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Sunday, November 07, 2004

Red Faber, Eppa Rixey and Jack Quinn

One of the Clean Sox, Eppa Jeptha and that other guy with the long career!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 07, 2004 at 02:18 AM | 106 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Kelly in SD Posted: November 07, 2004 at 11:08 AM (#956856)
Urban Clarence "Red" Faber

Team: ChiA 1914-1933
Record: 254-213 / 3.15 ERA, 3.99 RA, 3.79 LERA / 1.21 k/w / 11.71 WH9IP
Win Shares: career: 292 / 3 consecutive yrs: 93 / 7 non-consecutive yrs: 163 / per 40 gs (start + .6(relief appearances): 19.6 / 20 in a season: 4 / 25: 2 / 30: 2
All-Stars: Win Shares league all star: 2. STATS league all star: 2
Fibonacci Win Points: 179
ERA+: 119
Black Ink/Grey Ink: 22/161
Bill James Rank: 56
Top 10s: ERA 7 times with 2 firsts. ERA+ 5 times with 2 firsts. Wins 7 times. Win% 5 times. IP 4 times with 1 first. WHIP 6 times with 2 firsts. BB/9 8 times.
Interesting Fact 1: He just kicked the Tigers' A$$: He finished 54-28 against them.
Interesting Fact 2: In his 1920 season where he went 23-13 for the second place White Sox, Faber seemed to face an usually large number of good or name pitchers:
game 1: Dutch Leonard (10-17). 2. Coveleski (24-14). 3. Van Glider. 4. Coveleski (24-14) 5. Myers 6. Pennock (16-13) 7. Courtney 8. Naylor 9. Bagby (31-12) 10. Shocker (20-10) 11. Dauss (13-21) 12. Leonard (10-17) 13. Pennock (16-13) 14. Quinn (18-10) 15. Caldwell (20-10) 16. Leonard (10-17) 17. Weilman 18. Bagby (31-12) 19. Naylor 20. W Johnson (8-10) 21. Quinn (18-10) 22. Pennock (16-13) 23. Leonard (10-17) 24. Naylor 25. Mays (26-11) 26. Harper 27. Acosta 28. Ehmke (15-18) 29. Hariss 30. Courtney (8-11) 31. Shawkey (20-13) 32. Davis (18-12) 33. Ehmke (15-18) 34. Pennock (16-13) 35. Shaw (11-18) 36. Thormahlen (9-6) 37. Hariss 38. Mails (7-0) 39. Davis (18-12). (maybe this is just b/c of the # of pitchers who had long careers who were active at the time - though I didn't notice this concentration in any other year.)
Interesting Facts 3: Record against HoM( or assumed HoM pitchers) and other "names"
Grove: 1-5
W Johnson: 4-6
Coveleski 4-9
Shocker: 4-5
C Mays: 3-2
Bagby: 4-4
Shawkey: 0-3
Pennock: 8-5
Hoyt: 2-2
Dauss: 6-6
Ruffing: 4-1
Uhle: 3-1

I should have counted Sad Sam Jones and Jack Quinn but I didn't...

Against teams .500 or better: 121-130 .482
Against teams .500 or worse: 127-89 .588
Against teams finishing ahead of the Sox: 118-147 .445
Against teams finishing behind the Sox: 130-72 .644

Hope the info helps...
   2. Kelly in SD Posted: November 07, 2004 at 11:22 AM (#956859)
Eppa (Jephtha) Rixey

Team: PhiN 1912-1920, Cin 1921-1933
Record: 266-251 / 3.15 ERA, 3.98 RA, 3.64 LERA / 1.25 k/w / 11.46 WH9IP
Win Shares: career: 315 / 3 consecutive yrs: 73 / 7 non-consecutive yrs: 164 / per 40 gs (start + .6(relief appearances): 19.8 / 20 in a season: 8 / 25: 2 / 30: 0
All-Stars: Win Shares league all star: 6. STATS league all star: 5
Fibonacci Win Points: 152
ERA+: 117
Black Ink/Grey Ink: 27/134
Bill James Rank: 75
Top 10s: ERA 6 times. ERA+ 7 times. Wins 7 times with 1 first. Win% 5 times. IP 10 times with 1 first. WHIP 6 times. BB/9 6 times. SHo 9 times with 1 first. Ks 5 times.

Chris J.'s Run Support Analysis: 95.31 (160th of 191 pitchers analyzed)
Chris J.'s Defensive Win Shares Support: +8.6 (55th/191)

A breakdown comparison like above will follow soon. (I want to do Luque at the same time).
   3. Kelly in SD Posted: November 07, 2004 at 11:24 AM (#956860)
Oops!
Forgot to include Run Support and Defensive Win Shares Support for Faber:
Offensive: 101.04 - slightly above average support
Defensive: +2.9 (126/191)
   4. Kelly in SD Posted: November 07, 2004 at 11:29 AM (#956862)
It is reeeaaally late...

Rixey's ERA+ should read 115 NOT 117

No more posting tonight...
   5. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: November 07, 2004 at 04:42 PM (#956913)
Eppa Rixey.

Red Faber.

Kelly, interesting stuff on Faber vs. Detriot (all I'd noticed was how often he started againt them) and also liked the info on his 1920 season. I'm putting that on my site, unless you have a problem.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 07, 2004 at 05:44 PM (#956937)
Good work, guys!
   7. Kelly in SD Posted: November 07, 2004 at 10:21 PM (#957053)
Chris,
Please do. Thanks.
   8. PhillyBooster Posted: November 08, 2004 at 03:35 PM (#957791)
Ep--PA!
Ep--PA!
Ep--PA!

Sorry. Thought this thread needed a little mindless boosterism.

Let's try Innings Pitched to start. The number is parenthesis are somewhat "full" season (i.e., more than 100 IP):

Rixey: 4495 (20)
Grimes: 4180 (16)
Faber: 4086 (18)
Quinn: 3920 (17)
Sam Jones: 3883 (19)
Hoyt: 3762 (19)
Pennock: 3572 (16)
Cooper: 3480 (12)
Dauss: 3390 (14)
Luque: 3220 (14)
Haines: 3208 (14)
Meadows: 3160 (13)
Zachary: 3126 (16)
Uhle: 3119 (13)
Joe Bush: 3087 (13)
Coveleski: 3082 (11)
Mays: 3021 (11)
Vance: 2967 (11)

In terms of durability, Rixey laps the field. (This is, incidentally, also the main reason that Stan Coveleski is #16 on my ballot this year, although that is now approaching a moot point).
   9. karlmagnus Posted: November 08, 2004 at 04:01 PM (#957833)
Mickey Welch 4802, eat your heart out Eppa! :-))
   10. TomH Posted: November 08, 2004 at 04:20 PM (#957863)
The NBJHA strongly implies that Faber was unfairly stuck in the minors until age 25 despite very good credentials. Any insight as to whether we ought to give him a little more career-value credit?
   11. PhillyBooster Posted: November 08, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#957865)
Yes, well, my list was of contemporaries only (1920s pitchers). No timelining necessary here!
   12. PhillyBooster Posted: November 08, 2004 at 04:22 PM (#957867)
Note, also, Rixey missed all of 1918 -- his age 27 season -- serving in World War I.
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 08, 2004 at 04:28 PM (#957880)
The NBJHA strongly implies that Faber was unfairly stuck in the minors until age 25 despite very good credentials. Any insight as to whether we ought to give him a little more career-value credit?

If we have evidence of this, sure! How much? Haven't a clue.

Note, also, Rixey missed all of 1918 -- his age 27 season -- serving in World War I.

That does help his case with me. That could push him into the top ten on my ballot.
   14. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: November 08, 2004 at 06:04 PM (#958055)
Note:

Eppa vs. Dolf. As has been noted elsewhere in the HoM & also in the Eppa notes on my site (see above link), they had very different RSIs while pitchig alongside each other (ER's run support was bad, DL's RSIs were horrific). The initial guess was that DL pitced against tougher opponents.

I looked into that (I'll be busy the next 1-2 weeks so I might not get any info up on my site) and Luque did face tougher opponents while they were teammates together, but not that tougher. He's got Rixey beat in MOWP+ by maybe 7-8 points in the years they were teammates together. Mostly, he just got screwed by luck.
   15. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: November 08, 2004 at 06:04 PM (#958056)
I thing - I have no idea if Luque faced tougher opposing starting pitchers though.
   16. PhillyBooster Posted: November 08, 2004 at 09:02 PM (#958294)
The NBJHA strongly implies that Faber was unfairly stuck in the minors until age 25 despite very good credentials. Any insight as to whether we ought to give him a little more career-value credit?

On the one hand, evidence of "unfairly stuck" should not be ignored. Especially if the evidence is extensive (I am a big fan of Gavvy Cravath based largely on his 9 years of AA/PCL stats), or if there is evidence of actual discrimination (I will be a big fan of Dolf Luque, who played for Negro League teams while trying to break into the majors).

On the other hand, there is something to be said for availability heuristics. Assumedly, most players had some minor league time before or after (or during) their careers. And a lot of the judgments is Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

Chase Utley is the Phillies' "second baseman of the future". Was Chase Utley, the Phil's "second baseman of the future" was unfairly stuck when he spent all of 2002 in AAA Scranton, performed well, and in 2003 was sent back, and he had an OPS of over 900? Should he be given credit (when his HoM case is examined in 20 years) for that time? If he had turned around and posted a 900-1000 OPS in 2004, his case for being "unfairly excluded" gains steam. As of now, it doesn't look like such a bad idea.

--------------

That said --

Bill James claims that Faber won "18 games in the Three-I League in 1910". That is true. He was 18-19 that year, playing for Dubuque. That puts somewhat of a different spin on "18 wins".

Red Faber was briefly a teammate of Gavvy Cravath's in Minneapolis in the AA in 1911, where he went 1-0 in 5 games (24 IP). He then injured his arm, and was demoted from Minneapolis to Pueblo in the Western League, where he went 12-8, and developed a spitball.

He switched from Pueblo to Des Moines,and did win 21 in 1912 and 20 in 1913 with Des Moines. He led the Western League in 1913 with 265 strikeouts. This was the 1910s equivalent, however, of Double-A baseball. His 20 wins in 1913, while impressive, did not lead the league. That honor went to this guy, George Boehler, who was younger than Faber, and was not exactly a big star in the majors. The biggest offensive star that Faber faced in 1913 was Bill Congalton, who had been out of the majors for six year, but had 227 hits for Omaha that year.

I will leave it to the voter to determine how much credit to give Faber for minor league play. Some may wish to factor in those 54 minor league wins. For me, however, the more telling fact is that he was demoted not only from Pittsburgh, but from Minneapolis as well. He will certainly make my ballot, but solely for his major league experience.
   17. Chris Cobb Posted: November 08, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#958328)
Phillybooster,

Great stuff!

Thanks!
   18. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 08, 2004 at 09:50 PM (#958366)
Phillybooster, the Utley case is an intersting one, and I wonder if it doesn't bring up a larger question for the group. Is there a sort-of "quality of organizational-smarts" timeline effect that mirrors the quality of play timeline?

To put it another way, using the Utley example, would we give Utley credit for that second AAA season in 1920? In 1930? 1940? 1980? Etc....

It might seem overly speculative to suggest this, but, to use modern examples, cases or at least ballot positions for Edgar Martinez or perhaps Brian Giles might very well rest on a question like this.
   19. PhillyBooster Posted: November 08, 2004 at 10:19 PM (#958392)
Yeah, my point with Utley, that I didn't really pull through, was that if I were a contemporary manager looking at Faber, I'd probably think, "Yeah, he can sure mow down the kids in the minors with his trick pitch, but real major leaguer wouldn't fall for that."

I'm primarily a minor-league junkie, so every year I hear lots of players in the South Atlantic League or the New York-Penn League being called "the next Tom Glavine" or "the next [pick your favorite knuckleballer]" because their fastball doesn't hit 85, but they make Low-A hitters look like idiots. 95% of them get to AA or AAA, where 80% of the people who they made look like idiots have been cut, and suddenly their "great location" doesn't seem so great and they start getting knocked around.

So, when I started looking at Faber and saw "Best Spitball in Des Moines", I was picturing this 1913 blog kept my an Iowa baseball fan saying "You've got to see this great kid here with a trick pitch and 265 strikeouts!" Yeah, right, I'd think. I'm sure there's also a guy with "great location" in Birmingham in the Southern League who gets tons of weak grounders, and a guy in the Central League who hasn't walked a batter in 120 innings.

So, if anything, I think Faber was wrongly prevented from giving it another try in Minneapolis in 1913. But even there, I'm not so sure. Minneapolis's rotation in 1913 included Roy Patterson (coming off 81 major league wins), George Mogridge (preceding 132 Major League wins), Irv "Second Cy" Young (coming off 63 major league wins), Fred Olmstead (coming off a four year major league career), Bill Burns, (coming off a five year major league career), and Jack Gilligan.

Without a major league affiliate, without a mandate to develop talent, and only in the market to win games, it is not at all obvious that Minneapolis didn't have the five best pitchers at its disposal going for them. If you're going for the AA pennant (they finished second in 1913 after winning in 1912), which of these guys do you cut to make room for the kid with 21 wins and a trick pitch from Des Moines?
   20. TomH Posted: November 08, 2004 at 11:02 PM (#958448)
I second the kudos for the info, PhillyBooster
   21. OCF Posted: November 08, 2004 at 11:06 PM (#958456)
Note, also, Rixey missed all of 1918 -- his age 27 season -- serving in World War I.

I read this differently for pitchers than I do for position players, because so much of a pitcher's career depends on his ability to avoid arm injuries. This will become much more important with WWII. For a position player, time spent in the service is time he's not getting back. But for a pitcher?

Warren Spahn did very little pitching when he was in his early 20's, but once he started he had an extraordinarily long career, remaining effective well into his 40's. I don't know that these two facts are connected, but you'd have a hard time convincing me they're not.

Spahn is an obvious first-ballot HoM selection anyway. What about Bob Feller? He came to the majors very young and piled enormous abuse onto his arm from age 18 through 22. Then the war happened, taking him out of the majors for nearly four years. When he came back, he had a 6-year run of excellence and hung on for several years after that. Sure the war ate a big chunk out of his prime - but maybe if the war hadn't happened, his arm would have died when he was 24.

In Rixey's case, he was already established and already 27 when the war happened. He only lost one year directly, but was a less-effective half-time pitcher in 1919 as well. From my RA+ system, here are his equivlent FWP on a year-by-year basis for his career:

15, 8, -4, 7, 15, 13, GAP, -2, 8, 16, 15, 21, 18, 24, 9, 8, 15, 11, 3, 1, 5, 1.

Maybe he lost his edge with the year off and it took him a while to regain it (note his strongest multi-year run starting in 1921). Maybe his arm was starting to go dead at the end of 1917 and the year off saved his career.

As it is, for his whole career the RA+ system gives Rixey an equivalent record of 275-224. The only people I've got so far (1890-1940 pitchers) with more than 275 equivalent wins are either (1) already elected, or (2) Lefty Grove.

My gut impression is that I'll put Faber ahead of Rixie, because he did slightly more in his best years. But there won't be much space in between them. And do echo what someone said on the ballot thread, can anyone give me a good reason not to lead off the 1939 ballot with pitchers?
   22. jimd Posted: November 09, 2004 at 02:58 AM (#958653)
Without a major league affiliate, without a mandate to develop talent, and only in the market to win games,

The high minors during this era are INDEPENDENT teams. I'm sure that most of the voters here realize this, but to emphasize to those who don't; they are not modern minor league teams existing primarily to train young future major leaguers. They are more like modern small-market major league teams, trying to put together the best team they can with the budget they have, and win their division, uhh, league.

The Minneapolis-St.Paul area was a larger market than Detroit or Washington (1900 census) or half of St.Louis for that matter. They should have been able to afford to put together teams that could play in the majors and not be embarrassed. That doesn't mean that they always did, but the potential was there. Similarly, Baltimore in the IL was a larger market than Cincinnati or Pittsburgh or Cleveland or half of Boston. Doesn't mean it was a better market (it wasn't in the 1890's, which was why it was contracted) but again the potential was there.

The players on these teams can be better than major league replacement level, because they are not available at replacement level prices. The mechanisms to force minor league teams to give up talent are not yet in place; major league teams can buy that talent but at a market rate which could be higher than "replacement level". It's more like purchasing from another major league team, but without the firsthand knowledge of seeing the player regularly and intuitively knowing the park effects involved in their stats; IOW, it was often seen as a gamble.
   23. Paul Wendt Posted: November 09, 2004 at 03:43 AM (#958706)
Faber, Rixey, and Jack Quinn were hit hard in the latest revision of WARP.

Faber and Quinn were Grandfather spitballists until 1933 (Quinn at age 50).
The Spitball Pitch: legal denouement inclg link to 1922 interview with Faber.

Red Faber
1917 World Series star

1919 season stats hint that he lost a quality season to WWI and aftermath.
The game log doesn't support it. Opponents scored only 11 runs (3 4 1 2 1) in his first five starts, May 7-30. He started only one game after Aug 8, namely Sep 15.

Eppa Rixey
1919 season stats hint that he lost a quality season to WWI and aftermath.
The game log provides some support. He didn't start until Jun 19 (30% of season entirely missed) and opponents scored 35 runs (4 10 2 9 10) in his first five starts, Jun19-Jul5. He pitched regularly until Sep 7, then not once in the remaining 18 games, an 11-game Western trip and 7 in the East.
   24. Paul Wendt Posted: November 09, 2004 at 03:51 AM (#958715)
Phillybooster #19
that if I were a contemporary manager looking at Faber, I'd probably think, "Yeah, he can sure mow down the kids in the minors with his trick pitch, but real major leaguer wouldn't fall for that."

but the spitball wasn't a "trick pitch" in the 1910s?
   25. jimd Posted: November 09, 2004 at 04:02 AM (#958726)
The Neft+Cohen Baseball Encylopedia (updated annually?) lists MS (Military Service) next to a number of players in 1918 and 1919. Rixey is marked as MS in both 1918 and 1919; maybe he got discharged later than most.
   26. DavidFoss Posted: November 09, 2004 at 04:30 AM (#958770)
Red Faber
1917 World Series star

1919 season stats hint that he lost a quality season to WWI and aftermath.
The game log doesn't support it. Opponents scored only 11 runs (3 4 1 2 1) in his first five starts, May 7-30. He started only one game after Aug 8, namely Sep 15.


baseballlibrary.com says he was sick/hurt in late 1919:

"He was on the bench for the scandalous Series, however, with recurring arm trouble and the flu."
   27. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 09, 2004 at 06:34 AM (#958961)
Great stuff guys.

I definitely am more prone to giving 'stuck in the minors' credit to guys from the 1910s as opposed to the 1980s or 2000s, mainly for the reasons jimd mentioned. If you look at Edgar's minor league record (IIRC) it doesn't look like he was 'trapped' except for maybe the last season. He was just a late bloomer. It happens, rarely, but it does happen.

Faber, based on what Philly Booster said certainly doesn't meet the standard for me either.

But I really like both of these guys as candidates. I could have them 1-2 in 1939. I'm a big fan of the workhorse 280-230 Tommy John, Bert Blyleven, Eppa Rixey types (not that there are many of them). It's enormously valuable to have a pitcher like that, year in and year out.
   28. PhillyBooster Posted: November 09, 2004 at 11:43 AM (#959108)

but the spitball wasn't a "trick pitch" in the 1910s?


I've wondered about this. When I wrote "trick pitch", I meant it the same way that we think about a knuckleball today. Not illegal, or even immoral, but not the sort of thing you expect 95% of the pitchers to be throwing. Faber was NOT a spitballer until 1911 when he hurt his arm and had to figure out a new way to pitch.

Assumedly, however, the decision to ban the spitter wasn't an edict out of the blue, like it would be if we woke up tomorrow and Selig had banned to split-fingered fastball. There were likely complaints about it for years and years, and continuing questions about whether or not it would be banned, and also whether there would be a "grandfather" clause if it was.

One would imagine, then, that expending resources on a pitcher, no matter how good, who had an arm injured in such a way a way that he could ONLY throw a spitter was a risky proposition throughout the decade.

--

None of the above, however, will prevent me from placing both Rixey and Faber in the Top 5.
   29. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 09, 2004 at 03:14 PM (#959196)
I'm a big fan of the workhorse 280-230 Tommy John, Bert Blyleven, Eppa Rixey types (not that there are many of them).

Rikalbert was much better than the rest of those guys. He's one of those non-HOFer that I'm going to love inducting into the HoM sometime in the future.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 09, 2004 at 07:42 PM (#959499)
I added Jack Quinn to this page. He's better than I thought he was, though if he makes my ballot, it will be at the bottom.
   31. Michael Bass Posted: November 09, 2004 at 08:12 PM (#959563)
Rikalbert was much better than the rest of those guys. He's one of those non-HOFer that I'm going to love inducting into the HoM sometime in the future.

Right there with you on that. His lack of support is the most infuriating part of the HOF balloting every year for me. Sandberg is also a travesty, but he's getting in soon enough. Blyleven looks hosed for the long run.
   32. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 09, 2004 at 08:40 PM (#959646)
Some stray slack on Quinn, whose case is neither cut nor dried.

His big year came as a Fed which could simultaneously reduce his appeal to peak voters, and reduce the persuasiveness of any career voter who might favorably compare his win share total to Faber's (287 to 292 IIRC).

His career innings are around 3900, his ERA+ is 114. This reminds me somewhat of Chris Cobb's projections for Dick Redding. Rixey 4500 at 115; Faber 4100 at 119.

Quinn's RSI was 94.94, not very good, but not as bad as Rixey's, while his defense was right around average. And though he pitched for some good teams, he also pitched for a bunch of lousy Sox teams in the 20s.

On the other hand, his Win Shares totals aren't special on a season-by-season basis, he never led a major league in WS, and finished in the top five juse once (in the Feds). Rixey never led his league, but he finished in top five six times, while Faber led his league twice and finished in the top five once.

In WARP3, Quinn's at 65 (Rixey is 68, Faber 78), and his highest single season is just 6.1. He's more similar to Rixey than Faber in his low-peak, long career trajectory.

An interesting, if not completely accurate, analogy to position players might be---Faber:Duffy, Rixey:GVH, and Quinn:Hooper.
   33. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: November 09, 2004 at 09:00 PM (#959694)
Quinn's RSI was 94.94, not very good, but not as bad as Rixey's

Wait - Rixey had a 95.31 RSI. Quinn's was worse.
   34. Chris Cobb Posted: November 09, 2004 at 09:01 PM (#959696)
Quinn only closes with Rixey if one accepts WARP3 (well, it's really WARP2 where the changes happen). It's not fair to judge a system by one data point, but here's one that contributes to my skepticism.

1923 Eppa Rixey 309 IP, 3.50 DERA, -11 BRAR, 4 FRAR --> 5.4 WARP3

1923 Jack Quinn 243 IP, 3.83 DERA, -3 BRAR, 0 FRAR --> 5.3 WARP3

I can't possibly see league differences in quality so vast that pitcher A, who was 10% better in runs allowed and with 25% more innings pitched than pitcher B, could be only 2% better than Pitcher B, even when pitcher B has a .5 win advantage in hitting and fielding.
   35. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 09, 2004 at 09:27 PM (#959736)
Sorry, I mixed Rixey's RSI up with Luque's.
   36. Paul Wendt Posted: November 09, 2004 at 09:37 PM (#959757)
PhillyBooster wrote (quoted out of order):
Assumedly, however, the decision to ban the spitter wasn't an edict out of the blue, like it would be if we woke up tomorrow and Selig had banned to split-fingered fastball. There were likely complaints about it for years and years, and continuing questions about whether or not it would be banned, and also whether there would be a "grandfather" clause if it was.

The Spitball Pitch links to a 'teens call for a ban by Clark Griffith, of all people. Steve Steinberg's spitball site is worth visiting for other features, too.

--
>[Paul Wendt:] the spitball wasn't a "trick pitch" in the 1910s

I've wondered about this. When I wrote "trick pitch", I meant it the same way that we think about a knuckleball today. Not illegal, or even immoral, but not the sort of thing you expect 95% of the pitchers to be throwing.


That is how I understood it, the frequency or "share of pitchers" sense. Its production did involve "doctoring" the ball, a trick in another sense.

Bill James & Rob Neyer presented "What They Threw" at the 2003 SABR Convention. That was a preview of The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers --and a call for contributions to fill gaps. James remarked that "you don't" read about spitball pitchers in the teens because everyone was throwing it." That surprised me, and I'm sure it was hyperbole to make a point, but I don't believe that "trick pitch" is apt in the frequency sense.

What did they publish? . . . The Spitball article is by Neyer, p56-58. Re frequency, he wrote much less than James spoke: "with Walsh carving up American League hitters every season, the spitball got real popular . . . If a pitcher did not do something to the baseball, at least occasionally, it was cause for comment."

Here is one of many Neyer/James Top 10 lists:

BEST SPITBALLS OF ALL TIME
1. Ed Walsh
2. Stan Coveleski
3. Gaylord Perry
4. Red Faber
5. Jack Quinn
6. Burleigh Grimes
7. Jack Chesbro
8. Phil Douglas
9. Jeff Tesreau
10. Frank Schellenback
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 09, 2004 at 09:40 PM (#959762)
How about scuff ball pitchers? Whitey Ford would have to be on that list.
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: November 09, 2004 at 09:59 PM (#959788)
This amuses me.....


February 16, 1934: Eppa Rixey of the Cincinnati Reds announces his retirement after 21 seasons and a career 266-251 mark. The next day Urban "Red" Faber retires, leaving a 20-year career mark of 254-212, all with the Chicago White Sox.
   39. Cblau Posted: November 14, 2004 at 02:28 AM (#965130)
I think Jimd overstates the case when he writes that: The mechanisms to force minor league teams to give up talent are not yet in place. There was a draft; minor league teams could either sell a star player before the draft, or risk getting only a pittance for him if he was drafted. Also, many minor leaguers were on option from the majors. He'd have a better case if we were talking about the minors in the 1920's.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: November 14, 2004 at 04:10 AM (#965253)
FYI, I did weigh in on this trio on the 1939 ballot discussion page, in the off-chance that anyone would care....
   41. Kelly in SD Posted: November 14, 2004 at 07:04 AM (#965367)
Reposting from the 1939 discussion thread:
Team by team breakdowns for Rixey and Luque in 1922 and 1923 (all information courtesy of Retrosheet and Baseball Reference):

game #, opposing pitcher, result, score
1922
Luque 13-23, Rixey 25-13, team 86-68 2nd
Luque v. Boston 53-100 last
026 Fillingim L 3-9
084 Miller W 3-2
100 Miller W 6-3
124 win in relief
147 Watson L 2-5

Rixey v. Boston
087 Oeschger W 9-3
098 Watson W 5-4
146 Cooney W 4-2

Luque v. Brooklyn 76-78 6th
029 Ruether L 5-6
051 Vance W 6-2
080 Ruether W 6-4
104 Vance L 0-5
116 Ruether W 9-4

Rixey v. Brooklyn
030 Cadore W 6-2
052 Ruether W 7-2
083 Cadore W 3-0
102 Grimes L 0-4
118 Cadore W 4-3
121 Hulihan W 5-3
137 Vance L 2-3

Luque v. Chicago 80-74
002 Aldridge L 1-5
009 Osborne L 1-3
042 Alexander/Cheeves (RP) L 7-8
047 Alexander W 6-1
126 Cheeves L 4-7
131 Osborne L 1-3

Rixey v. Chicago
001 Alexander L 3-7
008 Cheeves L 3-8
038 Cheeves L 2-5
049 Aldridge W 4-2
067 Stueland W 9-5

Luque v. New York 93-61 1st
037 Douglas L 1-2
055 Ryan L 1-2
088 Nehf L 2-5
092 Ryan L 1-4
120 J Barnes L 1-2
141 McQuinlan W 8-4

Rixey v. New York
035 Nehf W 7-2
056 J Barnes L 3-9
091 Douglas W 3-2
107 Nehf W 7-3
142 Nehf W 4-3

Luque v. Philadelphia 57-96 7th
033 Meadows W 2-1
059 Meadows/Ring L 2-7
075 Meadows L 1-3
096 Meadows L 5-6
152 win out of bullpen

Rixey v. Philadelphia
060 Singleton W 8-4
078 Hubbell W 9-3
094 Weinert/Ring L 7-12
114 Smith W 3-1
151 Behan W 10-3

Luque v. Pittsburgh 85-69 Tied 3rd
005 Morrison L 0-1
013 Morrison W 8-5
017 Morrison/Adams L 6-7
063 Glazner W 7-3
110 Cooper L 1-7
153 Cooper ND

Rixey v. Pittsburgh
004 Cooper L 3-4
015 Cooper L 3-7
044 Cooper W 9-3
062 Morrison W 6-2
111 Adams L 0-6
125 Glazner L 0-2
154 Glazner W 5-1

Luque v. St. Louis 85-69 Tied 3rd
021 Pfeffer L 2-3
070 Pertica L 1-2

Rixey v. St.Louis
012 Walker W 3-0
019 Doak L 5-6
023 Doak L 5-8
072 Doak W 11-9
128 North L 3-9
133 North W 10-6

1923
Luque 27-8, Rixey 20-15, Team 91-63 2nd
Luque v. Boston 54-100 7th
022 Marquard L 4-5
043 Miller W 7-1
079 McNamara W 4-3
080 Oeschger W 9-5 (both ends of doubleheader)
093 Benton W 2-1
121 Oeschger W 4-1
138 Oeschger W 9-1

Rixey v. Boston
021 McNamara W
045 Oeschger W
105 Genewich L
119 Genewich W
141 Cooney W

Luque v. Brooklyn 76-78 6th
054 Grimes W 1-0
084 Grimes W 10-6
089 Vance L 3-6
117 Grimes W 4-0
148 Vance W 5-1

Rixey v. Brooklyn
030 Cadore L
053 Dickerman No Decision
083 Ruether W
091 Grimes ND
116 Smith W
146 Decatur W

Luque v. Chicago 83-71 4th
015 Osborne L 1-2
038 Cheeves W 3-2
058 Alexander L 0-2
067 Keen W 6-3
124 Alexander W 4-3

Rixey v. Chicago
013 Cheeves W
032 Osborne/Cheeves L
042 Kaufman L
060 Aldridge ND
123 Aldridge L
136 Alexander W

Luque v. New York 95-58 1st
026 Bentley W 7-0
050 McQuillan W 3-0
070 Scott W 5-3
100 Ryan L 4-14
104 Watson L 2-6
109 McQuillan W 6-3
150 Watson L 2-3

Rixey v. New York
027 McQuillan L
049 Bentley W
069 McQuillan W
101 McQuillan L
109 Ryan W
112 McQuillan W

Luque v. Philadelphia 50-104 last
047 Glazner W 2-1
075 Weinert W 2-0
113 Couch W 6-3
144 Glazner L 0-2

Rixey v. Philadelphia
024 Head W
073 Glazner W
086 Ring L
142 Betts W

Luque v. Pittsburgh 87-67 3rd
008 Kunz W 5-4
019 ND
061 Morrison W 2-0
128 Meadows L 2-6
133 Cooper W 8-3

Rixey v. Pittsburgh
006 Morrison L
017 Glazner L
057 Cooper W
063 Adams L
127 Cooper W
153 Meadows L

Luque v. St. Louis 79-74 5th
004 Pertica W 10-2
011 Toney L 3-4
033 Toney W 2-1
151 Toney W 11-1

Rixey v. St. Louis
002 Toney L
037 Haines W
087 Pfeffer L
131 Doak/Pfeffer L

I hope these are helpful. Sorry no scores for Rixey.
   42. Kelly in SD Posted: November 14, 2004 at 07:49 AM (#965384)
Luque and Rixey, part III, 1924 and 1925
There appears to be a difference in run support in general over the 5 years, definitely in 1925. Does anyone notice anything in terms of quality of opposing pitcher? Vance, Grimes, Adams, and Cooper are the only quality names I know.

1924: Cincinnati 83-70 in 4th, Luque 10-15 in 28 starts, Rixey 15-14 in 29 starts

Luque v. Boston, 53-100 last
024 Barnes L 0-4
025 Yeargin L 3-8
082 McNamara L 0-4
148 Graham W 4-1

Rixey v. Boston
042 Genewich W
083 Genewich W
101 Benton L
124 McNamara L

Luque v. Brooklyn, 92-62 2nd
087 Grimes W 10-8
095 Vance L 1-5
114 Grimes ND 10-5
140 Grimes ND 6-5

Rixey v. Brooklyn
028 Osborne L
052 Grimes L
088 Ehrhardt W
096 Ruether W
115 Ehrhardt L
141 Vance L

Luque v. Chicago, 81-72 5th
005 Aldridge W 5-2
069 Aldridge ND

Rixey v. Chicago
038 Jacobs W
071 Keen L
133 Jacobs W
138 Alexander L

Luque v. New York, 93-60 in 1st
029 Ryan/Barnes L 6-7
091 Watson ND 8-7
109 Ryan L 2-4
118 McQuinllan L 2-6
144 Baldwin W 5-3

Rixey v. New York
032 Barnes L
049 Watson W
093 McQuillan L
110 McQuillan W
145 Bentley L

Luque v. Philadelphia, 55-96 7th
020 Carlson L 0-2
046 Mitchell L 2-4
077 Hubbell L 1-3
104 Oeschger W 6-3

Rixey v. Philadelphia
045 Carlson W
078 Carlson W
105 Mitchell ND
119 Mitchell W

Luque v. Pittsburgh, 90-63 3rd
002 Cooper L 0-1
009 Morrison W 10-4
017 Meadows W 2-0
059 Cooper L 2-4
073 Kremer W 8-0
136 Cooper W 4-1

Rixey v. Pittsburgh
018 Meadows ND
056 Morrison/ Kremer L
060 Kremer L
074 Meadows W
128 Cooper L

Luque v. St. Louis, 65-89 6th
013 Sothoron L 3-6
033 Haines L 3-4
064 Sherdel W 5-3

Rixey v. St. Louis
066 Haines W

1925 Cincinnati 80-73 in 3rd, Luque 16-18 leads league in ERA, OAVG, Rixey 21-11
Luque v. Boston, 70-83 4th
026 Barnes W 7-3
044 Benton W 1-0
075 Benton L 0-1
079 Cooney W 9-6
096 Smith W 6-5
115 Benton L 2-4

Rixey v. Boston
027 Marquard ND 15-8
043 Barnes ND 7-6
777 Graham W 6-1

Luque v. Brooklyn, 68-85 tied in 6th
019 Osborne/Greene L 8-9
104 Osborne L 3-7
125 Cantwell/Grimes L 8-10

Rixey v. Brooklyn
017 Ehrhardt L 2-3
020 Vance W 3-2
050 Osborne W 6-0
053 Petty W 6-5
081 Osborne L 2-5
107 Ehrhardt L 1-5
124 Osborne/Petty L 3-4
148 McGraw W 3-2

Luque v. Chicago, 68-86 in last
013 Kaufman L 2-5
031 Alexander L 1-5
086 Cooper W 3-1
127 Cooper L 2-3
137 Cooper W 5-2

Rixey v. Chicago
014 Alexander W 9-3
038 Kaufman W 4-2
128 Blake W 4-0

Luque v. New York, 86-66 2nd
022 McQuinlan/ Huntzinger L 4-5
054 Bentley W 1-0
058 Scott L 3-4
083 Greenfield W 3-0
100 Bentley W 9-1
120 Scott W 2-1
140 Nehf L 1-2

Rixey v. New York
024 Bentley L 1-2
057 Nehf W 4-2
085 Dean L 5-6
102 Greenfield W 8-2
119 Barnes/Fitzsimmons L 5-6
139 Greenfield L 1-4

Luque v. Philadelphia, 68-85 tied 6th
047 Carlson W 3-1
092 Ring W 3-0
111 Betts W 7-5
144 Carlson L 0-3

Rixey v. Philadelphia
030 Ring W 9-7
046 Ring W 5-2
072 Decatur L 3-4
094 Mitchell W 6-2
114 Pierce W 8-4
143 Ulrich W 7-2

Luque v. Pittsburgh, 95-58 1st
006 Yde W 6-2
016 Morrison W 5-4
035 Cooper L 3-13
062 Adams L 2-3
066 Aldridge/Sheehan L 1-2
108 Meadows L 6-14
151 Kremer L 3-4

Rixey v. Pittsburgh
007 Meadows L 2-4
061 Kremer L 3-5
065 Morrison L 1-8
069 Meadows L 1-7
110 Morrison W 6-1

Luque v. St. Louis, 77-76 4th
002 Sothoron W 4-2
009 Dickerman W 7-2
040 Haines L 3-5
071 Rhem L 1-3

Rixey v. St. Louis
003 Dickerman W 7-3
010 Sothoron W 7-6
034 Rhem W 4-2
089 Sothoron W 7-1
133 Rhem W 8-6

Hope these help...
   43. jimd Posted: November 15, 2004 at 06:14 PM (#966737)
Welcome Cblau. I am far from an expert on the minor leagues, so I may be misrembering what I have read on the subject. My understanding was that the major leagues gradually obtained more and more control over the minors over a period of many years and many revisions of the National Agreement. So it surprises me that the minors had more independence during the 1920's than they had had previously during the 1910's or 1900's. But, since I don't know the details, this may very well be the case. I do know that during the dead ball era many major league teams placed their own young players with specific minor league teams with which they had a good working relationship.

Anybody have more details about how this draft worked, who was eligible, and why it ended?
   44. Paul Wendt Posted: November 15, 2004 at 11:27 PM (#967323)
Cliff Blau, "The Major League Draft" briefly covers 1892 to 1970. Many restrictions of the draft were enacted 1896-1921.

League Operating Rules includes that article and others that may be interesting to HOMebodies.

Early in its history, liberalization of the ML draft limits minor league/club control of players versus the Majors and restriction of the draft enables greater minor control. Late in the history, draft rules pertain to control by one MLB organization against the others.
   45. Paul Wendt Posted: November 15, 2004 at 11:49 PM (#967371)
Earl Averill, coming soon, may have been an All-Star quality player for three years in the PCL, before his MLB debut in 1929 at age 27.

Wally Berger, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams: same for a single season, I think, before their MLB debuts in the 1930s.

Lefty Grove is now famous as an early 1920s minor league star.

I don't recall reading any such thing about Stan Coveleski or Dazzy Vance and their records when they arrived as MLB regulars suggest that they were late bloomers.
   46. jimd Posted: November 16, 2004 at 01:43 AM (#967459)
Despite these rule changes, which offered them some protection from the draft, in 1919 the minor leagues abrogated the National Agreement and refused to allow their players to be drafted. Two years later, a new National Agreement was signed which allowed individual leagues to opt out of the draft. Several did, including all three of the Class AA leagues. (In 1924, all but one agreed to allow players they had obtained from the Major Leagues to be drafted. The International League held out a year longer.) This lasted until a new agreement was drawn up in 1931.

So there was, in effect, a minor league revolt in 1919 that made the high minors more independent during the early 1920's (AA was the highest classification then before AAA was added later). Good to know.

Also note that players were immune from the draft until they had spent two years at a particular level. And AA draft prices were $1000 in 1900 and $2500 in 1909. Even adjusted for inflation, they'd be trivial prices today. OTOH, note that star players received salaries that, inflation adjusted, are around the major-league minimum today. IIRC, the NL tried to impose a max salary of $2500 before the Players League war, and succeeded afterwards, until the AL war. So AA replacement players weren't cheap, either.
   47. Cblau Posted: November 17, 2004 at 02:17 AM (#969609)
Paul,
Regarding Averill, you might say that, but 1926 was his first year in pro ball, so it's not as if he was being kept in the minors after he'd established himself. And FWIW, his 1927 wasn't that good a year; he hit better in 1929 in the AL.

As for Vance, see the 6/9/32 TSN. Looks like his first big year was 1915 in the Nebraska St. Lg., after which he got a brief trial with the Yankees. He moved up to the American Ass'n. in 1916, but looks like his arm troubles started then. In 1919 he was in the PCL but went 10-18. Then spent 2 years in the Southern League before going to Brooklyn.
   48. DanG Posted: November 19, 2004 at 08:26 AM (#973434)
This should probably go on a pitcher thread.

I have a stat I call Work-Horse Index (WHI? Why not!) The simple explanation is, it takes the top 15 in MLB in IP each season and assigns points on a 20-19-…-6 basis. I also calc a peak percentage, dividing the pitcher’s IP in each top-15 season by the average IP of those ranking 11-15 each season.

This list shows all eligible pitchers with a career WHI of 80 or better since 1878. The 2nd column is average peak percentage. The 3rd is the number of seasons ranking among the top 15 in IP.

277.5 1.15 18 Young
231.0 1.17 14 Johnson
174.0 1.20 10 Alexander
169.5 1.15 11 Nichols
163.0 1.11 11 Mathewson
149.0 1.17 _9 McGinnity
138.0 1.24 _9 Galvin
125.0 1.30 _7 Rusie


The top 8 are all HoMers.

116.5 1.09 _9 Weyhing
112.0 1.08 _8 Cooper
111.5 1.11 _8 Grimes

Burleigh edges Wilbur as the 1920’s WHI king, since Cooper played about half his career in the deadball era.

109.0 1.26 _7 Clarkson
108.0 1.09 _7 Mullin
105.0 1.23 _7 Radbourn
104.0 1.23 _6 McCormick
103.0 1.06 _8 Keefe
102.0 1.12 _8 Welch
100.0 1.08 _7 Powell
_99.0 1.08 _8 Willis
_99.0 1.07 _8 Rixey
_99.0 1.39 _5 Walsh
_97.0 1.30 _6 White, W
_94.0 1.15 _7 Mullane
_90.0 1.17 _6 Hawley
_88.5 1.09 _6 Coveleski, S
_84.0 1.08 _6 Mays
_82.5 1.17 _6 Breitenstein

I maintain the belief that a pitcher who eats up a lot of innings has unmeasured value, in that he helps the other pitchers on the staff have better records by allowing them to be better rested. Also, because he is The Workhorse, the manager will often let him pitch deeper into a game where he doesn't have his stuff that day, so he's more likely to absorb a pummeling that hurts his stats.
   49. OCF Posted: November 19, 2004 at 04:41 PM (#973777)
Thanks for that list, DanG. Of course, our pitcher's eras differ in so many things that I wouldn't want to stake too much on believing that this number maintains its meaning across eras.

Two things to note: Coveleski does appear on this list, despite being "only" a 3,000-inning pitcher. And Griffith does not appear on the list. My guess is that Griffith isn't even particularly close to the list - would that be a fair guess, Dan?
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 19, 2004 at 05:11 PM (#973828)
Dan, I think the WHI is great, but maybe you should make an adjustment for the 1890s when there was only one league. I think it will hurt pitchers such as Griffith if you don't.
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 19, 2004 at 05:12 PM (#973830)
The 1870s would be another era that an adjustment would help. Tommy Bond would thank you. :-)
   52. DavidFoss Posted: November 19, 2004 at 05:30 PM (#973872)
Nice work Dan.

This is the other half of peak. The first half being the rate stat of choice (e.g. ERA+). An argument like you stated was used in McGinnity's candidacy... that high IP seasons made is peak more valuable. Fun to see this in-season durability quantified.

What was Joss's WHI rate? TF Brown's? Their low single-season IP totals counted against them in their candidacy's if I recall correctly.

I agree with John in that 1892-1900 might need a bit of adjustment. Just brainstorming here... 20-19.3-18.7-18-17.3-etc?

The 1870s... not sure. Appears that each team only had one pitcher. How do you measure workhorse, then? Looks like varying team schedule lengths and extra inning games would more come into play there. Could be wrong.
   53. jimd Posted: November 19, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#973976)
Interesting stat, Dan.

As constructed, the WHI and the peak percentage should already be beneficial to 1890's pitchers. In a 16-team league, peak percentage uses the "weakest" team aces (11-15) to construct the basis. In a 12-team league, it delves into the 2nd-tier pitchers, those whose arms are being rested by the team workhorse.

I would question it's applicability before 1881 (though an equivalent stat could be attempted). With only 8 teams and one ace pitcher doing most of the innings on a team, the 11-15 guys are getting pretty close to replacement level.
   54. OCF Posted: November 19, 2004 at 08:24 PM (#974197)
...but maybe you should make an adjustment for the 1890s when there was only one league. I think it will hurt pitchers such as Griffith if you don't.

John, the problem with this comment is that both Pink Hawley and Ted Breitenstein did make Dan's fairly short list of high WHI pitchers, along with Gus Weyhing, who overlaps into the beginning of that time, and Vic Willis, who overlaps into the end.
   55. karlmagnus Posted: November 19, 2004 at 09:11 PM (#974355)
I'd be interested in seeing Griffith Cicotte and Leever anyway to see how far off Breitenstein they are -- they may be just below, in which case it's unimportant, or there may be a big gap, in which case their friends need to think.
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 19, 2004 at 09:16 PM (#974367)
John, the problem with this comment is that both Pink Hawley and Ted Breitenstein did make Dan's fairly short list of high WHI pitchers, along with Gus Weyhing, who overlaps into the beginning of that time, and Vic Willis, who overlaps into the end.

Maybe Dan is taking it into account anyway. He does state: The simple explanation is, it takes the top 15 in MLB in IP each season and assigns points on a 20-19-…-6 basis. I also calc a peak percentage, dividing the pitcher’s IP in each top-15 season by the average IP of those ranking 11-15 each season.
It sounds like Dan may be correcting for pitchers who played during two-league eras.
   57. DanG Posted: November 20, 2004 at 05:23 AM (#974853)
Thanks for the interest. I’ll try to explain a bit more.

I use the top 15 in MLB each year, regardless of leagues. This seems the fairest way.

As mentioned, the 1870’s are a problem and I decided to mostly avoid them. The concept of staff workhorse didn’t exist.

I started in 1878 since that gives us the full career of nearly everyone we’re interested in, except for Bond. I calculated the peak percentage differently in the early years. For instance, in 1878 I used the average of the 3rd thru 7th pitchers rather than #’s 11-15.

I think there was a year or two that the AA played more games than the NL; I did not adjust for this. The UA was ignored, except McCormick was given credit for his IP there.

I finagled a few extra spots, more than 15 players, during the Federal League years, but this doesn’t affect too much. FL pitchers got points if they were among the top 15 in all 3 leagues; AL and NL pitchers got points if they were in the top 15 using only those two leagues.

Here are some requested pitchers:

Griffith 61.5 1.03 6 years (2 of those he snuck on in 15th place)
Cicotte 60.0 1.10 4 years
TF Brown 47.0 1.07 4 years
Joss 29.0 1.10 2 years
Leever 20.0 1.19 1 year (led MLB as rookie, never again in top 15)

Here are the next ten, pitchers with 70-80 WHI:

79.0 1.30 5 B. Hutchison
77.0 1.07 6 D. Vance
76.0 1.10 5 N. Rucker
75.0 1.13 6 S. King
74.0 1.06 6 H. Vaughn
71.0 1.16 5 M. Baldwin
70.5 1.09 5 B. Kennedy
70.0 1.21 5 J. Whitney
70.0 1.20 4 F. Killen
70.0 1.08 5 E. Plank
   58. Paul Wendt Posted: November 20, 2004 at 04:56 PM (#975319)
Damn. I have nearly learned the lesson to compose elsewhere and copy here. Not today.

Dan, I guess that you haven't yet calculated WHI for 1960-date, with the increase in number of MLB teams from 16 to 30. But you have done 1878-1883, with the increase Nteams = {6 8 8 8 14 16}.

I use the top 15 in MLB each year, regardless of leagues. This seems the fairest way.
. . .
I started in 1878 since that gives us the full career of nearly everyone we’re interested in, except for Bond. I calculated the peak percentage differently in the early years. For instance, in 1878 I used the average of the 3rd thru 7th pitchers rather than #’s 11-15.


Do you mean that you used historical constant 15 beginning in 1882 (14 teams) or 1883 (16), including 1890-1900 with Nteams = {24 16 12[times eight] 8}?

FWIW, I don't believe that "fairness" provides clear direction for the purpose of assessing players. If interested in workloads, per se, I think it is clear to use a variable such as the number of teams (or N-1, which is 15 for many years) rather than a constant.
   59. DanG Posted: November 22, 2004 at 04:21 AM (#976561)
Paul:

The concept for WHI is rather simpler than what you're driving at, I think. The idea is this: Who are the people who were good enough to be the top 15 most used pitchers in baseball at its highest level played? WHI gives these guys credit.

Thus, the 20-19...-6 scale is used for every season from 1878. The number of teams is deemed irrelevant. It's easy, of course, to quibble with that assumption. Anyone is welcome to build a better measure of Work Horse tendencies, and I'm sure someone here can.

Where I did change formulas is in the peak percentage calculation. This metric is not really suitable for cross-era comparisons, since extreme outlier seasons in IP have naturally lessened as you move forward in time. However, an attempt was made to give the earliest years some relevance by changing the baseline from the 11th-15th ranked pitchers to higher ranked pitchers.

I have computed up through 1936. A typical leading peak pct in the mid 1930's is ~1.24. The most recent pitcher to reach 1.30 was Grimes in 1928. Faber in 1922 is the only other pitcher since 1919 to reach this mark. Alexander in 1915-17 had marks of 1.32, 1.35, 1.34. Walsh in 1907-08 posted marks of 1.39, 1.53. McGinnity had the only other year to reach 1.40 since 1896 with 1.43 in 1903. Going back further, Hutchison topped Walsh's mark in 1892 with 1.58. In 1889 Clarkson posted a mark of 1.62. Galvin in 1883 had a mark of 1.63. McCormick had 1.64 in 1882, the best by my figuring.
   60. OCF Posted: November 22, 2004 at 04:44 AM (#976610)
Dan, I hope you hang onto the idea and update it. I can see it being a useful piece of information when we deal wil the Sutton/Perry/Ryan/Carlton group of pitchers in comparison to the generation just before and the generation just after.
   61. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 22, 2004 at 05:30 PM (#977427)
Dan, I hope you hang onto the idea and update it. I can see it being a useful piece of information when we deal wil the Sutton/Perry/Ryan/Carlton group of pitchers in comparison to the generation just before and the generation just after.

Maybe with its application, we won't wind up inducting 25 pitchers from that time. :-)
   62. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 24, 2005 at 08:48 PM (#1163921)
I may have missed it on this thread, but was Quinn out of MLB from 1916 to 1918 due to an arm injury or because of something else?
   63. Brent Posted: February 25, 2005 at 02:57 AM (#1164562)
Quinn pitched for Vernon in the PCL. Kelly from SD posted his record for those years (1939 Ballot Discussion thread, # 19).
   64. PhillyBooster Posted: February 25, 2005 at 03:19 AM (#1164608)
Quinn wasn't out of baseball at all. When baseball "contracted" after 1915, and Quinn lost his league, there were a lot of players out of work, and not many teams clammering for the 9-22 pitcher for the last place Terrapins. (The only pitcher from his team who landed a job in 1916 was Chief Bender.)

Quinn landed a job instead pitching in the Pacific Coast League pitching for the Vernon Tigers. In 1918, the PCL season ended in July, while the majors kept going, so the PCL stars all jumped over to the majors. Quinn, who led the PCL with a 1.48 ERA in its abridged 1918 season, was in demand. He signed with the White Sox, while the Vernon Tigers subsequently sold his contract to the Yankees. (That's why he played for the White Sox in 1918, and the Yankees in 1919 -- they had to figure out in the off-season who owned him. Judging from the attrition rate among the 1919 White Sox, the ruling for the Yankees may have saved his career!)
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 25, 2005 at 03:31 AM (#1164637)
Thanks, guys. Has anyone attempted to do an MLE for those couple of seasons? Quinn is not that far off my ballot, so those years might be enough to land him on my ballot.
   66. Paul Wendt Posted: February 25, 2005 at 06:07 PM (#1165860)
Phillybooster #64:
Do you have a date or approximate date for the sale, Vernon to NY Yankees, or for the post-1918 resolution?

DanG #48:
I maintain the belief that a pitcher who eats up a lot of innings has unmeasured value, in that he helps the other pitchers on the staff have better records by allowing them to be better rested.

Something similar should be true of batters who see more pitches per plate appearance, as that helps tire the opposing pitcher.

OCF #60 (and John Murphy in agreement):
Dan, I hope you hang onto the idea and update it. I can see it being a useful piece of information when we deal wil the Sutton/Perry/Ryan/Carlton group of pitchers

I agree. Further, I think the stat measures something that is more uniformly valuable in the epoch of the relief pitcher, when every team relies heavily on a pitching staff to complete games.

Within the relief epoch, the workhorse impact on the other starting pitchers might be isolated by using starts rather than innings as the basis for calculation. But I doubt that that isolation is valuable here, where the point is assessment of pitchers rather than description of pitching staff usage.
   67. Max Parkinson Posted: February 25, 2005 at 06:24 PM (#1165917)
John,

Not to press the issue (I like Quinn, but I doubt he'll see my ballot), but why should he get extra credit for pitching in the minors? He was terrible in a weak league, and thus no real big-league team wanted him until he proved that he was big-league quality. This stretches past the allowances made for Cravath, I think...
   68. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 25, 2005 at 08:14 PM (#1166232)
Not to press the issue (I like Quinn, but I doubt he'll see my ballot), but why should he get extra credit for pitching in the minors? He was terrible in a weak league, and thus no real big-league team wanted him until he proved that he was big-league quality. This stretches past the allowances made for Cravath, I think...

Max, I never said that I would definitely give him credit for those years. But having a crappy year (was it an injury?) doesn't necessarily mean that he couldn't have made it as a major leaguer for the next couple of seasons. He did pitch over 1,300 IP at the time of his release in 1915, so it's not like he didn't have a track record as a quality pitcher. His year in 1914 wasn't bad, so it's possible that the majors gave up on him too soon.

I just think that the more information that we have, the better that we can access Quinn's place in baseball history.
   69. Max Parkinson Posted: February 25, 2005 at 08:35 PM (#1166273)
No doubt on the information part, John. I'm simply hesitant to bestow ML value to players that lost their opportunity for performance reasons (as opposed to contractual, racist or other ones...)
   70. Chris Cobb Posted: February 25, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1166341)
But having a crappy year (was it an injury?) doesn't necessarily mean that he couldn't have made it as a major leaguer for the next couple of seasons.

Well, it's not clear that Quinn's performance in 1915 really was crappy: he was certainly pitching for a very crappy team.

They were last in the league in hitting, playing in a hitters park.

WARP sees Quinn's NRA for 1915 as 4.82, his DERA as 4.22. That's some _really_ bad fielding support.

That's not to say Quinn was a great pitcher that year. He earned 6.1 WARP1, which is pretty good, 2.7 WARP3, which is probably a bit below average. Still, it's pretty clear that statistical analysis shows he was definitely a major-league quality pitcher in 1915, but that was probably a lot harder to see in 1916, and it's easy to see why a pitcher coming off of a 9-22 season wouldn't have been exactly a hot commodity.

Incidentally, the Baltimore team was _really_ bad: of all the players on that team, only five played in the majors in 1916, and none of them were starting position players or in the starting rotation. Quinn is the only member of that team who had a successful major league career still ahead of him. So it's easy to see why his ability would have been overwhelmed by the overall crappiness of the team.

I'd suggest that if Quinn had been pitching for a NL or AL team and had the same year he did in the FL, it's unlikely he would have lost a starting job in the majors.
   71. Kelly in SD Posted: February 26, 2005 at 12:05 AM (#1166683)
Jack Quinn again.

Regarding the White Sox/Yankee dispute:
From Daguerrotypes:
In 1918, The National Commission awarded him to the Yankees on Aug 26.
But Harold Seymour in Baseball: The Golden Age says it was resolved in early 1919 by Ban Johnson as it was a AL matter on page 264, but on page 25 says the National Commission with Johnson's acquiescence awarded him to Yankees.

Leonard Koppett wrote in his Concise History of MLBaseball: White Sox sign Quinn in 1918. In 1919, Quinn joins the Yankees (who bought the contract from Vernon). White Sox appeal to Commission, which awards him to the Yankees, with Johnson (who controls (NL president) Gerry Herriman's vote) siding against Comiskey.

I believe the dispute originated toward the end of the 1918 season and was not decided until early 1919 and that it was the National Commission that made the decision.

Some more interesting stuff about this dispute. Ban Johnson cast the deciding vote to send Quinn to the Yankees instead of the White Sox. This was a BIG nail in the coffin of the Comiskey/Johnson relationship. Some believe Comiskey did not go to Johnson about his suspicions during the 1919 World Series because their relationship was so bad. Also, this was one of a number of player transaction disputes in this period [see Scott Perry and Carl Mays as well] that drastically undermined confidence in the National Commission concept. (I feel like James Burke of "Connections").

Quinn's Vernon years from Daguerrotypes.
From 1916-1918, he pitched in the PCL for Vernon. His record in those years:

year Ws Ls %age IPs Hts Kss BB Rns ERs ERA
1916 16 13 .552 289 292 149 85 125 094 2.93
1917 24 20 .545 409 415 160 84 155 107 2.35
1918 12 06 .667

I would think it was pretty unique for a pitcher to increase his innings pitched by 120, but his strikeouts only went up 11 and his walks decreased.
   72. Howie Menckel Posted: February 26, 2005 at 02:05 AM (#1166825)
This only confirms for me that Quinn had one of the wildest careers ever.

He played with Willie Keeler, Cy Seymour, and Jack Chesbro in his younger MLB years.
He pitched to Mickey Cochrane, Ernie Lombardi, and Al Lopez in his later years.

Maybe not HOM, but he had a Forrest Gump quality about him...
   73. jimd Posted: February 26, 2005 at 04:25 AM (#1166988)
Can a Rixey supporter explain to me why they are voting to elect Eppa and neglecting to vote at all for Jack Quinn?

The two seem very similar to me. I know that Rixey pitched an additional 570 IP and this is no small thing. However, Win Shares sees the value of those extra innings as 28 extra WS (ER 315, JQ 287). But a replacement pitcher pitching those innings would earn 16 Win Shares (as we established on the Pennants Added thread). Also note that Rixey is unusual in that he benefits (gets lucky) from "Win Shares roundup", the process whereby the last few Win Shares on a team are handed out. Rixey's career total by tenths instead of whole numbers is not 315 but 311.3 (vs 287.2 for Quinn). So the difference in real value added is about 8 Win Shares, not 28 (8 real value plus 16 replacement value plus 4 luck value).

BP also sees Rixey ahead using WARP-1, but only 98.6 vs 98.5. I know that Quinn played in the Federal League, but this two season hit is balanced by Rixey playing in the weaker NL, WARP-3 total for Rixey 79.9 vs 79.4 for Quinn. Rixey has an ERA+ of 115, Quinn 114; DERA sees them as also similar but Quinn as slightly better, Quinn 4.01 vs Rixey 4.06 (DERA+ of 112 vs 111 in favor of Quinn).

Frankly, both of these pitchers seem like early 20th-century versions of Charlie Hough. When adjusted for all time, their DERA's are: Quinn 4.37, Rixey 4.39, Hough 4.41. I tend to doubt that Quinn would ever have been named to an All-Star team. Rixey would be a BP 2nd-team selection in 1925; Win Shares probably likes him for 1923 also. I haven't figured teams yet for the 1980's, but Hough looks pretty good for 1985; BP likes him in 1983, WS not so much. These guys were not stars, though they all had some good seasons; their strength is their durability.

Maybe the HOM line runs between Rixey on one side and Quinn/Hough on the other. But I don't see it.
   74. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 26, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1167172)
Jim, are you giving any WWI credit to Rixey?
   75. Chris Cobb Posted: February 26, 2005 at 04:24 PM (#1167211)
jimd,

Isn't it also possible for your argument to cut both ways?

If I'm going to trust WARP on pitchers, Charlie Hough looks like a serious candidate in the fullness of time. Better than Jack Morris, certainly, somewhat better peak, though less career, than Don Sutton, for instance, very similar by WARP3 to Jim Kaat; it's hard to say where the in-out line for 1970s-1980s pitchers will fall, isn't it?

I think the question of why Rixey and not Quinn is a better question, one I'm going to look at more closely before I vote this year.
   76. andrew siegel Posted: February 26, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1167250)
This is just two pieces of very-interconnected evidence, but:

Number of Seasons 20+ WS:
Rixey 8
Grimes 7
Quinn 2 (one in the federal league)

Number of seasons in top 5 pitchers in league by WS:

Rixey 6
Grimes 5
Quinn 1 (in the Federal League)
   77. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 26, 2005 at 05:29 PM (#1167256)
I know that Rixey pitched an additional 570 IP and this is no small thing.

Figure at least a 870 IP difference between the two if you give Rixey credit for WWI.
   78. Chris Cobb Posted: February 26, 2005 at 05:46 PM (#1167264)
Figure at least a 870 IP difference between the two if you give Rixey credit for WWI.

Figure less if you give Quinn credit for his PCL years. . .
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 26, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1167266)
Figure less if you give Quinn credit for his PCL years. . .

Correct, except Jim's query was about why Rixey was doing better than Quinn in the elections. Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think anyone has given Quinn any credit for those years.
   80. PhillyBooster Posted: February 26, 2005 at 10:04 PM (#1167518)
Phillybooster #64:
Do you have a date or approximate date for the sale, Vernon to NY Yankees, or for the post-1918 resolution?


Based on my info, the PCL season ended in mid-July 1918. Quinn signed immediately with the White Sox. The trade with the Yanks occurred sometime toward the end of the season, or just after the season (which ended early as well). The deal was finalized on February 21,1919, when the league awarded Quinn to the Yanks instead of the White Sox, and was Happy Finneran, Zinn Beck and cash to Vernon in exchange for Jack Quinn.
   81. Brent Posted: February 26, 2005 at 10:25 PM (#1167541)
Has anyone attempted to do an MLE for those couple of seasons?

Here's a quick attempt. First some caveats. I started copying PCL info for 1917, so I'm lacking league and team info for 1916. You'll see in his actual record (Kelly from SD's post # 71) that there is no IP or ERA for 1918. Apparently with the war and the season ending prematurely, no one bothered to compile the complete stats for the year. At coastleague.com there's an article about the season that says some researchers have apparently reconstructed the statistics, but I don't have access to them. So I won't bother trying to do MLEs for 1918. (FWIW, in 1918 Vernon finished in first place with a 58-44 record.)

For 1917 I calculate Vernon's run environment as batter friendly, about 9.7 percent above the major league average. (It was also batter-friendly in 1919.) I will use the 9.7 percent factor for 1916 also. My biggest uncertainty about 1916 is how long the season lasted. I'll assume 212 games, the same as 1917, but if it were actaully shorter that could boost his MLE IP (and WS) quite a bit. Also, I'm not doing batter WS for him, just pWS.

Year InnP_ ERA_ pWS
1916 194.3 3.26 10.6
1917 274.7 2.61 22.6

1917 looks like it might have been similar to his best major league seasons.
   82. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 26, 2005 at 10:53 PM (#1167576)
Much obliged, Brent! Now I have to go and find out if that's enough for a ballot spot.
   83. jimd Posted: February 26, 2005 at 11:20 PM (#1167608)
Number of Seasons 20+ WS:
Rixey 8
Quinn 2 (one in the federal league)


Number of Seasons 17+ WS:
Rixey 9
Quinn 9

This is interrelated with the league quality issue. Using Warp-3

Number of Seasons >= 7.0 WARP-3: ER 1 JQ 1
Number of Seasons >= 6.0 WARP-3: ER 4 JQ 4
Number of Seasons >= 5.0 WARP-3: ER 7 JQ 7
Number of Seasons >= 4.0 WARP-3: ER 10 JQ 10
Number of Seasons >= 3.0 WARP-3: ER 13 JQ 12 (Aha!)
Number of Seasons >= 2.0 WARP-3: ER 17 JQ 18
Number of Seasons >= 1.0 WARP-3: ER 19 JQ 20
   84. andrew siegel Posted: February 27, 2005 at 03:05 PM (#1168469)
JimD makes two points:

(1) First, 20+ WS is an arbitrary point of comparison between Rixey and Quinn. I agree, but 17+ is equally (or more arbitrary). To wit:

Number of seasons 14+ WS:
Rixey 13
Quinn 9

Number of seasons 12+ WS:
Rixey 15
Quinn 11

I agree that you can prove anything based on how you move the endpoints, but--if you take a cross section of cutoffs--Rixey has a clear and substantial WS lead even without war credit.

(2) Quality of league competition--

I went back and took a look and am half convinced. I use WS and WARP-1 and then mentally adjust for league quality. I haven't been discounting Rixey enough for the lousy league he pitched in. He faced much worse hitters than his contemporary AL aces and rarely beat out anyone of note on the ERA+ or WS leaderboards. I've been discounting Roush, Carey, Doyle, and (to a lesser extent) Grimes for quality of league play and have largely given Rixey a free pass. He's going to drop a half dozen or so spots on my ballot.

On the other hand, I think, even with an AL competition bonus, Quinn is miles from my ballot. He was a useful pitcher with an historically long career. That career length promotes him from the Hall of Good to the top half of the Hall of Very Good, but it doesn't get him close to my ballot. If I'm going to give bonus points to AL pitchers from this period, Cicotte and Mays are likely to be the beneficiaries, not Quinn.
   85. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 27, 2005 at 04:06 PM (#1168487)
On the other hand, I think, even with an AL competition bonus, Quinn is miles from my ballot.

That's certainly a position that you can defend, except if Rixey is high on your ballot. Even without his 1916-17 years and as part of my old system, Quinn was always very close to making my ballot. IOW, a huge chasm between Quinn and Rixey doesn't make sense, IMO.

If I'm going to give bonus points to AL pitchers from this period, Cicotte and Mays are likely to be the beneficiaries, not Quinn.

I'm not giving him bonus points. I'm only giving him what he earned.
   86. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 27, 2005 at 04:07 PM (#1168488)
That's certainly a position that you can defend, except if Rixey is high on your ballot. Even without his 1916-17 years and as part of my old system, Quinn was always very close to making my ballot. IOW, a huge chasm between Quinn and Rixey doesn't make sense, IMO.


...unless you're a peak voter, than I would definitely choose Rixey over Quinn.
   87. andrew siegel Posted: February 27, 2005 at 05:06 PM (#1168515)
I'm more of a peak or prime voter than you are John and am probably more of a peak/prime voter than the electorate in total. Nonetheless, I take total career value into account a lot more than I would have guessed when the project began.

If you take league strength out of it, Rixey has around 340 WS (with war credit), a large number of moderately big seasons for his time (frequently over 20+ WS, over 25 a couple of times), and six seasons among the top 5 pitchers in his league. That's a career that sounds a lot like Eddie Plank's. If he had pitched in an average major league, that would have made him an easy HoMer (which is essentially Joe's argument). However, his league was so far below the norm that when each of those achievements is appropritely discounted, he is arguably pushed him down into the borderline category.

Quinn on the other hand had only 287 WS, gathered them in dribs and drabs, and never combined quality and quantity sufficiently to rank among the top 5 pitchers in a real major league in any one season. I don't see him as a real competitor to Rixey on either career or peak/prime even if you substantially dock Rixey for league quality reasons.

Therefore, Rixey will be 13th or 14th on my ballot and Quinn is not in my top 30.
   88. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 27, 2005 at 05:58 PM (#1168536)
Good points, Andrew. I think it all depends on how you view the shape of their careers. While Quinn didn't have the peaks that Rixey had, he also didn't have as many valleys, either. Rixey was able to accumulate WS in those inferior seasons, but they were more or less post-1922 Sisler WS - they weren't really adding anything of substance to Eppa Jepptha's resume.
   89. jimd Posted: February 28, 2005 at 02:43 PM (#1170259)
This is interrelated with the league quality issue. Using Warp-3

Number of Seasons >= 7.0 WARP-3: ER 1 JQ 1
Number of Seasons >= 6.0 WARP-3: ER 4 JQ 4
Number of Seasons >= 5.0 WARP-3: ER 7 JQ 7
Number of Seasons >= 4.0 WARP-3: ER 10 JQ 10
Number of Seasons >= 3.0 WARP-3: ER 13 JQ 12 (Aha!)
Number of Seasons >= 2.0 WARP-3: ER 17 JQ 18
Number of Seasons >= 1.0 WARP-3: ER 19 JQ 20

WARP-3 TOTAL: ER 79.9 JQ 79.4

As one can see from the above chart, WARP-3 (which discounts for league quality, both FL and AL/NL differences) sees these two pitchers as nearly identical in both peak and career. Quinn was slightly more effective in each inning, with Rixey making up the difference with extra innings.

Win Shares presents a different picture, largely because it assumes that the NL and AL were peers, and because it gives a large credit to the extra IP, of whatever quality due to its lower replacement level. The "same" pitcher as a marginal all-star in the NL while an above-average journeyman in the AL.
   90. andrew siegel Posted: February 28, 2005 at 09:30 PM (#1171136)
JimD is right: if you accept the WARP-3 league quality adjustments the two guys are essentially equal. I prefer to use WARP-1 and make subjective adjustments for league quality, but the difference between my substantial league quality adjustment and WARP-3's gargantuan adjustment sets off warning bells. The problem is that I don't know whether those warning bells are aimed at my system or WARP's.
   91. jimd Posted: April 20, 2005 at 08:19 PM (#1273634)
Reposted from the 1949 election results thread:

Composite team record (weighted by pitcher's decisions):
261-256 .505 Rixey
225-265 .459 Lyons

Team finishes by seasons as a regular pitcher:
   Rixey    Lyons
1    1        0
2    6        0
3    1        3
4    1        2
5    3        5
6    1        3
7    2        3
8    3        2
    18       18
While Rixey was playing for a number of pennant contenders (1-2) in Philly and Cincinnati, Lyons played for middle-division teams (3-6). Rixey played for better teams overall during his career. Also, IIRC, BP says that the NL did not catch up to the AL until late in Rixey's career, which was during Lyons' prime.

Rixey played in one World Series (1915). It was game 5 and Philly was facing elimination. In the top of the 3rd inning at Baker Bowl, Harry Hooper hit a HR to tie the game; it was followed by a long fly to center and a Tris Speaker single to right. Manager Pat Moran apparently had seen enough and changed pitchers; young Eppa Rixey, a four year veteran at 24, came on in relief, and induced a DP grounder to end the rally. In the 4th, a Fred Luderus HR and a Harry Hooper error gave Rixey a two-run lead. However, in the 8th, Duffy Lewis hit a two-run HR to tie the game. In the top of the 9th, Hooper redeemed himself with another HR to clinch the Series. Side-note: there were 4 HRs hit in the 5-game World Series, and all 4 were hit in this game.

Those Phillies were an annual contender during the mid-teens. In addition to 1915, they finished 2nd in 1913, 1916, and 1917. (In 1914 they were hit hard by injuries and the Federal League.) IIRC, Rixey enlisted, which might expalin whey he was late getting back in 1919; anyway, he left a contender and came back to a last place disaster of a team.

The Reds of the 22-26 period were also contenders, finishing 2nd in 1922, 1923, and 1926. In both 1922 and 1923, the Reds had problems getting going out of the starting gate, getting 11 or more games behind in May before getting untracked, finishing 7 and 4+ games behind; they outplayed the champion Giants after Memorial Day both years, but not by enough to make up for the dreadful starts.

There are plenty of opportunities to study Rixey under pennant-race conditions. OTOH, Lyons never had the opportunity except for April-May "pennant race" games, and a brief flurry in Sept. 1940
(well past his prime).
   92. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 21, 2005 at 05:30 AM (#1275318)
I'll add mine from that thread too:

"I give Rixey War Credit, but notice that the surrounding years to the war weren't exactly his 'prime' even though he was at 'prime' age."

I disagree. In 1917 he postd a 124 ERA+ in 281 innings. That followed a 143 in 287 innings from 1916.

In 1919 he comes back halfway through the season, is behind the 8-ball and posts an 81 ERA+, after not having played competitively in a year and a half. The next year he's basically league average (98 ERA+) and after that he's off on his merry way, 129, 113, 139, 136, 142 over the next 5 years.

I don't do this, but I think it's entirely reasonable to say the war basically cost him 1918, 1919 and 1920 as an above average pitcher. From 1915-1929, those are his only years with an ERA+ under 109.

I'm more conservative than that, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that without WWI Rixey is a 300 game winner - he certainly would have won 290. He only would have needed to win 51 games over those 3 years, as opposed to the 17 he actually won. That's 17 per season, a total he acheived 6 times in the other 12 years. For 290, we're talking just 41 total wins, or 13.7 per year. Outside of 1918-20, he exceeded that every year from 1915-29, except for 1915, 1927 and 1929.

Carl - I believe Rixey was still in the military until mid-1919 - just because the war was over didn't mean everyone came home right away. That's been my understanding. I haven't researched it first hand, but I thought that's what I read somewhere on here awhile back.

I still like Rixey's package more (than Lyons'), but it's closer than I realized. I still see Lyons as your typical good-not-great pitcher until he went to Sundays. Rixey had 4 big years with full workloads, Lyons just 2 (and 2 years with ERA+ in the high 120s). Lyons' low workload in the later years reduces the impact of those eye-catching ERA+'s. Lyons never had a run like Rixey did from 1921-25.
   93. Carl G Posted: April 21, 2005 at 07:26 PM (#1276924)
'I still see Lyons as your typical good-not-great pitcher until he went to Sundays. Rixey had 4 big years with full workloads, Lyons just 2 (and 2 years with ERA+ in the high 120s). Lyons' low workload in the later years reduces the impact of those eye-catching ERA+'s. Lyons never had a run like Rixey did from 1921-25. '

No, but his 1925-30 6-year period was pretty damn good. Also, he never had less than 169 IPs during his Sunday Pitcher period and those ERA+ were extremely eye-popping. I'm talking about the 11 years from 1932-42. I'm not sure if 32-34 count since he was over 200 IPs those 3 years. In those 11 years, he was only below average twice and both of those were 97 ERA+. 6 of those years he was above 130; 3 years above 150; and 2 seasons at 171. 169 IPs was the low and 1 of only 2 years(during that period) that he was below 180 IPs. I would call this a roughly 2/3 workload for the time(its a almost a full-time starter by today's standards).
Rixey had those 4 years, and added a bunch of slightly above and slightly below average years with full workloads. I don't know about you, but I'd rather get 180 IPs at 130 ERA+ than 280 IPs at 100-110 ERA+. If you have a 80 ERA+(pretty bad) pitcher throwing the 100 IP difference for Lyon's team, the net ERA+ is still around 112.
   94. Chris Cobb Posted: April 21, 2005 at 09:50 PM (#1277423)
Rixey had those 4 years, and added a bunch of slightly above and slightly below average years with full workloads. I don't know about you, but I'd rather get 180 IPs at 130 ERA+ than 280 IPs at 100-110 ERA+. If you have a 80 ERA+(pretty bad) pitcher throwing the 100 IP difference for Lyon's team, the net ERA+ is still around 112.

I think the math here is off, since ERA+ is not a linear stat.

Assume 4.00 lg avg. ERA

180 IP at 130 ERA+ (3.08 ERA) yields 61.6 runs
100 IP at 80 ERA+ (5.00 ERA) yields 55.6 runs
Combined ERA is 3.767 for an ERA+ of 106

In this scenario, the 110 ERA+ over 280 IP, for an ERA of 3.636, is better, allowing 113.1 runs to the combination's 117.2.

The curve in ERA+ values makes it a potentially deceptive stat.
   95. Carl Goetz Posted: April 22, 2005 at 04:13 AM (#1278774)
My bad. I still think Joe is shortchanging Lyons though.
   96. Chris Cobb Posted: April 22, 2005 at 04:26 AM (#1278785)
My bad. I still think Joe is shortchanging Lyons though.

I agree on that!

Paul Wendt should get the credit for explaining the trickiness of ERA+ a month or two back. Thanks, Paul!
   97. jimd Posted: April 22, 2005 at 09:49 PM (#1280317)
The next year he's basically league average (98 ERA+) and after that he's off on his merry way, 129, 113, 139, 136, 142 over the next 5 years.

These seasons demonstrate some of the hazards of using ERA+. BP sees Rixey's 1920 (98 ERA+) and 1922 (113 ERA+) seasons as essentially equivalent. They both score a 107 DERA+. In 1922, Rixey is with a 2nd place contender that measures out as excellent defensively. In 1920, Rixey is with a bad last place club that was also bad defensively. Defensive effects appear to be of at least the same magnitude as park effects, maybe more. (This would not be surprising because offenses range in quality more than park effects typically do.)
   98. Paul Wendt Posted: June 04, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2050578)
from Mark Armour who chairs the SABR BioProject

The Baseball Biography Project has recently uploaded one (1) new excellent bio for your reading pleasure.

Red Faber, by Brian Cooper

The newer bios can best be found from this link:
http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=n&m=61
   99. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 22, 2006 at 04:12 AM (#2071978)
I'm running Quinn through my new system now . . . I'm going to give him some credit for 1916-17 . . . from what I read above, and average year for 1916 and an above average year for 1917 make sense, right?
   100. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 22, 2006 at 05:32 AM (#2072026)
Dead post to flip to the next page.
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