Pitchers are the hardest lot to figure out sometimes. They exist with a variety of options believe it or not. Molding a staff is not as easy as it looks with starters, middle relievers, short setup and closers.
Normally there are two types of pitchers, off speed and strike out. Each is defined by their velocity where off-speed is below 50 and strike out is above 50. I actually break it down further and make strike out into two categories, hard and flame throwers.
The pitcher is further defined by their Stamina. High Stamina, 65+ is normally linked to a starter, middle reliever 40 to 65 while short setup and closer have a Stamina below 40. Durability further define their capabilities as this shows how quickly they can recover from an outing. Starters and middle relievers usually have a durability between 25 and 30 while setup and closers normally range anywhere from 40 to 100. There are some oddballs that show up from time to time with a real low durability or stamina. I like to acquire a sub 20 durability where the rest of his abilities have starter written all over them, they make a great setup B pitcher. While sub 20 stamina turn into specialists, I steer clear of those.
Next we will talk about anther type of configuration with fly ball (FB) or ground ball (GB). This is denoted by their GB/FB rating. Mostly ground ball is 50 and above while fly ball is below 50. Most GM's are not real picky on this matter, however there is something to note. If you have a bevy of FB pitchers, the outfield needs to be very rangy and have good gloves. Ground ball pitchers will need a strong defensive infield.
Most pitchers that reach the ML ranks normally have a very good control, some will only use 80 + is this rating. For me it depends on the rest of his ratings but normally I go with 80+ for starters at least if I can. Below 50 they have a tendency to be wild and walk a lot of batters but can keep them off balance at the same time but are rarely consistent.
Next are the pitchers splits, well that is what we call them anyway. To me it is how lucky they are against left or right handed batters. These you want as high as possible of course, especially the right one. Lefties get a bad rap as they are normally in the 50's, good in the 60's, great in the 70's and super in the 80's. Don't know why but I have always had bad luck with lefties in the 60's.
Pitches are the last topic. The first two pitches are the most important and should be at least 80, 70. Short setup and closers normally only have two pitches where starters and middle relievers can have up to five. It is always nice that starters have at least three good pitches in order high to low, the third pitch should be above 50 and nice to be in the 60's. It is not uncommon for a fourth pitch be low in 40's or 30's as we call that a throw away pitch. A five pitch guy might have that as his fifth pitch while the fourth is in the 40's or 50's. One thing you might (or will) have problems with is those that have pitches that are not in sequence from high to low, kinda jumbled up. They have a tendency to throw that throw away pitch for a strike and that strike has a tendency end up in the bleachers.
A couple things to remember is that high splits and pitches will cover a low control rating. Very high control and pitches will cover somewhat low splits, under 50 may be too low though. High pitches can cover medium splits and control. Home run hitters like strike out pitchers. Spray hitters love off-speed. A PC catcher (80+) is loved by all pitchers because it makes their pitches better.
Effect of coaches on pitchers is relatively easy. High pitching rating of course. A high discipline rating will cause a pitcher to throw more strikes, a good thing really but a little caution here, too high and he throws the junk for strikes also. A good strategy is also wanted. Goes for the bull pen coach also.
Just because a pitcher has a high ERA doesn't mean he is a bad pitcher. You need to look at other stats also like WHIP. The one I go by the most is OAV. That stat tells you how other teams are batting against him. If it is above .275, I constitute that as a problem. I battle that problem by putting him in the pen for awhile if he is a starter. If he is in the pen, try a different category, like setup B. Could the catcher be causing the problem, wrong defense, I have seen a myriad of problems that boil down to just bad luck.