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Monday, October 09, 2006

Luis Tiant

Eligible in 1988.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:18 PM | 83 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:23 PM (#2204944)
Will we make karlmagnus happy and give him a Boston cap to display in our plaque room? :-)
   2. DL from MN Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:05 PM (#2204988)
He looks a LOT like Billy Pierce. Was he leveraged like Pierce?
   3. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:08 PM (#2204992)
I'll be posting a new chart tomorrow night probably . . . but I really like Tiant. I don't know if he'll make my ballot, but there is definitely no comparison between Tiant and Hunter on a career level (their peaks are pretty even).

I've got Tiant as my #40 eligible starter (including electees, of which 29 are ahead of him). He's in a pack that includes Bucky Walters, Rube Waddell, Dutch Leonard (RHP), Ed Cicotte very slightly ahead of him, and Three-Finger Brown, Dolf Luque, Bob Shawkey, Bob Lemon, George Uhle, Virgil Trucks, Larry French and Herb Pennock a little below him.

He is by all means electable, depending on what kinds of things you like in your pitchers . . .
   4. OCF Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:12 PM (#2204997)
What I remember was his motion upon taking the stretch. His hands, together, bounced up and down several times, gradually getting lower, until they settled for a very brief moment at the bottom before he started his motion to the plate. To a baserunner, it was hugely deceptive. I heard that that he was one of the toughest right-handed pitchers to run on. To be honest, I seriously doubt that what he did was legal - but it was "grandfathered" with the umpires, and they didn't call balks on him.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#2205002)
He is by all means electable, depending on what kinds of things you like in your pitchers . . .

Definitely, Joe. He'll be getting votes.
   6. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:21 PM (#2205010)
Tiant's career LI was 1.18 in 165.3 relief IP. Pierce was 1.37 in 228 relief IP, though LI is estimated for 132 of those rIP.

I assume you meant, was he leveraged as a starter against good teams like Pierce, I can't answer that one.

IMO Pierce was better. Similar IP when adjusted for era and leverage when used in relief (Pierce 3440, Tiant 3363), Pierce had the better DRA 3.91 vs. 4.03 (4.50 is league average), and that includes adjusting for expansion, weak league in season, defense behind the pitcher, bullpen support (after 1959), etc.

Their peaks are similar at the top . . .

Pierce 7.76.56.55.85.6
Tiant  7.8
6.45.05.05.0 


But Pierce has a clear advantage in years 3/4/5.

Best 3 consecutive, Pierce 18.5, Tiant 16.2.

Pierce has more career wise too, 62.4 vs. 58.1.

So from my point of view, Pierce has the higher peak, a little more career and is clearly better, although it's close and they are similar. Pierce is currently my #31 eligible pitcher, the only ones ahead of him that haven't been elected are Jack Quinn and Urban Shocker. I have Tommy Bridges, Burleigh Grimes, Don Newcombe (with color line and Korea credit), Waite Hoyt, Bucky Walters, Rube Waddell, Dutch Leonard and Ed Cicotte between Pierce and Tiant.
   7. Boogie Nights Powell Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:23 PM (#2205012)
One thing Tiant was famous for was that he could smoke a big Cuban cigar in the shower after a game and not get it wet.
   8. Steve Treder Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:26 PM (#2205017)
What I remember was his motion upon taking the stretch. His hands, together, bounced up and down several times, gradually getting lower, until they settled for a very brief moment at the bottom before he started his motion to the plate. To a baserunner, it was hugely deceptive. I heard that that he was one of the toughest right-handed pitchers to run on. To be honest, I seriously doubt that what he did was legal - but it was "grandfathered" with the umpires, and they didn't call balks on him.

Plus, he threw the kitchen sink, from a variety of arm angles. God he was fun to watch.
   9. DL from MN Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:30 PM (#2205022)
Didn't he throw in a high leg kick also?
   10. Steve Treder Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#2205036)
Didn't he throw in a high leg kick also?

When the spirit moved him. He threw strikes without getting into a consistent muscle memory pattern, which is astounding.
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:42 PM (#2205044)
One thing Tiant was famous for was that he could smoke a big Cuban cigar in the shower after a game and not get it wet.

That's frickin' awesome. I don't know how he could have done that. I love a good cigar, but last week while smoking on my lawn tractor I almost set the Deer on fire when some hot ash dropped off the stogie, through the engine vent, and into the engine fan.

Of course, I am also the guy who mixed up the gas and brake and drove same tractor into a six foot mud-filled gulch....
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#2205056)
I love a good cigar

I smoke one every other year whether I want to or not. :-)
   13. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:54 PM (#2205064)
I smoke one every other year whether I want to or not. :-)

Big family, huh? ; )
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2205072)
Big family, huh? ; )

Heh. Occasionally that's the case (though I usually keep them as souvenirs), it seems that every couple of years, I get the urge to smoke a stogie. But since I'm fairly health conscious, I don't want to make it a habit.
   15. DL from MN Posted: October 09, 2006 at 09:16 PM (#2205086)
We had a guy like that on our high school team. He was a gymnast who had serious flexibility. He threw a variety of slop, breaking and offspeed pitches, from about 7 different angles along with a knee-touching-chin leg kick. When he threw his mediocre fastball it looked about 10 MPH faster than it actually was. He also liked to change up his timing pitch to pitch so he'd quick pitch one and pause forever on the next. It only worked okay but it seemed to mess up good, patient hitters more than "see ball hit ball" types. We beat the best team in the league with him pitching and lost to a bottom feeder with him pitching.
   16. DavidFoss Posted: October 09, 2006 at 09:35 PM (#2205107)
Was he leveraged like Pierce?

They didn't leverage starters as much in Tiants day like they did before expansion when travel days and double-headers made it much harder to have a fixed rotation.

Tiant was a swingman in his great 1972 season. That was mainly because it was his first full year back after the injury break of 1970-71. After 1972, he looked like he was in a fixed rotation. Still he may have some leverage going for him that 1972 season. Eyeballing... he pitched a lot against Baltimore, Detroit and Chicago and avoided Kansas City and California. That looks like Whitey-Ford-style leveraging to me, actually. I'd prefer if someone looked at it more analytically (rather than my eyeballing) to be sure.

Also a couple of early swingman-esque seasons in 1965-66.
   17. Daryn Posted: October 09, 2006 at 11:09 PM (#2205162)
I have Tiant ahead of Bunning and Drysdale, but I had neither on my ballot. I'll be interested to see if the Bunning supporters support Tiant.

Tiant might make the bottom of my ballot.
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#2205165)
I have Tiant ahead of Bunning and Drysdale, but I had neither on my ballot. I'll be interested to see if the Bunning supporters support Tiant.

I have Tiant trailing both of them. Luis's peak wasn't as impressive, IMO. Tiant wasn't as durable per season, either.

But as Joe pointed out, Tiant kicks Hunter's butt. :-)

I don't know if he makes my ballot or not yet.
   19. Daryn Posted: October 09, 2006 at 11:25 PM (#2205172)
I have Tiant trailing both of them. Luis's peak wasn't as impressive, IMO. Tiant wasn't as durable per season, either.

He is one of those players who will be valued very differently by peak v. career voters, especially those who like consecutive peak. That said, he had the best ERA+ in the AL in both 1968 and 1972. That 1972 is funny -- he pitched a nice 179 innings; Wood pitched TWO HUNDRED more.
   20. Daryn Posted: October 09, 2006 at 11:35 PM (#2205177)
You never watched Turk Wendell, kevin? Pascaul Perez? Tug McGraw?
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 11:37 PM (#2205178)
That said, he had the best ERA+ in the AL in both 1968 and 1972.

But he was only 7th in IP in '68 and 29 AL pitchers had more innings than Luis in '72. The quality was there, but he needed to eat more IP to make it really impressive, IMO.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 11:40 PM (#2205182)
You never watched Turk Wendell, kevin? Pascaul Perez? Tug McGraw?

How about Al Hrabosky? Brad Lesley?
   23. Boogie Nights Powell Posted: October 10, 2006 at 12:11 AM (#2205201)
That 1972 is funny -- he pitched a nice 179 innings; Wood pitched TWO HUNDRED more.

Tiant didn't become a starter until the 2nd half of 1972. That probably cost the Sox a division title, as they finished 1/2 game behind Detroit in a strike-shortened season.
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2006 at 12:31 AM (#2205222)
Tiant didn't become a starter until the 2nd half of 1972.

That's true, which does make his limited IP more understandable and his season more impressive.
   25. DavidFoss Posted: October 10, 2006 at 12:38 AM (#2205231)
Tiant didn't become a starter until the 2nd half of 1972. That probably cost the Sox a division title, as they finished 1/2 game behind Detroit in a strike-shortened season.

You can't blame the Sox too much. He had never reestablished himself after the cracked shoulder bone injury in 1970. The Twins gave up on him (frustrating because they gave up Nettles to get him), he failed a tryout with the Braves and his Sox stint in 1971 was very weak. In fact, the SABR bio asserts that if the Sox hadn't made the disastrous Lyle/Cater trade in the spring of 1972, Tiant might not have made the team.
   26. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: October 10, 2006 at 12:40 AM (#2205234)
That looks like Whitey-Ford-style leveraging to me, actually.

Er, no. By the 1970s, no one was leveraged like that. Really, not since the early-to-mid 1960s.

I'd prefer if someone looked at it more analytically (rather than my eyeballing) to be sure.

Eyballing it will generally just tell you what division he played in.

I have done the math on this, and it's nothing exciting. Just so everyone's clear: it's never going to be interesting with anyone else from here on out. Assuming there was some leveraging going on, it was generally so slight as to not make much of a difference.

That being said, I do feel obligated to point out one thing: I know of only one occassion since 1969 (maybe since 1961/2 actually) where a pitcher tossed over 60 IP against another team: Luis Tiant threw 62 innings against the Yanks in 1974 and had an ERA of 1.74.
   27. Daryn Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#2205252)
Luis Tiant threw 62 innings against the Yanks in 1974 and had an ERA of 1.74.

He did that in 7 starts. Think about that for a second.
He averaged 8.2 innings a start that year. That was only 30 years ago and there were dozens of them doing it.
   28. OCF Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:03 AM (#2205254)
This was Taint's repertoire: 2-seamer, 4-seamer, slider, screwball, forkball, change-up. He threw over the top, 3-quarter, and sidearm, often in the same inning. Sometimes, he didn't even look at the plate during his delivery.

In Bill James's attempt in the NBJHBA to divide pitchers into families, he had the "What the hell was that?" family for which the type specimen was Juan Marichal. Tiant would seem to belong to the same family.
   29. karlmagnus Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#2205261)
Does Tiant get any Mexican credit? He spent '62 and '63 in the minors, was obviously top quality ML pitcher in '64; if he had a dramatic '61 in Mexico he's worth an extra pip or two, I think.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:28 AM (#2205264)
Does Tiant get any Mexican credit? He spent '62 and '63 in the minors, was obviously top quality ML pitcher in '64; if he had a dramatic '61 in Mexico he's worth an extra pip or two, I think.

If he was ML quality for those two years in the Mexican League, karlmagnus, then I would give him credit for '63.
   31. DavidFoss Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:36 AM (#2205270)
Er, no. By the 1970s, no one was leveraged like that. Really, not since the early-to-mid 1960s.

Fair enough. I just thought that perhaps it could still happen with a swingman. With 19 starts and 24 relief appearances its possible that a manager could strategically pick the starts for a player. They'd pay for it dearly with lower IP numbers, though, so in most cases it wouldn't be worth the trouble.

Thanks for checking.

Looking at the game log tells a different story than looking at the splits. Tiant exhibited control problems in two early starts and again in his 3rd start in June. Doubleheaders in late July and early August gave him starts 5, 6 and 8. After a final relief appearance, start 9 was a shutout... in fact starts 9-12, 15-16 were all shutouts as he pretty much earned his job right there.
   32. Srul Itza Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:51 AM (#2205277)
Sometimes, he didn't even look at the plate during his delivery.

That is the part I remember. When he went into a full wind up, he was looking back at second base when he started to spin and come home. You would have no idea what he was looking at, or what angle his arm would be at, until he finished coming around. That had to be as unnerving to the hitter, as his "ratchet-down" routine from the stretch was for a runner.

There was also the unknowable issue of just how old he was.

One of baseball's great characters, and a true "Wiener".
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2006 at 11:24 AM (#2205437)
One of baseball's great characters, and a true "Wiener".

He did those hilarious commercials for Ballpark Franks during the Yankees' telecasts, right? I remember him doing them, but I'm not 100% sure of the brand.

Now, I'm 100% sure that the Mets used to sell Kahn's Beef Franks during that time.

Either one doesn't hold a candle to a Nathans frank.
   34. sunnyday2 Posted: October 10, 2006 at 11:36 AM (#2205439)
Somebody please give us Tiant's MiL/MxL record? He's gonna need it in my book.
   35. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:29 PM (#2205496)
Speaking of James and what-the-hell-was-that pitchers.... He also makes a point somewhere in some book that pitchers like Tiant are virtually nonexistent in today's game. Pitching coaches at all levels, says James, attempt to stamp out anything that doesn't conform to generally accepted pitching form orthodoxy. I think he's generally right that this is true, though I don't know if it's better or worse for pitchers that this is true. Probably worse for pitching if not for pitchers.

Anyway, I see three notable families of exceptions to James' point:
1) Knuckleballers
2) Sidearmers/submariners
3) Foreign imports.

Tiant falls into this latter group, along with guys like El Duque, of course. But I think Fernando might fall in there. And of course Nomo and some other Asian imports may as well.
   36. DL from MN Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:55 PM (#2205515)
I caught the comment about strike-shortened above. Are the WARP1 numbers going to pick up the strike shortened season or do I need to adjust manually?
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:59 PM (#2205519)
I think he's generally right that this is true, though I don't know if it's better or worse for pitchers that this is true. Probably worse for pitching if not for pitchers.

Hard to say, Eric. An unorthodox approach might be more beneficial in the short term, but disastrous long term...or visa versa.

Creating a study would be a loads of fun, wouldn't it? ;-)
   38. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 10, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2205555)
Wouldnt' Dontrelle Willis have to be in the 'what the hell was that' group?

And a lot of the japanese guys like Otsuka and Nomo would have to be there as well.
   39. Chris Cobb Posted: October 10, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#2205586)
I caught the comment about strike-shortened above. Are the WARP1 numbers going to pick up the strike shortened season or do I need to adjust manually?

WARP1 numbers are not strike-adjusted. If you want to adjust seasons like 1972 and 1981 to 162-game equivalents, you must do it manually.
   40. DL from MN Posted: October 10, 2006 at 03:41 PM (#2205610)
Is there any reason to not adjust upwards Tiant's (amazing) 1972? Was he healthy to start the season? What teams would he have faced in the extra 2 starts?

Tiant was 15-1 in AAA Portland before his callup in 1964. A look at his 1962-63 minor league stats would be worthwhile. I don't think you need to go back to the Mexican leagues when he was 20 years old to see if he deserves credit.

People talk about the Twins giving up on David Ortiz to Boston's benefit but I've never seen it compared/contrasted to giving up on Tiant to Boston's credit.
   41. DavidFoss Posted: October 10, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2205634)
Is there any reason to not adjust upwards Tiant's (amazing) 1972? Was he healthy to start the season? What teams would he have faced in the extra 2 starts?

Other than a handful of spot starts, Tiant wasn't in the rotation until August.

Boston's 7 cancelled games were against Cleveland (3) and Detroit (4). A 7-8 IP adjustment is is plenty.
   42. DL from MN Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#2205650)
Has anyone done any kinesthetic work on whether pitching with different arm angles would reduce stress on the joints? It was said that today's coaches stress repeatability in the motion to help the pitcher throw strikes. I would guess that encourages repetitive stress injuries also.
   43. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:11 PM (#2205653)
A look at his 1962-63 minor league stats would be worthwhile.

axe and ye shall find

Tiant was 15-1 in AAA Portland before his callup in 1964.

15-1 2.04 88 hits in 137 innings

Sudden Sam was even more amazing before his callup 8-0 1.18 34 hits in 76 IP, 102 K's

you know, it kinda annoys me that El Tiante only got famous with the Sox, with his herky-jerky junk, because I remember him as a blazer with the Tribe--he averaged about one K/inning from 64-68--we always used to hope for Tribe doubleheaders that would feature him and McDowell; there was some serious smoke around Municipal Stadium on them Sundays

one of many pitchers than underwent a successful mid-career course correction due to injury, but I think many people assume he ALWAYS pitched the way he did at the end
   44. Daryn Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:14 PM (#2205654)
This was Taint's repertoire: 2-seamer, 4-seamer, slider, screwball, forkball, change-up. He threw over the top, 3-quarter, and sidearm, often in the same inning. Sometimes, he didn't even look at the plate during his delivery.

In Five Seasons (it might be Season Ticket), Roger Angell has a great description of a few of Tiant's deliveries, which he names "Runaway Taxi", "Falling of the Fence" and "Low Flying Airplane".
   45. Daryn Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:14 PM (#2205655)
Falling off the Fence.
   46. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:25 PM (#2205669)
one thing I wanted to add about his pick-off move, mentioned in #4--what made it effective wasn't the strange multiple-stop stretch, it was the throw itself (which was illegal)

I've never seen any other pitcher do this: he would jump and spin in the air and fire it to first BEFORE his left foot hit the ground (that's what made it, technically, illegal)--it was SO fast that no ump ever called him on it

I remember once Mickey Stanley got on first and took his normal lead, Tiant put on that spin/throw and when Tony Horton caught the ball, poor Mickey was still standing there 6 feet from the bag, wondering what the hell just happened
   47. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:42 PM (#2205685)
Interesting thread.

So are you wasying, in some twisted way, the Lyle/Cater deal was a good one for the Red Sox.


It sounds like he was saying that the damaged wasn't as bad as it could've been. Neyer discusses this deal and the Pee Wee Reese sale in his blunders book and said that the Reese sale didn't hurt the Red Sox that much because they usually had a good SS during Reese's career anyways. He doesn't say the same for Lyle-Cater. I didn't follow the Sox until '75, but it seems like Tiant/Willoughby/Drago was better than a Lyle/Moret (asuming Rogelio takes Luis's place in the rotation) combo would've been.
   48. DL from MN Posted: October 10, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#2205714)
Pitching StatisticsYear Team Lg Age Org Level W L ERA G GS CG SH GF SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WP BK H9 HR9 BB9 K9 WHIP
1959 MC Tigres Mex 18 AAA 5 19 5.92 41 184.0 214 139 121 107 98 10.47 --- 5.23 4.79 1.74
1960 MC Tigres Mex 19 AAA 17 7 4.65 41 180.0 194 115 93 124 107 9.70 --- 6.20 5.35 1.77
1961 MC Tigres Mex 20 AAA 12 9 3.79 24 145.0 138 77 61 106 141 8.57 --- 6.58 8.75 1.68

Looks like only the 3rd Mexican season is worth a darn.

1962 Charleston East 21 Cle A 7 8 3.63 29 139.0 141 75 56 72 99 9.13 --- 4.66 6.41 1.53
Jcknville IL 21 Cle AAA 0 0 0.00 1 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 --- 9.00 0.00 1.00
1963 Burlington Caro 22 Cle A+ 14 9 2.56 31 204.0 151 68 58 81 207 6.66 --- 3.57 9.13 1.14
1964 Portland PCL 23 Cle AAA 15 1 2.04 17 137.0 88 37 31 40 154 5.78 --- 2.63 10.12 0.93

1962 - good in A ball, 1963 very good in high A ball (why no AA?), 1964 dominant in AAA.

He doesn't look like a good candidate for minor league credit.
   49. karlmagnus Posted: October 10, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#2205763)
There's a case for some MiL credit for 1964. Would a team normally allow a pitcher to go 15-1 in AAA, after two seasons in its organization, before giving him a tryout in the bigs? This is the '64 Indians, who finsihed 79-83 and for whom nobody won more than 12 games, not the '54. Tiant pitched a total of 264 innings that year, not 127, and extrapolating would have gone about 21-9 not 10-4 if he'd been in the bigs all year.
   50. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 10, 2006 at 06:31 PM (#2205785)
Would a team normally allow a pitcher to go 15-1 in AAA, after two seasons in its organization, before giving him a tryout in the bigs?

well, as Bill James famously said "The Indians were never the sort of organization that would let itself be intimidated by common sense"
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: October 10, 2006 at 06:40 PM (#2205787)
I'd say you're both right, he's a borderline case. I mean '64 is that mythical arrival year and he made it to the bigs before the year was out. So it's not like he had an excessive wait. But at the same time, like Francisco Liriano, you would infer that he was probably ready on opening day, thogh of course I have no idea what he did in spring training.

The Indians went north with

Jack Kralick 12-7, 3.20 in 29 starts/191 IP
Sam McDowell (age 21) 11-6, 2.71 in 24 starts/173 IP
Dick Donovan 7-9, 4.56 in 23 starts/158 IP but just 2 years removed from 20 wins
Pedro Ramos 7-10, 5.14 in 19 starts, then traded to the Yankees where he became a full time reliever

And Sonny Siebert, Lee Stange (who came from the Twins for Mudcat Grant) and Tommy John (age 21) each had 14 starts, Grant 9 and Gary Bell 2. So basically Stange replaced Grant, and Tiant replaced Ramos from the initial rotation. Both were significant improvements though, at 3.75, the Indians pitching still ended up #6 in the league. I think it's fair to say that Birdie Tebbetts had a hard time making up his mind on a rotation, which was his history in Milwaukee in '62 and Cleveland in '63 as well. Lots of guys with 12-15-20-22 starts. In Milwaukee '62 it had been Spahn 34, Shaw and Hendley 29, Burdette 19, Lemaster 12, Piche 8, Willey 6, Curtis 5, Butler and Constable 2, and Buhl 1. Buhl was traded early on and Curtis came in trade, though I don't know if that was the same trade.

So anyway, SHOULD Tiant have been on the Indians' staff from the beginning. Sure, in hindsight. At the time, having a 21 year old in the rotation already, it was probably reasonable that the 23 year old would get held back until desperation set in.

The Indians BTW tied the Twins for 6th at 79-83 that year. Boy, was that two teams headed in opposite directions. And in 1965 Grant went 21-7, 3.30 in 39 starts and 270 IP while Stange went 8-4, 3.34 in 41 games, 12 of them starts, and 132 IP (again under Tebbetts). But Tebbetts did have a more established rotation with McDowell at 35 GS, Tiant 30, Siebert 27, Ralph Terry 26, but still Kralick 16, Stagne 12, Hargan 8, Kelly 4, Donovan 3 and Weaver 1 (not Jeff). (Tebbetts got fired in '66 at 66-57, .537. The Indians never played .537 ball again for almost 30 years, until 1994.)
   52. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 10, 2006 at 06:44 PM (#2205791)
I believe Bill James said that the 1964 Indians staff had the most major league future wins of any staff in history--he wrote that more than 20 years ago; I don't know if it's still true
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 11, 2006 at 03:49 AM (#2206564)
Regarding #50, here's the game.
   54. OCF Posted: October 11, 2006 at 04:36 AM (#2206605)
I have an RA+ equivalent record for him of 224-164, which makes him a contender. (Contrast Pierce at 218-150; I will still have Pierce ahead.) His best year was 1968 (equivalent 21-8) but his 1974 (equivalent 23-12) was nearly as good. In general, his 1972-1978 prime was better than his time in the 60's. However, that does subject him to the "but they pitched more innings in the 70's" discount, which will slightly increase the space I put between him and Pierce.
   55. DavidFoss Posted: October 11, 2006 at 05:37 AM (#2206638)
I believe Bill James said that the 1964 Indians staff had the most major league future wins of any staff in history--he wrote that more than 20 years ago; I don't know if it's still true

John, Tiant & McDowell

I'm not entirely sure how to efficiently calculate their total (or search for surpassers).

Could anyone have passed them? 1986 Royals (Cone, Saberhagen, Gubicza)? 1993 Braves (Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz)? 1989 Rangers (Brown, Rogers, Moyer, Witt, Alvarez)!!!. 1978 Dodgers (Welch, Stewart, Sutcliffe, Sutton, John, Hough, Hooton)?
   56. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 11, 2006 at 12:04 PM (#2206678)
I believe Bill James said that the 1964 Indians staff had the most major league future wins of any staff in history--he wrote that more than 20 years ago; I don't know if it's still true

John, Tiant & McDowell


Looie, John, and Sonny Siebert were rookies, so ALL of their wins happened from 64 and beyond--so that's over 650 right there

throw in 135 from Sudden Sam, another 80 or so from Mudcat

Could anyone have passed them? 1986 Royals (Cone, Saberhagen, Gubicza)

by my quick calculations, those 3 plus Danny Jackson get you to 604, so you see what you're up against
   57. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 11, 2006 at 01:00 PM (#2206706)
Regarding #50, here's the game.

wow--you found it; as you can see, the pick-off didn't help; he got blasted that day

which brings me to the next question: what the HELL happened to Luis betwen 68 & 69? (this is only of interest if one was an Indian's fan, so bear with me here)

in retrospect, everyone talks about various "injuries" (I found numerous web references to "injury-plagued 1969"), but, in fact, he didn't miss any starts in 69, threw 250 innings (same as 68), didn't APPEAR to be hurt (the infamous "broke a shoulder blade while throwing a pitch" happened the following year, after he was traded)

I'll tell you what I saw: he completely lost command of the strike zone--his WHIP went from .87 to 1.4, which was mostly due to his BB going from 73 to 129. He still allowed far fewer than 1 hit per inning. I should add that his 9-20 record that year was far worse than it should have been--his ERA+ was 102.

granted, 68 was a fluke, but all his numbers in 69 were considerably worse than 64-67

I can tell you what everybody SAID at the time: the offseason following 68 was the first time that Tiant DIDN'T pitch winter ball. Nobody explained exactly why that was relevant, but people repeated it like a mantra.

After he was traded & got hurt, I figgered he was just another in the long line of young fireballers who flamed out

then suddenly, here he is with the Bosox, a crafty junkballer...
   58. DL from MN Posted: October 11, 2006 at 03:05 PM (#2206820)
1993 Braves: 238 Maddux, 217 Glavine, Smoltz 136, Avery 64, Smith 16 = 671 and counting but they're not getting to 865. If Avery had panned out they might have come close.
   59. Daryn Posted: October 11, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2206852)
1978 Dodgers: 1178 future wins.
   60. Daryn Posted: October 11, 2006 at 03:51 PM (#2206885)
Including 7 guys who got more than 100. Welch led the way with 204.
   61. DavidFoss Posted: October 11, 2006 at 04:04 PM (#2206904)
Including 7 guys who got more than 100. Welch led the way with 204.

Thanks. Looks like you didn't count the 95 from that season. (Whether to include that is arbitrary, but it was part of the 64 Indians 865 number). I'm sure the 64-Indians creep up a bit closer when the full total is done (865 is just their top 5).

Fun stuff, too bad I don't know how to total this stuff up efficiently (and I should be working). :-)

They won't be the winners, but I do like the 89 Rangers. Brown, Moyer & Rogers make a very unlikely trio of 200 game winners. (though I believe only 188 of Moyer's are 1989 and beyond)
   62. Daryn Posted: October 11, 2006 at 04:11 PM (#2206913)
Looks like you didn't count the 95 from that season.

That's right. The 1989 Rangers have 922. Led by Kenny Rogers, also with 104.
   63. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 11, 2006 at 04:12 PM (#2206916)
quite a collection

Counting 1978 its own self

Welch 211
Hough 182 (!)
Sutcliffe 171
Stewart 168
John & Sutton both with 134
Rhoden 119

64 Indians:
John 288
Tiant 229
Siebert 140
McDowell 135

no one else with more than 80

I had forgotten about Dave Stewart being with LA in 78
   64. Daryn Posted: October 11, 2006 at 04:12 PM (#2206918)
Also with 204 that should read.
   65. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 11, 2006 at 04:17 PM (#2206926)
which brings me to the next question: what the HELL happened to Luis betwen 68 & 69?


He may have had trouble adjusting to the lower mound and the shrinking strike zone.

-- MWE
   66. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: October 11, 2006 at 04:22 PM (#2206932)
1892 Spiders: 688 Future Wins (includes all wins in 1892)

1900 Pirates: 978 Future Wins

1968 Mets: 1007 Future Wins
   67. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 11, 2006 at 04:31 PM (#2206944)
OK, so here's the benchmark.

1964 Indians
-------------
John 286
Tiant 219
Siebert 133
McDowell 124
Grant 67
McMahon 55
Bell 46
Abernathy 46
Stange 38
Kelley 20
Ramos 12
Kralick 8
Donovan 1
===========
TOTAL 1055

I've looked for teams that are over 1000 (or near-past teams above 900). It's all hand-counts, and I won't vouch for it being complete by any means.

Righto on the 78 Dodgers!

1978 dodgers
-------------
Welch 204
Hough 177
Sutcliffe 171
Stewart 168
Sutton 119
John 117
Rhoden 109
Hooton 57
Castillo 37
Forster 17
Rau 2
Rautzhan 0
Hannahs 0
Lewallyn 0
===========
TOTALS 1178

1976 O's
-----------
Martinez 244
Flanagan 164
Alexander 143
McGregor 138
Palmer 94
May 64
Grimsley 51
Tippy 49
Jackson 33
Garland 30
Miller 15
Holtzman 9
Holdsworth 3
Pagan 1
Cuellar 0
===========
TOTAL 1038

1967 Cubs
----------
jenkins 256
niekro 211
holtzman 154
norman 104
hands 96
culp 71
stoneman 52
mikkelsen 24
nye 13
koonce 18
gardner 10
hartenstein 8
simmons 2
radatz 2
ellis 0
upham 0
===========
TOTAL 1021

1974 dodgers
-------------
Messersmith 37
Sutton 185
Marshall 42
Rau 62
John 164
Downing 3
Hough 213
Zahn 108
Brewer 7
Rhoden 150
Solomon 36
==========
TOTAL 1007

I'm just going to list these two Dodger teams. I have a feelig that from about 1973ish through 1980ish they may have had 1000 future win teams several other times.


1990 braves
------------
glavine 257
smoltz 165
avery 96
Merker 69
Stanton 67
Leibrant 39
greene 35
Hesketh 31
Freeman 30
Smith 29
Boever 26
Castillo 21
Parrett 20
Lilliquist 12
Henry 9
Valdez 5
Grant 2
Sisk 2
==========
TOTAL 915

1989 Rangers
------------
Rogers 204
Brown 197
Moyer 174
Witt 103
Alvarez 102
Hough 42
Ryan 35
Russell 17
Jeffcoat 10
Barfield 8
Akerfelds 7
Arnsberg 6
Hall 4
Guante 2
Mielke 0
McMurtry 0
===========
TOTAL 911

In answer to specific teams mentioned above:
1993 Braves: 820
1986 Royals: 777
   68. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: October 11, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2206950)
1912 Phillies: 919 Future Wins, which is pretty impresive . . . until you looked at the other team in town.

1912 A's: 1022 Future Wins.

Joe Bush, Stan Coveleski, Herb Pennock, Eppa Rixey, Pete Alexander - a bunch of long lasting starters at the outset of their careers.
   69. DL from MN Posted: October 11, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2206977)
> I have an RA+ equivalent record for him of 224-164, which makes him a contender.
> (Contrast Pierce at 218-150;

The difference is 6-14. Tiant's actual record in 1981 & 1982 which I'm not going to consider is 4-7. Pierce has a slight edge but it is very close. I assume Tiant is not getting credit for his 15-1 AAA stats in this analysis either. My guess is he would have added another 10-4 to his major league stats. Add all that up and Tiant = Pierce + 12-11.

Tiant did very well in the 1975 postseason (his only starts) going 3-0 in 4 starts with a 2.65 ERA in 34 innings (3 complete games). 20K, 11BB, 28H.

Of course Pierce also did well in the postseason - 1-1, 1.89ERA in 19 innings (one complete game). Lopez used him as a reliever in 1959 and he didn't give up a run.

For peak Tiant has 1968 and 1972, Pierce has 1955, 1952, 1953.

It's splitting hairs. Do you want the crafty lefthander from the 50s or the crafty righthander from the 70s? I'm taking both.
   70. OCF Posted: October 11, 2006 at 05:18 PM (#2206988)
You're right in that I'm not including any minor league equivalencies. I have his equivalent record for 1981-1982 as 4-6; it makes very little difference whether we include that or not. I also have him as an equivalent 9-9 for 1970 and 1971 combined, which is a slight plus. In effect, he is getting a huge amount of credit in this system for averaging 280 IP per season over a four year span (1973-1976), but is is fair game to ask how many pitchers were pitching that many innings at exactly that time. The answer is more than in Pierce's time.
   71. Daryn Posted: October 11, 2006 at 08:17 PM (#2207183)
1989 Rangers
------------
Rogers 204
Brown 197
Moyer 174


Moyer is 184. So their total is 921.
   72. Daryn Posted: October 11, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#2207199)
Does anyone beat the 1978 Dodgers for most career wins (before/during/after) at 1888. I tried the obvious Cy Young-led Cleveland Spiders, but the best I could do was 1894 with 1412 wins.
   73. Daryn Posted: October 11, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#2207205)
1989 Rangers
------------
Rogers 204
Brown 197
Moyer 174
Witt 103
Alvarez 102
Hough 42
Ryan 35
Russell 17
Jeffcoat 10
Barfield 8
Akerfelds 7
Arnsberg 6
Hall 4
Guante 2
Mielke 0
McMurtry 0
===========
TOTAL 911


You forgot Jeff Kunkel.
   74. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 12, 2006 at 01:43 AM (#2207762)
i didn't count decisions accumulated during the season in question, only after, so i think kunkel doesn't get another. Unless I missed one. Which is totally likely....
   75. Daryn Posted: October 12, 2006 at 01:45 AM (#2207765)
No, he was zero like Mielke and McMurtry, I just thought it was interesting you left him out.
   76. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 14, 2006 at 08:05 PM (#2211356)
Has anyone done any kinesthetic work on whether pitching with different arm angles would reduce stress on the joints? It was said that today's coaches stress repeatability in the motion to help the pitcher throw strikes. I would guess that encourages repetitive stress injuries also.


You should email primate ChadBradfordWannabe, if anyone would know it's him.
   77. Cuban X Senators Posted: October 19, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#2218037)
My earliest baseball memory is of watching Tiant run the bases in a Red Sox jacket, must have been the '75 series. I'm sure that it was of interest to me because my mother always rooted for Luis, having grown up one town over from Burlington, NC where Luis pitched A ball. Luis used to leave tickets for her and her roommates from Burlington after they moved to DC in the mid-60s -- must have been some of the few people he knew in the States in those early years.

My mother went to a ton of games in the late 50s and early 60s just as her mother had done around the war years. As an adult I asked her if her father had gone to games too. "I only remember him going when Luis pitched. He said he'd never been more sure that a guy was a big leaguer than he was with Luis."

I wonder how much of the craft of varying delivery was taught to Luis by Luis Sr. And I wonder too how much one's father being a successful pitcher could gain latitude from coaches who otherwise might meddle with a delivery.
   78. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 19, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2218052)
Luis Tiant pitched a one hitter against Oakland in the very first MLB game I ever attended. A 1-0 win for the Yanks with a combined 3 hits in the game. Rickey Henderson made one of his first appearances in the game. I know all this thanks to retrosheet. At the time, I was happy just to be there and the details just washed over my head. And I have a baseball card of Luis Tiant Sr., which I think is pretty cool. Anyway, back to lurking.

(Any chance some of you guys want to take on a thread of the greatest teams of all time? I'd love to know how some of the Cuban and Negro League powerhouses stack up against MLB teams. The 1923 Santa Clara team and one of the Homestead Grays juggernauts specifically. I just don't have the access to stats or the mathematical know how to do it and I'm really impressed by the work some of you guys do with MLE's.)

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