Based on ZiPS projections, Cal Quantrill is expected to finish 2023 with the following stats:
31 G, 27 GS, 161.0 IP, 17.5% K%, 6.9% BB%, 4.08 ERA, 1.5 fWAR
Read what our writers think, then vote in the poll below and drop your own opinions in the comments and on the Covering the Corner Discord.
Quincy Wheeler’s prediction: OVER
Cal Quantrill is not loved by fWAR because his ERA has been routinely lower than his FIP, but I think he should be able to manage to hit the over in his projections in 2023 for two reasons.
First, I expect Quantrill to be at or above the 186.2 innings he threw in 2023. He mentioned throwing 200 innings as one of his goals for 2022 and he has shown himself to be somewhat of a workhorse since being moved to the Guardians rotation. An additional 25-35 innings more than what ZiPS projects at 161 innings pitched should allow Quantrill to exceed 1.5 fWAR.
Second, Zack Meisel indicated in a recent article for the Athletic that Quantrill is experimenting with changing the shape of his curveball and potentially adding a splitter to help him get more strikeouts in 2023. Quantrill’s 6.18 K/9 rate is a big reason his FIP is usually a good bit higher than his ERA and so many balls put in play off of him puts pressure on his defense. If he can develop and utilize one or two pitches to help him bump his strikeout rate more towards 7-8 K/9, that would go a long way in lowering his FIP on which fWAR is based. That’s not easy, but it seems reasonable to think he can make incremental strides in the right direction.
A word of caution: sometimes it can take a while for a pitcher to really get a feel for new pitches to the point that he can effectively use them in major league settings. If Quantrill is still figuring out his curveball or a new splitter as the season begins, he could see his ERA and/or K/BB/9 rate suffer, which would hurt his chances of reaching the over of his ZiPS projection. If the new pitches result in long-term strikeout gains and a more effective pitcher in the long run, I’m sure the Guardians and their fans will be happy to accept some short-term growing pains.
Will Cal Quantrill finish with an fWAR over or under 1.5?
This poll is closed
Tomorrow’s player: Emmanuel Clase