For years, the fielding-independent pitching (FIP) stat has been used to explain why the Orioles’ starting rotation has overperformed based on reputations and expectations. The stat essentially normalizes defenses and ballparks and calculates a pitcher’s ERA off of the things they can control — walks, strikeouts, and home runs.
This year, the Orioles rotation’s FIP actually heralds an improvement from the rotation.
Through a dozen games, Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez, Vance Worley, Mike Wright and Yovani Gallardo have a 3.52 FIP, more than a run and a half better than the rotation ERA of 5.08. They’re keeping the ball in the ballpark, with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 53/20. The length this group is giving the team is a concern, and might remain one for the foreseeable future.
But with the addition of a healthy Kevin Gausman, this rotation may not perform as poorly as many projected.