Jason Hammel is one of the largest reasons for the Orioles hot start to the 2012 Season. The 6’6 right hander who was acquired in the offseason for former opening day starter and perennial fan favorite Jeremy Guthrie, has posted a 1.73 ERA in 26 innings while accumulating 3 wins.
As the attentive reader knows, statistics like ERA and wins are often not celebrated in By The Numbers. Instead, we focus on metrics that are predictive of what will happen in the future. However, even under the predictive metric microscope Jason Hammel shines. In short, Hammel is demonstrating several new skills making him a different pitcher than he has shown previously in his career. After the jump, we’ll look at Hammel’s new skills and discuss why we believe that he will continue go ham in 2012.
Hammel will not finish the year with an ERA under 3.00 and he may not even win more games than he losses, but he will easily be the Orioles best starting pitcher in 2012. His underlying skills show that he is a very different pitcher than what he displayed in 2009-2011 in Colorado. If the Orioles realized that when they acquired him then kudos to Dan Duquette and the rest of the front office. If they didn’t and simply got lucky, good they deserve a break. Either way, the trade has resulted in the acquisition of an above average MLB starting pitcher for a guy (Guthrie) who recently landed on the DL because he fell off his bicycle.