How Are Louisiana’s Seth Lugo & Taijuan Walker Performing in 2023?
(Shreveport, LA) Believe it or not, there's only two 'Shreveport Guys' currently in the Majors - Seth Lugo & Taijuan Walker. And, oddly enough, both were once teammates on the Mets. However, since last season, both have moved on to new teams. Seth joined the San Diego Padres. Walker joined the Phillies. On the surface, it would appear one is having a better season than the other. However, if you dive deeper into the numbers, it's a lot closer than you may think.
How is Bossier-Shreveport's Seth Lugo Doing as a Padre?
I added Bossier onto Seth...because while MLB lists him as a Shreveport native (I would assume because of where he was born), he did go to Parkway High School in Bossier and at least spent part of his life there too.
Seth left the Mets in the off-season for one reason - he wanted the opportunity to be a starting pitcher. And, as a Padre, he's done that. He's started 16 games for the swinging Friars this year. Which puts him just below the minimum for 'qualified' starts as far as awards like the Cy Young and all that go.
As a starter, he's 4-5 with a 3.54 ERA. Which, if you just look at the wins & loses, isn't good. However, with a deeper look at his stats, he's not having a bad year at all. According to MLB's website, his 3.54 ERA (if he had enough starts) would be tied for 11th in the National League. Which isn't too shabby. Plus his 1.19 WHIP would be tied for 9th in NL. Again, not bad.
So, when you start breaking out his stats, he's actually having a pretty good year. The downside for him is that the Padres as a team have underperformed all year. Pitchers aren't getting run support. The team isn't winning games. Which is making everyone look bad. In fact, currently, the Padres have a Cy Young Frontrunner in Blake Snell...and he's 8-8 on the year. So, the team isn't exactly making Seth look great.
The good news is that since the All-Star Break, the Padres are starting to look like the team everyone thought they would be. So, if they keep playing quality baseball, not only should Seth's record improve, but the Padres may actually be able to secure a Wild Card berth.
How is Shreveport's Taijuan Walker Performing in 2023?
Speaking of the Wild Card, one team in the thick of that race is the Philadelphia Phillies. Thanks in no small part to Taijuan Walker. Walker is currently tied for the most wins in the National League. He's 12-4 with a 3.99 ERA & 1.27 WHIP. As you can see, on the wins/losses front, Taijuan is having a pretty darn good year. He's a valuable arm for the Phillies as they try to make it back to the World Series.
But, as you can see statistically speaking, Seth is having a slightly better year. Yes, he's had a few less starts, BUT he's got a lower ERA & WHIP. As the modern day 'stat nerds' (and I say that with love) say - wins and losses don't matter as much as the other metrics. While I disagree that they don't matter at all...wins & losses are a team stat and not completely on the pitcher.
With that said, both guys are having pretty good years. Both guys are having a positive impact on their respective ball club. And both guys are in the hunt for post season births and possibly some end of year hardware.
There's two months left in the season...and anything is possible in the game of baseball.