White Sox: Analytical Breakdown of Javier Vazquez’s 2006 Season

CHICAGO - APRIL 19: Pitcher Javier Vazquez
CHICAGO - APRIL 19: Pitcher Javier Vazquez /

Former White Sox pitcher’s 2006 season analyzed through Magnum Start Value. How good was hurler’s first season on the South Side?

For White Sox fans, the 2005-06 offseason was a time of celebration. The team had just captured its’ first World Series since 1917, and were favorites to return to the postseason the following season. One player they picked up during that time was starting pitcher Javier Vazquez, who many believed had the potential to become a dominant force in baseball.

As you already know, Vazquez did not turn himself into a perennial All-Star, but an enigmatic righty who never reached his potential. Since this article will take a look at him via statistical analysis, I thought it would make sense to combine Magnum Start Value (MSV) with traditional stats in order to evaluate him.

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Before we begin, it makes sense to divulge that this analysis will only encompass the 2006 season. While Vazquez did not rack up a significant amount of wins (11-12 record), he was able to fan 184 hitters in 202.2 innings pitched. That equates to 0.91 strikeouts per inning, not to mention Vazquez had a K/BB ratio of 3.29/1 as he walked 56 men all year.

While Vazquez may have received a significant amount of criticism throughout the season, it was not without success. He took the mound 32 times, and recorded a quality start in fourteen of them. Even though that may have been prior to the days when bullpens ruled the sport, Vazquez still posted a Yearly Quality Percentage (YQP) of 43.8 percent, which is something he should not be ashamed of.

On the other had, he struggled as far as recording Magnum Starts. Vasquez did not accumulate a significant amount of MS in 2006, which is evident by his Yearly Magnum Total (YMT) of 24.39. On top of that, Vasquez’s Yearly Magnum Average (YMA) checked in at 0.77, which is an astronimicaly low total for any pitcher.

Before we wrap up, there is one more aspect of Vazquez’s season to take a look at: ERA. It was nearly five (4.84 to be exact), however his WHIP checked in at 1.29, which is very respectable all things considered. Given neither of those statistics would equate to an All-Star, but back in the steroid era a WHIP in that territory was very respectable at the least.

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All in all, Vazquez is going to go down as a mystery as to why he didn’t pitch better over the course of his career. Not only was he far from dominant in 2006, but Vazquez rarely produced the results that he had the capability of. Was it psychological, or could it have been a lack of something more that will never be understood? We wish we knew, Sox fans.