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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Lefty Gomez

Lefty Gomez

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:12 PM | 89 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:23 PM (#1211686)
"El Goofy" was "El Overrated," IMO, but the HOFer deserves his own thread.
   2. OCF Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:50 PM (#1211769)
Let's put Chris J.'s numbers and mine side-by-side. The first column here is straight from Chris's website; the second column is mine, RA+ Pythpat equivalent record.

Year  RSI     RA+ PythPat
1930   2- 5    3- 4
1931  19-11   18- 9
1932  20-11   15-14
1933  15-11   14-12
1934  24- 7   23- 8
1935  14-13   16-11
1936  12- 8   11-10
1937  21-11   23- 8
1938  18-12   17- 9
1939  12- 8   14- 8
1940   3- 3    1- 2
1941  13- 7    9- 8
1942   4- 6    4- 5
1943   0- 1    0- 0

Totl 177-114  169-109

Note that I have him with somewhat fewer decisions. His 8.60 IP/decision isn't terribly unusual but it is a little on the low side. There are three things mine could be adjusted for:

1. Defensive support: from what Chris said, his defensive support looks good, but the effect isn't huge.

2. Quality of opposition: Chris has him disproportionately facing better teams; that may nearly balance out the defensive support.

3. His own offense, which was lousy.

Without any of those adjustments, I have him right next to Joss. Also in the neighborhood: Root, Luque, Shawkey, Warneke.

A fine pitcher, but not enough to make my ballot.
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: March 22, 2005 at 10:52 PM (#1211777)
Boy, I don't know, that is one hell of a peak. Can't imagine anybody seriously preferring Dizzy Dean. The peak/career divide ought to be pretty clearly defined by Gomez and Lyons, though for the moment I have both on my list. I could see both not ever make it into the HoM, but for Lyons in particular that is a question of timing, because I also cannot imagine anybody preferring Faber to Lyons. But I cannot imagine anybody preferring Rixey to Lyons and, as has been noted, it seems to happen.
   4. OCF Posted: March 22, 2005 at 11:23 PM (#1211868)
Hmm, yes, he does have a very nice peak. I do have that "big seasons bonus score" in my system, and his score of 46 there is ahead of all of his contemporaries except for Grove and Hubbell and the offense-adjusted Ferrell (54). I do have him ahead of Dean (136-82, 35.) It would bother some people that his two best years weren't consecutive.
   5. jimd Posted: March 23, 2005 at 01:28 AM (#1212096)
Evaluating Gomez by his W-L record has more problems than usual due to the following fact:

His team AVERAGED nearly .650 WPct for his career.
   6. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 23, 2005 at 01:56 AM (#1212128)
Totl 177-114 169-109

I have Gomez overachieving by 5 games in his career.

1. Defensive support: from what Chris said, his defensive support looks good, but the effect isn't huge.

Fun fact: the Yanks had the best or second best team H% in the AL every year from 1934-40. They came in first every year from 1934-9. Prior to that? Meh. 4-3-5-7th place in Gomez's first four years.

2. Quality of opposition: Chris has him disproportionately facing better teams; that may nearly balance out the defensive support.

Of course the question is (& I have no idea what the answer to this is): which means more: MOWP or MOWP+. Even though he faced better teams more often than one would expect for a Yankees pitcher in the 1930s, most of the teams he started against were under .500 for their careers.
   7. Michael Bass Posted: March 23, 2005 at 02:23 AM (#1212152)
Can't imagine anybody seriously preferring Dizzy Dean.

WARP1

Dean - 11.9, 10.0, 10.0, 9.2, 7.4, 6.4 (61.5 career)
Gomez - 11.1, 10.5, 8.3, 7.1, 5.6, 5.1 (61.4 career)

WARP3

Won't list hte WARP3s except in so far as to say that it sees Dean's NL as superior to Gomez's AL.

So at least by the WARP measures, Dean is, I believe, clearly superior. Nearly identical raw career, possibly a superior league. More of Dean's value is compressed into his prime strong years, while Gomez's career totals are padded by some pretty poor years. Plus, for those who care about these things (I generally don't), Dean's 6 productive years are consecutive. Gomez's are all over the place.

By way of comparison, Win Shares:

Dean: 37, 31, 31, 24, 22, 17 (181 total)
Gomez: 31, 29, 20, 19, 17, 16, 16 (185 total)

Similar story. Similar career totals with Dean's being superior, due to more of his being compressed into his prime (less padding).

I could be reading it wrong, but pretty sure both of the uberstats put Dean in front of Gomez.
   8. jimd Posted: March 23, 2005 at 02:51 AM (#1212195)
that is one hell of a peak.

I'm curious: Using what measure?
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2005 at 04:34 PM (#1212706)
I don't see Gomez as better than Dean, either. I also don't see it as close.
   10. DavidFoss Posted: March 23, 2005 at 05:47 PM (#1212793)
sunny: that is one hell of a peak.

jimd: I'm curious: Using what measure?


I'll bite.

46 points of black ink (two triple crowns). Those two seasons are 191 & 174 on the ERA+ scale. First and second in IP in these two seasons as well.

Gomez does have seasons of 149 & 136 as well, but overall it a narrow peak in a short career.

Similarly, Dean only pitched full time for six seasons with ERA+'s of 159-148-135-124-119-114. Neither one of these guys is Sandy Koufax, in my opinion.
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: March 23, 2005 at 05:49 PM (#1212797)
I'm the peak guy around here and Dizzy Dean's case is nuthin' but peak, so I am shocked to find myself more or less alone in preferring El Goof to The Diz.

I think this is a case of uber stats uber alles, but let's look at the underlying traditional stats.

Career

Dean 150-83 (.644) 1967.1 IP 1.206 WHIP 130 ERA+
Gomez 189-102 (.649) 2503 IP 1.35 WHIP 125 ERA+

Discussion: Usually when we compare a longer vs. a shorter career, the difference consists of 3-5-7 years of average pitching. In this case it's a couple years of 39-19 pitching. There is a WHIP advantage to Dean, as Goofy walked 2X more batters per inning pitched. But get this, DIPS fans: Gomez struck out 300 more hitters. The two K rates both round off to .59 K per inning.

If Dean was more effective per inning pitched, it is by a miniscule margin, not enough to offset 600 IP (2 years worth) at 39-19 effectiveness.

Prime

Dean 5 years, 1727 IP, 133 ERA+
Gomez 9 years, 2175 IP, 138 ERA+

ERA+ from best to worst in ERA eligible years (* ERA eligible but outside peak/prime of 5 years for Dean and 8 years for Gomez)

Dean 159, 148*, 135, 124, 119, 114
Gomez 191, 174, 149, 135, 128, 127, 122, 106, 105*, 97

My preference for Gomez is based on the fact that during Dean's peak, Gomez consistently posted better ERA and ERA+. Dean pitched more IP which perhaps accounts for the fact that Dean and Gomez come up about equal on WS and WARP.

For further insight, take a look at 1934 when arguably both had their best year.

Dean 30-7 (.811), 311.2 IP, 1.16 WHIP, 159 ERA+
Gomez 26-5 (.839), 281.2 IP, 1.13 WHIP, 174 ERA+

Also on OOB Gomez was better at .282 to Dean's .289. Each had 33 starts and Gomez had more CG 25-24. Dean's extra 30 IP came in 17 relief appearances, not that there's anything wrong with that.

WS Dean 37 Gomez 31

How exactly is Dean 6 WS better? 30 extra IP at a 15 points poorer ERA+, and Gomez was perhaps marginally better or at worst they are pretty much interchangeable as starting pitchers. I mean 30 IP is 3.3 CG. Maybe that is 2 wins better. But essentially we're saying that an extra 12 relief appearances (Gomez had 5 himself) add up to 2 wins. Maybe it does, but let's just be clear on what Dean's extra value was. He was not a better pitcher, he just pitched about 30 IP in 12 relief appearances.

Also in non-ERA qualifying years Dean went 17-8, Gomez went 11-13. Gomez 39-19 advantage for career W-L really did come in productive years.

Taking it all together:

• They are comparable on WS and WARP.
• Dean was marginally more effective on WHIP due to fewer BB.
• Dean pitched an extra 30-50 IP for 5 years.
• Gomez had consistently higher ERA+.
• Gomez threw an extra two years at 39-19.

To me the ERA+ trumps the WS and WARP, and the extra two productive years are icing on the cake. I know many of you object to ERA+ as an uber stat for pitchers, but many object to taking WS or WARP without a large grain of salt, too, so I have tried to consider them all.

I can't see how you would prefer Dean and especially how it could not be close. Having said all of that, I had Gomez at about #8-9 (I forget) on my prelim. His case depends on his peak/prime, too, just like Dean, and there are legitimate questions about how to define his peak/prime since he had some weaker years mixed in. But then so did everybody whose peak/prime is more than 5-6 years.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2005 at 05:57 PM (#1212806)
Marc, you're ignoring Dean's IP in his best seasons. The combination of that and his ERA+ trump Gomez at his best, IMO.

As for Gomez's crappy seasons, he get credit from me, but not a lot to help his cause.
   13. jimd Posted: March 23, 2005 at 06:39 PM (#1212885)
46 points of black ink (two triple crowns).

Don't may that much attention to ink, particularly when Gomez is pitching in the best pitching park in the majors (median PPF of 92 for his 10 years as a regular), and Dean in the #2 hitting park in the NL (median PPF of 102 for his 6 seasons as a regular).

Dean 150-83 (.644) 1967.1 IP 1.206 WHIP 130 ERA+
Gomez 189-102 (.649) 2503 IP 1.35 WHIP 125 ERA+


Again, don't forget that Gomez is pitching for a .650 team while Dean is pitching for a .550 team. Dean is well above his team, Gomez is not. This doesn't mean that Gomez is "average", but his record is typical of what one would expect from a pitcher who pitched for the Yankees of this period (6 World Championships in his 10 seasons as a regular). He's not better than his pitching teammates (as measured by W-L), he just lasted longer.
   14. Michael Bass Posted: March 23, 2005 at 09:55 PM (#1213214)
Seriously, let's please not be citing unadjusted W-L for Yankee pitchers. :)

Oh, and for why Dean's best season is better than Gomez's...

1934

Dean: .246/.252/.339 (52 OPS+)

Pretty sad, eh? Well get a load of this...

Gomez: .131/.189/.141 (-11 OPS+)

And that was a pretty typical year for old Lefty, who managed a positive OPS+ all of twice, and finished his career at -7.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: March 23, 2005 at 10:46 PM (#1213310)
John, I said Dean pitched 30-50 extra IP during his prime and I also suggested that the differential was mostly in relief appearances. And I said, not that there's anything wrong with that, pitching in relief has value. But Gomez pitched about the same as Dean in GS and CG, Dean pitched 30-50 extra IP in relief. I didn't ignore the difference, I actually analyzed it a little bit. But if it's a big deal, how is Gomez' extra 600 career IP not a big deal?

Jimd, I didn't say anything about ink.

And Michael, we're not allowed to mention W-L here? Is that because you guys aren't smart enough to deal with it? Or you think I'm not smart enough to deal with it?

And yes, Goofy had a short decline (and a partial season as a rookie) in which he went 11-13. But compared to Dean he went an extra 39-19. Now depending on how I slice and dice that, I could make the ERA+ for those 58 decisions whatever I want. The point is that compared to Dean, he wasn't an extra 11-13, he was an extra 39-19. Those aren't all just crappy years.

When it all boils down, I cited his ERA+, not his W-L as the heart of the argument for Lefty as a solid peak candidate. I haven't seen too many pitchers at 191, 174, 149, and I haven't heard anybody tell me why his peak/prime ERA+ being better than Dean is not meaningful. And if Dean had had a proper decline, Gomez' career ERA+ would be better too.
   16. Michael Bass Posted: March 23, 2005 at 11:03 PM (#1213351)
But if it's a big deal, how is Gomez' extra 600 career IP not a big deal?

Because Dean's extra IP came in the peak seasons that are his case, and Gomez's extra IP came in crappy seasons that add nothing to his case?

And Michael, we're not allowed to mention W-L here? Is that because you guys aren't smart enough to deal with it? Or you think I'm not smart enough to deal with it?

Putting aside the sarcasm (I hope) here, I assume most of us understand that W-L is as much a reflection on the team as the player.

The point is that compared to Dean, he wasn't an extra 11-13, he was an extra 39-19. Those aren't all just crappy years.

Rather than making a pithy comment like I did last time, I'll go into more depth. This not only assumes that the 39-19 is an accurate decription of the value Gomez's longer prime has (it's not), it also assumes that Gomez's original 150-83 is the same as Dean's. It's not. Dean's was substantially better, because he was not playing for the Yankees.

I haven't seen too many pitchers at 191, 174, 149, and I haven't heard anybody tell me why his peak/prime ERA+ being better than Dean is not meaningful.

No one said it isn't meaningful. We said it is overcome by Dean's extra IP. And the fact that Gomez was a horrible, horrible hitter, something you neglected to mention in either post and which subtracts significantly from his value, both career and peak.

Look...there is a case to be made for Gomez over Dean. I think it invovles some excessive ignoring of certain realities of pitching for the Yankees, but I concede I could be wrong on the topic. What I do object to are:

Can't imagine anybody seriously preferring Dizzy Dean.

I can't see how you would prefer Dean...

(And for the record, I don't think Dean and Gomez aren't close; I think they are pretty close. I just think Dean's clearly in front, and given the messiness of the ballot starting about 5 or 6, that's enough to put Dean on and Gomez likely off)
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2005 at 11:23 PM (#1213383)
John, I said Dean pitched 30-50 extra IP during his prime and I also suggested that the differential was mostly in relief appearances.

But what you're doing (and please tell me that I'm wrong) is giving Gomez nine prime years to five. If you state both of their prime years at five (totally arbitrary, I admit), we're talking more like 212 IP. In their five best season, Dean was superior (and his hitting is icing on the cake).

But if it's a big deal, how is Gomez' extra 600 career IP not a big deal?

Because a lot of it occurred when Gomez was pitching like crap. That's not the case with Dean.

Was it all crap? No, he had a few decent seasons, but Dean was effective (in small doses) for 1937-339, too.
   18. jimd Posted: March 23, 2005 at 11:27 PM (#1213390)
Jimd, I didn't say anything about ink.

Didn't say you did. The quote is from David Foss' post just prior to yours. (Tried to save a post by combining two replies; didn't work.)
   19. DavidFoss Posted: March 23, 2005 at 11:27 PM (#1213392)
Jimd, I didn't say anything about ink.

That was me who mentioned ink. I still think the triple crowns are impressive.

Anyhow, thanks for pointing out Gomez's dreadful hitting. I often forget that when evaluating a pitcher.

Neither Dean nor Gomez are going to make my ballot. I'm leaning towards ranking Dean higher on the depth chart for now.
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 24, 2005 at 12:03 AM (#1213445)
Neither Dean nor Gomez are going to make my ballot.

Same with me, so I'm not crazy about either one.
   21. jimd Posted: March 24, 2005 at 12:16 AM (#1213466)
      Gomez  Typical NYY Pitcher with same number of decisions
     --------------------
1930   2-5     4-3    -2
1931  21-9    18-12   +3
1932  24-7    22-9    +2
1933  16-10   16-10    0
1934  26-5    19-12   +7
1935  12-15   16-11   -4  
1936  13-7    13-7     0
1937  21-11   21-11    0  <- 191 ERA+ produced NO extra wins
1938  18-12   20-10   -2  
1939  12-8    14-6    -2  
1940   3-3     3-3     0
1941  15-5    13-7    +2
1942   6-4     7-3    -1
1943   0-1     1-0    -1 (Washington)
     --------------------
     189-102 187-104  +2
   22. DavidFoss Posted: March 24, 2005 at 02:38 AM (#1213501)
jimd, the Yankees generally had a mediocre staff from 30-33, but from 34 on they were very good to excellent.

I'm not a huge Gomez fan, but he certainly shouldn't be penalized for having excellent staff-mates.
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: March 24, 2005 at 03:49 AM (#1213569)
Eliminating his best five years, Gomez next best ERA+ were 127, 122, 106, 105, 97.

As declines go, in a word, crappy.
   24. jimd Posted: March 24, 2005 at 04:07 AM (#1213586)
I'm not a huge Gomez fan, but he certainly shouldn't be penalized for having excellent staff-mates.

I'm not "penalizing" him for anything. I'm just pointing out that if you judge him by W-L, it's a two-edged sword. Those records are very nice indeed, but they are simply TYPICAL for the team that he was on. Context is important.

This does not imply that he was "average"; the Yankees wouldn't have given that many innings to an average pitcher over those 10 years. OTOH, he does not stand out either, he was a typical Yankee pitcher, different primarily in that he lasted at that level longer than most, but he still doesn't have a very long career.

It's highly unlikely that Gomez would have gotten a similar W-L record if he had pitched for a typical team, instead of a team having one of the greatest decades of all time. Which is why I'll examine him with lenses that attempt to adjust for that context, because so many things beneficial to traditional pitching stats did NOT come close to evening out over his career.
   25. DavidFoss Posted: March 24, 2005 at 04:51 AM (#1213705)
It's highly unlikely that Gomez would have gotten a similar W-L record if he had pitched for a typical team, instead of a team having one of the greatest decades of all time.

Well, a pitcher with Gomez's 125 ERA+ still ends up with a .610 context-neutral Pythagorean WPct. That's not too shabby.

Its true that with a Yankee offense behind you, the marginal value of each point of ERA+ is not as great as it is while being supported by an average offense, but outside of the two-way players (e.g. Caruthers), we haven't been worried about this effect before. You could also say that as a lefty he had a Yankee Stadium advantage beyond the usually favorable PPF's, but that type of player-park specific bonus we've been granting for the most part.

Anyways, Gomez's career is still too short for me, but we're going to run into this issue again someday with guys like Bob Lemon, Don Drysdale & Tom Glavine who all pitched on great staffs. I don't believe that Gomez was just 'Yankee filler'. If you give him 750 more IP at the same level and he's a great candidate. The trouble for Gomez is that about a dozen of his contemporaries are in the same boat.
   26. Paul Wendt Posted: March 24, 2005 at 04:59 PM (#1214492)
Marc:
Career
Dean 150-83 (.644) 1967.1 IP 1.206 WHIP 130 ERA+
Gomez 189-102 (.649) 2503 IP 1.35 WHIP 125 ERA+

Prime
Dean 5 years, 1727 IP, 133 ERA+
Gomez 9 years, 2175 IP, 138 ERA+


I see there is a whopping error in that Prime ERA+ for Gomez. (Compare his career and prime lines.)

138 may be the mean or weighted mean of annual ERA+, whereas the two-year average of ERA+ 97 and 191 is not ~144 (the arithmetic mean) but ~129 (inverse mean of inverses).

Marc #15
When it all boils down, I cited his ERA+, not his W-L as the heart of the argument for Lefty as a solid peak candidate. I haven't seen too many pitchers at 191, 174, 149, and I haven't heard anybody tell me why his peak/prime ERA+ being better than Dean is not meaningful.

calculation error
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: March 24, 2005 at 06:10 PM (#1214623)
If Paul says I made a calculation error, I plead guilty. But the underlying annual peak ERA+ remain (best 5 ERA eligible years):

Dean 159, 135, 124, 119, 114
Gomez 191, 174, 149, 135, 128

After this Gomez added four more years from 97-128, Dean added nothing.

How Dean's peak ERA+ is better than Gomez', well, you're right, Paul, I don't know how to calculate that.

I realize Dean pitched 30-50 extra IP during those 5 years, most of them in relief. And I realize as David says that there are any number of pitchers with 5-8 year peaks and fairly short careers. But somebody find me one who went 191, 174, 149, 135, 128.
   28. Daryn Posted: March 24, 2005 at 07:00 PM (#1214705)
How about Dave Stieb, Marc, who I think may end up on the outside looking in to our Hall.

Top 5 ERA+: 171, 145, 142, 138, 135.
Next 5: 130, 124, 117, 113, 111.

A little behind in peak, but not much, and way ahead in career.
   29. Daryn Posted: March 24, 2005 at 07:04 PM (#1214714)
Well, not actually "way ahead in career", more like way ahead in years 6 thru 10.
   30. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 24, 2005 at 07:23 PM (#1214757)
Since in my prelim ballot I compared Gomez to Waddell, King of Unearned Runs, i thought I'd take a look at Gomez's UER in context of the Yankee team totals.

Gomez gave up 1087 R: 927 ERR and 160 UER.

I compared his ratio of R to ER season by season to the R/ER ratio of the Yankee pitching staffs minus his own R and ER. With this back-of-the-envelope method, Gomez gave up 2 more UER in his career than he would have had the Yankee defense supported him like it did the other hurlers. So his ERA+ is for real.

Here's some quick UER fun:

He gave up 12 more UER than "expected" in 1933.

From 1933-1938, he never yielded fewer UER than expected.

In 1939, he yielded 15 UER fewer than expected.

FWIW, here's the difference in his UER allowed versus what would be expected from the UER rates of his team for each year of his Yankee tenure, 1930 through 1942. Negative numbers are good (avoided UER), positive numbers are bad (gave up extra UER):

1930...........................................1942
-4, 5, -5, 12, 2, 1, 0, 3, 5, -15, -3, 1, -1
   31. Chris Cobb Posted: March 24, 2005 at 07:41 PM (#1214803)
So his ERA+ is for real.

Well, insofar as they are not aided by exceptional defensive efficiency. Here's a comparison of Dean's DERA scores during his 5-year peak to Gomez's top 5:

Dean -- 3.08, 3.36, 3.46, 3.52, 3.70
Gomez -- 2.85, 2.90, 3.28, 3.74, 3.89

Let's cross-reference this list with the ERA+ list Sunnyday2 provided above:

Dean 159, 135, 124, 119, 114
Gomez 191, 174, 149, 135, 128


Gomez's best two seasons still top Dean's and are VERY impressive. His third best is excellent, but not quite as good by DERA. His 4th and 5th best seasons, however, show considerably less well in DERA, not matching up to any of Dean's top 5.
   32. jimd Posted: March 25, 2005 at 01:50 AM (#1215427)
Gomez's best two seasons still top Dean's and are VERY impressive.

The 1937 season is kind of strange: 191 ERA+!!! Yet a record of only 21-11 (.656), which matches his RSI record, and also is what one would expect from a typical Yankee pitcher that year (.662 WPct), despite the fact that a typical Yankee pitcher that year had a 122 ERA+ (thanks baseball-reference.com for that new feature).

How do we explain this? RSI would tend to indicate it wasn't the run support (unless it was oddly distributed).
   33. Paul Wendt Posted: March 25, 2005 at 04:16 AM (#1215634)
Gomez was no workhorse: during his 9-season peak, he started or 20% of the number of games scheduled (30.3 games a season; 31.4 in the middle 7 seasons). His career-high 34 in 1937 is way below 25% (38).

Anyway, 30 or 40 pitcher starts is few enough that "odd distribution" of run support or runs yielded is not unlikely.
   34. EricC Posted: March 25, 2005 at 01:53 PM (#1216031)
Gomez was no workhorse

Gomez was in the top 10 for games started in his league 6 times between 1932 and 1938 and in the top 10 in innings pitched those same six years. This was not an era of 4 man rotations, so it is unfair to compare him to a standard of starting 25% of team games. While his workload set no records, it was substantial during his prime.
   35. jimd Posted: March 25, 2005 at 07:52 PM (#1216457)
Worklog for Lefty Gomez
      IP    MLB Team  MLB Leader     Team #1/#2
1931 243.0   23  1   (Walberg 291.0) (Ruffing #2 237.0) (typical #2)
1932 265.3   11  1   (Crowder 327.0) (Ruffing #2 259.0) (typical #1)
1933 234.7   26  2   (Hadley  316.2) (Ruffing #1 235.0) (typical #2)
1934 281.7    6  1   (Mungo   315.3) (Ruffing #2 256.3) (typical #1)
1935 246.0   16  1   (Dean    325.3) (Ruffing #2 222.0) (light   #1)
1936 188.7   48T 4   (Dean    315.0) (Ruffing #1 271.0) (lt #3/hv #4)
1937 278.3    3  1   (Passeau 292.3) (Ruffing #2 256.3) (workhorse)
1938 239.0   17T 2   (Newsom  329.7) (Ruffing #1 247.3) (heavy   #2)
1939 198.0   29  2   (Walters 319.0) (Ruffing #1 233.3) (light   #2)
1941 156.3   63  5   (Feller  343.0) (Russo   #1 209.7) (light   #4) 
Unrelated note: In every one of the 5 seasons cited by sunnyday2 for his Gomez/Dean comparison, Dean pitched more innings than Gomez did in his heaviest season. Dean had 243 additional IP for those 5 seasons, not 30-50.
   36. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 25, 2005 at 08:40 PM (#1216520)
is this a matter of the yankees using their bullpen more aggressively than the cardinals?
   37. Chris Cobb Posted: March 25, 2005 at 08:55 PM (#1216545)
is this a matter of the yankees using their bullpen more aggressively than the cardinals?

The Cards were using their bullpen aggressively: Dean was their closer as well as their #1 starter :-).
   38. jimd Posted: March 26, 2005 at 12:06 AM (#1216926)
The Cards were using their bullpen aggressively:

Actually, this is true. For the period 1931-41, major-league average was .91 relief appearances per game. Leaders were the bad teams, Phillies 1.08 and Browns 1.07. Cardinals were tops amongst good teams, fourth at 1.00 (Red Sox 3rd at 1.01). At the other end, Tigers at .85, Connie Mack's A's at .84, White Sox at .77, and Yankees at .72. (Note NL more aggressive than AL.)
   39. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 26, 2005 at 04:27 PM (#1217875)
jimd,

30-50 per year over five yeasr is 150-250, of which 243 falls into. In other words I think that Marc was talking about 30-50 bullpen innings per season.
   40. Paul Wendt Posted: March 27, 2005 at 03:08 AM (#1218803)
> Gomez was no workhorse

Gomez was in the top 10 for games started in his league 6 times between 1932 and 1938 and in the top 10 in innings pitched those same six years. This was not an era of 4 man rotations, so it is unfair to compare him to a standard of starting 25% of team games. While his workload set no records, it was substantial during his prime.


substantial, but no workhorse even for his time.
He worked less than most premier pitchers.

The table shows that Gomez worked a bit less than most of the premier pitchers of his time. It also suggests that he was below the premier norm more by low complete game rate than by low start rate.

Number of league Top 5 seasons: pitcher Starts, CG, IP
9 7 8 Feller AL (younger; 4 4 4 in four full prewar seasons)
9 4 9 Newsom
7 7 4 Walters
6 6 6 Ferrell AL
5 4 5 Derringer
4 4 5 Dean
3 10 7 Grove AL
3 10 4 Lyons AL
3 8 7 Hubbell
3 5 5 Warneke
3 4 3 Gomez AL
3 4 3 Bridges AL
2 10 5 Ruffing AL
2 5 5 Vance (older)

Bobo Newsom pitched about 1/4 of his team's games for four seasons, 1937-1940. Probably his manager's use of the entire pitching staff . . . hmm, working for four different employers WAS BOS STL DET.

Feller was much younger than the others but only a bit later; Vance much older but only a bit earlier. Is it a coincidence that they bracket the 12 truer contemporaries on this ordered list?

--
2 2 2 Schoolboy Rowe
- - pitched only three full seasons, his first three.
5 3 4 Earl Whitehill
5 3 3 Alvin Crowder
- - The annual lists of CG leaders in the new Baseball Encyclopedia motivated me to look up this pair of lesser pitchers
5 5 6 Lee, Chi
- - but Bill & Thornton were two different men
   41. Paul Wendt Posted: March 27, 2005 at 07:41 PM (#1219460)
Chris Cobb mentioned Larry French, Charlie Root and Freddie Fitzsimmons. I think of them as second-tier (third- if there are three tiers in the preceding list, Feller to Vance), but I haven't checked my selection of that group against ERA+ or any other quality measure.

Number of league Top 5 seasons by Starts, CG, IP; Career ERA+

5 4 4 114 Larry French
5 0 2 111 Freddie Fitzsimmons
3 2 4 110 Charlie Root
   42. Paul Wendt Posted: March 27, 2005 at 08:59 PM (#1219551)
30 pitchers generated at leasat 100 Win Shares during the 1930s including everyone named above except Feller and Vance. For the 30, pitching share of value ranges from 88% for Red Lucas (89% Wes Ferrell) to roundoff 100% for ten including Gomez. Among the 30, Gomez ranks 8th in 1930s Win Shares and 17th in career Win Shares.

That exercise suggests adding one more pitcher to those named above: Mel Harder the anti-workhorse ranks 5th(!) in 1930s WS and 8th in career WS.

Number of league Top 5 seasons by Starts, CG, IP; Career ERA+

1 0 1 113 Mel Harder

The two HOMers rank 1st, 1st (Grove) and 2nd, 4th (Hubbell). HOMer Dazzy Vance, not among the 30, would rank 6th in career WS if included --behind Grove, Lyons, Ruffing, Hubbell and Walters.
   43. rawagman Posted: April 16, 2006 at 08:52 PM (#1967419)
When judging pitchers for this project, I focus on career ERA+, seasons above 120 (which helps give me a sound idea of how long the pitcher was very good for), seasons below 100 (anything more than two will hurt the pitcher in my eyes) and ink scores, first black, then gray. Winning % and K/BB rates will also be eyeballed. I also refer to baseballprospectus.com's "Stuff" rating as an indicator of peak/prime.

On to Lefty and where he stands circa the 1974 eligibles (excluding Mendez and Redding, whose placements are based on estimates and subjectives)

ERA+: Lefty was a career 125. That's good for 6th, behind Smokey Joe Wood (146), Addie Joss (142), Waddell (134), Dean (130) and Bridges (126)

Included there is 7 seasons above 120 and 2 below 100. For comparison: Waddell (8-0), Bridges (9-1), Joss (8-0), Urban Shocker (7-0), Dizzy Trout(7-0), Dean (4-0).

Ink: Lefty was 5th in gray ink (Jim McCormick-220, Vic Willis-204, Tony Mullane-198, Billy Pierce-187, Lefty-182.
In Black ink, the order runs: Dean-52, Bucky Walters-48, Lefty and Rube-46.

Stuff: Waddell-36, Dean-32, Lefty/Bridges/Wood-24.

Given these numbers, my top ten pitchers (until Drysdale - he eyeballs somewhere between 4-8) are as follows:
1) Rube Waddell
2) Lefty Gomez
3) Jose Mendez
4) Dizzy Dean
5) Tommy Bridges
6) Dick Redding
7) Billy Pierce
8) Addie Joss
9) Bucky Walters
10) Smokey Joe Wood

Only Waddell and Gomez have high scores in all of the categories I concern myself with. The others all have failings for me.
   44. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 11:47 PM (#1967695)
Why would years under 100 ERA+ hurt a pitcher?

How does Steve Carlton do in your system? Didn't he have some awful years mixed in with the great?

I don't see how someone like Gomez could rate ahead of Pierce - do you mind showing all of the components so we can see what exactly it is that throws Gomez over the top?

Also, I much prefer DERA to ERA+. ERA+ is pretty biased in favor of pitchers that played in front of good defenses . . .
   45. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 11:48 PM (#1967697)
I should say, the weighting of the components. You did show the components :-)
   46. rawagman Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:05 AM (#1968175)
Carlton - yes - he is hurt by his 4 bad years. However, his ink totals are so far ahead of anyone else, that he would still trunp Waddell on my present list.
Pierce - lower ERA+. Less years above 120. Less than half of Gomez' black ink (46-20).
I prefer Bridges to Pierce. I know that puts me in the minority.
I am inclined to give DERA scores another look to run my list off. See what that does.
   47. rawagman Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:06 AM (#1968177)
baseballprospectus has 2 DERA lists - adjusted for season and adjusted for all time - would you recommend one over the other?
   48. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:08 AM (#1968230)
My system, with 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 pitchers who qualify for the ERA title in less then half of their seasons (relief pitchers and Bret Saberhagen, basically), I divide the non-qualifying innings by 162.)

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 10 to get a Peak/Prime Score:

Dean
287.06 x 42.03 = 12065 x 10 = 120650

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

Dean
92066 + 120650 = 212,716

Dean's TCV of 212,716 ranks 38th all-time, behind Hal Newhouser and ahead of Kevin Brown.
   49. DavidFoss Posted: April 17, 2006 at 02:50 PM (#1968434)
How does Steve Carlton do in your system? Didn't he have some awful years mixed in with the great?

Taking a fresh look at Steve, he did have mediocre seasons mixed in between his Cy Youngs, but before 1986 when he had already won 314 games and was refusing to retire for a couple of years he was never really that bad. His worst ERA+'s were 97-98-101-101-105-106. That's not nearly as bad as Early Wynn or even Robin Roberts got between decent seasons. Of course, Carlton was legitimately bad from 1986-88.
   50. rawagman Posted: April 17, 2006 at 03:09 PM (#1968472)
Like I said, if his ink had not demonstrated his utter greatness, he would potentially be hurt by his down years, much as I had a lower rank for Robin Roberts at the time. Although I probably would have had him a bit higher in my refined system ( a moot point now).
One aspect of my current system (not sure if it's good or bad - but I agree with) is that a full(ish) season with an ERA+ of 98 is scored the same as a full(ish) season with an ERA+ of 58. I think merit should be as much above the norm (average) as possible.
   51. jimd Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#1969018)
baseballprospectus has 2 DERA lists - adjusted for season and adjusted for all time

I always use the "adjusted for season". It's based on just that one league season.

I've never really looked closely at the "adjusted for all time". I know it adjusts for league quality. The analogous scores for fielding also adjust the fielder's role/weight into a modern context (just like Win Shares does). I don't know if the pitching version does this also.
   52. Mark Donelson Posted: April 17, 2006 at 10:44 PM (#1969419)
Thanks, rawagman--I gave Gomez another look because of your advocacy, and somehow he'd evaded my most recent re-evaluations. He probably doesn't get quite to my ballot, but he's well within my top 50 now, which he wasn't before, and he may be within striking distance for me.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 18, 2006 at 10:59 PM (#1972018)
I use adjusted for season DERA too. Although, when I adjust for war seasons or weak leagues like the AA or Federal League, I basically look at what the 'best league' difference from season to all-time is in surrounding years, and then adjust their season numbers accordingly. So if the typical season to all-time adjustment is .1 DERA, but an AA year has .5 as the difference, I'll bump the pitcher up .4 for that season.
   54. rawagman Posted: April 18, 2006 at 11:25 PM (#1972101)
I do my best Mark D. I only joined this project 3 election ago, so I have not been swayed (tainted?) by past arguments about any specific player.

Since seriously evaluating who is in and who isn't, I was immediately surprised that Duffy wasn't in. He became my pet.

And before the last election, I realized that I wasn't doing justice to the pitchers. Gomez was nowhere near my lists. And I hate the Yankees! But he did well in my admittedly unsophisticated system. I can understand other favorites based on certain timelined/leaguelined/career counting numbers bases, but I strongly beleive many voters have seriously underestimated him.
Maybe he suffers from the Bill James brush-off. BJ ranked him 67 among pitchers in the last NBJHBA, but the entire writeup is humorous anecdotes, nothing remotely sabermetric. Yet he is ranked by BJ ahead of (among others) Clark Griffiths, Bucky Walters, Eppa Rixey and Bob Caruthers.

As of this moment, Lefty is my #2 pitcher on the ballot, and is slotted in the 5-hole.
   55. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#1972603)
Lefty was extremely effective. Not a huge inning eater, but I like effective pitchers more than I like inning eaters.
   56. jimd Posted: April 19, 2006 at 01:12 AM (#1972658)
BJ ranked him 67 among pitchers

Given that a typical staff has 4 starters, that's equivalent to ranking about 17th at an everyday position. A marginal HOMer.

WS likes Gomez as a marginal choice. The arguments about the great defense behind him inflating his ERA+ and the great offense inflating his WPct have downgraded him here.
   57. Chris Cobb Posted: April 19, 2006 at 01:19 AM (#1972684)
And before the last election, I realized that I wasn't doing justice to the pitchers. Gomez was nowhere near my lists. And I hate the Yankees! But he did well in my admittedly unsophisticated system. I can understand other favorites based on certain timelined/leaguelined/career counting numbers bases, but I strongly beleive many voters have seriously underestimated him.

The reasons for the electorate's dismissal of Gomez are pretty clear: he benefited greatly from pitching for great offensive and defensive teams, he was not especially durable from either a seasonal or a career perspective, and he was such a terrible hitter that his apparent (D)ERA+ advantages over his contemporary pitchers were diminished by his poor hitting.

Your system, by placing a lot of weight on factors that are significantly influenced by team (ERA+, black and gray ink), and by not giving much weight to in-season durability or to career value, brings in a lot evidence that much of the electorate does not take as meaningful evidence of merit and leaves out a lot of evidence that much of the electorate does take as meaningful.

If you hate the Yankees, using measures that are strongly influenced by team context is not the way to show it . . .
   58. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2006 at 03:59 AM (#1973145)
>The reasons for the electorate's dismissal of Gomez are pretty clear:

Yes. WARP3.

Like I said earlier, we have almost never failed to elect a 100 WARP3 player. Call us the Hall of WARP.
   59. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2006 at 04:12 AM (#1973180)
And watch Drysdale fly into the Hall of WARP.

Drysdale 209-166, .557, 2.95 (121) in 3,432 IP
Gomez 189-102, .649, 3.34 (125) in 2,503 IP

OPS+ in ERA-eligible seasons

Drysdale 155-48-40-29-28-22-18-18-15-13-98-96/121 in avg. of 281 IP
Gomez 191-74-49-35-28-27-22-6-5-97/125 in avg. of 234 IP

OK there are some other reasons for Gomez' dismissal. But as I've said, I like a pitcher who is effective more than an inning eater, so I don't see Drysdale being light years ahead of Lefty.

Drysdale 209-166, .557, 2.95 (121) in 3,432 IP
Waddell 193-143, .574, 2.16 (135) in 2,961 IP

Drysdale 155-48-40-29-28-22-18-18-15-13-98-96/121 in avg. of 281 IP
Waddell 180-79-65-53-27-25-23-21-8-2/135 in avg. of 273.5 IP

Interesting point, whoever it was that said that both won fewer games than their underlying numbers would suggest. But whatever happened out there on the field, the residue (the numbers) clearly favor the Rube.
   60. Chris Cobb Posted: April 19, 2006 at 04:40 AM (#1973248)
How does a 125 ERA+ in 234 IP compare in value to a 121 ERA+ in 281 IP? Why prefer the former to the latter?

Here are some points to consider.

Assuming a 4.5 r/g environment, the pitcher with the 125 ERA+ saves 3.1 runs more than the pitcher with the 125 ERA+ over 234 IP.

In his additional 47 innings, the 121 ERA+ pitcher saves 4.1 runs more than an average pitcher, so for the season he is +1 RSAA than the 125 ERA+ pitcher.

Not much difference there, but it does seem that the extra effectiveness of the one is at least cancelled about by the extra durability of the other.

In the specific case of Drysdale vs. Gomez, the facts that

1) Drysdale has two more seasons at this career average level of effectiveness than Gomez
2) Drysdale was a much better hitter than Gomez
3) by DERA, Drysdale has a 3.85 to Gomez's 3.88, suggesting that Gomez's superiority in effectiveness as seen by DERA is an artifact of superior fielding support

make it appear to me that, aside from 3-year non-continuous peak value, Drysdale is as good as or better than Gomez in just about every way you can look at a pitcher. He's not a lot better in some of these ways (he's a lot better in career durability and as a hitter), but when you put them all together he's a lot stronger.

I am not a big Drysdale fan: I don't plan on putting him on my ballot in 1975, though he won't be far off (I actually have him pretty much even with Waddell), and I hope we won't elect him with undue haste. But Gomez is a significant distance behind Drysdale, and I don't think a thorough consideration of the evidence offers any grounds for a revival of support for Gomez. If we want a flaky lefty with a gaudy ERA+, Waddell has it all over Gomez in both flakiness and gaudiness.
   61. rawagman Posted: April 19, 2006 at 01:28 PM (#1973452)
Gomez was not a great hitter, but:
1) He has the first RBI in All-Star game history
2) He drove in the WS clinching run in 1937
   62. DavidFoss Posted: April 19, 2006 at 03:25 PM (#1973668)
1) Drysdale has two more seasons at this career average level of effectiveness than Gomez

Its more than that really. Drysdale has a 929 IP advantage. His career is a whopping 37% longer! Gomez's career was only 175 innings longer than Koufax's.

If I remember correctly, Gomez looked like a cross between Bridges and Dean at the time he first became eligible. Peak voters preferred Dean and career voters preferred Bridges.
   63. Chris Cobb Posted: April 19, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#1973693)
1) Drysdale has two more seasons at this career average level of effectiveness than Gomez

Its more than that really. Drysdale has a 929 IP advantage. His career is a whopping 37% longer! Gomez's career was only 175 innings longer than Koufax's.


The "average-season" view of each pitcher included a workload differential per season:

Drysdale, 121 ERA+, 281 IP
Gomez, 125 ERA+, 234 IP

That difference, over 9 seasons, accounts for 423 of Drysdale's excess, so half of Drysdale's extra career IP are included in the average season model.

2 more seasons at 281 IP, or 562 IP total, accounts for the rest.

Just to avoid double-counting . . .
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: April 19, 2006 at 03:50 PM (#1973724)
tossing Gomez onto a heap from the Drysdale file:

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
Drysdale 154 49 40 29 28 22 18 17 15 13
BPierce 201 148 41 36 33 24 15 13 08 07 07 05 04 03
LefGomez 191 74 49 36 27 27 22 06 05

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
LefGomez top 10 in IP: 1 2 5 7 7 9
BiPierce top 10 in IP: 3 3 3 5 5 7

Gomez's best two years were also his best IP years, which is worth something. But he's not competitive with this type in durability, though his 2- and 7-year figures in ERA+ are nice.

Pierce vs Gomez is interesting. I see Pierce's 5 extra useful years as quite important, but others may disagree. Problem for Gomez is, the latter folks don't like either one, I imagine.
   65. rawagman Posted: April 19, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#1973841)
To accurately judge longevity, you can't look at IP's raw, you have to look at IP_162 - about half of Drysdale's prime was played with an extra 8 games per season. That is an extra 2-3 starts per season. 21-24 IP per season extra.
Let's check through the prime years again.

DD:
1957-221/154=232.3/162
1958-211.7/154=222.7/162
1959-270.7/154=284.7/162
1960-269/154=283/162
1961-244/154=256.7/162
1962-314.3
1963-315.3
1964-321.3
1965-308.3
1966-273.7
1967-282
1968-239
Translated to 162 games/season, Drysdale pitched 3338.3 IP in 12 seasons, which averages at just over 278IP_162. In his prime years

Same excersize, Lefty Gomez. I know Drysdale was a horse - but let's see how much real difference there was.
1931-243/154=255.7/162
1932-265.3/154=279/162
1933-234.7/154=247/162
1934-281.7/154=296/162
1935-246/154=258.7/162
1936-188.7/154=198.7/162
1937-278.3/154=292.7/162
1938-239/154=251.3/162
1939-198/154=208.3/162

Translated to 162 games/season, Lefty pitched 2287.3 in 9 seasons. That averages out to 254 IP/162 games. In his prime years.

So there we have it. DD pitched an average of 24 innings per prorated season. He was a horse, no question.
   66. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2006 at 03:16 AM (#1975908)
I actually like using Translated Innings from Prospectus.

Adjusting for schedule isn't enough, the era is MUCH more important.

Say what you want about WARP, but the Translated Innings are great.

They basically set the top 5 pitchers in the league to average 275 IP. So you don't have to worry about schedule, era, anything.

BTW, does anyone think Andy Pettitte would be a HoMer if he quit today? He's very similar to Gomez when you adjust for era.

Pettitte, 3.91 DERA, 2660.3 tIP
Gomez, 3.88 DERA, 2491.0 tIP

Pettitte's 2005 and 1997 stand up just fine with Gomez' 1934 and 1937 too. That may be the best comp we've found yet.
   67. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 20, 2006 at 03:19 AM (#1975913)
Oh, and Don Drysdale at 3.85, with 3287.3 tIP is way ahead of Lefty Gomez career wise, though he doesn't have the peak.

Throw in the hitting, and the two aren't close in my opinion. That doesn't have anything to do with WARP. I don't see them as close.
   68. rawagman Posted: April 20, 2006 at 09:32 AM (#1976292)
Seeing as how Pettitte might be retiring this year, it may end up as a great comp. AS much as I think hee's worthy, Gomez will probably still ber hanging around the ballot when Pettitte's time is up
   69. rawagman Posted: April 20, 2006 at 09:47 AM (#1976295)
I want to be clear that after I look at the numbers, I naturally make a subjective opinion about every player I consider, to help me decide. I do boost 30's pitchers who excelled as the era was predominantly offensive. Gomez was perhaps helped by being a lefty in Yankee (death to RH's not named DiMaggio) Stadium. Yet, if that was so true, why didn't the Yankees get more LH's for their rotation? I don't really buy the in season durability argument against Gomez, as he was consistently 1 or 1.5 on the Yankees in IP throughout his prime. That tells me that Gomez was the ace and his manager used him as such.
Drysdale was a true horse (makes me think of Bartolo Colon today). But Drysdale was rarely, if ever, the best pitcher in baseball, in his league, or on his team. In Koufax's prime,he would generally pitch more innings than Drysdale. Also, Drysdale's numbers are inflated somewhat by the stadium effect (the mound), maybe the most extreme of the day. A wonderful pitcher, but not the kind who will receive high marks with me.
   70. DavidFoss Posted: April 20, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#1976532)
Pettite won't be eligible for another 6-7 *calendar* years at the very earliest. How is that supposed to help me rank him against the backlog? We don't even know how Pettite is going to match up against guys like Smoltz, Appier, Mussina, Schilling and how many of those guys we're likely induct. We don't know how he'll stack up against guys between 1974 and 2006 like Guidry, Stieb, Gooden, Saberhagen or Key or how many of *those* guys we're likely to induct.

These comparisons between backlog guys and nowhere-near-eligible guys are compelling, but they don't help me rank players against the existing backlog so I can make my ballot.
   71. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 20, 2006 at 03:34 PM (#1976584)
But Drysdale was rarely, if ever, the best pitcher in baseball, in his league, or on his team.

I have Gomez as being the best in the Al for '34 and the best ML pitcher for '37 (though only because Leroy Matlock wasn't allowed to play with the white guys that season), while I have Drysdale as the best ML pitcher for '60.

BTW, being the second best pitcher on your team when the top guy is Koufax is not really a negative. ;-)
   72. Mark Donelson Posted: April 20, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#1976757)
Drysdale was rarely, if ever, the best pitcher in baseball, in his league, or on his team.

John has dealt with the first two, but Drysdale was also arguably the best pitcher on his team quite often--in fact, most years when Koufax wasn't just insane. DD led Dodger pitchers in WS in 1957, 1958 (tie with Podres), 1959, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1967, and 1968.

WS also makes him the best NL pitcher overall in 1964 (and tied for 1960, with Lindy McDaniel!), for whatever that's worth.

Now, I know WS isn't always the most reliable indicator in the world for pitchers (though I think that's mostly for comparisons between different years, not within the same one), and I prefer PRAA, but that's reasonable evidence that DD was in fact the best pitcher on his team, at the least, for a pretty decent amount of time.

It's looking at present like DD will reach the bottom of my ballot, which Gomez won't, even after my reevaluation (though the latter does get back on the radar, at least).
   73. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 20, 2006 at 05:20 PM (#1976792)
WS also makes him the best NL pitcher overall in 1964

Using WS, I would still go with Koufax over Drysdale because of Sandy's superior WS/43 Starts
   74. DavidFoss Posted: April 20, 2006 at 06:08 PM (#1976934)
Using WS, I would still go with Koufax over Drysdale because of Sandy's superior WS/43 Starts

Koufax had 12 fewer starts and pitched 98 fewer innings. Just a clarification, are you saying that WS/43 Starts metric makes up for that? You've been a fan of workhorse seasons before so I'm guessing you look at both WS & WS/GS?
   75. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 20, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#1976991)
Koufax had 12 fewer starts and pitched 98 fewer innings. Just a clarification, are you saying that WS/43 Starts metric makes up for that? You've been a fan of workhorse seasons before so I'm guessing you look at both WS & WS/GS?

Correct, David. I consider them equally.

Drysdale is still close, of course, but Koufax's quality trumps Drysdale's durability in this context.
   76. rawagman Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:29 AM (#1984957)
Can anyone tell me what was the reasoning behind the election of Ruffing? I don't have the numbers handy, but it seems to me that Gomez, through his prime was the Yanks #1 pitcher, Ruffing #2
   77. Chris Cobb Posted: April 24, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#1985100)
Can anyone tell me what was the reasoning behind the election of Ruffing? I don't have the numbers handy, but it seems to me that Gomez, through his prime was the Yanks #1 pitcher, Ruffing #2

Well, a few reasons come to mind.

1) The 2000 or so additional innings that Ruffing threw is a plus for him.
2) Ruffing was a great hitting pitcher, Gomez a terrible one.
3) If you look at their years on the Yankees together, using a comprehensive metric like WARP1 that factors quality, durability, batting, and fielding into a pitcher's total value, you'll see that, whoever was officially #1 and #2 in the rotation, Gomez had more value than Ruffing in exactly 3 seasons--his three best years in 1931, 1934, and 1937--while Ruffing had more value every other year. Over Gomez's career as a full-time starter--1931-39--he earned 66.7 WARP1, while Ruffing earned 68.9. Ruffing also threw more innings, 2217.3 vs. 2174.7.

In sum, if you look at the full package each brought as players during the time they were in the Yankees rotation together, there isn't much foundation for a claim that Gomez was a "#1 pitcher" and Ruffing a "#2 pitcher." They were similar in value, with Ruffing a little bit better.

If 1931-39 for the Yankees was all Ruffing had to offer as a candidate, he would have fared no better than Lefty Gomez, but that's only half his career, and he was elected as a career candidate, not a peak candidate. Gomez has almost nothing outside his 8-year prime, and that's not enough for him to be a serious candidate.
   78. rawagman Posted: March 26, 2007 at 10:32 AM (#2317813)
Nearly a full year later, I have some other evidence to suggest that we have underestimated my man, Lefty Grove.
Starter leverage - it helped Wes Ferrell, it helped Billy Pierce, it helped Mordecai Brown.
Lefty Gomez was among the twenty highest leveraged starting pitchers of all time: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/starting-pitcher-leverage/
   79. Paul Wendt Posted: March 26, 2007 at 03:21 PM (#2317945)
I don't believe leverage helped Brown. Did the group know about leverage then? He needed no help getting elected here although, as much as anyone, his election would be better contested today. Mordecai Brown (downward) must be one of the players whose assessment has most changed for the most participants in this project, if assessment is not to be confused with "never heard of him". Jim Bunning (upward) tops the list for me.

Gomez and Ruffing didn't come along until the HOM had been cycling fortnightly for about two years. Has the group continued to migrate from the career-value orientation of the founders since then? Would Ruffing and Rixey go in today with only a handful of votes for Bridges and Walters?
   80. Paul Wendt Posted: March 26, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2317952)
Indeed I see that Marc s2 wrote two years ago:
The peak/career divide ought to be pretty clearly defined by Gomez and Lyons, though for the moment I have both on my list. I could see both not ever make it into the HoM, but for Lyons in particular that is a question of timing, because I also cannot imagine anybody preferring Faber to Lyons. But I cannot imagine anybody preferring Rixey to Lyons and, as has been noted, it seems to happen.

In the event, Lyons waltzed in as Rixey and Ruffing did not. Contrary to Marc's expectation, the group clearly judged Lyons a first rate example of the career type and Gomez a second rate example of the peak type.
   81. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 26, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2318287)
Lefty Gomez threw 85 relief innings in his entire career.
   82. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 26, 2007 at 09:37 PM (#2318298)
OK, I should have RTFA first. He's talking about starting pitcher leverage . . .

But even then, it's a 2.86% advantage over the course of his career - and Chris adjusts out the fact that Gomez never had to face the Yankees - which is great for determining what the manager was trying to do, but overstates the impact of who he actually faced.
   83. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 26, 2007 at 10:35 PM (#2318365)
This is kind of off-topic, but Joe, since you're here - there was a thread where you posted a bunch of reliever statistics for Fingers, Sutter, Quiz and a couple of others. Do you remember what thread that was, because I forgot.
   84. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 26, 2007 at 10:38 PM (#2318368)
Probably on the 'pitchers' thread . . . let me try to track it down. I lost my bookmarks when everyone else did.

Could be on the Hoyt Wilhelm thread too. Maybe I'll just repost them, with the updated guys that I've done, now that we are approaching 1997.
   85. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 26, 2007 at 11:28 PM (#2318416)
Just to be clear, this wasn't the list of 50-odd relievers ranked by Pennants Added. This was more of an in-depth look at 5 or 6 guys going year-by-year.
   86. yest Posted: July 10, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2435812)
if anyone has the answer to

how good was the yankee defence then?

Quality of opposition: Chris has him disproportionately facing better teams; that may nearly balance out the defensive support.
how ofen did he pitch against to caulty teams (numbers if someone has)?


does any one have his teams run support information
   87. rawagman Posted: July 10, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2435909)
yest - as a big Gomez supporter, I was happy to read an article (I'm pretty sure it was from hardballtimes.com) that showed Gomez to be among the 20th century leaders in opposing teams winning %. He consistently was used against great competition. I'm sure you could find the article by going to hradball times and putting Lefty Gomez in their search engine.
   88. mulder & scully Posted: July 10, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2435986)
I think I may have posted comparison splits b/t Gomez and Ruffing on the Ruffing thread at some point. I'll repost them here Wednesday night. From memory, Ruffing was worse than the average Yankees pitcher against 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams, while Gomez was the best on the team against those finishers.
   89. mulder & scully Posted: July 12, 2007 at 06:26 AM (#2438092)
As promised, here is an info-dump of Gomez vs. Ruffing numbers:

In the years leading up to WWII, the Yankees finished 1st in 1932, 1936 – 1939, 1941-1942. Against the 2nd and 3rd place teams when the Yankees finished 1st, when Ruffing started the Yankees finished 28 – 27, but when everyone else started, the Yankees went 150 – 98.
That is almost 100 percentage point difference: .509 to .605.
They finished 3rd in 1930 and 1940 and 2nd in 1931, 1933 – 1935. In those six years, Ruffing went 15 – 24, a .384 %, against the teams the Yankees were chasing. When he wasn’t pitching, they went 60-77, a .438%.

Against other top pitchers of era.
This was not a great era for pitchers. I used the win shares list of all players with 75 win shares for the 1930s and threw in a few more pitchers. The list: Grove, Ferrell, Harder, Bridges, Lyons, Hadley, Thorton Lee, Whitehill, Bobo, Allen, MacFayden, Crowder, Pearson, Hildebrand, Rowe, Earnshaw, Auker, Feller, Newhouser, Trout, Leonard, Walberg, Faber, and Uhle. I am not going to type the individual records in.
Gomez: 66 – 45
Ruffing: 71 – 58
Gomez had a winning record against those pitchers every year, but for 1930 (0-2) and 1935 (5-8). Ruffing had losing records in 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, and 1942. Both pitchers had an amazing year. Gomez in 1932 went 11-0 while Ruffing in 1937 went 10-1.

Against Teams by Finish (1930 – 1942):
Fin .. Gomez / Ruffing
1st .. 9 – 14 (.391) / 12 – 20 (.375)
2nd .. 26 – 16 (.619) / 18 – 19 (.487)
3rd .. 24 – 17 (.585) / 23 – 17 (.575)
4th .. 40 – 13 (.755) / 38 – 19 (.667)
5th .. 27 – 12 (.692) / 38 – 13 (.745)
6th .. 32 – 12 (.727) / 30 – 17 (.638)
7th .. 29 – 16 (.644) / 37 – 17 (.685)
8th .. 25 – 7 (.781) ./ 32 – 18 (.640)

I figured each pitchers’ percentage of games started against each finisher for the period.
Gomez / Ruffing
1st: .072 / .087
2nd: .132 / .101
3rd: .129 / .109
4th: .166 / .155
5th: .122 / .139
6th: .138 / .128
7th: .141 / .147
8th: .100 / .136

Ruffing’s advantage against 1st place teams is due to 1930 when Gomez started 6 times in his rookie year and 1940 when Gomez was injured.

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