What's next for Gavin Floyd?

706810.png

What's next for Gavin Floyd?

I'm a big fan of FIP. In most cases, it's an accurate predictor of future performance, a much better evaluative tool than ERA. It factors in three things pitchers can directly control: walks, strikeouts and home runs -- thus, Fielding Independent Pitching.

FIP is why I was concerned about Gavin Floyd going in to 2009. His results were fantastic in 2008, and his 3.84 ERA still stands as a career high. But his FIP was a full-season high of 4.77, which seemed to be a harbinger of doom for the next season.

An odd thing happened after late May of 2009, though. Floyd went from being a pitcher who seemingly pitched above his ability to one who pitches below his ability. Basically, Floyd's walk rate and home run rates went down while his strikeout rate went up. And so did his ERA.

Floyd has thrown 574 innings from 2009-2011 with a 4.17 ERA. So just as his 2008 FIP predicted, his ERA did go up -- but the weird thing is that FIP went down. Basically, Floyd has done better at the things he can control while seeing worse results.

In theory, Floyd should be primed for a breakout. A lot of sabermetrically-oriented analysts value him as the guy with a good FIP, and thus value him highly.

But three straight years of a sub-3.85 FIP and above-4.00 ERA are probably a trend. Throw Floyd's win-loss record out the window -- that he's 33-37 in the last three years isn't important.

A side note, though: As you'll see in the sidebar video, Floyd is concentrating on getting himself -- and, of course, his team -- wins. Pitcher wins (not above replacement) are not a good stat for writers to use in evaluation, since they're so incredibly influenced by factors out of a pitcher's control.

But for a pitcher? It's great that Floyd wants to win games. For Floyd, if he gets the W, that means the White Sox won. Of course, if he is shouldered with a loss, it may not be his fault, and no pitcher should ever "pitch to the score" (i.e. be content with allowing five if the offense scores six). But since pitchers aren't analysts, executives, etc., wanting to win games is a good thing.

Anyways, back to meaningful stuff Floyd can actually control. This isn't a comparison looking at Floyd's mentality, more in terms of results: Floyd has become Javier Vazquez lite. In two of his three years with the Sox, Vazquez' ERA was nearly a full run higher than his FIP, save 2007 when he had a 3.74 ERA and 3.80 FIP.

Vazquez did a lot of things right, posting good strikeout and walk rates. But his command was often an issue, leading to the righty throwing quite a few hittable pitches and, thus, the high ERAs. The big inning was always an issue for Vazquez while with the White Sox; he'd cruise along for four innings then unravel in the fifth.

But if Floyd is Vazquez lite, that's actually not a bad thing. He's had better ERAs than in Vazquez' worst years, and remember, Vazquez put together a fantastic year in 2007. If the ERAs are neutral, it's much better to have a lower-FIP guy like Floyd than a higher-FIP guy, since the lower FIP pitcher is much more likely to have "big" season -- just as Vazquez did five years ago.

Maybe this is the year Floyd finally breaks the trend of the last three seasons. But even if he doesn't, he'll be a valuable asset to the White Sox as a solid mid-rotation pitcher.

Preview: Charlotte Knights battle Buffalo Bisons Saturday on CSN+

Preview: Charlotte Knights battle Buffalo Bisons Saturday on CSN+

CSN's coverage of the Charlotte Knights continues on Saturday night as the Knights will host the Buffalo Bisons at 6 p.m. on CSN+.

Reynaldo Lopez, MLB's No. 45 overall prospect, makes his 10th start of the season for the Knights. The 23-year-old Lopez has a 5-1 record with a 2.94 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 49 innings in 2017.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

White Sox No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada, who landed on the 7-day DL on May 18, is eligible to make his return to the Knights lineup this weekend.

It's the fourth of eight games that CSN will televise over the next two months to give fans an opportunity to watch the future of the White Sox.

Check out the rest of the television schedule here.

White Sox trade veteran utilityman Ryan Raburn to Nationals 

White Sox trade veteran utilityman Ryan Raburn to Nationals 

Before the White Sox postponed Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader, the organization traded veteran utilityman Ryan Raburn to the Washington Nationals.

Raburn. 36, signed with the White Sox as a free agent in the second week of April. 

The White Sox will receive either cash or a player to be named.

Raburn has not played in the majors this season, appearing in 27 games with Triple-A Charlotte and hitting .277 with a .419 on-base percentage and .853 OPS.

He's an 11-year MLB veteran with 91 career homers and a .753 OPS throughout stops such as the Detroit Tigers (2004-12), Cleveland Indians (2013-15) and Colorado Rockies (2016).

The right-handed hitting Raburn has been a platoon player for much of his career, compiling an .827 OPS against left-handed pitching compared to a .685 OPS against righties.

Raburn has appeared in at least 19 games at seven different positions on the field (first base, second base, third base, all three outfield spots and DH) and has even pitched twice.