Worst Starting Pitchers
Locked in at the Basement
Unless Jeremy Guthrie makes an unlikely comeback and puts together a career year, he’s already clinched the honors of being the worst starting pitcher of this decade. Although he only threw 0.2 innings in 2017 with the Washington Nationals, his last full season was a memorable one.
Not so much on a personal level but definitely on a team level.
He tossed 148.1 regular-season innings for the Kansas City Royals, who obviously went on to win the World Series that fall. Unfortunately for Guthrie, he limped to a 5.95 ERA, 1.76 homers allowed per nine innings, and a -0.9 fWAR, leading to exactly zero postseason appearances.
If you’re going to be the worst, at least be the worst on a title-winning team, right?
Great Start and Unfortunate Finish
The start of the decade for Tim Lincecum was great. After winning back-to-back NL Cy Young awards in 2008 and 2009 (which also included two All-Star Game appearances), he followed that up with two more All-Star Games and two more top-10 Cy Young award finishes. From then on, though, it was tough.
Although he finished the 2011 season with a 13-14 record, he posted a 2.74 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 24.4% strikeout rate, and 4.0 fWAR in 217 innings of work. It was the fourth consecutive year he posted a single-season fWAR of at least 4.0. But over his final five seasons (654 innings), he accumulated a total of just 2.5 fWAR.
It just looked like The Freak went on a natural career progression much sooner than he would’ve liked. After posting a career-high 28.8% strikeout rate with an average fastball velocity of 92.4 mph in 2009, both of those numbers went on a mostly steady nosedive until his final year of big-league action with the Los Angeles Angels.