Jair Jurrjens Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

So, the Braves traded an expensive, supernumerary player for a young starting pitcher with less than a year’s service time who went on to lead the team in wins, starts, and innings pitched and finish third in the rookie of the year voting, and an outfield prospect. You make a few trades like that, you’re in great shape. Unfortunately, it was the only major deal the Braves have made in the last two years that worked out…

Jurrjens was actually a little unlucky last year; the THT stats say that his ERA “should” have been 3.52, but he allowed a few more hits (188, almost exactly one per inning) than you’d expect from his strikeout/walk data. The key to his unexpectedly fine 2008 was a major drop in his home runs allowed rate from his abbreviated 2007 major league campaign. His strikeout rate also improved. In both these cases, it was rather a return to his minor league performances than a step forward, though he probably maintained a little more of his minor league success than you’d expect. He isn’t quite dominant, and thus needs some defensive help, which he got from the infield but not from the outfield.

The only real concern I have about Jurrjens going forward is his workload; 188 1/3 innings pitched is quite a lot for a pitcher his age, and marks a jump from 143 1/3 in 2007, most of that in AA. The Braves might have been gentler with him down the stretch if they’d had anyone else who could give them six innings without provoking a riot. At any rate, a 30 percent or so jump in innings, even without the move to the majors, is worrisome… Had six hits in 58 AB last year (.103) but walked six times, which is certainly unusual and probably doesn’t mean anything. I don’t know how many pitchers have a secondary average (.120) higher than their batting average. Pinch ran six times, would have led the team with seven sacrifice hits except for Bobby’s deranged insistence upon having Kelly Johnson bunt.