Blog Post #1061: John Lackey Gallimaufry

It's been awhile since we've pointed out an outrageous, unjustifiable and stupid comment from a sports writer. Found one to fill the void. Steve Melewski implicitly thinks that Jeremy Gutherie is just as good as John Lackey.


Are you tired of hearing about him yet? Get used to it. He's considered the top free agent pitcher out there and the time for players to file for their "freedom" hasn't even come yet.

Some are speculating that Lackey will garner a contract for five years and worth between 80 and 100 million.

The ship is about to come in for the right hander.

O's fans will anxiously await word on whether their club is in the hunt for Lackey. While I would love to see him top and lead Baltimore's young rotation, I don't see the O's throwing out a contract of that magnitude.

Some say whoever signs Lackey will be getting a good, but not nearly great pitcher. There is some evidence that may be true.

Here's a comparison of Lackey's last two seasons (combined) vs. Jeremy Guthrie's 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Lackey: 23-13, 3.79.....340IP....338H....43 HR.....87BB.....269K.......1.25 WHIP.
Guthrie: 17-17, 3.66....366IP.....341H....47HR.....105BB.....243K......1.22 WHIP.

Is the Guthrie of those years a pitcher worth 80 to 100 million? I didn't think so, either. By the way, Guthrie is 30 and Lackey 31.

I agree with the conclusion, but not with the reasoning here. Yes, yes, John Lackey is going to be overrated and overpaid this offseason and yes Jeremy Guthrie kind of blows, but that does not mean that the two pitchers are anywhere near the same level of quality. One has been a hallmark of consistency from 2007-2009. The other is below average and arguably on the precipitous decline. I'll show you the numbers and you decide who is who.

John Lackey, 2007-2009
-xFIP by season: 4.09, 3.99, 4.11
-K/9 by season: 7.19, 7.16, 7.09
-GB/FB: 1.24, 1.30, 1.28
-First Pitch Strike: 65.7%, 65.2%, 62.6%

Jeremy Guthrie, 2007-2009:
xFIP by season: 4.41, 4.64, 5.47
-K/9 by season: 6.31, 5.66, 4.95
-GB/FB: 1.11, 1.15, 0.75
-First Pitch Strike: 58.6%, 59.3%, 58.3%

But hey, Guthrie's been healthier...