Last year, a 32-year-old righty out of the bullpen posted an unsightly 7.32 ERA. But his xFIP was 3.77, right in line with his career ERA mark of 3.72. His peripherals were strong, and his batting average on balls in play was artificially high. His name was Chad Qualls, and his ERA in 2011 is 2.72.
This year, a 32-year-old righty out of the bullpen posted an unsightly 6.88 ERA. But his xFIP is 3.44, right in line with his career relief ERA mark of 3.99. In fact, his peripherals, particular his strikeout rate, are the best they’ve been in years, while his BABIP is artificially high.
His name is Aaron Heilman, the Diamondbacks just released him, and the Mets ought to pick him up with a cheap team option for 2012.