[Wins Above Replacement for pitchers] is a single number that presents the number of wins a pitcher has added to the team above what a replacement pitcher (think AAA or AAAA) would add. This value includes defensive support and includes additional value for high leverage situations.
Single season grades of 8 or higher signify an MVP candidate, 5-8 are all-star quality players, 2-5 are starters, 0-2 are reserve, and anything below 0 is a replacement player.
That was developed by Sean Smith of BaseballProjection.com to help evaluate pitchers on an even playing field. Simply evaluating pitchers by wins or ERA is unfair because of the level of luck in each factor. After all, a pitcher’s win total is heavily affected by how many runs their own team scores – just ask Felix Hernandez.
The table below shows the WAR value of all Rays pitchers that pitched at least 50 accumulative innings over the past three seasons.
J.P. Howell‘s value jumps off the page here; if he can resume production at that level once he comes off the disabled list it would certainly help offset the loss of pitchers 5, 9, and 10 on that list. Lastly, take note at the last three stat columns and compare Shields and Garza. When you hear Jason and I as well as others preaching faith in Shields, these are the statistics our faith is rooted in.