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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Rick Reuschel

Eligible in 1996.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 06, 2007 at 05:41 AM | 66 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 06, 2007 at 06:00 AM (#2307413)
Very underrated. Didn't help that he was very unathletic looking.
   2. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 06, 2007 at 06:15 AM (#2307420)
Much better than people think. He will almost definitely be on my ballot. I had Tommy John 7th this week and I've got Reuschel ahead of John. His 1977 was a bonafide superstar season, and there's a lot of career to boot. It's amazing what Wrigley Field could do to a pitcher's stats in the 1970s.
   3. OCF Posted: March 06, 2007 at 07:27 AM (#2307451)
In the RA+ PythPat system, I have Rick Reuschel at 221-174, John Tudor at 120-80, and Mike Scott at 118-112. Each of them had an outlier best year that was well ahead of the rest of his career. Reuschel's 1977 was an equivalent 20-8, Tudor's 1985 was 22-9, and Scott's 1986 was also 22-9.

Tudor wasn't a full rotation starter until he was 28 years old; after that his career was fairly brief. Scott became a regular starter younger than that, but a bad one. Reuschel became an established star at a fairly young age, had a huge hole ripped in the middle of his career by arm trouble, but came back to contribute some good years after that. Tudor never really had a bad year (although he did have years in which he didn't do much), Reuschel had only one sub-100 RA year and even that one wasn't all that bad. By contrast, Scott was terrible for several years before he found it. (Yes, I know there's widespread speculation that the "it" that Scott found contained industrial-grade abrasives.)

The closest comparison candidate I can find for Reuschel (221-174) is Jerry Koosman (233-193). It's 170 equivalent FWP; the 165-175 range of equivalent FWP includes Koufax, Drysdale, Ferrell, and also Shocker, Reulbach (not defense-adjusted), Quinn, Warnecke. In other words, it is possible to be elected to the HoM from that neighborhood - but those who made it had big peaks, bigger than Reuschel. Had he avoided arm trouble, he might well have been able to put together a career that I'd vote for - as it is, he's not too far away. But he did have that arm trouble; with injuries, I don't deal in "might have been."

The closest comparison candidate I have for Tudor (120-80) is Mel Parnell (117-78). The quality is there; the bulk isn't. He caught a bad break by being with the Red Sox: Fenway park in those days was not a good place for a LH finesse pitcher to break in. He then moved to the awful offensive support of the '84 Pirates, before catching his big lucky break: being able to pitch in spacious Busch Stadium in front of Pendleton/Ozzie/Herr and a very fast outfield. I would characterize Tudor's 1985 as a strong Cy-Young type year, and a year that probably made him a better MVP candidate than his teammate McGee. Of course, a starting pitcher can't be the MVP if he's not also the Cy Young, and in the CY voting, Tudor was a near-unanimous second - as he should have been.

I don't really have a good comparison for Scott, but he's kind of a mirror image of Denny McLain. McLain was young when he had his top years; Scott was past 30. In his dominating 1986 season, Scott had over 300 strikeouts. One candidate for the title of greatest baseball game ever played is the final game of the 1986 NLCS. Scott was a dominating presence in that game - without even appearing. The fact that he would have pitched Game 7 left everyone thinking that the only chance the Mets had was to win Game 6.
   4. DL from MN Posted: March 06, 2007 at 04:53 PM (#2307599)
Excellent pitcher, makes it onto my ballot in the middle somewhere. Reuschel has terrific FRAA scores also and my spreadsheet ignores pitcher fielding. I remember a fat guy in an ugly Pirates uniform. Enough talent to overcome the arm injury, lots better than Tommy John.
   5. andrew siegel Posted: March 06, 2007 at 04:58 PM (#2307602)
In the top 30. Probably not in the top 15.
   6. sunnyday2 Posted: March 06, 2007 at 05:16 PM (#2307607)
Just missed my top 150. Which is of course a meritorious career. But I just can't see what it is that you guys are smoking, er, I mean, seeing.
   7. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: March 06, 2007 at 05:43 PM (#2307639)
Best golfer in MLB history?
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: March 07, 2007 at 02:29 AM (#2307928)
ERA+ over 100, 1 IP per G
BWalters 168 52 46 40 27 23 07
LuiTiant 184 69 32 28 25 20 19 05 02 02 00
BuGrimes 153 44 38 36 31 23 08 08 08 03
TommJohn 154 38 38 37 25 20 19 19 16 14 11 10 09 09 06 03 00
Reuschel 158 57 32 31 19 17 16 16 14 11 05 03

BWalters top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 4 6 6 8 8
LuiTiant top 10 in IP: 6 7 8
BuGrimes top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 3 3 4 7 9 9 9
TommJohn top 10 in IP: 2 5 8 10
Reuschel top 10 in IP: 4 7 7 7 8 9

Reuschel's 158 was in only 194 IP, btw.
Measures up nicely vs Tommy John, whom I don't vote for, and roughly as durable.
Tight battle with Grimes, who I do vote for, except Grimes wins on durability.
I like Walters next out of this bunch, and he may make my ballot next year.
Tiant falls off a little too quickly and is no workhorse, but he probably edges Reuschel for 3rd.

I must say, it's amazing that Reuschel even deserves a part in the discussion, given the lack of reputation, but he's in the game, at least, to be fair.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2007 at 02:57 AM (#2307947)
Best golfer in MLB history?

Rick Rhoden.

I caught Rick at the end of his career. All I remember about him was him being fat and him giving up a HR to Bo Jackson and Wade Boggs lead off the 1989 All-Star Game.
   10. OCF Posted: March 07, 2007 at 03:12 AM (#2307954)
Howie: how would Koosman fit into that chart?
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 07, 2007 at 03:31 AM (#2307964)
I'm with Sunny, I've got Big Daddy at #120ish all time, which means around 100-110 in our current backlog.
   12. Chris Cobb Posted: March 07, 2007 at 03:39 AM (#2307967)
I have him a good deal closer to the ballot than that, but still far from getting a vote. Here is my current pitcher ranking, in order, with overall rank listed:

4. Fingers
15. Tiant
23. John
28. Redding
30. Newcombe
31. Shocker
32. Grimes
40. Sutter
41. Guidry
42. Kaat
48. Reuschel
56. Matlock
59. Bond
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: March 08, 2007 at 01:51 PM (#2308654)
TomJohn 154 38 38 37 25 20 19 19 16 14 11 10 09 09 06 03 00
Reuschel 158 57 32 31 19 17 16 16 14 11 05 03
Koosman 161 45 30 28 28 22 12 12 08 08 07 05 01

TomJohn top 10 in IP: 2 5 8 10
Reuschel top 10 in IP: 4 7 7 7 8 9
Koosman top 10 in IP: 4 7 7 8

Koosman's maybe a half-step behind both, factoring in durability.
   14. andrew siegel Posted: March 08, 2007 at 02:54 PM (#2308677)
On further review, I have Reuschel at #48, ever so slightly behind Tiant (#44) and substantially behind John (#28). He won't make my ballot anytime in the next quater century.
   15. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 08, 2007 at 06:40 PM (#2308859)
Are you guys adjusting for defense - Reuschel pitched behind some terrible defenses, especially compared to most other 'good' pitchers who tend to pitch in front of above average defenses (because good pitchers tend to end up in good organizations).
   16. Chris Cobb Posted: March 08, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2308882)
Are you guys adjusting for defense

Yes. My analysis of Reuschel is based on a combination of WARP1, which adjusts for defensive support, and my home-grown pitching win shares, which adjust for team defensive efficiency and usually agree closely with WARP on the impact of fielding support on a pitcher's record.

What I can't account for is the effect on IP of pitching in front of bad defenses or in hitter's parks, both of which make pitchers work harder.

I know you rank pitchers in general higher than I do, Joe -- how much do we differ on Reuschel's standing relative to other pitchers, how much on his standing relative to position players?
   17. CraigK Posted: March 12, 2007 at 01:40 AM (#2310501)
Do NOT look up "Rick Reuschel" in Google Image Search w/Safesearch off.
   18. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: March 12, 2007 at 02:07 PM (#2310672)
It's amazing what Wrigley Field could do to a pitcher's stats in the 1970s.

Its hard to believe that Wrigley was once considered a big time hitters park. The stadia have sure changed.
   19. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 26, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2318278)
Well, it's official, Reuschel is #1 on my ballot this week. I'll repost that comment here:

1. Rick Reuschel SP (n/e) - This ranking surprises me a great deal. It's one thing to 'discover' an Ezra Sutton (I mean as a group, not that I discovered him first or anything) who played 130 years ago. But Rick Reuschel was there, right before my very eyes. He pitched in the World Series for my favorite team when I was turning 9 years old. And I never had a clue he was this good.

My Pennants Added system, which accounts for fielding support, parks, bullpen support, etc.; shows him as the #30 pitcher eligible, right behind Dazzy Vance, Ed Walsh and Amos Rusie, and ahead of Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax and Juan Marichal.

He isn't peakless either. His 1977 was every bit as valuable as Bunning's 1966. Bunning definitely has him beat in years 2-5, but Reuschel makes it up with more quality in the back end. I get them essentially equal, Reuschel was a little better inning for inning, Bunning had a higher peak, but in the end they even out. I have Reuschel with a 115 DRA+ over 3745 tIP, Bunning was 113 over 3739 tIP. This is where I would have ranked Bunning, who sailed into the Hall of Merit, I have no issue putting Reuschel here.

Even when I take my numbers, but filter them through a Bill James-type NHBA scoring system (that heavily focuses on peak), Reuschel still comes out as the #46 starter eligible, in a group with guys like Jim Palmer, Noodles Hahn, Eddie Rommel, Tex Hughson, Clark Griffith and Whitey Ford. Hahn, Rommel and Hughson all had very nice peaks.

Using a JAWS scoring system, he comes out as the #35 starter, in a group with Wes Ferrell, Jack Quinn, Palmer, Stan Coveleski, Red Faber and Urban Shocker.

I am saying that Reuschel was every bit as good as the Jims, Palmer and Bunning. The only difference between Palmer and Reuschel is park and defense. Reuschel's 1977 was better than any season Palmer had. Palmer, like Bunning was better than Reuschel in the 2-5 best seasons, but by less than a win a year, and over the course of their careers, Reuschel was better, 115 DRA+ to Palmer's 113 (in a similar number of innings, Palmer had 3781 tIP. He had the one great year, and was very good from 1973-81 and 1985, 1987-89. That's a record that not a lot of pitchers can match.
   20. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 26, 2007 at 09:23 PM (#2318279)
That comment should answer your question about relative ranking in #16 Chris.
   21. Daryn Posted: March 26, 2007 at 09:31 PM (#2318291)
So, Chris, are you going to obligate Joe to reconsider his ballot?
   22. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 26, 2007 at 09:48 PM (#2318313)
Am I missing something, I've been very busy and haven't kept up with the ballot thread this week.
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 26, 2007 at 09:50 PM (#2318317)
sigh
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 26, 2007 at 10:05 PM (#2318335)
Am I missing something, I've been very busy and haven't kept up with the ballot thread this week.


It's a reference to rico varian's first ballot with Bill Buckner at #15. If you have the time, it would be good if you could check out the ballot thread, Joe.
   25. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 26, 2007 at 10:16 PM (#2318351)
No problem . . . in the future, if someone can send me an email if something like that comes up it would help. I usually try to keep up with reading, even when I'm not posting (I read the entire 300 post ballot discussion thread last week), but this week it just didn't happen.
   26. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 26, 2007 at 10:33 PM (#2318364)
Chris, I can't fathom having Kaat ahead of Reuschel - I don't think they are on the same planet. I've got Kaat with a career DRA+ of 97 or 98 (going from memory). Would you mind breaking that one down.
   27. Daryn Posted: March 26, 2007 at 11:17 PM (#2318405)
Chris, I can't fathom having Kaat ahead of Reuschel - I don't think they are on the same planet. I've got Kaat with a career DRA+ of 97 or 98 (going from memory). Would you mind breaking that one down.

For me, the extra 1000 innings and 70 wins are helpful. I haven't done the math in a few weeks, but the extra 1000 innings are at about a 4 ERA, well above replacement level.
   28. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 27, 2007 at 12:39 AM (#2318484)
See that's where I lose you Daryn . . .

The extra thousand innings were way below average. Heck, Kaat's whole career was below average.

Kaat through 1976, had 3744.3 translated IP, basically the same as Reuschel's career. Only problem is that Kaat's DRA+ was 102, whereas, Reuschel was at 115. With a much higher peak. Kaat's best year (1966) isn't even as good as Reuschel's 1985, let alone his 1977.

But the rest of Kaat's career is putrid. I get him with .6 WAR from 1977-83, and that's only that high because I zero out negative years. The only years where he was above replacement level were 1978 (0.1 WAR, 5.35 DRA in 136 tIP) and 1979 (.5 WAR, 4.84 DRA in 74.3 tIP). In 1980 he was excactly at replacement, earning .001 pennants added.

For the entire span, Kaat had 774 tIP, at a DRA+ of 78.

I just don't see how he can remotely compare to Reuschel. Kaat's defenses save him .08 on his DRA. Reuschel's defenses cost him .05. Kaat's bullpens cost him more runs. Reuschel's park factor for his career was an insane 105.1, Kaat's was 102.5. Kaat's leagues were terrible, inflating his DRA by .10, Reuschel's were a little above average, costing him .01.

All of these little things start adding up, and when you throw in that Reuschel was better to begin with it isn't even close.
   29. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 27, 2007 at 01:33 AM (#2318522)
But the rest of Kaat's career is putrid.

Joe, where are you on the Grimes/Wynn/Ruffing question of chucking the bad years/keeping the good ones for long-career pitchers with lower ERA+s. (For reference, I believe Johnny Grandma (among others) argued in favor of the chucking bad years method.)
   30. Daryn Posted: March 27, 2007 at 01:50 AM (#2318534)
If two people have the same career thru 3500 innings and then the second one tacks on an additional 1000 innings at a 85-88 era+ (which is what I believe I rough it out to -- I don't have my numbers here at home), I'll take the second one every time. Randy Johnson had an 88 ERA+ last year -- that wasn't so bad.

I don't have Kaat on my ballot, but I have him, like Chris, slightly ahead of Reuschel.
   31. DL from MN Posted: March 27, 2007 at 02:10 PM (#2318795)
No surprise but I'm going with Reuschel. Those extra 1000 innings aren't going to add many pennants. This is the key:

"Kaat through 1976, had 3744.3 translated IP, basically the same as Reuschel's career. Only problem is that Kaat's DRA+ was 102, whereas, Reuschel was at 115."

Both guys had terrific gloves so that's a wash. Reuschel's going to win you more games. The low replacement levels are playing tricks on Kaat supporters.
   32. Chris Cobb Posted: March 27, 2007 at 11:38 PM (#2319185)
Chris, I can't fathom having Kaat ahead of Reuschel - I don't think they are on the same planet. I've got Kaat with a career DRA+ of 97 or 98 (going from memory). Would you mind breaking that one down.

I've reviewed my numbers on Kaat and Reuschel, and I've found that I was giving Kaat too much credit for his decline phase: I had added in the value of his innings pitched, but I hadn't subtracted the value of his being below average every year. With that change, Kaat falls behind Reuschel in my rankings.

I'm not prepared to affirm that they are on different planets, however.

The thing I am puzzled about in _your_ ranking of Reuschel is that he is #1 and Luis Tiant is #32. They look to me like very similar pitchers, from a career perspective.

Reuschel 3548.3 IP, 3.94 DERA, 97.0 WARP3
Tiant 3486.3 IP, 3.91 DERA, 98.3 WARP3

What opens up the space between them?
   33. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 28, 2007 at 08:01 AM (#2319380)
"If two people have the same career thru 3500 innings and then the second one tacks on an additional 1000 innings at a 85-88 era+"


The problem is they don't have close to the same career over the first 3500 innings. Reuschel was MUCH better than Kaat, they aren't close.

I'm all for dropping any below replacement level years. I don't count them as negative, I count them as zero. Kaat's 1977-83 is basically a big zero, doesn't hurt or help. Well, technically it helps him very little.
   34. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 28, 2007 at 08:14 AM (#2319385)
Referring to Tiant/Reuschel, Chris asked, "What opens up the space between them?"

First on this ballot, the difference between #1 and #32 isn't all that much.

I have Reuschel at .948 PA, Tiant at .793, so that's how big I think the gap is. My cutoff for Hall of Merit is around .825. These pennants added are actually calculated as of 1992. They'll go up a little when I add in 1993-96 standings. Reuschel was 69.4 WAR, Tiant 58.8; the HoM cutoff is around 60.5, depending on how good your peak was.

But the gap is basically Reuschel having almost 400 more translated IP, at a higher rate (115-112 or 3.90 vs. 4.01).

Reuschel picks up .08 after adjusting for defense (-.05 vs. +.03).

He picks up 7.4 runs for having worse bullpen support than Tiant.

His leagues were MUCH stronger than Tiant's, he gains .13 there (-.01 vs. +.12).

Reuschel also had a higher peak: 8.7, 6.5, 5.3, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.8 vs. Tiant 7.7, 6.4, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.6, 4.5. Reuschel beats him all 7 years and had a longer career.

Using my numbers, but running them through a peak system like James, Reuschel comes out #49, Tiant #93. Using JAWS it's Reuschel 37, Tiant 53. Using Pennants Added, it's Reuschel 32, Tiant 48.

Both get 5 extra runs for their hitting.

The three big adjustments, Park, Defense, League Strength, all give Reuschel a large boost. The combined effect was to hide a pitcher who I believe is easily HoM quality from the naked eye.
   35. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 28, 2007 at 08:15 AM (#2319386)
Thanks for the agreement DL - Reuschel needs all the support he can get.

"Both guys had terrific gloves so that's a wash."


I use Runs Allowed, so their fielding is already taken into account.
   36. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 28, 2007 at 08:20 AM (#2319387)
"The three big adjustments, Park, Defense, League Strength, all give Reuschel a large boost. The combined effect was to hide a pitcher who I believe is easily HoM quality from the naked eye."


And it's no coincidence Palmer had all three of these factors very strongly in his favor. He was in the weak league behind a historically good defense in a pitcher's park. Reuschel was in a stronger league behind a significantly below average defense in a historically great hitter's park.

Reuschel gains .30 in DRA over Palmer in the defense adjustment.

He gains another .14 in the League Quality Adjustment.

Throw in Wrigley Field vs. Memorial Stadium, and you can see why it wasn't quite so obvious that Reuschel was nearly as good as Palmer at his peak, and better in the non-peak years. Palmer's main advantage was that he pitching more innings at his peak, even relative to his league than Reuschel did. But Reuschel was every bit as good when he was out there. And in the end, he pitched just as much.
   37. TomH Posted: March 28, 2007 at 12:08 PM (#2319408)
re: Reuschel/Tiant, Joe D wrote
Reuschel having almost 400 more translated IP, at a higher rate (115-112 or 3.90 vs. 4.01).
Reuschel picks up .08 after adjusting for defense (-.05 vs. +.03).
He picks up 7.4 runs for having worse bullpen support than Tiant.
His leagues were MUCH stronger than Tiant's, he gains .13 there (-.01 vs. +.12).


I must be missing something, Joe. WARP accounts for defense & league strength, and it has Tiant's adjusted DERA lower than Reuschel's, not higher (taking away Luis' lousy last 3 yrs, and also ignoring Rick's rotten 1984). Yes, the bullpen support it misses, but that is only about .02 in ERA of their careers.

Win Shares is kinder to Luis, relative to Reuschel, than WARP is.

Overall, it's much closer than I thought; after rechecking my ##s, I'm surprised to have Reuschel in my top 35. But not on my ballot.
   38. DL from MN Posted: March 28, 2007 at 01:29 PM (#2319433)
"The thing I am puzzled about in _your_ ranking of Reuschel is that he is #1 and Luis Tiant is #32."

Me too, even after reading the explanation I'm not there.
   39. Paul Wendt Posted: March 28, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2319695)
Joe Dimino
I just don't see how [Kaat] can remotely compare to Reuschel. Kaat's defenses save him .08 on his DRA. Reuschel's defenses cost him .05.

I guess that those are big swings for pitchers with long careers, right? Rough contemporaries of roughly equal status. No one ever called either one a future Hall of Famer (unless it was in the Twin Cities after two games of the 1965 World Series, and that guy said it of Mudcat Grant too).

Does Mordecai Brown have a similar pairing?

. . . Maybe the question is does Brown have a partner as Palmer, not Kaat, has Reuschel.

How many pitchers JoeD do you adjust .08 for inferior defense *or* .12 for superior league?


Bunning remains number one on my personal surprising list, perhaps because his HOF status makes him more "interesting" and better "known" (but I learned here that I didn't know). But this is an impressive sheer number of pitchers, generally considered unworthy of the HOF if they are considered at all, whom a serious sabrmetric identifies as Meritorious: Reuschel, Bunning, Pierce, Shocker, and Quinn (although the latter may be a minor league/wartime case as much as a sabrmetric one). Joe, iiuc, you rank all these pitchers approximately the equals of Palmer and Marichal, with Bob Lemon clearly below the lot. Right?

If your methods are significantly different from Wolverton (he is the inventor of Pennants Added, right?), then it may be worthwhile to summarize the shared approach and detail the specifics as DanR has done regarding his WARP that is significantly different from Davenport.

The three big adjustments, Park, Defense, League Strength, all give Reuschel a large boost.

The big three because Leverage doesn't differ much among starting pitchers, right?

And Batting doesn't count here because ever sabrmetrician understands it, many simply neglecting to consider it for pitchers. Even today there are big batting differences among all pitchers, but only a few not including Reuschel are out in the tail, and it's a big coincidence if one of them is a 1 2 or 3 tier pitcher. At bat, Reuschel was not as good as his reputation.
   40. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 29, 2007 at 07:10 PM (#2320360)
WARP has some issues Tom. The first is the exponent they use. They don't use PythaganPat, which causes serious errors when evaluating individual pitchers.

WARP does not adjust for innings pitched relative to league norms. It considers 275 IP in 1907 the same as 275 IP in 2007.

WARP1 does not adjust for league quality. WARP2 adjusts for league quality, but not the same way I do (only account for league vs. league in a particular season, expansions, war - specifically not accounting for the level of play changing over time). WARP3 only adjusts partially for schedule issues.

I don't know how else I can explain Reuschel over Tiant. Reuschel was better and pitched more.

Paul - the .12 league adjustment is pretty standard for AL pitchers in the 1965-85 era. It gets especially high from 1977-83 with the extra expansion that was only in the AL. Those guys were getting 15% of their starts (on average) against putrid Seattle and Toronto (except for 1982-83) teams.

Here are the other pitchers (post-1893) with a league adjustment of .12:

Dennis Leonard
Ralph Terry
Larry Gura
Rudy May
Jim Perry
Dave McNally
Gary Peters
Dizzy Trout (includes the war)
Russ Ford
Allie Reynolds
Camilo Pasqual
Mel Stottlemyre
Luis Tiant
Catfish Hunter
Wilbur Wood
Geoff Zahn

The highest career league adjustment I've found is .17, for Tex Hughson and Tom Seaton. Bob Turley and Whitey Ford were .14, the highest for anyone with a long career (2000+ tIP). Tiny Bonham, Claude Hendrix, Paul Splitorff, Cy Falkenberg, Jim Palmer, Marty Pattin, Doc Medich and Early Wynn had adjustments of .13.

As for defense the highest adjustment I've found is .55 for Jack Pfiester, which makes sense, short career for the greatest defensive team ever.

Tiant's .03 is shared with:

Gary Peters
Bill Dinneen
Rick Rhoden
Pete Alexander
Larry Jackson
Ferguson Jenkins

That's actually a low adjustment, meaning he had worse defensive support than a lot of others.

But Reuschel's -.05 is extremely low, in the bottom 50 of the 281 I've done. Others with -.05:

Bob Friend
Tom Seaton
Nolan Ryan
Sam McDowell
Dick Rudolph
Rube Waddell

The worst defensive support of anyone I've found is -.21 for Ned Garver. Jouett Meekin was -.20, then Russ Ford, Chick Fraser and Claude Passeau at -.17.

". . . then it may be worthwhile to summarize the shared approach and detail the specifics as DanR has done regarding his WARP that is significantly different from Davenport."


I've done that already (I think more than once), although I forget where - it's been awhile. I believe it is on the thread called pitchers. It gets tough to redo every time I mention anything about a pitcher, but I'll try to find it.

Leverage doesn't change much for starters. I do adjust for leverage of relief innings for everyone, starter and reliever. I use an estimate from a Pete Palmer method for years prior to 1960.

I do count batting. It's the main thing that throws Ruffing and Ferrell over the top. It's very important to the case of Don Newcombe and Bob Lemon. Hell, 14% of Ruffing's sizable career value came from his bat. Same for Newcombe. 18% of Ferrell's value was offense. Hitting is what pushes Steve Carlton past Phil Niekro for me.

If one isn't accounting for hitting with pitchers he is making a massive mistake.
   41. Daryn Posted: March 29, 2007 at 08:45 PM (#2320431)
Joe,

Do you give Kaat any credit for his fielding? Do you consider it to be historically Greg Maddux great?
   42. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 29, 2007 at 08:58 PM (#2320443)
I use runs allowed as the basis for everything. So his fielding is already included in the number of runs he allowed. I don't adjust for it separately.
   43. Tom T Posted: March 29, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2320452)
As a lurker, I'm having fun reading this thread.

Growing up, the only weekday baseball on local TV was the Cubs on WGN with Jack Brickhouse and Milo Hamilton, so I was sort of a Cub fan (hey, I was about 5, give me a break). By '78 or so, I'd figured out that the Cubs were an aimless organization largely filled with, well, pathetic ballplayers and I moved on to be a Pirate fan (better, but still not a brilliant selection for the past 30 years)

That said, there was one Cub player I continued to enjoy watching and for whom I always found myself rooting --- Big Daddy. It was great to see him come back in the mid-to-late '80s and have a 2nd successful phase to his career, particularly those years in San Francisco as he approached 200 wins.

I guess the fascination was similar to that held by many with regard to Mickey Lolich...it was just plain fun watching this big, not-exactly "in shape" guy playing ball, and playing it well, for so long.
   44. Paul Wendt Posted: March 30, 2007 at 01:07 AM (#2320591)
> ". . . then it may be worthwhile to summarize the shared approach and detail the specifics
> as DanR has done regarding his WARP that is significantly different from Davenport."

I've done that already (I think more than once), although I forget where - it's been awhile. I believe it is on the thread called pitchers. It gets tough to redo every time I mention anything about a pitcher, but I'll try to find it.


Yes, I shouldn't have mentioned what DanR. Because I was idly wondering whether it should be on a website (separate from this mass discussion) or a SABR presentation (a good poster?). Chris James did both with his version of Run Support Index.
   45. Paul Wendt Posted: March 30, 2007 at 01:21 AM (#2320598)
The highest career league adjustment I've found is .17, for Tex Hughson and Tom Seaton.

One played half his career in the AL during WWII (same as Bonham). The other moved from a strong NL team to the Federal League (same as Hendrix).

Bob Turley and Whitey Ford were .14, the highest for anyone with a long career (2000+ tIP).

Teammates on the dominant team of the weaker league. Part of the .14 is the advantage of not facing the Yankees, eh? Early Wynn and Jim Palmer would be junior versions of the same, their own teams not so dominant.

--
As for defense the highest adjustment I've found is .55 for Jack Pfiester, which makes sense, short career for the greatest defensive team ever.

Jack the Giant Killer. Ha ha, the real giant killer was Joe Tinker. to Evers to Chance, and Kling, Steinfeldt, and the S-S-S outfield. I wonder whether any of the bearcub trio's teammates was called "krauthead" as the story goes of Johannes Wagner.
   46. TomH Posted: March 30, 2007 at 01:05 PM (#2320766)
........WARP has some issues Tom. The first is the exponent they use. They don't use PythaganPat, which causes serious errors when evaluating individual pitchers.
........WARP does not adjust for innings pitched relative to league norms. It considers 275 IP in 1907 the same as 275 IP in 2007.
........WARP1 does not adjust for league quality. WARP2 adjusts for league quality, but not the same way I do (only account for league vs. league in a particular season, expansions, war - specifically not accounting for the level of play changing over time). WARP3 only adjusts partially for schedule issues.
........I don't know how else I can explain Reuschel over Tiant. Reuschel was better and pitched more.

--
pythagpat - OK, that could affect Koufax vs. Ryan (peak/career) but I cannot see how in the world that makes much difference with Tiant/Reuschel.
adj innings for different times - yes, if I use BP's translated innings, Reuschel is well ahaed.
WARP3 schedule issues; again, this is machts nix for Luis v Rick.
Bottom line; yes, Reushcel pitched (when adjusting for era) more. But BETTER? Tiant's career league qual and def adjusted ERA is better than Reuschel's. And BP makes MORE adj for def qual than WS does, so you can argue BP isn't giving Rick enough bonus, but I'm not sure I buy into the argument. Take away Luis' poor last 3 years and Rick's poor last 2, and their DERA diff is .03 in favor of Tiant.
Now, does post-season count at all? 3-0 with good ERA (Luis) vs 1-4 with rotten ERA (Reuschel) is a big thing, and we ought not to ignore it. I give Tiant the equiv of 8 extra career wins (and 8 fewer losses) over Reuschel for their post-season efforts. That ain't a huge number, but on this close ballot, 8 wins is a lot.
   47. Chris Cobb Posted: March 30, 2007 at 01:29 PM (#2320774)
Tiant's career league qual and def adjusted ERA is better than Reuschel's.

Not in the current WARP2. Tiant's DERA "adjusted for all time" is 3.99; Reuschel's is 3.93, same as his WARP1 DERA.
   48. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 30, 2007 at 03:15 PM (#2320827)
Tom I don't have access to my spreadsheet today, I'm at a different computer at work. Remind me next week, and I will go through every year using Tiant and Reuschel and I'll explain my system in full detail.
   49. TomH Posted: March 30, 2007 at 04:23 PM (#2320880)
Tiant's DERA "adjusted for all time" is 3.99; Reuschel's is 3.93, same as his WARP1 DERA.
I should have been more clear by putting my qualifying comment (at the end) up front; when you take away Tiant's poor last 3 yrs, 80-82, his DERA goes down to 3.88. Reuschel minus his last 2 short years is 3.91. Tiant really did kill his career ERA those last 3 years.
You can lower Rick's career DERA by cutting off everything after 1985, but of course if you do that then Tiant has a big edge in IP.

Joe, I don't mean to make you do a ton of work (and as I can attest, sometimes 'splaining the work takes longer than doing it!). We probably agree on the big picture: Reuschel had an (adjusted) longer career, quality close to the same (you give RR slight edge, most of us see it the other way, maybe after more study I'll find out I am wrong), Tiant much better in brief post-season efforts. I suspect I have RR higher than many others.
I do think the fact that Tiant came up in the 60s and Reuschel in the 70s could be relevant, and if someone wants to show data that it was tougher to dominate or rack up large IP totals in that time; hey, I haven't looked heavily at that sangle yet, have at it, it could be an impt factor.
   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 30, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2320941)
I don't mind Tom, it's probably good to do. Maybe someone will find a flaw that I'm missing. For the record, after my adjustments, Reuschel is at 3.91, and Tiant at 4.01, I can't imagine that difference is only because of the last couple of seasons, but I can't see the sheet right now. I would say that I go individually, season by season and zero out any season below replacement level, so Tiant isn't being hurt there. I also translate innings differently than Prospectus. It's similar, but I make some important tweaks.

Reuschel does beat Tiant each of their 7 best seasons (those most are close, see post 34). I haven't taken post-season into account.
   51. Rob_Wood Posted: March 31, 2007 at 07:45 PM (#2321373)
I am sure I will defer to Joe's great work for the ultimate comparison of Tiant and Reuschel, but here are my thoughts.
Cutting to the chase, I have them as in a flat-footed tie. Both are only barely in sight of the bottom of my ballot.
I have the following non-elected pitchers ahead of them: Tommy Bridges (who is on my ballot), Tommy John and
Urban Shocker (who are not). In addition, I have not yet fully decided whether Dizzy Dean or Dick Redding are
above or below the Tiant/Reuschel line. In any event, I do not foresee voting for any of them.

Anyway, back to Tiant vs Reuschel. Reuschel's advantage: about 400 more adjusted innings pitched. Tiant's advantages:
shutouts, complete games, strikeouts, win pct relative to team, baserunners per inning, and post-season performance.
No clear advantage: ERA, strikeout to walk ratio.

For what it is worth I have both Reuschel and Tiant significantly ahead of Jim Kaat.
   52. TomH Posted: April 01, 2007 at 12:08 AM (#2321446)
Q: should Reuschel (and those of his da) get credit for more 'adjusted' IP because of the stronger presence of the 5-man vs 4-man rotation, lessening the IP of the league leaders?

A: well, let's check some ##s.
Below, MLB leaders for IP and RSAA. I posted the 15th best for each. If anything, there were MORE longer IP careers and better RSAA numbers for Reuschel's era. Expansion would have a litle to do with that (more teams).

1964-1979 (Tiant's prime career)
INNINGS PITCHED IP
1 Gaylord Perry 4472
11 Luis Tiant 3263
15 Rick Wise 2872.2

............ RSAA
1 Tom Seaver 364
10 Luis Tiant 195
15 John Hiller 136

1972-1987 (Reuschel's prime career, cut off end so it matches 15 yrs used for Luis)
INNINGS PITCHED IP
1 Phil Niekro 4017.2
8 Rick Reuschel 2997.1
15 Jim Palmer 2830.2
............. RSAA
1 Bert Blyleven 338
7 Rick Reuschel 191
15 Don Sutton 144

1972-1991 (full Reuschel career)
INNINGS PITCHED IP
1 Nolan Ryan 4652.1
7 Rick Reuschel 3548.1
15 Vida Blue 2950.2
........... RSAA
1 Bert Blyleven 320
9 Rick Reuschel 202
15 Goose Gossage 154
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:06 PM (#2330215)
OK Tom, I owe you an explanation of my system, here goes . . .

First the inputs:

Innings Pitched
Runs Allowed
Bullpen Support (1960-present, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus)
Inherited Runs Prevented (1960-present, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus)
Bequeathed Runs Prevented (1960-present, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus)
NRA (taken directly from Baseball Prospectus)
DERA (taken directly from Baseball Prospectus)
Leverage Index (1960-present, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus; pre-1960 estimated with the Pete Palmer formula [9*[rW+rL+[SV*.25]]/IP], with a minimum of .5 and a max of 3)
Relief IP
RCAP (taken directly from the Sabermetric Encyclopedia)
RC
AB
AB as a non-pitcher
Batting WS
Fielding WS
Estimated games as a non-pitcher
Team Games
Park Factor (directly from baseball-reference.com, which already adjusts for not facing your own hitters and playing 1/2 your games on the road)
League Run Allowed per 9 IP.
All-time League Adjustment (explained below)
League AB per 162/G divided 9

We mix all of that up as follows . . . (we'll use Rick Reuschel 1977 as an example)

First, take the pitcher's runs allowed - his bullpen support # - his inherited run prevented # + his Bequeathed runs prevented number, divide that by IP and multiply by 9. That gives us RA/9 IP. For Reuschel in 1977 this is (84-1.9-.6+0)/252*9 = 2.91

Take League Runs Allowed/9 IP and multiply by the park factor. This is Park Adjusted League RA/9 IP. 4.40*1.12 = 4.92

Take those two, add them and raise to the .286 exponent. This will give you your pythagorean exponent. (2.91+4.92)^.286 = 1.80

Figure out WPct using the RA/9 IP, PALRA/9 IP and the exponent. .721

From there, you need to convert to where LRA/9 is on a 4.50 scale, so that DERA and NRA will work properly. This is more complicated than it sounds.

You cannot just do it proportionally, because the winning percentage will change. So you need to figure out what runs allowed against a 4.50 league would produce the same winning percentage. The "solver" add in excel is used for this. 2.62 RA/9 in a 4.50 league has the same win value as 2.91 does against a 4.92 league.

Next we factor in the league adjustment. I calculate the league adjustment this way . . . for the top 5 pitchers in the league in terms of IP, I look at their adjusted for season and adjusted for all-time NRA from Baseball Prospectus. This changes every other week it seems like, and it's a royal pain to update. I'm noticing now that it's changed again since my last update, so the numbers I'm using were accurate as of 1/22, but aren't any longer.

Now when I adjust, I don't timeline. If I did, we'd be done figuring this. What I do, is treat the established level of play as zero, except for cases of multiple league environments, expansion, contraction and war. In a typical AL/NL only non-expansion, non-war season, like say, 1933 the AL and NL will be inverses of each (like +.11 or -.11) depending on which league is stronger. The weaker league will get the 'positive', the stronger league the 'negative' number.

Here are my adjustments (remember positive is a weak league, negative is a strong league):

Year    AL     NL    OL
1875          0.20       
1876          0.10    
1882   1.30   0.08  
1883   0.90   0.06  
1884   0.85   0.28  1.60
1885   0.50   0.20 
1886   0.38   0.20  
1887   0.30     
1888   0.22   0.06  
1889   0.30    
1890   0.90   0.25  0.15
1891   0.40    
1900         
-0.25  
1901   0.23  
-0.04  
1902  
-0.06   0.18  
1903  
-0.05   0.18  
1904  
-0.02   0.15  
1905  
-0.02   0.12  
1906   0.12   0.08  
1907  
-0.04   0.04  
1908   0.03  
-0.03  
1909  
-0.05   0.05  
1910  
-0.04   0.04  
1911   0.02  
-0.02  
1912   0.04  
-0.04  
1913   0.04  
-0.04  
1914   0.02  
-0.06  0.42
1915  
-0.01  -0.04  0.45
1916  
-0.07   0.07  
1917  
-0.05   0.05  
1918   0.05   0.03  
1919  
-0.08   0.08  
1920  
-0.05   0.05  
1921  
-0.05   0.05  
1922  
-0.11   0.11  
1923  
-0.10   0.10  
1924  
-0.09   0.09  
1925  
-0.03   0.03  
1926  
-0.05   0.05  
1927  
-0.03   0.03  
1928   0.01  
-0.01  
1929   0.03  
-0.03  
1930   0.07  
-0.07  
1931   0.07  
-0.07  
1932   0.08  
-0.08  
1933   0.11  
-0.11  
1934   0.09  
-0.09  
1935   0.06  
-0.06  
1936   0.08  
-0.08  
1937  
-0.06   0.06  
1938  
-0.02   0.02  
1939   0.01  
-0.01  
1940  
-0.03   0.03  
1941  
-0.02   0.02  
1942   0.19  
-0.11  
1943   0.17   0.04  
1944   0.29   0.22  
1945   0.44   0.22  
1946  
-0.03   0.03  
1947   0.03  
-0.03  
1948   0.00   0.00  
1949   0.03  
-0.03  
1950   0.01  
-0.01  
1951   0.00   0.00  
1952   0.13  
-0.02  
1953   0.19   0.09  
1954   0.18  
-0.03  
1955   0.17  
-0.04  
1956   0.12  
-0.12  
1957   0.12  
-0.12  
1958   0.13  
-0.13  
1959   0.08  
-0.08  
1960   0.09  
-0.09  
1961   0.12  
-0.09  
1962   0.15   0.01  
1963   0.14  
-0.02  
1964   0.14  
-0.08  
1965   0.15  
-0.04  
1966   0.10  
-0.09  
1967   0.07  
-0.04  
1968   0.01  
-0.01  
1969   0.14   0.05  
1970   0.17   0.00  
1971   0.13   0.05  
1972   0.12   0.00  
1973   0.14   0.03  
1974   0.15  
-0.01  
1975   0.10   0.03  
1976   0.09   0.01  
1977   0.13   0.03  
1978   0.12  
-0.01  
1979   0.16   0.00  
1980   0.20  
-0.02  
1981   0.12  
-0.01  
1982   0.11  
-0.05  
1983   0.13  
-0.06  
1984   0.03  
-0.03  
1985   0.03  
-0.03  
1986   0.03  
-0.03  
1987   0.04  
-0.04  
1988   0.06  
-0.06  
1989   0.04  
-0.04  
1990   0.04  
-0.04  
1991   0.00   0.00  
1992  
-0.02   0.02  
1993   0.03   0.02  
1994   0.01   0.05  
1995   0.04   0.07  
1996   0.01   0.06  
1997   0.02   0.03  
1998  
-0.03   0.07  
1999   0.05   0.06  
2000   0.05   0.05  
2001   0.08   0.03  
2002   0.07  
-0.02  
2003   0.08   0.01  
2004   0.05   0.03  
2005   0.01  
-0.01  
2006   0.04  
-0.04 


Again, this will be updated at some point for the new numbers, but that won't happen today, unless someone can figure out a way for me to spider this from their website or something, it's very time consuming to have to click into the record of any pitcher who ended up in the top 5 in the league in IP and get their NRAs. If the numbers add to zero for a year, it's a 'clean' year. If they don't there is usually some effect of war, expansion or contraction involved.

Also note that this only compares the quality of pitching in each league, these numbers do not apply to hitting. Since pitchers are only compared to the other pitchers in a league for quality. The hitters are taken into account when you compare the pitchers to league average, so you don't want to double count that here.

Anyway, for the 1977 NL (an expansion year) the adjustment is .03. The AL adjustment that year is .13, expansion affected the AL much more, but the NL had some impact. Also note the 1969 expansion still hadn't washed out as late as 1976, so there is still some effect from that remaining. Add this .03 to 2.62 and Reuschel's adjusted RA/9 IP is 2.65 (in a 4.50 league).

Finally, we take that 2.65, and add his DERA and subtract his NRA (both adjusted for season). This adjusts the pitcher for team defense.

Rueschel's team defense in 1977 was exactly neutral, both his DERA and his NRA were 2.84, so 2.65 + 2.84 - 2.84 = 2.65. This is Reuschel's final DRA. His DRA+ would be 170. This is much better than his ERA+ of 157. Reuschel's bullpens hurt him (cost him 1.6 R), he was good in his relief IP in terms of inherited runners (saved .6 R). Despite having an average defense, he gave up fewer than average (only 6) unearned runs also. All of these conspire to have his ERA+ underrate his actual effectiveness.
   54. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2330220)
Now that we've figured out how good he was at preventing runs, we need to find out how much he pitched.

We adjust the starting IP for the league norms. What I do here is take the spIP / leaders' IP * 258.3333).

To get leaders' IP, take the list of league leaders in IP for the season. Take number X through Y, where X = (league teams * .25 + 1) and Y = league teams * .75. So in an team league, the leaders' IP is the average of the pitchers ranked #3-#6 in the league in IP. In a 16 team league you'd take pitchers #5-#12 in IP. In a 14 team league, you take pitcher 4.5-10.5. So for the 1/2 pitcher we use half of their totals in the calc.

Prospectus' Translated IP just use the top 5 in the league and set that as equivlent to 275 IP. This isn't the correct way to do it, because the top 5 in a 16 team league is a much tougher standard than the top 5 in an 8 team league. Also, using the #1 pitcher as 20% of the standard can cause problems in years that have a pitcher that throws off the curve (not to mention that such a pitcher isn't given proper credit himself in this situation, since he's being graded against himself). So I toss out the top few pitchers, to use a more realistic curve, which also allows for those great workhorses (relative to their leagues) to get proper credit.

When I figured my numbers from 1901-2005, using Prospectus' standard of the top 5 pitchers, the average top 5 pitcher had 282 IP. Using my system, the top pitchers I counted averaged 265 IP. So I took the 282/275 and converted that to 265/258.3333. So my numbers for translated IP are directly comparable to Prospectus' translated IP, but are figured in a much more fair way, IMO.

The 1977 subset of NL leaders that I use (pitchers 4-9) averaged 252.1 IP. Reuschel had 250.3 IP (as a starter), so this translates to 256.51 IP.

His 1.7 relief IP are multiplied by his 3.63 leverage index (he came on in the 7th inning down 5-4; and the 13th inning of a tie game), divided by the 162 games the Cubs played and multiplied by 155.7 (the average number of team games from 1901-2006) which gives him 5.81 leverage adjusted relief IP. His total translated IP come to 262.32 and I I round to the nearest 1/3 of an inning (boy am I an anal retentive cuss), giving Reuschel 262 1/3 translated IP for 1977.

From here we figure Runs saved Above Replacement. Take 5.48 (replacement level runs allowed per 9 IP in a 4.50 environment), subtract the pitcher's DRA, divide the result by 9 and multiply by translated IP. For Reuschel this is (5.48-2.65)/9*(262 1/3). This equals 82.5 Pitching Runs Above Replacement. That was the best figure in the NL. Bruce Sutter was second at 82.2; Goose Gossage led the AL with 100.0 (a historically great relief season, 2nd only to Hiller's 1973), Tanana was the best AL starter at 71.1, Seaver was the best other NL starter at 77.9.

Next we give credit for hitting. This is easy for modern pitchers, Reuschel had 1 run created above position (remember average hitting for a pitcher is also replacement level hitting for a pitcher), we take that, divide by starting IP, multiply by translated starting IP. For Reuschel this is 1/250.3*256.5, which equals 1.02.

I do it this way because we are trying to put all pitchers on an equal playing field in terms of innings. Since pitchers aren't selected for their hitting, it follows that if they were pitching more or fewer innings their hitting contribution would be directly proportional.

For pitchers that played the field, or pinch-hit, I take that portion of their hitting separately (assuming they hit at the same quality as a pitcher and non-pitcher).

If the hitting/fielding portion of their contribution ends up above replacement level for a normal player, I add that back into their batting runs above replacement as well. This is negligible for pretty much everyone after Wes Ferrell.

So Reuschel gets his 1.02 BRAR added to his 82.5 PRAR. This gives him 83.6 RSAR. In a 4.5 R/G environment, 9.558 runs are equivalent to one win. So 83.6 / 9.558 = 8.7 WAR for Reuschel. If RSAR < 0, WAR = 0.

WAR are then converted to Pennants Added, straight from Baseball Prospectus 2002. To get Pennants Added in Excel, you use the Normal Distribution Function (NORMDIST). The formula is:

NORMDIST(WAR,(162*(avg. Pennant WPct - .500)),((162*(((St.Dev Pennant winners ^ 2)+(St.Dev All Teams ^ 2)) ^.5 )),TRUE)

Through 1996 (for 1997 voting), the average Pennant WPct was .620. I define a pennant as a playoff team. This means league champion from 1876-1968, Division Champion from 1969-present, all wild-card teams).

The average team is .500.

The st. dev. of pennant winners is .0490, the st. dev. of all teams is .0920.

Using these numbers, Reuschel's 1977 season converts to .139. I believe this means that if you put Reuschel on a random team from history, 13.9% of the time, he would be enough to push the team into the playoffs, given my assumptions for replacement level, etc..

Using this system for their entire careers, here are the records of Rick Reuschel and Luis Tiant:

Reuschel RSAR  WAR    PA    DRA  DRA+  tIP
1972      29   3.0  0.041  3.35  134  126.0
1973      49   5.1  0.073  3.50  129  229.7
1974      27   2.8  0.038  4.51  100  232.3
1975      36   3.7  0.051  4.17  108  230.0
1976      43   4.5  0.063  4.10  110  260.3
1977      84   8.7  0.139  2.65  170  262.3
1978      50   5.3  0.076  3.63  124  244.3
1979      46   4.8  0.069  3.80  119  247.7
1980      50   5.2  0.075  3.81  118  274.7
1981      39   4.1  0.057  3.97  113  242.7
1982           DID NOT PLAY 
(INJURED)
1983       5   0.5  0.006  3.54  127   21.7
1984       0   0.0  0.000  5.75   78   96.0
1985      62   6.5  0.097  2.83  159  204.3
1986      19   2.0  0.026  4.72   95  225.7
1987      47   4.9  0.070  3.81  118  252.7
1988      40   4.2  0.059  4.04  111  258.7
1989      31   3.3  0.044  4.25  106  226.7
1990       7   0.7  0.009  4.82   93   96.0
1991       0   0.0  0.000  6.63   68   13.7
Total    663  69.4  0.993  3.90  115 3745.3

Tiant    RSAR  WAR    PA    DRA  DRA
+  tIP
1964      30   3.2  0.043  3.04  148  118.7
1965      19   2.0  0.026  4.50  100  196.3
1966      38   4.0  0.056  3.63  124  191.3
1967      44   4.6  0.066  3.79  119  215.0
1968      74   7.7  0.119  2.76  163  250.3
1969      23   2.4  0.032  4.75   95  237.3
1970      16   1.7  0.022  4.35  104   85.0
1971       0   0.0  0.000  5.63   80   70.0
1972      46   4.9  0.069  2.94  153  167.7
1973      43   4.5  0.063  3.78  119  227.0
1974      61   6.4  0.095  3.37  133  261.7
1975      24   2.5  0.033  4.58   98  238.3
1976      50   5.2  0.075  3.72  121  253.0
1977      18   1.9  0.024  4.62   97  187.0
1978      49   5.1  0.073  3.30  136  202.0
1979      19   2.0  0.026  4.64   97  202.0
1980       2   0.2  0.003  5.34   84  138.0
1981       5   0.5  0.006  5.04   89   92.0
1982       0   0.0  0.000  6.91   65   29.7
Total    562  58.8  0.831  4.01  112 3362.3 


We have elected every eligible pitcher over 1.040 Pennants Added. Aside from Jack Quinn (1.039), Rick Reuschel (.993) and Tommy John (.942) we've elected every eligible pitcher over .895. We've also elected Billy Pierce (.872), Rube Waddell (.822), Clark Griffith (.814), Three-Finger Brown (.804), Bob Lemon (.794) and Joe McGinnity (.752). Reuschel is 11% over the cutoff established by electing Stan Coveleski (.897) and leaving out Urban Shocker (.892).

Here's the top 50 among eligibles, Blyleven, Stieb and Ryan:

Pitcher              PA    DRA  DRA+  tIP     WAR
Walter Johnson     2.593  3.13  144  5577.3  161.1
Cy Young           2.074  3.41  132  5727.0  136.0
Pete Alexander     2.032  3.34  135  5186.0  131.0
Lefty Grove        1.774  3.25  138  4684.0  115.8
Warren Spahn       1.734  3.72  121  5268.7  115.4
Tom Seaver         1.660  3.53  127  4805.7  111.2
Bob Feller         1.587  3.71  121  4962.3  104.1
Christy Mathewson  1.463  3.57  126  4094.3   95.4
Steve Carlton      1.455  3.99  113  5287.7   97.5
Phil Niekro        1.408  3.96  114  5456.3   96.4

Robin Roberts      1.367  3.88  116  4747.0   91.9
Kid Nichols        1.341  3.64  124  4184.7   90.4
Bert Blyleven
^     1.329  3.90  115  4960.7   91.3
Gaylord Perry      1.297  4.00  112  5159.3   89.0
Nolan Ryan
^        1.282  4.05  111  5426.3   90.3
Bob Gibson         1.267  3.63  124  3685.0   84.3
Ted Lyons          1.245  3.93  115  4630.7   87.1
Red Ruffing        1.228  4.17  108  4787.3   86.3
Carl Hubbell       1.186  3.55  127  3552.7   79.0
Eddie Plank        1.165  3.71  121  3873.7   80.8

Don Sutton         1.139  4.14  109  5308.3   81.4
Ferguson Jenkins   1.117  3.97  113  4322.7   77.2
Don Drysdale       1.095  3.63  124  3275.7   73.9
Early Wynn         1.093  4.34  104  5204.0   76.8
Hal Newhouser      1.052  3.62  124  3152.3   69.5
Eppa Rixey         1.046  4.05  111  4524.0   74.6
Jack Quinn
*        1.039  4.04  111  4463.7   74.8
Whitey Ford        1.038  3.81  118  3677.3   73.1
Dazzy Vance        1.032  3.37  134  2842.0   68.2
Ed Walsh           1.019  3.36  134  2567.0   64.3

Amos Rusie         1.004  3.55  127  2851.0   65.1
Rick Reuschel
*      .993  3.90  115  3745.3   69.4
Jim Bunning         .988  3.98  113  3739.0   67.0
Sandy Koufax        .982  2.95  153  2213.3   63.1
Juan Marichal       .970  3.80  118  3288.7   65.3
Jim Palmer          .966  4.00  113  3781.0   66.9
Red Faber           .958  3.97  113  3953.7   67.1
Tommy John
*         .942  4.26  106  4748.7   68.5
Wes Ferrell         .913  3.91  115  2617.7   60.2
Stan Coveleski      .897  3.58  126  2854.0   60.7

Urban Shocker
*      .892  3.57  126  2668.0   60.9
Tommy Bridges
*      .891  3.73  121  3131.3   62.9
Billy Pierce        .872  3.94  114  3440.3   61.0
Dave Stieb
^         .859  3.86  117  3070.3   58.7
Don Newcombe
*       .854  4.09  110  3169.0   59.4
Bucky Walters
*      .852  4.03  112  3081.0   58.0
Burleigh Grimes
*    .852  4.32  104  3992.0   59.3
Luis Tiant
*         .831  4.01  112  3362.3   58.8
Virgil Trucks
*      .830  3.88  116  3278.3   58.6
Waite Hoyt
*         .828  4.04  111  3628.3   59.2
not elected, ^ not eligible 


Reuschel is ahead of Bunning, Koufax, Marichal, Palmer, who all pitched in his time or close to it and are elected.
   55. DL from MN Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:50 PM (#2330327)
You're using pennants added as the final measure but it doesn't look like you're taking into account postseason statistics. I think pitching well in October has added a lot of pennants.

It appears the adjustments for league strength, replacement level and tIP are your biggest question marks. I also don't quite buy the pennants added assumptions at the high end and the low end - I don't necessarily think it's a normal distribution.

That said, it's a pretty good system.
   56. TomH Posted: April 09, 2007 at 10:37 PM (#2330561)
OK, Joe, I have digested most of your post as I digest my yummy tortillas. Not sure which goes down easier :)

You make some good points; RR has a few small advantages over LT that add up. I use a combo of ERA and RA, so you adjust more than I, and your league strength adjustment is a bit higher too. As well as your defense adjusment. But all of those are close, and maybe you could be right on all 3 counts.

Our biggest diff is the use of translated innings. While I agree that
1. this is an extremely important concept, and
2. using 5th most IP is a good tool,
..I am leery of applying 'translated' to IP across eras and not applying translated other ##s, like ERA+ or DERA. This will become crucial if we ever get to vote on Kevin Brown, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz, Tom Glavin, et al in 2014; they pitched when league-leading IPs were very low, but leading ERA+ were very VERY good, and it will be obvious that some adjustment will be needed.

My post #52 shows that, depsite pitching fewer innings in RR's day, men did not crank out fewer RSAA over their careers. So should we penalize LT for his peers throwing more IPs, when they couldn't accumulate any more RSAA total value?

You've convinced me to move LT down a bit, and RR up some more, but LT is still a small margin ahead. Maybe I value the October ##s more than you.
   57. Paul Wendt Posted: April 10, 2007 at 03:25 AM (#2330805)
1940  -0.03   0.03  
1941  
-0.02   0.02  
<b>1942   0.19  -0.11</bwow!
1943   0.17   0.04  
1944   0.29   0.22  
1945   0.44   0.22  
1946  
-0.03   0.03 
   58. Paul Wendt Posted: April 10, 2007 at 03:32 AM (#2330812)
If Rick Reuschel is second-best to Jack Quinn, I'm all for him.
Seriously, I hope I remember "Rick Reuschel" when I have time to read this.
   59. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 10, 2007 at 11:47 AM (#2330930)
"am leery of applying 'translated' to IP across eras and not applying translated other ##s, like ERA+ or DERA"

But Tom - I am 'translating' the runs allowed across era, because I convert to a 4.50 environment based on the win value the ERA had in its own time. That's probably the most important adjustment in the whole system.

********

Paul, one way to get the overall 'war effect' or 'expansion effect' is to add the totals for the year. So:

1941: .00
1942: .08
1943: .21
1944: .51
1945: .66
1946: .00

Feller and Greenberg were already gone in 1942 (both from the AL), as were a few others, so I'm not surprised by this as a very slight 'war year' also.
   60. TomH Posted: April 10, 2007 at 12:08 PM (#2330934)
Maybe I missed it, then Joe. I see RR has 11% mre transIP than LT, and his DERA is .11 better (DRA+ is 3% better), so your result of RR having 18% more WAR is not unexpected.

But let's say two leagues, 10 yrs apart, both have lg ERAs of 4.10 (RA of 4.50). In lgA, the 5th best pitcher has an ERA of 3.00 in 240 IP. In lgB, 5th best is 2.50 in 200 IP; there were a bunch of dominating guys who pithced only every 5th day, and who often got pulled after 7 most days. What does your method do with two pitchers, each of whom tossed 200 IP of 2.80 ERA in lgA and lgB? I know you translate the IPs of lgB hurler so he would rank higher on that note; but what about the ERA?
   61. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 10, 2007 at 12:37 PM (#2330945)
Ah, now I see what you are saying - I don't do anything different with it. I check the win value.

I'm trying to see what pitchers did compared to the norms for their era. My underlying assumption is that if pitcher X had been pitching in a different era, he would have thrown a similar number of innings compared to the leaders of that era as he did in his own era. I don't believe the 1960s just happen to produce a bunch of superfreaks. I believe that the conditions of the time allowed pitchers to throw more innings than they did before or after.

Since pitchers are already being compared to others from their era, I think their runs allowed are already adjusted for this. If everyone is throwing shorter, and it makes it easier for everyone to pitch well, then the bar is raised and ERA+ and DRA+ will go down accordingly.
   62. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 10, 2007 at 12:49 PM (#2330946)
DL, I don't really look at the post-season because the opportunities aren't equal. It's a couple of random games for most everyone. Very few of these players played in more than a World Series or two.

Sure I'd use it as a tie-breaker for a couple of players that are very close, but I honestly think the post-season is overrated. I've got a lot more respect for the 2001 Mariners than the 1987 Twins or the 2006 Cardinals. Hell, I'll take the 1973 Reds over the 1973 Mets. The 2003 Yankees over the 2000 Yankees. I realize I'm in the minority on this. But baseball is a regular season game, at least before 1994. Since then I could see that maybe the focus is different, with the extra round of crapshooting involved.

This isn't the NBA or NHL, where teams play potentially 35% of the regular season games in the playoffs. For the great majority of baseball teams the regular season is all there is.
   63. TomH Posted: April 10, 2007 at 12:50 PM (#2330947)
But if everyone throws fewer IPs, we get more back-end pitchers tossing MLB IPs (11th/12th guys on today's staff), which raises overall lgERA and makes it easier for aces to put up great ERA+ marks.
   64. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 10, 2007 at 02:18 PM (#2331021)
Joe,

Re post 62. Right on, brother.
   65. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 10, 2007 at 02:58 PM (#2331054)
That's a good point Tom (#63). I'm not 100% sure I agree with it being an issue, but I do agree with the premise you put forth. The thing is, those 11th and 12th pitchers don't really pitch all that much, and since everyone is going in shorter stints, the relievers are a lot more effective too at the top end, which also raises the curve. I'm really not sure how it all shakes out.
   66. Mike Green Posted: April 13, 2007 at 09:31 PM (#2334327)
Reuschel ahead of John is tough to swallow. As of John's age 39 season, he was a noticeably better in-season pitcher, had pitched more innings than Reuschel did in his career and was worlds better in the post-season. I know that you can adjust for pitcher's defence, team defensive and bullpen support and perhaps give Reuschel an in-season edge. But, with the post-season record and the tail end of John's career having some value, it's tough.

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