By ERA, Jimmy Nelson is the best starting pitcher on the Milwaukee Brewers. By almost every other metric, Jimmy Nelson is in trouble. Let’s quickly examine, shall we.
As of the second I’m writing this, as Nelson is pitching in the sixth inning against the Mets, he has a 3.43 ERA in 13 outings, which is 70-some points lower than his 2015 ERA. Now, Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder would have you believe that he’s pitching like an All-Star, but in the world of reality, that really couldn’t be farther from the truth. Nelson ranks 85th of 98 qualified starting pitchers in FIP with a mark of 4.88. To put it delicately…well I can’t. That sucks. His ERA minus FIP is -1.48, meaning he’s drastically and unbelievably out-pitching himself so far. He’s also started a disturbing trend.
Nelson’s strikeouts are down a touch from last year, and he’s walking batters at a career-high 9.9% clip. My projections had him giving up 20 home runs this season, but he’s past halfway there as he allowed No. 12 tonight.
His ERA ranks him as a top pitcher in baseball, but his peripherals, the stats that matter more, tell us he’s in trouble and it tells us we should should expect an ERA regression soon.