal threw 50.2 innings as a closer and 18 innings in non-closing situations. He struck out 66 batters in his closing innings and only 17 when not closing. This year, so far, Trevor has 13 strike outs in the 6.1 innings he’s been used as a closer, and 5 in his 3.2 non-closing innings. He has given up a couple of runs, but still has a 0.00 ERA as a closer as both runs against him were unearned.
Rosenthal still has not pitched on consecutive days this season.