Kevin Correia: A Pleasant Surprise

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at Correia's start to 2013.

Kevin Correia was brought over to the Twins with hope that he would stabilize such a young starting rotation. Before arriving in the Twin Cities, Correia posted a subpar career as a member of the National League. He posted an abysmal 4.52 ERA, as well as a 4.50 FIP. Correia doesn't strike out many guys, nor does he walk many guys, but since he could be considered a flyball pitcher that isn't exactly a recipe for success.

For some reason Correia has been nothing short of fantastic in 2013. He has a 3.14 ERA, to go along with a FIP of 3.03. While career-wise Correia isn't known for his strikeouts, 2013 is hardly an exception of that. In fact, his 5.3 K% for the year is the fourth lowest in all of baseball. Now, it's unlikely to remain that low, but it's also unlikely to get above 15-17% which would be slightly below average. His 3.5% walk rate also ranks as one of the best marks in the league.

The metric that is really helping Correia out though is this: 0.00. Now what could that be, you ask? That, my friends, is Correia's home runs per nine innings, for 2013. Correia has yet to give up a home run this season, and has been a big factor behind his successful start. For his career he gives up just over one home run per nine innings, so sooner or later some regression will come into play.

Another stat that we can look is batting average on balls in play (BABIP). In a nutshell, BABIP can tell us how lucky or unlucky a pitcher has been. .290-.300 is generally considered to be league average. Anything significantly less than that can be considered lucky, while anything greater than that can be considered unlucky. Eventually a pitcher is expected to regress to his career BABIP. In Correia's case that is a .294 mark. For 2013 he has a .288 BABIP, which isn't enough for him to be considered lucky, but it is still worth monitoring as he makes more starts.

While the start is nice to see, it's unlikely that Correia maintains this performance, especially as batters get familiar with his pitches. As a Twins fan though I will take it as long as it lasts.

Alex Kienholz writes about baseball for Beyond the Box Score, and Twinkie Town. Follow him on Twitter:

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