Second Half Stumbler: Why Jair Jurrjens Is A Good Trade Candidate

It has been a great season for Jair Jurrjens, who is currently sporting a minuscule 1.87 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.  There is no questioning that he has been a fantasy mainstay in the first half, helping owners to get out in front of their respective leagues.  The question they have to be asking themselves, however, is if now is the time to sell high and move on, or if he can continue this type of production throughout the season.

One of his strongest attributes thus far in 2011 has been the wins, as he heads into the break with 12.  Is that something we can count on moving forward?  Wins are always a “quirky” statistic, and the one category that is completely unpredictable.  Unless you pitch for the Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies (though you never even really know with those three), wins is something you never want to count on.

Another negative has been his strikeout rate.  Thus far he has struck out 62 batters over 110.2 innings, good for a K/9 of 5.29.  He wasn’t a great strikeout pitcher heading into the year, but even this is a step backward for him:

  • 2008 – 6.64
  • 2009 – 6.36
  • 2010 – 6.65

While you would expect him to improve in that regard, it’s not like he’s a tremendous option to begin with.  If you are in need of strikeouts, he’s simply not your answer.

Could he have sacrificed strikeouts for better control?  His walk rate is currently at 2.03, versus a career mark of 3.04.  It’s nice to see, but at the some time it’s not a given that he can maintain his improved control.

Luck has certainly been on his side, as he’s currently sporting a .256 BABIP and 84.1% strand rate.  Could there be a regression in both departments in his future?  Absolutely, which would obviously lead to a regression in his ERA and WHIP

The numbers get a little bit more unnerving when you realize that opposing hitters are actually making great contact against him, with a line drive rate of 21.5%.  It’s not that he was extremely bad in one month, either, as over the first three months he posted marks of 15.4%, 22.2% and 27.0%.

The overall mark places him among the 20 worst marks in the league.  When you are getting hit that hard, is it realistic to expect him to maintain a sub-2.00 ERA?  I certainly don’t think so…

So, when you put it all together you have a pitcher with impressive numbers, but a poor strikeout rate who has received good luck and has been hit hard?  Oh yeah, let’s not leave out the fact that one of his best assets thus far in 2011 is something that is fickle and can’t be depended on.

Sound like something you want to stand pat with?

If I owned him, I would be looking to sell high on him as soon as possible.  While it’s not a given that he falls of a cliff, it’s nearly impossible for him to continue producing at his current pace.

What are your thoughts of Jurrjens?  Is he a pitcher you would sell high on?  Why or why not?

Make sure to check out Rotoprofessor’s 2011 Trade Deadline Tracker by clicking here.

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4 comments

  1. Josh Taylor says:

    I just traded Jurrjens and Chris Young for Cole Hamels and Carlos Beltran.

  2. Hack says:

    Who are some guys you think would be good candidates to trade Jurrjens for 1 for 1 in a 10 team mix league? particularly hitters

    • Will Overton says:

      I personally just traded Jurrjens with Alexei Ramirez to get Jose Reyes in one of my leagues. I made that trade with a hardcore Braves fan though so it’s hard to use that as a starting base.

      When I am shopping a player I tend to send out a message to my league and let them know a guy is available and see if any offers come to you. This will if nothing else hopefully give you a base from which to gauge Jurrjens value in your league.

      I’d aim for someone in the Hunter Pence, Jay Bruce, Adrian Beltre range, but you could find the right guy and cash in even higher.

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