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Monday, April 17, 2006

Don Drysdale

Eligible in 1975.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:09 PM | 138 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#1969022)
Among other things, Drysdale's an interesting candidate for evaluating quantity. Twice he started 40 games in a year. The last pitcher to do that? Bob Feller. Last NL pitcher to do that? Pete Alexander! Sure, he's just a forerunner of a pattern that became somewhat column for about 10 years, but that's cool any time you can say you're the first since Old Pete.

In 1964, his RSI was 115. Wow.

One of the winningest pitchers before turning 30 of the liveball era with 170.

Oh yeah - voters would be remiss if they forgot about his bat. Not many hurlers could match his stick -- certainly not Milt Pappas.

In 1969, he began the year by having the first two hitters he face go deep on him. Reportedly, they were on his first two pitches of the year. It was the Dodgers' season opener. Really set the tone for Drysdale that year, didn't it?
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#1969039)
Don't forget his appearance on "The Brady Bunch"! :-)
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#1969051)
Just for the record, going back to about 1945 we have not failed to elect a 100 WARP guy. I didn't look any further back.
   4. DavidFoss Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:35 PM (#1969117)
In 1969, he began the year by having the first two hitters he face go deep on him. Reportedly, they were on his first two pitches of the year. It was the Dodgers' season opener. Really set the tone for Drysdale that year, didn't it?

BOX -- April 7, 1969

Rose and Tolan weren't really known as power hitters either. Baseballlibrary confirms it was the first two pitches.

Drysdale settled down and won that game! Bill Singer earned the first *official* save that that day as well. A big day.
   5. Michael Bass Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:35 PM (#1969118)
I'm too lazy to look it up, but didn't Bill James in discussing (downgrading) Drysdale's HOF-worthiness compare him to Milt Pappas and essentially say the difference between them was negligible?

If so, was this the single dumbest baseball thing James went on record with?
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:45 PM (#1969129)
I'm too lazy to look it up, but didn't Bill James in discussing (downgrading) Drysdale's HOF-worthiness compare him to Milt Pappas and essentially say the difference between them was negligible?

If so, was this the single dumbest baseball thing James went on record with?


I didn't get that impression at all from his comments, Mike. I thought James' point was, though they had a similar number of career wins, the shape of their careers were very different. Drysdale came off very well in the anaysis, IMO.
   7. DavidFoss Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:53 PM (#1969147)
I'm too lazy to look it up, but didn't Bill James in discussing (downgrading) Drysdale's HOF-worthiness compare him to Milt Pappas and essentially say the difference between them was negligible?

Yeah, it was in his "Politics of Glory"/"Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame" book.

This was the book that he invented Similarity Scores, Fibonacci Wins, Hall of Fame Standards/Monitor.

Pappas is Drysdale's most similar pitcher. Pappas's most similar is Jim Perry -- #2 is Drysdale. He then went on to collect what he called the "Drysdale Group" which consisted of Drysdale, Pappas, JPerry, Hunter, Bunning (not yet inducted at press time), Pierce, Tiant, Blue, etc.

In typical Bill James style, he kept pounding home the similarities and differences between Drysdale & Pappas. He ended up writing his seminal peak/career comparison studies using those two. (Carlton & Sutton being the longer-careered version of those two). It was all good stuff.

The trouble was that he focused mainly on traditional stats for this book. The most similar thing between Drysdale & Pappas is W's and L's. Drysdale has Pappas beat by a country mile in ERA+ and K's (and presumably WS and WARP). We still use many of the stuff from this book today (except applied to more modern metrics).

Bill James was writing that book for sabermetric neophytes and also incorporating pre-existing voting biases into his models -- stuff we try to avoid here.

He also ended up (at least partially) blaming Drysdale for his mediocre won-loss records in years like 60,63-64,67-68 and comparing his performance to that of Koufax (!) in these years to show this.
   8. DavidFoss Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#1969150)
Using modern metrics, I like Drysdale. Surprisingly so, because I've never been a big 'fan' of his. I like him at least as much as Pierce.
   9. DavidFoss Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:02 PM (#1969164)
I didn't get that impression at all from his comments

I did. I felt like James was building up a case against Drysdale as the book went on. Similar to what he did with Rizzuto in the same book.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:08 PM (#1969176)
He also ended up (at least partially) blaming Drysdale for his mediocre won-loss records in years like 60,63-64,67-68 and comparing his performance to that of Koufax (!) in these years to show this.

James did the same thing with Steib and Koufax in one of his Abstracts, which would have been fine except that he didn't place Koufax's numbers in their proper context.

I did. I felt like James was building up a case against Drysdale as the book went on. Similar to what he did with Rizzuto in the same book

I was referring only to his comparison with Pappas, David. I agree that the overall impression from James was that Double D wasn't of HOF stock.
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#1969182)
I felt like James was building up a case against Drysdale as the book went on.

Which case was ultimately settled, if I remember/interepreted correctly in the negative based on the notion that
a) Drysdale was a borderliner
b) so he'd need every break on the keltner list to go his way
c) and he got rocked in a whole slew of important games with pennant implications.

James then turned around in the NHBA to say that he additional information about important pennant/post-season games suggested that Drysdale performed better than he (James) had thought, and so now, yes, he was OK for C-Town.

What I think is interesting is that in reviewing Drysdale's case ten years later, I see much less wiggle room for a nay vote because our tools are less blunt. The W/L record was such a poor indicator of quality by itself and so not sensitive to changes in the game by itself that it seems like our vantage point comes to the conclusion that Drysdale is a HOMer, and not by some razor-thin margin either.
   12. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:13 PM (#1969191)
Piggy-backing on John's comment, I like Stieb as much or more than BOTH Drysdale and Koufax, but then I didn't like Koufax as much as most of the electorate.

Stieb, big-time dominance in a league with few domanint starters: tastes HOMalicious.
   13. TomH Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:15 PM (#1969196)
He also ended up (at least partially) blaming Drysdale for his mediocre won-loss records in years like 60,63-64,67-68 and comparing his performance to that of Koufax (!) in these years to show this.
--
well, there may be some merit to this, and I look forward to discussions along this line.

two teammates, mostly overlapping careers. Koufax' ERA+ was 131, which pythags out to a winnning pct of .632 if he had an average team (using the simple 2 exponent, 1.31^2/(1.31^2+1) ). Koufax actual wpct was .655.

Drysdale career ERA+ is 121. His pythag wpct from that is .594. His actual wpct is .577.

So, even though Drysdale was a better hitter, he was still down .040 in wpct compared to Sandy, even when you account for their ERA differences. That is 10 to 15 wins.

Maybe the RSIs will show a big diff?
   14. Mark Donelson Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#1969199)
I am slightly shocked to find that Drysdale does well in my peakedy-peaky-peak system. Not quite done yet with him, but he looks like he'll get onto the bottom of my ballot, which I really would not have predicted.

(Of course, the fact that I'm reassessing all '50s and early '60s pitchers, having finally decided I've been a bit hard on them, probably helps somewhat...)
   15. DL from MN Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:23 PM (#1969223)
I see Drysdale as better than Whitey Ford and significantly better than Pierce. Bunning slides in between Ford and Pierce. Drysdale will get an elect-me slot on my ballot and I haven't considered any bonus credit for postseason play.
   16. Chris Fluit Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:43 PM (#1969260)
I see Drysdale as slightly behind Pierce. I'm still not sure if that will get him onto the bottom of my ballot or just off in the 16-20 range. It depends on how well he compares to more career-weighted non-contemporaries like Welch and Grimes.
   17. DavidFoss Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:48 PM (#1969267)
Maybe the RSIs will show a big diff?

All of those years are completely in the retrosheet era. A full SNWLR-style report can be done for 60-68 for Drysdale. I don't know if there has been any luck in automating stuff like that, though and I'd hate to have someone dig through hundreds of box scores only to beg the question : "what's the control group".
   18. DavidFoss Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:53 PM (#1969273)
Don't forget his appearance on "The Brady Bunch"! :-)

That appearance was September 25, 1970. Is that enough to push his eligibility back to 1976? :-)
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 09:25 PM (#1969312)
That appearance was September 25, 1970. Is that enough to push his eligibility back to 1976? :-)

Nah. Besides, I dont want an ectoplasmic fastball buzzing near my head if I pushed for it. :-)
   20. rawagman Posted: April 17, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#1969325)
I have apparently turned into one of Lefty Gomez' two only friends thanks to my measurements (seen in his thread). I thought Drysdale would score higher for me, and he may still do so once I get a chance to look at a few things, but he is definately trailing Waddell and Gomez on my '75 ballot. Between Mendez, Dean, Bridges and Drysdale, anything may happen.
   21. Chris Cobb Posted: April 17, 2006 at 10:03 PM (#1969368)
I have Drysdale slightly behind Pierce.

My recollection is that RSI, like a w-l record projected from ERA+, suggests that Drysdale won fewer games than he "should have" given his run support and his runs allowed. My analysis of pitchers takes actual wins vs. expected wins into account, so I dock Drysdale a bit for that. I think that his component stats would have him a little bit ahead of Pierce, but his win shortfall drops him a little bit behind.

Drysdale does well in seasonal win-share counts because he really was a workhorse; Pierce does a little less well. Drysdale does not do all that well by rate: at his best he was not as effective, inning-for-inning, as Pierce was.
   22. OCF Posted: April 17, 2006 at 10:59 PM (#1969439)
Memorable moments, May 31, 1968, at Dodger Stadium.

GIANTS 9TH: McCovey walked; OLIVER RAN FOR MCCOVEY; Hart singled
to right [Oliver to second]; Marshall walked [Oliver to third,
Hart to second]; Dietz made an out to left; CLINE BATTED FOR
LANIER; Cline forced Oliver (first to catcher) [Hart to third,
Marshall to second]; HIATT BATTED FOR MCCORMICK; Hiatt popped to
first; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 3 LOB. Giants 0, Dodgers 3.

Thus ended Drysdale's fifth consecutive shutout, extending his scoreless inning streak to 45; he would go on to pitch a sixth consecutve shutout, and four more scoreless innings in the next game after that.

You all know the story of what was so unusual about Deitz's at bat, right?
   23. DavidFoss Posted: April 17, 2006 at 11:08 PM (#1969453)
I do now, but I had to google it. Great story.
   24. OCF Posted: April 17, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#1969483)
By the way, "Oliver" is Nate Oliver, a utility infielder with barely a thousand career PA, mostly with the Dodgers, and a 17-15 lifetime SB-CS record. I don't know where the balls in play were hit, but on its face, that reads like a pretty pathetic performance for a pinch runner: stopping at second on the single to right, then failing to tag and score on the fly ball to left, finally getting thrown out at the plate on the force.
   25. jimd Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:16 AM (#1969703)
Just for the record, going back to about 1945 we have not failed to elect a 100 WARP guy. I didn't look any further back.

There's been another WARP revision lately so my spread-sheet doesn't have the latest anymore...

Leading career back-loggers by WARP-3:
-old new-
90.0 100.4 Dick Bartell
91.6 96.4 Bob Johnson
92.3 95.8 Billy Pierce
90.3 88.8 Dutch Leonard

Leading career back-loggers by WARP-1:
-old new-
131.0 130.4 Rabbit Maranville
117.6 117.4 Lave Cross
118.1 114.6 Joe Tinker
112.7 115.9 Tommy Leach
114.7 115.4 Jake Beckley
111.1 112.6 Davy Bancroft
109.5 109.5 Jimmy Ryan
107.4 109.2 Herman Long
104.2 109.2 Dick Bartell
108.7 108.4 Johnny Evers
110.2 107.9 Edd Roush
106.1 107.8 Harry Hooper
102.2 107.1 Bob Johnson
114.0 105.6 George VanHaltren
103.4 105.4 Donie Bush
103.1 104.7 Kid Gleason
102.9 104.5 Joe Sewell
103.1 104.4 Fielder Jones
103.9 103.9 Mike Griffin
103.4 102.5 Cupid Childs
102.2 102.1 Del Pratt
107.6 100.0 Fred Pfeffer
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 02:14 AM (#1970175)
Like I said above, we've never failed to elect a 100 WARP3--except for Rowdy Dick.

Rowdy Dick? Ya gotta be kiddin'!

All you WARP fans, remember Rowdy Dick when you vote for Rowdy Don!
   27. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: April 18, 2006 at 02:26 AM (#1970205)
This post is copied from the Lefty Gomez thread. It is a walkthrough of my pitcher evaluation system, using Dizzy Dean as the demonstration:

ERA
ERA is the average of ERA+ adjusted to a league average of 4.50, BPro's adjusted for all-time DERA and Translated ERA.

Dean
(3.45 + 3.52 + 2.91) / 3 = 3.29

HITTING CREDIT
For pitchers, hitting credit is
ER minus RCAP
divided by actual IP
times 9
minus ERA
divided by lgERA
times 4.50

Dean
661 -11 = 650
650 / 1967.3 = .330397
.330397 * 9 = 2.97
2.97 - 3.02 = .05
.05 / 3.94 * 4.50 = .06

Dean gets -.06 off of his ERA due to his hitting: 3.29 - .06 = 3.23

POSTSEASON CREDIT
Postseason credit is World Series ER and IP x 3 added to his actual career totals. (For modern pitchers, Divisional and Championship series numbers are x 2:

Dean
World Series: 11 ER / 34.3 IP
Tripled: 33 ER / 103 IP
Career: 661 ER / 1974.3 IP / 3.02 ERA
Total: 694 ER / 2077.3 IP / 3.01 ERA

As with hitting credit, I subtract the two ERA figures for postseason credit (I will later add the triple-weighted innings to his career total.). This gives Dean another -.01 off of his ERA, taking him down to 3.22.

INNINGS PITCHED
I average BPro's career IP from their Translated Pitching Statistics (mostly to deflate 19th Century pitchers and their IP totals) and the actual career IP. Then I add any postseason innings to the total.

Dean
1874 + 1967.3 = 3841.3 / 2 = 1920.7 + 103 = 2023.7

SEASONAL NOTATION (all based on actual innings pitched)
To get a seasonal value, I add up a pitcher's career innings in the seasons in which they qualified for the ERA title and divide it by the number of seasons to get an average workload. Then I add up career innings in all seasons in which they did not qualify, divide by the previous average and subtract from the number of non-qualifying seasons.

(For starting pitchers who qualify for the ERA title in less then half of their seasons, I divide the non-qualifying innings by 162. For career relievers, I multiply their Innings Pitched by Tango's Leveraged Index. If there is no LI number for the reliever, I use BPro's leverage numbers. I divide the leveraged innings by 225 to come up with the seasonal notation.)

Dean
286 + 293 + 311.7 + 325.3 + 315 + 197.3 = 1728.3
1728.3 / 6 = 288.06

9 + 74.7 + 96.3 + 54 + 1 + 4 = 239
239 / 288.06 = .83
.83 - 6 = -5.17

Then I subtract this number from the total number of seasons to get a seasonal notation:

Dean
12 - 5.17 = 6.83

CAREER VALUE
Career value is Marginal ERA of 6.75 (4.50 x 1.5) - ERA / 9 * IP

Dean
6.75 - 3.22 = 3.53 / 9 = .392 * 2023.7 = 792.98
(Actual answer is 793.73, but the answer comes from the equations I have plugged in my spreadsheet, so there are some rounding errors.)

Dean saved 792.98 Marginal Runs in his career. I divide that by his Seasonal Notation of 6.83 to get a seasonal career value.

Dean
792.98 / 6.83 = 116.10

Dean saved 116.10 Marginal Runs per season. I multiply the career and season values to get a Career Score:

792.98 x 116.10 = 92066

PEAK/PRIME VALUE
Peak/prime value is League ERA of 4.50 - ERA / 9 * IP

Dean
4.50 - 3.22 = 1.28 / 9 = .142 * 2023.7 = 287.06
(Actual answer is 287.81, but the answer comes from the equations I have plugged in my spreadsheet, so there are some rounding errors.)

Dean saved 287.06 Runs Above Average in his career. I divide that by his Seasonal Notation of 6.83 to get a seasonal peak/prime score.

Dean
287.06 / 6.83 = 42.03

Dean saved 42.03 Runs Above Average per season. I multiply the career and season scores, then multiply that product by 2 to get a Peak/Prime Score:

Dean
287.06 x 42.03 = 12065 x 2 = 24130

TOTAL CAREER VALUE
I add the Career Score and Peak/Prime Score to get the pitcher's Total Career Value:

Dean
92066 + 24130 = 116,196

Dean's TCV of 116,196 ranks 53rd all-time, behind Dazzy Vance and ahead of Rollie Fingers (Fingers gets his innings leveraged by 1.75 according to LI, giving him 3160 IP in 14.04 seasons).

The next post will list the top 20 major-league pitchers eligible for the HOM.
   28. Paul Wendt Posted: April 18, 2006 at 02:48 AM (#1970249)
Marc:
Just for the record, going back to about 1945 we have not failed to elect a 100 WARP guy. I didn't look any further back.

jimd
Leading career back-loggers by WARP-3:
-old new-
90.0 100.4 Dick Bartell
91.6 96.4 Bob Johnson
92.3 95.8 Billy Pierce
90.3 88.8 Dutch Leonard


A little beyond the horizon is Dave Concepcion 105.7 (up from 102.x iirc). I wonder whether he will waltz in.

I see that by WARP-1 the top ten are 8 middle infielders, Beckley, and Ryan.
   29. Ardo Posted: April 18, 2006 at 02:49 AM (#1970252)
Mendez and Gordon are due for my elect-me spots. Drysdale doesn't impress me enough to rise so high.

Let's look at these near-contemporaries:

Don Drysdale (3432, 121)
Billy Pierce (3306, 119)
Jim Bunning (3760, 114)

Drysdale: Best 3 154-149-140. 140+ 3, 120+ 6, <100 2.
Pierce: Best 3 201-148-141. 140+ 3, 120+ 6, <100 1.
Bunning: Best 3 150-149-143. 140+ 4, 120+ 7, <100 5 [1963, 1968-71].

Boy, there's no more than a thin hair (and two league-average seasons of Bunning) between these 3 pitchers. What differences can we deduce?

Drysdale had many more K's and many fewer BB's than Pierce - a difference too great for Dodger Stadium to explain away. Advantage, Big D.

That's the only one to grab my sight. Primates, please help me!
   30. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:03 AM (#1970274)
I've just decided to divide Total Career Value by 1,000 to have it resemble a baseball statistic more than a video game score. Anyway, here are...

THE TOP 20 ELIGIBLE

1. Don Drysdale
3.42 ERA / 132 ERA+ / 3478.7 IP / 12.60 seasons / 276.08 IP/yr / TCV 159.1

2. Dizzy Dean
3.22 ERA / 140 ERA+ / 2023.7 IP / 6.83 seasons / 296.29 IP/yr / TCV 116.2

3. Carl Mays
3.70 ERA / 122 ERA+ / 3044.3 IP / 10.92 seasons / 278.79 IP/yr / TCV 110.6

4. Billy Pierce
3.62 ERA / 124 ERA+ / 3423.7 IP / 14.97 seasons / 228.70 IP/yr / TCV 109.4

5. Rube Waddell
3.49 ERA / 129 ERA+ / 2660.0 IP / 10.44 seasons / 254.79 IP/yr / TCV 106.0

6. Tommy Bridges
3.52 ERA / 128 ERA+ / 2964.0 IP / 12.65 seasons / 234.31 IP/yr / TCV 105.6

7. Silver King (no AA discount)
3.66 ERA / 123 ERA+ / 2732.0 IP / 10.40 seasons / 262.69 IP/yr / TCV 105.3

(For pre-1893 pitchers, I cap their season IP at 370 and add anything above that as extra seasons in the seasonal notation. For King, he exceeded 370 IP each season from 1887-1892. In those six seasons, he pitched 2698.3 innings. I divide that by 370 to get 7.29. I subtract 6 from that to get 1.29 extra seasons.)


8. Bucky Walters
3.82 ERA / 118 ERA+ / 3171.7 IP / 11.79 seasons / 269.01 IP/yr / TCV 100.4

9. Bobo Newsom
4.02 ERA / 112 ERA+ / 3843.3 IP / 14.53 seasons / 264.51 IP/yr / TCV 99.0

10. Urban Shocker
3.54 ERA / 127 ERA+ / 2589.7 IP / 10.24 seasons / 252.90 IP/yr / TCV 98.5

11. Jack Stivetts (no AA discount)
3.57 ERA / 126 ERA+ / 2452.0 IP / 8.98 seasons / 273.05 IP/yr / TCV 98.2

12. Waite Hoyt
3.94 ERA / 114 ERA+ / 3911.7 IP / 16.67 seasons / 234.65 IP/yr / TCV 96.9

13. Dizzy Trout
3.47 ERA / 130 ERA+ / 2784.3 IP / 12.75 seasons / 218.38 IP/yr / TCV 96.7

14. Jim McCormick (no UA discount)
4.03 ERA / 112 ERA+ / 3405.0 IP / 12.82 seasons / 265.60 IP/yr / TCV 96.1

15. Virgil Trucks (WWII credit)
3.72 ERA / 121 ERA+ / 3148.7 IP / 13.33 seasons / 236.20 IP/yr / TCV 95.2

16. Vic Willis
4.06 ERA / 111 ERA+ / 3624.3 IP / 13.00 seasons / 278.79 IP/yr / TCV 95.1

17. Burleigh Grimes
4.18 ERA / 108 ERA+ / 4240.0 IP / 16.26 seasons / 260.76 IP/yr / TCV 93.0

18. Lon Warneke
3.67 ERA / 123 ERA+ / 2816.0 IP / 11.71 seasons / 240.48 IP/yr / TCV 91.1

19. Dutch Leonard
3.74 ERA / 120 ERA+ / 3206.3 IP / 14.36 seasons / 223.28 IP/yr / TCV 90.3

20. Wilbur Cooper
3.95 ERA / 114 ERA+ / 3314.0 IP / 12.73 seasons / 260.33 IP/yr / TCV 89.7
   31. Chris Fluit Posted: April 18, 2006 at 07:09 AM (#1970652)
Like a lot of other voters, I've been spending some time comparing Pierce and Drysdale.

The two pitchers come out even in a number of categories. Their records are practically identical: 209-166 for .557 for Drysdale and 215-169 for .555 for Pierce. Their ERAs also look pretty similar as each pitcher has an ERA that is 0.62 better than his league's ERA (3.27 to 3.89 for Pierce and 2.95 to 3.57 for Drysdale).

Drysdale's advantage seems to come from two primary categories: he struck out more batters and walked fewer. Drysdale leads Pierce in career strikeouts by 2486 to 1999 and in WHIP by 1.14 to 1.26.

Pierce's advantage is that he appeared to be at his best for a longer period that Drysdale. He picks up two pitcher of the year awards (1956 and 1957) to Drysdale's one Cy Young (1962). He had outstanding league-leading type of years in 5 years ('53, and '55-'58) while Drysdale can only make that claim for 3 or 4 ('59, '60 and '62, and maybe '64 if you like innings pitched).

Personally, I lean towards Pierce's longer peak. However, I also think that the case for Pierce includes some pretty good replies to Drysdale's apparent advantages. Yes, Drysdale had a better WHIP than Pierce over the course of their careers but he doesn't have an advantage in WHIP when comparing peak or prime seasons. Each led their league in WHIP once, but Pierce was top ten in his league 8 times compared to Drysdale's 6. As for the strikeouts, Drysdale definitely has the cumulative advantage. He led his league 3 times and finished in the top ten eleven times compared to one and ten for Pierce. Yet Pierce comes out ahead of Drysdale in strikeouts per 9 innings pitched. He led his league twice and finished in the top ten ten times compared to 1 and 7 for Drysdale. Drysdale's innings advantage clearly contributed to his edge in strikeouts.

I can see the case for Drysdale (there's something meritorious about pitching a lot of innings for your team, and doing it well) but I prefer the case for Pierce.
   32. TomH Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:00 PM (#1970709)
Chris F, I'd agree with most of your post, except I would give a league quality bonus to Don over Billy, for the number of (mostly dark-skinned) mega-star hitters in the NL.

James N, that's a pretty thorough system, but it will be kind to Drysdale since he pitched in the 1960s in Dodger stadium with the 43" mound height :) so his raw ERA is reeeaaallly low.

Drysdale will be overrated (IMHO) by those who use a BJamesian Win Share (or WARP) in a pitcher's 'best years' system, since he did rack up a huge number of innings, thus gaining many win shares in a given season. He will be underrated by those who stress value above average.

I tentatively have him above Walters and Pierce as my highest pitcher, but if I find his poor W-L record was more than bad luck, he could drop.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:07 PM (#1970714)
Drysdale will be overrated (IMHO) by those who use a BJamesian Win Share (or WARP) in a pitcher's 'best years' system, since he did rack up a huge number of innings, thus gaining many win shares in a given season.

Unless you use WS/162 Games (which I do), which is necessary, IMO.
   34. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:10 PM (#1970716)
Those who love Drysdale really oughta take a look at Rube Waddell, unless you're a big timeliner in which case it is much too late for Rube or anybody from his era.
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:16 PM (#1970722)
As I noted elsewhere, let's all please factor in for expansion era as well as greater integration.
If someone still wants to give a net plus to 1960s players over earlier players, that's fine, but first deduct a little something for expansion (certainly 1959 was tougher than 1962, for instance).
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:21 PM (#1970724)
I haven't examined Drysdale vs Pierce yet, but as I've noted with Waddell:
Strikeouts tend to be a great predictive element of success, going forward. Heck, my fantasy league team usually has a better K/9 ratio than anyone, and it's not even a category.
But once we're looking backward, I could care less how many guys you struck out. If the other guy's results are better, he's better. Who cares how the outs were made, unless someone thinks a pitcher 'got lucky' over and over for 4000 IP?
Waddell is off my ballot because he gave up lots of unearned runs, had a meager W-L record, and a reputation for being almost criminally dumb. That adds up for me to a guy who cost his team games compared to others with similar ERA+s.

I have Pierce fairly high, and would not surprised to see Drysdale up there as well. But it won't be because he struck lots of people out.
   37. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 18, 2006 at 01:07 PM (#1970749)
If someone still wants to give a net plus to 1960s players over earlier players, that's fine, but first deduct a little something for expansion (certainly 1959 was tougher than 1962, for instance).

Is this absolutely true? Wasn't the pace of integration quickening by this time, introducing more black and carribean/latino players into the game than in the 1950s? If so, I'd say a 1959 league wouldn't be much tougher than a 1962 league due to expansion. Furthermore, with more teams in the western states and the reigning in/affiliating of the PCL as a AAA league in the early to mid fifties (rather than continuing as an "open" or "unclassified" league) it also seems likely that scouting and player- development coverage would have been deepening throughout the period, opening more California and west coast players to teams than before.
   38. rawagman Posted: April 18, 2006 at 01:53 PM (#1970784)
Waddell is off my ballot because he gave up lots of unearned runs, had a meager W-L record,


Waddell: 193-143= .574
Drysdale: 209-166= .557
Pierce: 211-169= .555
Walters: 198-160= .553
Willis: 249-205= .548

Of course, there are also plenty of guys in the consideration set who have better winning % (also known as W-L records) than does Waddell, such as Gomez (189-102= .649 - don't think he cost his team too many games), but to say that Waddell's W-L record is unimpressive is not a very well thought out comment.
   39. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 18, 2006 at 02:56 PM (#1970846)
To me the big difference (or at least the difference) between Pierce and Drysdale is the fact that the latter has the better peak. It is better in WS, even in ERA+ (outside fo Pierce's big year), better in IP during most of those seasons, and certainly superior in WARP. Don't forget he was also a better hitter. With so many broderline pitchers, hitting really does matter, hell it is the reason why Dizzy Dean is below Drysdale and Walters and why Gomez isnt' going to make my ballot anytime soon.

So I guess for me Drysdal's 25 spot advantage over Pierce onmy 1975 ballto comes down to three things 1)#3 and #28 aren't too far apart in a backlong year, 2) Drysdale peak is superior or equal in every away but top year ERA+, and 3) Drysdale was a helluva hitter and Pierce wasn't.

Sometimes I think we tend to put too much weight on ERA+ and career IP, something we don't do as often with OPS+ and career AB's for hitters. I can be guilty of this as well, by the way, why is this?
   40. DavidFoss Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:05 PM (#1970850)
to say that Waddell's W-L record is unimpressive is not a very well thought out comment.

Its just outdated. Contemporaries McGinnity, Griffith and Joss all have better WPct's, so when Waddell was more closely examined it was probably true.

But yes, we should update this thinking as you've shown.
   41. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:10 PM (#1970860)
why is this?

I suspect this has something to do with the changing role of defense-independent outcomes over time. You can't really cite a CERA/PERA type stat very easily for pre-1960ish stats because the walk, K, and HR levels seemed to change all the time, especially relative to one another. This isn't a big deal for hitters because they generate runs in mostly the same ways, but as always seems to be the case, what's good for hitters isn't necessarily bad or good for pitchers; the importance/role of walks, ks, and HRs has changed based on the run environment and based on how many balls pitchers allow in play.

Or at least, that's my take on it. Too many variables sliding all the hell over the place that we can't get a firm enough grasp on what they really tell us. So it's just easier to say ERA+, refer to pitcher batting, check out the innings, double-check on the UER and RSI and call it a day.
   42. Chris Cobb Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:16 PM (#1970870)
3) Drysdale was a helluva hitter and Pierce wasn't.

Well, Drysdale was a bit above average as a hitter for a pitcher, and Pierce was a little below average, but Drysdale's hitting tends to be overrated because he had the one big year in 1965. By career OPS+

Drysdale 45
Pierce 19

Some better hitting eligible pitchers

Mays 82
Walters 69
Grimes 58

I would guess that, for his era, Drysdale was as good a hitter, for a pitcher, as Grimes, but we shouldn't get carried away with the idea that Drysdale was all that great with the bat.
   43. DavidFoss Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#1970882)
If Drysdale was all that great with the bat, he wouldn't suffer from the "run support issues" that he does.
   44. karlmagnus Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:32 PM (#1970899)
Drysdale/Mays looks to me very close indeed, with Mays boosted by hitting; they're both around the bottom of my ballot. IMHO he's not as good as Joss, Cicotte, Leever or Waddell.
   45. Chris Fluit Posted: April 18, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#1970958)
Tom H, and anyone else who might reply to one of my posts: though I don't mind being referred to as Chris F., you're also welcome to simply refer to me by my last name: Fluit. Chris is a pretty common name so I've gotten used to just being called Fluit over the years.
   46. OCF Posted: April 18, 2006 at 04:13 PM (#1971005)
In terms of age, Drysdale is being considered early. As of "now", he's still only 38 years old. He came up young, starred young, retired young, and died young. One concern with young candidates - are they being fairly compared to their true contemporaries? Of course, in this case, Koufax was considered even earlier and younger.

A few haphazardly selected pitchers, by birth year:

1931: Jim Bunning (not yet eligible in 1974)
1935: Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Jim Perry, Bob Veale
1936: Don Drysdale
1937: Juan Marichal
1938: Gaylord Perry
1939: Milt Pappas
1940: Jim Maloney
   47. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 18, 2006 at 04:31 PM (#1971059)
Goodpoint OCF. I also ran Bunning's numbers and he happens to grade out about evenly with Drysdale. I had always considered Bunning to be one of the VC's recent mistakes, but it turns out that he will most likely be PHOMed in 1976. Kinda makes me wonder if I am not somehow overrating 1960's pitchers, especially in contrast to the 1950's pitchers who threw in a more hostile environment.
   48. TomH Posted: April 18, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#1971127)
fine, Fluit. Takes me a mere 4 extra letters to type your name. Better than making everyone call me "Hanrahan", which gets butchered a lot. I'm still disappointed that Joel Hanrahan, prospect for the Dodgers, has takne a downturn and may not make the majors. Was hoping for the first-ever Hanrahan to appear in a boxscore.
   49. Chris Fluit Posted: April 18, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#1971208)
Over the years, I've had to content myself with cheering for a Flutie in football. It's not quite the same, though.
   50. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#1971449)
Is it pronounced like "fluid" or "flute" or none of the above?
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 08:03 PM (#1971532)
I'm still disappointed that Joel Hanrahan, prospect for the Dodgers, has takne a downturn and may not make the majors. Was hoping for the first-ever Hanrahan to appear in a boxscore.

I always thought it was cool that there was someone who played in the ML who had the same names as my brothers and myself (though I have the most famous one, of course :-D)
   52. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#1971552)
I would guess that, for his era, Drysdale was as good a hitter, for a pitcher, as Grimes, but we shouldn't get carried away with the idea that Drysdale was all that great with the bat.

Kind of like the Dave Kingman of pitchers, I guess.
   53. Chris Fluit Posted: April 18, 2006 at 08:32 PM (#1971650)
I pronounce it like "flute" but some of my cousins pronounce it more like "fluid."
   54. Jim Sp Posted: April 18, 2006 at 09:00 PM (#1971722)
Gotta get my Jim Spencer for the HoM campaign going. Hey, OBP isn't everything. Combined that always valuable 1B defense with timely hitting and intangibles. Eligible 1988, vote early and often!
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 09:04 PM (#1971732)
Looks like Double D will be #1 on my ballot. That's 3 pitchers born after 1870 that will appear on my ballot, Tom! :-D

Gotta get my Jim Spencer for the HoM campaign going. Hey, OBP isn't everything. Combined that always valuable 1B defense with timely hitting and intangibles. Eligible 1988, vote early and often!

Always liked him as a kid. Died way too young.
   56. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 18, 2006 at 09:27 PM (#1971779)
I'm still disappointed that Joel Hanrahan, prospect for the Dodgers, has takne a downturn and may not make the majors. Was hoping for the first-ever Hanrahan to appear in a boxscore.

At least Hanrahan has a chance. Try being named Chalek. The talent pool is wayyyy thinner.
   57. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 09:45 PM (#1971824)
Jim Spencer is deceased???
   58. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 18, 2006 at 10:10 PM (#1971888)
Maybe the RSIs will show a big diff?

All of those years are completely in the retrosheet era. A full SNWLR-style report can be done for 60-68 for Drysdale.

Failing that you can just check either this year or last year's Palmer/Gillette 'cyclopedia. Their SUP is essentially RSI only it's usually a little off (I think we're using slightly different park factors). Once in a (fairly rare) while it's way off. That's because I make errors.

My recollection is that RSI, like a w-l record projected from ERA+, suggests that Drysdale won fewer games than he "should have" given his run support and his runs allowed.

That's my recollection, too. IIRC, it's almost entirely a function of his '64 campaign where he parlayed an ERA+ of 159 and an RSI of 115 into a W/L record of 18-16. Ouch.

His career RSI (I remember this) is 100.02. That's as close to perfectly league average as anyone out there.

He also suffered from Marichal-Perry Syndrome as Koufax kept getting better run support while the two were Dodgers. This is especially odd because Koufax was by any standard a woeful hitting pitcher, and Drysdale was good. His run support was worse than it should've been over the course of his career.

Mays 82
Walters 69
Grimes 58

Drysdale 45

I would guess that, for his era, Drysdale was as good a hitter, for a pitcher, as Grimes, but we shouldn't get carried away with the idea that Drysdale was all that great with the bat.


I find it wildly unlikely that, adjusted for era, he was Grimes's equal. I haven't looked at my list of Pitcher OPS+s divided by decade in a while (I think it's among the stuff I emailed Dimino, though), but my memory is that a 45 in the 1960s would be far better than a 59 in the 1920s. He's behind Mays. He's probably behind Walters, but it seemed like every decade the avearge OPS+ for a pitcher went down by 10 points or so. I want to say by the 1960s it was around 0 but in the 1920s/30s it was in the 30s. Maybe 20s. As a hitter, he might be closer to Walters than Grimes.

Not sure if anyone's mentioned it yet, and I don't mean to imply that it's central to judging him here, but 58 straight scoreless innings is pretty f'ing cool, 1968 or no 1968.
   59. jimd Posted: April 18, 2006 at 10:33 PM (#1971940)
If so, I'd say a 1959 league wouldn't be much tougher than a 1962 league due to expansion.

A number of WARP versions back, I worked out the quality offsets being used. Assuming that these have not changed radically, then what Dr. Chaleeko is saying here is close to true. The effects of the first expansion were washed out in a couple of years. This wasn't true of the 1969 expansion which appeared to linger on for maybe 5 years or so.

With the first expansion, the effect on the NL was more drastic than the AL. That's because the existing NL teams made available next-to-nothing of ML quality to their two new teams. In contrast the AL at least provided some access to major-league quality players so that the new teams were better than AAA quality. (At this time, the two leagues were still operating as two independent entities, and each produced their own separate expansion drafts drawn entirely from their own players.)
   60. jimd Posted: April 18, 2006 at 10:44 PM (#1971971)
Failing that you can just check either this year or last year's Palmer/Gillette 'cyclopedia. Their SUP is essentially RSI only it's usually a little off

Do these methods average out the Run Support, or do they come up with a Win Probability for each game individually? An average means that a 20-run outburst in one game works out to about 10% extra for the year, while the Win Probability hands out one guaranteed win and moves on. I find the first technique potentially misleading.
   61. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 11:05 PM (#1972032)
Jim Spencer is deceased???

He died in 2004, Marc.
   62. jimd Posted: April 18, 2006 at 11:18 PM (#1972070)
but we shouldn't get carried away with the idea that Drysdale was all that great with the bat.

Pitcher's OPS+ for the dead-ball era is around 30, for the 60's and 70's under 10. (This is "true" OPS+ as in Total Baseball, not DH'ed OPS+ as in b-ref.com, which removes pitcher's PAs before calculating league averages.)

Drysdale had two signature seasons with the bat, 1958 and 1965, both times making a run at Ferrell's record of 9 HR's in a season as a pitcher, but falling short with 7. In 1958, he took advantage of the Colliseum, a Kingman-like 7 HR in 66 AB with only a .261 OBP, but Warren Spahn had a better season with the bat after park effects are factored in. In 1965 he apparently was channeling Bob Caruthers and posted a 140 OPS+, clearly deserving of a Silver Slugger had they given them out then. The rest of the time he was above average for a pitcher, but not a serious contender for an award (except by reputation).
   63. rawagman Posted: April 18, 2006 at 11:29 PM (#1972121)
I really don't think a pitcher's ability with the bat should be taken into consideration at all, except maybe as a career score. On a per-season basis, the sample sizes are too small to make a huge difference in anything.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: April 18, 2006 at 11:43 PM (#1972171)
"to say that Waddell's W-L record is unimpressive is not a very well thought out comment."

well, it was thought out OK, but the typing wasn't so good.

My point was that Waddell's W total and W-L pct is lower than you'd expect for the pure ERA+ and especially from the K totals, and I say that bad luck had nothing to do with it. Most of it, as far as I can tell, was his own fault, which is why he's off my ballot.
   65. DavidFoss Posted: April 18, 2006 at 11:51 PM (#1972211)
From MLB.com:

Only three pitchers in Major League history had less than 84 losses at the time of their 200th victory: Lefty Grove (83), Whitey Ford (79) and 1800s pitcher Bob Caruthers (74).
   66. DavidFoss Posted: April 18, 2006 at 11:52 PM (#1972217)
whoops... wrong thread...
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: April 19, 2006 at 12:21 AM (#1972356)
I really don't think a pitcher's ability with the bat should be taken into consideration at all, except maybe as a career score. On a per-season basis, the sample sizes are too small to make a huge difference in anything.

A pitcher's ability to hit has a significant impact on his games and bears consideration on both a seasonal and a career basis. In a single season, a pitcher does not have enough at bats for his performance to be a good indicator of his _ability_, but he does have enough at bats for his performance to have a noticeable impact (up to a win per year) on the outcome of his games, and, year by year, those impacts accumulate.

Given how similar the borderline candidates are, if a pitcher hitting gives him 5 wins over the course of his career better than an average-hitting pitcher, that ought to affect how they are ranked. The distinctions we are making now are far too fine for us to disregard the details.

We've done some studies in the past (anyone have the data handy?) that work out a rule-of-thumb conversion rate for OPS+ into ERA+.
   68. jimd Posted: April 19, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#1972368)
I really don't think a pitcher's ability with the bat should be taken into consideration at all,

Real value comes from those contributions, so they do count, at least for me. I give credit for "All-Star" seasons, the top N in MLB. For Drysdale in 1965, his batting is worth about 20 runs (value about 0.60 of ERA or 20 points of ERA+), and makes the difference between being in or out.
   69. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#1973196)
Just for fun, the top eligible pitchers on Bill James' WS rankings.

25. Dizzy Dean
33. Don Drysdale
38. Carl Mays
44. Lon Warneke
46. Don Newcombe
50. Eddie Cicotte
53. Rube Waddell
55. Wilbur Cooper
59. Billy Pierce
61. Virgil Trucks

62. Burleigh Grimes
67. Lefty Gomez
69. Bucky Walters
71. Urban Shocker
77. Tommy Bridges
78. Waite Hoyt
80. Addie Joss
82. Tony Mullane
84. Vic Willis
85. Eddie Rommel

89. Larry Jackson
90. Dolf Luque
91. George Uhle
92. Mel Harder
93. Babe Adams
94. Smokey Joe Wood
95. Bob Shawkey
96. Hippo Vaughn
97. Tommy Bond
99. Jesse Tannehill

100. Mel Parnell
   70. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#1973199)
Just for fun, the top eligible pitchers on Bill James' WS rankings.

25. Dizzy Dean
33. Don Drysdale
38. Carl Mays
44. Lon Warneke
46. Don Newcombe
50. Eddie Cicotte
53. Rube Waddell
55. Wilbur Cooper
59. Billy Pierce
61. Virgil Trucks

62. Burleigh Grimes
67. Lefty Gomez
69. Bucky Walters
71. Urban Shocker
77. Tommy Bridges
78. Waite Hoyt
80. Addie Joss
82. Tony Mullane
84. Vic Willis
85. Eddie Rommel

89. Larry Jackson
90. Dolf Luque
91. George Uhle
92. Mel Harder
93. Babe Adams
94. Smokey Joe Wood
95. Bob Shawkey
96. Hippo Vaughn
97. Tommy Bond
99. Jesse Tannehill

100. Mel Parnell
   71. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: April 19, 2006 at 07:42 AM (#1973353)
TomH,

BPro's ERA numbers for DERA and Translated ERA are scaled to a league average of 4.50. Translated ERA seems more DIPS-friendly than DERA, which helps Drysdale.

The case for Don Drysdale, point by point:

1. What is the value of Drysdale's hitting? As far as hitting goes, it is instructive to look at career RCAP. Bill James makes the argument that, as baseball has evolved, good-hitting pitchers have become rarer. For Drysdale, this explains why he was able to create 35 runs above position (a high total for a pitcher) despite a 45 OPS+. Take those 35 runs off of his career ER and his ERA goes from 2.95 to 2.86. His ERA+ jumps from 121 to 125, a modest and accurate credit for a pitcher of his hitting talents.

2. How does Drysdale compare to leading contemporary candidates? Drysdale's 125 ERA+ is seven points behind 1973's first-place inductee, Whitey Ford. However, Drysdale has about a 250 inning advantage (3432 to 3170) and accumulated that advantage in two fewer seasons. Just looking at the actual career IP and number of seasons played (14 for Drysdale, 16 for Ford), Drysdale averaged 245 IP per season, Ford 198.

In comparison to Pierce (with -4 RCAP for Pierce), Drysdale has a six-point advantage in ERA+, 125 to 119. He also has 125 innings on Pierce (3432 to 3307) in four fewer seasons. Drysdale has his 245 IP per season, but Pierce has just 184, about seven complete games per season.

Let's tilt the scales as much as we can in favor of Pierce. We'll remove his cups of coffee in Detroit and his last two years in San Francisco, giving him exactly 14 seasons. Coincidentially, he qualified for the ERA title in all 14 of those seasons. This raises his average seasonal IP to 221. However, Drysdale's career IP advantage grows to 339 (3432 to 3093).

If we take off the first and last seasons of Drysdale's career in the same manner, the career IP advantage drops to 177 (3270 to 3093), but the seasonal IP advantage rises to 52 (273 to 221).

To summarize, Drysdale was the more effective pitcher for more innings in his career and significantly more innings per season while pitching in the stronger of the two leagues.

3. What about Drysdale's clutch performance? To go back to Drysdale v. Ford, if the electorate decides to use "clutch performance" in pennant races as a demerit for Drysdale's candidacy, I would ask that they use it systematically for all players they evaluate. However, if they decide to look at World Series play, they would see that Drysdale matched his career ERA in 40 IP. Ford, postseason clutch hero that he is considered to be, obviously had more opportunities on that stage. His ERA is .04 lower than his career mark, hardly better than Drysdale.

4. Who are Drysdale's comparables and how have they fared in HOM voting?
Per the Sabermetric Encyclopedia, this is a list of pitchers with minimum 3400 IP and 100 ERA+ (not park-adjusted). There are 74 pitchers that meet these parameters:

(I only have the Encyclopedia through the 2003 season. This explains any discreapancies for active players.)

ERA                             RATE   PLAYER   LEAGUE   
1    Walter Johnson              149     2.17     3.24   
2    Lefty Grove                 144     3.06     4.42   
3    Greg Maddux                 140     2.89     4.05   
4    Roger Clemens               138     3.19     4.39   
5    Christy Mathewson           137     2.13     2.91   
6    Cy Young                    135     2.63     3.54   
7    Carl Hubbell                133     2.98     3.96   
8    Grover C Alexander          133     2.56     3.39   
9    Amos Rusie                  132     3.07     4.06   
10   Kid Nichols                 132     2.95     3.89   
11   Jim Palmer                  130     2.86     3.72   
12   Bob Feller                  128     3.25     4.16   
13   Tom Seaver                  128     2.86     3.66   
14   Tim Keefe                   127     2.62     3.34   
15   Warren Spahn                126     3.08     3.89   
16   John Clarkson               126     2.81     3.54
  
17   Don Drysdale                124     2.95     3.65
   
18   Juan Marichal               123     2.89     3.56   
19   Bob Gibson                  123     2.91     3.59   
20   Eddie Plank                 123     2.35     2.88   
21   Will White                  122     2.28     2.78   
22   Old Hoss Radbourn           122     2.67     3.26   
23   Red Faber                   120     3.15     3.79   
24   Tom Glavine                 119     3.43     4.07   
25   Ted Lyons                   118     3.67     4.34   
26   Jim McCormick               118     2.43     2.88   
27   Joe McGinnity               118     2.66     3.14   
28   Gaylord Perry               117     3.11     3.63   
29   Nolan Ryan                  116     3.19     3.72   
30   Eppa Rixey                  116     3.15     3.64   
31   Tony Mullane                116     3.05     3.53   
32   Bert Blyleven               115     3.31     3.81   
33   Wilbur Cooper               115     2.89     3.32   
34   Robin Roberts               115     3.40     3.91   
35   Red Ruffing                 115     3.80     4.36   
36   Mickey Welch                115     2.71     3.11   
37   Vic Willis                  114     2.63     3.01   
38   Charlie Buffinton           114     2.96     3.38   
39   Waite Hoyt                  114     3.59     4.08   
40   Don Sutton                  114     3.26     3.71   
41   Mel Harder                  113     3.80     4.30   
42   Jim Bunning                 113     3.27     3.70   
43   Steve Carlton               113     3.22     3.63   
44   Tommy John                  112     3.34     3.76   
45   Jack Quinn                  112     3.28     3.66   
46   Jerry Koosman               110     3.36     3.71   
47   Herb Pennock                110     3.61     3.97   
48   Phil Niekro                 110     3.35     3.68   
49   Ferguson Jenkins            110     3.34     3.66   
50   Early Wynn                  110     3.54     3.88   
51   Paul Derringer              109     3.46     3.78   
52   Luis Tiant                  109     3.30     3.61   
53   Catfish Hunter              109     3.26     3.55   
54   Claude Osteen               109     3.30     3.59   
55   Rick Reuschel               108     3.37     3.65   
56   Frank Tanana                108     3.66     3.96   
57   Pud Galvin                  108     2.87     3.11   
58   Dennis Martinez             108     3.70     3.99   
59   Burleigh Grimes             107     3.52     3.78   
60   Charlie Hough               107     3.75     3.99   
61   Bob Friend                  107     3.58     3.82   
62   Jack Powell                 106     2.97     3.15   
63   Jack Morris                 105     3.90     4.09   
64   Sad Sam Jones               105     3.84     4.02   
65   Jim Whitney                 105     2.97     3.11   
66   Jim Kaat                    104     3.45     3.60   
67   Bobo Newsom                 104     3.98     4.15   
68   Adonis Terry                103     3.72     3.82   
69   Gus Weyhing                 102     3.89     3.97   
70   Mickey Lolich               102     3.44     3.51   
71   Jerry Reuss                 101     3.64     3.68   
72   Joe Niekro                  101     3.59     3.64   
73   Earl Whitehill              100     4.36     4.38   
74   George Mullin               100     2.82     2.81   


In short, we have elected or will elect every single pitcher eligible with a similar career record to Don Drysdale, with the exception of noted 1880s American Association star Will "Whoop-La" White. In the face of all of this evidence, it boggles my mind to read that Drysdale is "just off [of the ballot] in the 16-20 range", "definitely trailing Waddell and Gomez", "around the bottom of my ballot", "off my ballot", "could drop off the ballot", "Drysdale at #50". As far as pitchers go, Drysdale is the clear #1 hurler on this year's ballot. He'll be #1 overall on mine.
   72. karlmagnus Posted: April 19, 2006 at 12:15 PM (#1973416)
By setting the bar at 3400IP you have artificially put a bar just below Drysdale, leaving out a number of pitchers with only marginally fewer innings and better ERA+. Having said that, I think Drysdale's HOM-able, slightly better than Koufax, and on the bottom third of my ballot where he trails a number of noble and misunderstood oldsters whom the electorate has so far strangely ignored (one of whom, Sisler, they may not ignore this year.)

His hitting is a plus, but nothing like Carl Mays'
   73. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2006 at 12:46 PM (#1973429)
Finally got around to looking at my pitcher ratings. For 1975 I expect to have them something like this.

Definitely On Ballot

1. Waddell
2. Mendez
3. Joss
4. Bond

Probably On Ballot

5. Redding

Maybe On Ballot

6. Drysdale
(Griffith)
(Ruffing)
7. Dean

Off Ballot/Top 30

8. Cicotte
(Wynn)
9. Hilton Smith

Off Ballot/Maybe Top 30

10. Gomez
(Faber)
11. Walters

Off Ballot/Probably 31-50

12. Luque
13. McCormick
14. W. Cooper
15. Mullane
16. Pierce
17. Bridges

Under Consideration/Below Top 50

18. Willis
(Ferrell)
19. S.King
20. Welch
21. Grimes
22. Mays
   74. rawagman Posted: April 19, 2006 at 12:51 PM (#1973432)
Agreeing with karlmagnus on the IP factor there. What's special about 3400IP?

A few other things I've noticed while looking at my "best friend, Lefty" and DD.
Some have discussed in season durability. So I looked at each pitcher's prime years and compared their IP's to their fellow pitchers (same team). That helps me confine it to the patterns of usage by the manager.
Lefty's prime was 1931-1938.
In those 8 years, he lead the Yanks in IP 5 times, once he was 1/3 IP below Ruffing another time was 8 1/3 IP behind RR. The other time, his down year of '36, he missed a few starts and his effectiveness was down, which suggests an injury - especially as he came back in '37 to have his best season, winning the AL pitching triple crown.

DD's prime was '57-68. Some might argue 57-66.
In those 12 years, he led the Dodgers in IP 7 times. He was second 4 times (twice a distant second) and third once.

I also looked at both pitchers in the WS. That was convenient as each pitcher had 7 WS games pitched (all starts for Lefty, 6 for DD)
Lefty: 7 G, 7 GS, 50.3 IP, 6-0, 2.86
DD: 7G, 6 GS, 39.7 IP, 3-3, 2.95

Take this info with however many grains of salt as you wish
   75. rawagman Posted: April 19, 2006 at 01:05 PM (#1973437)
don't get me wrong, though - I'm not ragging on DD. He was a wonderful pitcher, one is worthy of a place in the HoM. But I have to find a way to look at everyone with a level head and rank them accordingly. Right now, DD is 20th overall. 5-6 amongst pitchers.
   76. Howie Menckel Posted: April 19, 2006 at 01:21 PM (#1973448)
162 IP minimum, listing all 100 ERA+ seasons:

EppRixey 144 43 42 39 36 29 24 15 15 13 10 09 09
BuGrimes 152 44 38 36 31 23 08 08 08 03
EarlWynn 154 42 36 35 26 18 15 10 09 03
BPierce 201 148 41 36 33 24 15 13 08 07 07 05 04 03
Drysdale 154 49 40 29 28 22 18 17 15 13


Pierce is an odd case because his 201 is not a top-10 IP season. Otherwise, he looks very similar to the rest, except...

EppRixey top 10 in IP: 1 3 3 3 4 7 8 8 9 9
BuGrimes top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 3 3 4 7 9 9 9
EarlWynn top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 6 6 6 6 7
Drysdale top 10 in IP: 1 1 2 2 4 5 5 5 9 9 10
BiPierce top 10 in IP: 3 3 3 5 5 7

Drysdale was indeed the bulldog that guys like Grimes and Wynn were, and he held his ground in lesser seasons better than Wynn.

I had it Redding-Griffith-Wynn-Pierce-Grimes on my 1970 ballot when Wynn was elected. Drysdale will battle Redding for the top P spot on my ballot; if Drysdale wins that one, he could beat Beckley for a No. 1 vote, assuming I don't have Boyer that high (haven't looked at him yet). This is even keeping in mind that it can be dangerous to elect a fella before his peers come along.


The other 3 white Ps on the 1974 ballots who collected at least 100 pts: Waddell, Walters, and Welch:

Waddell 179 79 65 53 26 25 23 21 07 02
Walters 168 52 46 40 27 23 07
MiWelch 161 41 30 19 17 14 12 10 07

Top 10 in IP:
Waddell 3 4 4 10
Walters 1 1 1 4 6 6 8 8
MiWelch 2 3 4 4 5 5 6 8 8

Waddell has the best ERA+s of the whole pack thru 8 seasons deep, but he suffers terribly in the durability list - even moreso than Pierce. Throw in the unearned-run issue, among other things, and it's not so surprising that he's not getting a lot of support. I suspect in RA+ that Waddell comes all the way back to this pack, no?

Walters was 168-152-127 in 1939-41, before the war heated up in the U.S., then 123-(93)-146-140 from 1942-45.

Welch was pitching even before ERA existed; the conditions were so utterly different that his numbers are more for amusement purposes than anything else. He wasn't his era's best pitcher, but he was up there. I sometimes have him at the bottom of my ballot.
   77. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 19, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#1973449)
But the most important question:

Mendez vs. Drysdale?

I'm in the Mendez camp (as everyone knows).
   78. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2006 at 03:42 AM (#1975960)
"By setting the bar at 3400IP you have artificially put a bar just below Drysdale, leaving out a number of pitchers with only marginally fewer innings and better ERA+."

Hugely important to note this karl.

James, how about making the list 3000-3800 IP and ERA+ 119-129. That will give a group of pitchers that are truly comparable to Drysdale. Your list just puts Drysdale in a group of pitchers that include many that aren't comparable at all - no way he belongs on a list with Lefty Grove and Walter Johnson, for example.

But even then, it would still not adjust for his HUGE park advantage.
   79. OCF Posted: April 20, 2006 at 04:31 AM (#1976020)
I have Drysdale's RA+ PythPat record at 209-157, without adjusting for his own hitting. That adjustment wouldn't be huge - maybe a couple of games. He's got best equivalent years of 21-9 (1960), 23-13 (1964), 17-7 (1957) and 20-15 (1962). His innings per decision are normal. Here are some others with somehwat similar equivalent Fibonacci win points:

Bridges 190-124
Cicotte 209-149
Shocker 181-117
Koufax 163-95
Ferrell 177-115 (hitting adjusted)
Warnecke 184-128
Luque 203-154
Gomez 169-109
Joss 161-98

Trying to equate those on a level field would be equating an IP in 1958 with an IP in 1906. You've got to look at the records of Cicotte, Luque, and Joss with and understand the innings were easier to come by. But innings were also starting to get easier to come by in the 60's. Pitching 300+ innings in a season, effectively, is certainly a workhorse accomplishment, but it was easier to Drysdale to do that than it was for Ferrell.

Drysdale is a peak candidate. But Koufax and Ferrell had bigger peaks (and they're the elected ones on this list). An Gomez may have had a bigger peak, but I have not yet adjusted these for the quality of the defense behind the pitcher, probably something Gomez had an advantage on.

So far, I'm more confused than anything else. Drysdale could rank anywhere from #1 to #40 for me - I may not decide until the moment I cast my ballot.
   80. OCF Posted: April 20, 2006 at 04:53 AM (#1976075)
My recollection is that RSI, like a w-l record projected from ERA+, suggests that Drysdale won fewer games than he "should have" given his run support and his runs allowed.

That's my recollection, too. IIRC, it's almost entirely a function of his '64 campaign where he parlayed an ERA+ of 159 and an RSI of 115 into a W/L record of 18-16. Ouch.


I've got his RA+ for 1964 estimated as 144. As I said above, that gives an equivalent record of 23-13, so he was 5 wins light and 3 losses heavy.

But on the scale of his whole career, at least a little of Drysdale's apparent "underachieving" is jut the Pythaganport correction - pitching in an extreme low-run environment, a certain good RA+ wouldn't be expected to produce as good a winning percentage as the same RA+ in a higher-run environment.
   81. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2006 at 09:21 AM (#1976289)
I just plugged Drysdale into my system, and he comes out as the top available pitcher. I'm a huge Pierce guy, and I have Drysdale slightly ahead.

I see them as basically equal on my DERA/tIP scale, which looks at runs prevented above a 5.5/9 IP baseline. Average for DERA is 4.50, so I think 5.50 is a reasonable replacement level. I'd go to 6.00 before I'd go to 5.00 or 4.50. I'm not a big fan at all of RSAA. I adjust for war credit, and weak leagues like AA of 1880s or Federal League.

Essentially Pierce prevented 606 runs over replacement, Drysdale 603.

So it comes down to peak. For peak, I use WARP1, adjusted for a weak league like the AA in the 1880s or the Federal League, war years. I also adjust for war credit, although it's rarely an issue on the peak scale.

Drysdale's peak score in my system is 35.1, Pierce's is 24.4. My peak score is kind of goofy, but it works for me.

I take the pitcher's best year, subtract 7 and multiply by 4. I take his second best year, subtract 7 and multiply by 3. I take his 3rd best year, subtract 7 and multiply by 2. Then I take his 4th and 5th best years, added together and subtract 14. Drysdale beats Pierce on all 4 components, so the weighting doesn't matter.

Finally, I look at translated Fibonacci Translated Win Points (FTWP). I count saves as 1/5 of a win. Drysdale gets 291, Pierce 270.

To combine them, I take my RSAR based of DERA and tIP, I add in the FTWP and I mulitply the peak score by 5 and add that in.

Drysdale scores at 1069, Pierce 998.

I'm not a slave to the system. I look at pitcher's by era too, and try to make sure I weigh the eras equally, but it's an eyeball thing. The scores are lower for the deadball guys for example. Probably because of their shorter careers.

Among eligible pitchers and HoMers, the top scores (HoMers in italics) are below.


Johnson 2290
Young 2060
Alexander 1886
Feller 1741
Spahn 1664
- question - was he late getting back in 1946, hurt or did he start the year in the minors? As of now, I haven't given him war credit, but I could see adding two league average seasons. That would bump him to 1727.
Grove 1653
Mathewson 1547
Roberts 1466
Nichols 1416
Lyons 1246
Hubbell 1223
Clarkson 1218
Rusie 1207
Newhouser 1162
Ford 1133
Vance 1128
Wynn 1121
Plank 1103

Walsh 1090
Faber 1074
Drysdale 1069
Ruffing 1036
Pierce 998
Coveleski 989
Rixey 965
Trucks 954
Koufax 953
Radbourn 947
Galvin 941
Ferrell 936
Lemon 925
Bridges 920
Trout 915 (highest peak score of the post 1893 eligible non-electees)
Leonard 902
McGinnity 883
Grimes 874
Harder 867
Walters 853
Shocker 846
Waddell 844
Newsom 844
Cicotte 835
Keefe 831
Newcombe 820
Willis 819
Brown 818
Luque 817
Hoyt 779
Quinn 774
Pennock 772
Dean 768
Gomez 763
Jackson 759
Dickson 742
Mays 717
Simmons 710
Cooper 682
Welch 677
McCormick 656
Caruthers 655
Mullane 648
Chesbro 573
Joss 570
Marquard 554
Haines 548
Bender 538
Leever 482

Limitations of the sytsem - anyone with exactly 5 good years will be overrated by the peak factor.

Also doesn't take hitting into account, except in the peak factor. Hitting will increase your WARP, so however much it impacts the WARP portion of the peak score is how much it will impact this system.

Let's say a pitcher gets an extra 1.5 WARP1 in each of his 5 best pitching seasons, over an average hitter for a pitcher. That would net him 82 points overall in the system. So you can use that to guage how much I'm over or underrating hitting for pitchers. 1.0 WARP1 for hitting each of the 5 years would net 55 points.

What I could do, if someone could post BRAP (Batting Runs Above Position) for these guys, is add that (or subtract) to the RSAR factor. Then hitting would be fully accounted for.

It's best when you break the lists down by era. Basically the guys that stand out for their era, I vote for. The guys that are 'in the pack' for their era need something extra to get me over the top on supporting them.
   82. sunnyday2 Posted: April 20, 2006 at 09:44 AM (#1976294)
After reading the article on Fibonocci Loss Points, I thought I would look back at FWP. James has this chart in his book The Politics of Glory.

Vida Blue 166 Fibonocci Win Points
Cuellar164
Bunning 163
Pappas 162
J.Perry 160
Drysdale 159
Pierce 157

These are middling pitchers by FWP. Some upcoming candidates include Tommy Jone 217, Phil Niekro 215, Jim Kaat 200.

Some others are Waite Hoyt 189, Catfish Hunter 187, Dizzy Dean 164, Waddell 155, Rube Marquard 151.

Mullane 226, Buffinton 222, Leever 221, Mays 212, Tannehill 205.

Now that I look at it, maybe all of these results simply say this is not much of a method. 'Course it's based on W-L.
   83. Billdilli Posted: April 20, 2006 at 09:54 AM (#1976296)
Just passing through. Saw this on another sight and it surprised me. From 1962-1966 Drysdale was 19-2 versus the Mets and 72-64 against the rest of the league. Breakdown was 14-10 against Milwaukee, 12-8 Chicago, 9-7 Cincinnati, 5-10 Philadelphia, 11-9 St. Louis and 12-11 versus San Francisco. I don't know if these are right because I just copied them.
   84. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2006 at 10:02 AM (#1976300)
By era:

1880-92
Clarkson 1218
Radbourn 947
Galvin 941
<u>Keefe 831</u>

Welch 677
McCormick 656
Caruthers 655
Mullane 648

We're good here. Very noticable dropoff. Caruthers wouldn't be in without the hitting.

1893-early 1900s
Young 2060
Nichols 1416
Rusie 1207
Griffith 802


I need to run through some of the other guys, like Stivetts, Killen, Mercer, Cuppy, etc. - just to see where Griffith and Rusie really stand. Just haven't had the time and it's low priority, now that Griffith is in.

Deadball
Mathewson 1547
Plank 1103
Walsh 1090
<u>McGinnity 883
</u>
Waddell 844
Cicotte 835
Willis 819
Brown 818
Chesbro 573
Joss 570
Bender 538
Leever 482

Well there's a huge gap. If that's really the dropoff, you could make a case for Waddell, Cicotte and Willis. I'm guessing that there are many pitchers between Brown and Chesbro that I'm missing. If anyone wants to offer suggestions for who to add, please do. I'm starting to think more and more than Three-Finger may have been a mistake. But he was under-utilized, which probably increased his effectiveness but limited his innings. Not sure if that's enough of a reason to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Deadball/Roaring 20s
Johnson 2290
Alexander 1886
Faber 1070
Coveleski 989
<u>Rixey 965</u>

Grimes 874
Shocker 846
Quinn 774
Pennock 772
Mays 717
Cooper 682
Marquard 554

I think we've hit the nail on the head for the deadball/liveball transition pitchers. Or the spitball/grandfathered pitchers. Grimes and Shocker are clearly the only remaining candidates from this group.

Pre WWII
Grove 1653
Lyons 1246
Hubbell 1223
Vance 1128
Ruffing 1037
Ferrell 936

<u>Bridges 920</u>
Harder 867
Luque 817
Hoyt 779
Dean 768
Gomez 763
Haines 548

Once again, we done did good. Well almost. I see no reason to draw the line between Ferrell and Bridges. After Bridges, no real viable candidates remaining, except for maybe Harder and Luque.

Pitched before, during and after WWII
Feller 1741
Newhouser 1162

Trucks 954
Dizzy Trout 915
Dutch Leonard 902
Bucky Walters 853
Bobo Newsom 844

I can't draw the line - but if I had to, I'd say at least one of Trucks, Trout, Leonard or Walters should be in. I like Trucks the best. This area is noticeably grey, because of the war. Without the war, one or two of the four would have probably had a significantly better career and one or two may have gotten hurt and had a worse career - all we can do is guess and it makes it grey for all. Also note Walters will be higher when we account for his hitting.

Centered on the 1950s
Spahn 1727 (or 1664)
Roberts 1466
Ford 1133
Wynn 1121

Pierce 998
<u>Lemon 925</u>
Newcombe 820
Dickson 742
Simmons 710

Why are we missing on Pierce? I just don't get it.

Centered on the 1960s
Drysdale 1069
<u>Koufax 953</u>
Jackson 759

We need to add some others from this era to guage where we are. BTW, Koufax's peak score is 39.4, Drysdale's 35.1 (Newhouser's is 61.0, even after war deflation). Part of the reason they are close is hitting (DD very good, SK, very, very bad), part of that is that Sandy's peak is a little overrated and Drysdale's a little underrated. Drysdale beats him 291-258 on the FTWP, and 603-498 on DERA/tIP. I think both are clearly above wherever the line will end up being drawn.

As of right now, I have Drysdale ahead of Pierce. That means he'll be in my top 5. I will probably run the pitchers who have retired prior to 1975 but aren't eligible yet before the week is out, so I can get a better deal of where Drysdale is compared to his contemporaries. If it's further behind them than Pierce is behind Wynn and Ford, I may keep Pierce ahead. Either way, they are very close.
   85. Billdilli Posted: April 20, 2006 at 10:14 AM (#1976302)
Sorry to butt in and then make a mistake. Drysdale was 7-5 versus the Reds and 9-7 versus Houston. So it is 79-69 in those mentioned seasons without the NY Mets.
   86. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2006 at 10:19 AM (#1976303)
sunny - I agree on the Fibonacci points - I don't love it, so it has minimal weight in my system. I do think it's reasonably accurate. Generally a pitcher with 200 was more valuable than one with 150 and one with 250 was more valuable than one with 200. I wanted to account for the translated W-L records at least a little bit. But the range is small, so it doesn't have a huge impact on my system.

The main thing is the DERA/tIP. I'm very confident that that is a strong way to rate pitchers career wise. My peak metric gets weighted anywhere from -35 for a guy like Haines to over 500 for a Walter Johnson, so I think that can have a significant impact, but it's not the driving force. Which basically describes what I think, career value is by far the most important thing, but you should at least account for major differences in peak, and peak is also a very reasonable tie-breaker.
   87. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: April 20, 2006 at 11:12 AM (#1976305)
List #1 - All pitchers with 115-130 ERA+* and 3000-3800 actual IP
Pitcher         ERA+*   w/RCAPIPIP/season
Stan Coveleski1271233082272
Eddie Cicotte1231223223247
Silver King1231233191307
Juan Marichal1221223507259
Joe McGinnity1211183441341
Don Drysdale1211253432273
Clark Griffith1211253386284
Will White1201143543364
Billy Pierce1191193307221
Dutch Leonard1191173218224
Carl Mays1191273021276
Dolf Luque1171213220244
Wilbur Cooper1161203480273
Chuck Finley1151153197210 


Let's change the parameters to include only those pitchers with 3000-3800 Translated IP, per BPro:

Pitcher        ERA+IPIP/season
Curt Schilling1283348259
Bob Gibson1273626241
John Smoltz1263388249
Juan Marichal1223256240
Dave Stieb1223086246
Don Drysdale1213287261
David Cone1203374253
Kevin Appier1203017237
Red Faber1193739212
Billy Pierce1193428229
Dutch Leonard1193192222
Dolf Luque1173061232
Wilbur Cooper1163148247
Chuck Finley1153671241 
   88. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: April 20, 2006 at 11:21 AM (#1976313)
List #1 - All pitchers with 115-130 ERA+* and 3000-3800 actual IP
Pitcher.........ERA+*w/RCAPIPIP/season
Stan Coveleski..1271233082272
Eddie Cicotte.....1231223223247
Silver King........1231233191307
Juan Marichal....1221223507259
Joe McGinnity....1211183441341
Don Drysdale....1211253432273
Clark Griffith.....1211253386284
Will White.........1201143543364
Billy Pierce.......1191193307221
Dutch Leonard..1191173218224
Carl Mays.........1191273021276
Dolf Luque........1171213220244
Wilbur Cooper...1161203480273
Chuck Finley.....1151153197210


Let's change the parameters to include only those pitchers with 3000-3800 Translated IP, per BPro:

Pitcher...........ERA+IPIP/season
Curt Schilling..1283348259
Bob Gibson.....1273626241
John Smoltz....1263388249
Juan Marichal..1223256240
Dave Stieb......1223086246
Don Drysdale..1213287261
David Cone.....1203374253
Kevin Appier...1203017237
Red Faber.......1193739212
Billy Pierce.....1193428229
Dutch Leonard.1193192222
Dolf Luque.....1173061232
Wilbur Cooper.1163148247
Chuck Finley...1153671241
   89. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: April 20, 2006 at 11:31 AM (#1976316)
Notes and comments about these numbers:
1. ERA+ is the park-adjusted figure from Baseball Reference.
2. W/RCAP is what their ERA+ would look like after their hitting (RCAP) was credited to their raw ERA. Drysdale, Griffith, Mays, Luque and Cooper all created at least 30 runs above position over the course of their careers. Mays created 61 in a relatively low-run context, which explains his eight-point jump in ERA+.
3. I feel that BPro's IP translations overrate contemporary (1990-2005) pitchers, which is why I average Translated IP with actual IP in my system.

List #1 - All pitchers with 115-130 ERA+* and 3000-3800 actual IP
Pitcher.........ERA+*.....w/RCAP.....IP.....IP/season
Stan Coveleski..127.....123.........3082......272
Eddie Cicotte.....123.....122.........3223......247
Silver King........123.....123.........3191......307
Juan Marichal....122.....122.........3507......259
Joe McGinnity....121.....118.........3441......341
Don Drysdale....121.....125.........3432......273
Clark Griffith.....121.....125.........3386......284
Will White.........120.....114.........3543......364
Billy Pierce.......119.....119.........3307......221
Dutch Leonard..119.....117.........3218......224
Carl Mays.........119.....127.........3021......276
Dolf Luque........117.....121.........3220......244
Wilbur Cooper...116.....120.........3480......273
Chuck Finley.....115.....115.........3197......210

Let's change the parameters to include only those pitchers with 3000-3800 Translated IP, per BPro:

Pitcher...........ERA+.....IP.....IP/season
Curt Schilling..128.....3348.....259
Bob Gibson.....127.....3626.....241
John Smoltz....126.....3388.....249
Juan Marichal..122.....3256.....240
Dave Stieb......122.....3086.....246
Don Drysdale..121.....3287.....261
David Cone.....120.....3374.....253
Kevin Appier...120.....3017.....237
Red Faber.......119.....3739.....212
Billy Pierce.....119.....3428.....229
Dutch Leonard.119.....3192.....222
Dolf Luque.....117.....3061.....232
Wilbur Cooper.116.....3148.....247
Chuck Finley...115.....3671.....241
   90. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: April 20, 2006 at 11:37 AM (#1976317)
One more note...

4. IP/season is figured by the seasonal notation method that I use (explained in earlier posts)

...and a comment:

Joe,

Thank you for posting an explanation of your methodology, along with the actual numbers. This kind of transparency is helpful to our evaluation of candidates and makes us more informed voters.
   91. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2006 at 01:00 PM (#1976359)
Thanks James, glad it helps. I think it's important to spell it all out, so 1) people know where I'm coming from, and 2) if I'm botching something, someone can tell me :-)

I like those lists a lot. Only thing I'd change is to cut off the 2nd list at 3550, since Drysdale only had 3287 IP there. So I'd drop Gibson, Faber and Finley. If they get to stay, it should probably have pitchers with 2750-3000 IP on it too, which would keep Drysdale in the middle of the group. But it's still a pretty nice group to be a part of.

Also reminds me of how underrated Kevin Appier is likely to be historically. He should have won the 1993 AL Cy Young, and was arguably the best pitcher not named Clemens in the AL in the early 90s. Heck, he's not even that far off Clemens in the early 90s.
   92. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 20, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#1976523)
Joe,

Is it possible you could completely spell out how Pierce gest such a high grade in your system? I must say that he doesn't look that good in mine, the only reason he is in my top 30 is that so many people seem to think he is HOM worthy.

He doesn't have a very high peak, he pitched in the weaker league, he doesn't get war credit, he doesn't have an especially high ERA+ not did he pitch many innings, either per season or for his career, he doesn't seem to have been anything special with the bat, and I haven't yet been convinced that he desrves any extra credit for any strategic usage pattern, a la Whitey Ford.

It's possible that players with no distinguishing features get underrated in my system (I don't understand the big support for Joe Sewell either) but I really see someone who isn't any better than Don Newcombe (who may be better with NeL credit), and not really a HOMer.

The biggest thing he has going for him is that he was twice the WS Cy Young award winner.
   93. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 20, 2006 at 03:16 PM (#1976535)
And I think that Drysdale was much better. Better peak in both WS and WARP, Two WS Cy Youngs despite sharing a prime with the peaks of Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson (the AL of the 1950's doesn't seem to have had the great pitchers that the NL of the 1960's did. We have elected Ford and Wynn but neither was Gibson or Koufax at their best, not to mention Marichal), better hitter (which goes into the WS and WARP advantages, I admit), tougher league in overall talent, higher ERA+, more IP per season and overall.
   94. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 20, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#1976553)
but I really see someone who isn't any better than Don Newcombe (who may be better with NeL credit), and not really a HOMer.

I like Pierce a little bit better even after proper credit for Newk, Mark, but overall I agree with you.
   95. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2006 at 10:27 PM (#1977686)
jimd
If so, I'd say a 1959 league wouldn't be much tougher than a 1962 league due to expansion.

A number of WARP versions back, I worked out the quality offsets being used. Assuming that these have not changed radically, then what Dr. Chaleeko is saying here is close to true. The effects of the first expansion were washed out in a couple of years.


1962 was year one in Drysdale's NL.
(I wouldn't put much weight on one big year myself. So the coincidences or lack thereof for Drysdale's big year by ERA+ with his league's expansion or with his big year at bat wouldn't make much difference.)


Rube Waddell's playing time:
suspensions and AWOLs


John McGraw's playing time:
After reading hundreds of ~1900 game stories I understand that contemporary causes of downtime may be classified thus.
- discipline (<u>ejection</u> from game, <u>suspension</u> by club or league)
- economics (<u>holdout</u> for money or for choice of team or location or for promotion, collective action)
- injury (<u>self-injury</u> by hard play, <u>target</u> of dirty play, sheer bad luck)
- <u>illness</u> or exhaustion
- <u>management</u> (eg, scouting and recruiting by captain or field manager)
------
- family (illness, death, birth)
- war (civilian "war work" or military service by choice or not)
- carefreedom, free spirit (inspired by Waddell)

McGraw missed playing time for a great variety of causes, almost all of those above the line,
   96. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2006 at 10:30 PM (#1977691)
'Chalek' is not in the Hamrick selection from US Census data.
'Murphy' is common everywhere but most common here in Massachusetts.
surnames distribution by US state
   97. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 21, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#1978063)
jscmeagol - regarding Pierce:

3.91 DERA in 3428.3333 translated IP. That gives him 606 RSAR. That places him 20th among all pitchers in the consideration set. That's above every single eligible unelected pitcher, except for Bridges. The people close:

Vance 634
Bridges 631
Faber 631
Pierce 606
Drysdale 603
Newhouser 590
Leonard 578
Coveleski 572
Trucks 569

That's everyone within 50 in either direction.

Next my peak score - 24.4 - that puts him in 40th place. The nearby group:

Early Wynn 29.4
Lefty Gomez 28.6
Ted Lyons 28.2
Mel Harder 27.0
Carl Mays 25.2
Billy Pierce 24.4
Eddie Plank 24.3
Virgil Trucks 24.2
Vic Willis 22.9
Red Ruffing 22.0
Jack Chesbro 22.0
Herb Pennock 19.4

That's everyone within 5.0 in either direction.

Some might wonder - how can his peak be so close to Gomez? Gomez' numbers are 11.1, 10.7, 8.3, 12.5 (years 4&5 are combined) - Pierce is 9.9, 9.3, 8.9, 16.1. So while Gomez had the bigger two years, they weren't that much bigger. And Pierce is ahead on years 3-4-5.

Everyone in the group above had a best year between 9.5 and 11.1 (Pierce 9.9), except Chesbro at 13.5. The year 2's were between 8.3 and 10.7 (Pierce 9.3), except Chesbro at 6.9. The year 3's were 8.3 - 9.2, except Chesbro at 6.7 and Pennock at 7.5 (Pierce 8.9) and the year 4/5's were between 13.3 and 17.0 except Gomez at 12.5 and Chesbro at 10.9 (Pierce 16.1).

Pierce top 2 years aren't huge, but his prime is actually quite good and bumps him up. If all someone looks at is top 2 or 3 years, they are going to underrate Pierce.

Finally, I look at translated Fibonacci win points. Pierce has 270 (245-142, with 32 saves), which nets him 14tb place on the list. He's kind of in no-man's land those within 25 either way:

Drysdale 291
Pierce 270
Newhouser 266
Trucks 264
Hubbell 263
Koufax 258
Newcombe 255
Simmons 254
Plank 254
Rusie 249
Faber 245
Lemon 245

Pierce is at the top of the pack - he's behind guys like Lyons (330), Ford (326), Wynn (312), but ahead of the next back of pitchers that includes numerous HoMers. Drysdale and Pierce at the highest non HoMers by this measure.

It's a minor measure - in a system that ranges from 2290 (Walter Johnson) to 482 (Sam Leever), this number is only weighted 1x, so it only accounts for 1 point difference per TFWP.

So in summary Pierce rates highly because he has the most RSAR of any eligible pitcher that isn't Bridges. He has the most TFWP of anyone that isn't name Drysdale. And his peak, while not outstanding is in the middle of a group that includes 4 HoMers, and ahead of 5 HoMers, including 2 no brainers (Plank and Ford), so it's by no means a deal-breaker, while it isn't a plus, it isn't a negative either. He's the 2nd best pitcher available.

I seriously don't even look at ERA+, other than at a glance. It's way too polluted IMO.

BTW, for relievers (Roy Face on the ballot this year!), I'll probably work XIP into the rankings, as that is the best retrospective attempt to account for leverage that I've seen. If anyone has knowledge of anything better, please let me know.
   98. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 22, 2006 at 07:43 AM (#1981575)
Note, I just added Don Newcombe to the lists above. Somehow I'd never run him through the system, I was just eyeballing his extra credit. Now I've quantified it, thanks Chris Cobb on the translations.
   99. DavidFoss Posted: April 22, 2006 at 02:46 PM (#1981679)
Pierce above Hubbell in TFWP?

These 'translated' statistics have come out of nowhere the past week or two. How are they calculated? Can we trust them? I thought they were a bit of a "toy" calculation. You know, 684 career homers for Sam Crawford... that type of thing. Fun stuff, how seriously should we take them? How often are they going to be redone?
   100. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 22, 2006 at 05:58 PM (#1981983)
Pierce above Hubbell in TFWP?

Yeah, that one also doesn't compute with me at all, David.
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