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Kyle McClellan, Amateur Sabermetrician, Works To Bring ERA And FIP Together

At start of business Monday, Kyle McClellan's ERA was 3.11 and his FIP was 4.28. That's the kind of spread that leaves people skeptical about his brief stint atop the National League's wins leaderboard and still reasonably optimistic about his long-term prospects as a starting pitcher. Tuesday morning, his ERA is 3.86, but unfortunately he allowed two home runs in the course of putting together his worst start yet, meaning his FIP remains about a run higher. 


I give McClellan credit for trying to right his ERA/FIP discrepancy, but I would remind him that a home run is rated extraordinarily highly in the FIP calculations. Someday I trust that McClellan's peripherals and his results will converge. If I had to guess where—well, somewhere in the Braden Looper Zone of Adequacy strikes me as about right. That's not going to win you 20 games, but it is going to justify a move to the starting rotation, and ensure that McClellan isn't returned to the bullpen the moment that option becomes available.