First Pitch: Looking at the Home/Road Splits for the 2019 Indianapolis Indians Pitchers

The last team in our eight-day series of looking at home/road splits is the Indianapolis Indians. More specifically, the pitching staff of the Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate. A look at the home/road splits for the Indianapolis hitters showed that they slightly favored the road as a group, though there were a number of players who did better at home. Knowing that, you would expect split results here that slightly favor pitching at home.

Once again we are using 40 innings as the cutoff here so we get a decent sample size for both home and away. We are looking at a total of 14 pitchers. I’ll note that nearly half of these pitchers are no longer in the system, but we are looking to see how the home park played, so their numbers are still relevant. The list below starts with the most innings first and we work our way down.

Eduardo Vera – Before he was released late in the season, Vera showed that he preferred the road, though he really suffered with the new baseballs in play in 2019. He had a 6.27 road ERA and 7.18 at home, with nearly identical WHIP/BAA numbers in each situation.

Alex McRae – McRae left via free agency after the season. He liked the road better, but not by much, and there wasn’t a big difference in his WHIP. He had a 5.61 ERA at home and 4.75 on the road. He allowed 12 homers at home, eight on the road in nearly identical amounts of innings pitched.

Mitch Keller – Keller is almost as even as you can get, with two point differences in both his ERA and BAA. His WHIP was 19 points higher on the road due to a much higher walk rate. He allowed six homers at home, three on the road, though he also had three more starts at home, so there was a big difference in innings pitched.

Dario Agrazal – There’s a big drop in innings here. Those three pitchers above threw nearly the same amount of innings as Agrazal and the five players just below him combined. Agrazal favored home by a wide margin (3.49 ERA vs 5.80 ERA) but he did it with nearly the same WHIP. The difference here comes from seven road homers versus one homer allowed at home.

Cam Vieaux – Vieaux heavily favored road games, with a 6.51 ERA at home, 3.89 on the road. The homers/walks were about the same, but batters hit .286 against him in Indianapolis, compared to .238 on the road.

Brandon Waddell – Waddell struggled mightily both home and away (though he pitched well in Altoona). He had a 7.41 ERA at home, with a .299 BAA and a 1.82 WHIP. On the road he had a 10.33 ERA, 2.02 WHIP and .307 BAA. Once again, homers look to play a part. He gave up seven road homers and four at home, while pitching more innings at home (34 IP vs 27 IP).

James Marvel – Marvel pitched well in home/road situations with Indianapolis and Altoona. In Triple-A he had a better road ERA (2.85 vs 2.29), but the WHIP was 68 points lower (1.58 to 0.90) at home. All four homers he allowed came at home.

Luis Escobar – Escobar had a huge split that favored home games. Home: 2.64 ERA, 30.2 IP, .243 BAA, 1.37 WHIP. Road: 5.92 ERA, 24.1 IP, .287 BAA, 1.81 WHIP.

Rookie Davis – Davis, who is a free agent now, preferred home by a wide margin. Home: 4.66 ERA, 29 IP, .283 BAA, 1.41 WHIP. Road: 6.85 ERA, 23.2 IP, .309 BAA, 1.77 WHIP.

Sean Keselica – Keselica really liked Indianapolis and didn’t like the road. He had a 2.93 home ERA compared to 6.33 on the road.

Dovydas Neverauskas – Neverauskas liked the road better, where he had a 4.13 ERA, despite a .284 BAA and 1.54 WHIP. His home BAA (.231) and WHIP (1.29) were much better, but he had a 5.79 ERA. Six of the eight homers he allowed came at home.

Montana DuRapau – Despite his struggles in the majors, DuRapau pitched great in Triple-A. He was very good on the road, but much better at home, where he had a 1.25 ERA, a .127 BAA and an 0.55 WHIP. He had a 2.92 ERA on the road.

Tyler Lyons – Lyons preferred home by a small margin, with a 2.95 ERA vs 3.62 on the road. His BAA was better at home (.190 vs .222) but his WHIP was better on the road (1.06 vs 1.15).

Yefry Ramirez – Ramirez liked Indianapolis more, but he barely pitched there, compiling just 13.2 home innings, with 31.1 on the road. It’s a fairly big ERA split though (3.95 ERA vs 5.72 ERA).

The pitching numbers played out just like the hitters. A split between home and road, but overall there was a favorite. While Indianapolis hitters favored the road, the pitchers favored being home. That makes sense because Indianapolis is a big park unless you’re a extreme pull hitter. So the batters had some minor home issues, which in turn helped the pitchers.

SONG OF THE DAY

DAILY QUIZ


RANDOM STUFF OF THE DAY

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

By John Dreker

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date. Also, current Pirates reliever Williams Jerez turns 28 today.

Mitch Webster, Pirates outfielder in 1991. On his 32nd birthday, the Pirates acquired Webster from the Indians in exchange for pitcher Mike York. He was in his ninth season in the majors at the time and hitting just .125 through 13 games with Cleveland. Webster’s stay in Pittsburgh was a short one. Just 48 days after the trade, he was dealt to the Dodgers for outfielder Jose Gonzalez. The odd part about those two being swapped is they played for the same three teams that season, just in reverse order. Webster played 36 games in Pittsburgh, mostly in right field, hitting .175 with nine RBIs. He remained with the Dodgers until 1995, ending his 13-year big league career with a .263 average, 342 RBIs, 160 stolen bases and 504 runs scored in 1,265 games. He was originally a 23rd round draft pick of the Dodgers in 1977, but he was taken in the minor league draft by the Blue Jays in 1979 before he played in Los Angeles. In 1986 while with the Expos, Mitch led the NL in triples with 13 and the following season he scored 101 runs.

Bob Patterson, Pirates pitcher in 1986-87 and then from 1989 until 1992. He was a 21st round draft pick of the Padres in 1982 and he made his Major League debut in San Diego three years later. The Pirates acquired him just before the start of the 1986 season in exchange for Marvell Wynne. In 1986, Patterson was with the Pirates for two weeks in late April/early May before being sent down to the minors. He returned in September and made five starts. In 1987, he was the Opening Day starter and hung around Pittsburgh for the first five weeks of the season before being sent to the minors. Just like the previous year, he returned in September, although this time he was a reliever. Patterson was one of the last cuts during Spring Training of 1988, then missed most of the season with an arm injury, making just four Triple-A starts. In 1989, he went 12-6, 3.35 in 177.1 innings at Triple-A before getting recalled in September. He pitched often for the Pirates over the last month, making three starts and nine relief appearances.

Patterson finally spent a full season in the majors in 1990 and he helped the Pirates get to the playoffs with a 2.95 ERA in 94.2 innings, picking up five saves and eight wins. In the NLCS, he had two scoreless appearances, although he did allow three of the five batters he faced to reach base. Bob wasn’t as effective in 1991, posting a 4.11 ERA in 54 appearances, but the Pirates made the playoffs again and he threw two shutout innings against the Braves. The 1992 season was a strong one for Patterson as he posted a 2.92 ERA in 60 games, winning six times and saving nine other games. In the playoffs, he made two appearances, allowing one run in 1.2 innings. The Pirates released him following the season and he signed with the Rangers. He pitched in the majors until 1998, finishing with 559 appearances and a 4.08 ERA in 617.1 innings pitched.

Rick Rhoden, pitcher for the 1979-86 Pirates. He was a first round draft pick of the Dodgers in 1971. He made it to the majors in 1974, and by the 1976 season he was an All-Star, going 12-3, 2.98 on the year. Rhoden won 16 games the next season, then in 1978 (the year before coming to Pittsburgh) he went 10-8, 3.66 in 164.2 innings. The Pirates acquired him on April 7, 1979 in exchange for pitcher Jerry Reuss. Rhoden did not have a good start in a Pittsburgh uniform, needing shoulder surgery after just one start, which caused him to miss the rest of the 1979 season. He began the year in the minors in 1980, making ten starts before being recalled by the Pirates. Rhoden went 7-5 that season, then improved to 9-4 during the strike-shortened 1981 campaign.

The 1982 season saw him set a career high with 230.1 innings pitched and he made 35 starts. His record was just 11-14 for a Pirates team that finished six games over the .500 mark. In 1983, Rhoden upped his career best in innings pitched to 244.1, while making 35 starts again, and he finished 13-13, 3.09 on the year. He also picked up his only career save during his one relief appearance of the year. The Pirates went 75-87 in 1984, but Rhoden was able to post a 14-9 record. His 2.72 ERA ranked fourth in the NL. The strange thing about that season was that four of the Pirates five starting pitchers had winning records, yet the team finished well below the .500 mark.

Rhoden saw his ERA rise to 4.47 in 1985, and with the Pirates winning just 57 games all year, his 10-15 record was actually a better winning percentage than the team’s overall number. He bounced back to have a big season in 1986, going 15-12, 2.84 in 253.2 innings. He was the only Pirates pitcher to win in double figures and his ERA ranked fourth in the NL. On November 26, 1986, Rhoden was dealt to the Yankees along with Pat Clements and Cecilio Guante in return for Doug Drabek, Logan Easley and Brian Fisher. He pitched two years in New York and one in Houston before retiring. He finished with 151 career wins, 79 while as a member of the Pirates. He was known as a strong hitting pitcher, three times winning the Silver Slugger award and once while in NY, he was used as a DH. He had a .238 career average with nine homers and 75 RBIs.

Rick Reuschel, pitcher for the 1985-87 Pirates. He already had 12 seasons of Major League experience when the Pirates signed him as a free agent on February 28, 1985. Reuschel pitched for the Cubs in 1984, going 5-5, 5.17 in 19 games, 14 as a starter. From his rookie season in 1972 until 1980, Reuschel won at least ten games every season, 125 victories in all. For the 1985 Pirates, he had an amazing season. No one could’ve expected 14 wins from him when he signed, not after his 1984 season, and not after compiling 14 wins total over the previous four seasons. He was also pitching for a team that went 57-104 on the year. Reuschel did it by posting a 2.27 ERA and completing seven of his wins. He threw a total of seven straight complete games from August 15th until September 15th, winning five of those games. He also won his first of two Gold Glove awards that season.

In 1986, the Pirates were slightly better as a team, but Reuschel saw his ERA slip to 3.96 and his record (9-16) suffered. He began the 1987 season in Pittsburgh, winning eight of his 25 starts before he was dealt to the San Francisco Giants in August for pitchers Jeff Robinson and Scott Medvin. Before he left, Reuschel was a representative of the Pirates in the 1987 All-Star game, his first selection in ten seasons. He also won his second Gold Glove and led the league with 12 complete games and four shutouts. Reuschel would win 36 games over the next two seasons with the Giants, where he pitched until 1991. He finished with 214 career wins and he ranks 34th all-time in games started with 529.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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