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Thursday, November 15, 2018

2018 Cy Young Award winners | MLB.com

No surprises.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2018 at 06:14 AM | 63 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards

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   1. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 07:27 AM (#5787706)
I'm surprised by doGrom's margin of victory, the only non-first place vote he got was a second place vote and you could at least make an argument for Scherzer's season being worthy of the award.

I'd have gone with Verlander in the AL, but it's hard to ignore Snell's season. Well done, all around.
   2. Lassus Posted: November 15, 2018 at 07:32 AM (#5787707)
It's funny, it's rather like Felix paved the way for the weirdness of DeGrom. I don't think many will say boo on it this time.
   3. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 07:50 AM (#5787713)
I had no idea Blake Snell had a great year. Before this if you had asked me who Blake Snell was I would have said I think he's some mediocre pitcher that plays somewhere in the AL either that or I would have said a one time crappy pitcher that played for the Pirates. Been out of it.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5787732)

Sarah Langs
‏Verified account @SlangsOnSports

Jacob deGrom: MLB-best 1.70 ERA. Mets went 14-18 in his starts & he went 10-9

Lucas Giolito: 6.13 ERA, worst in MLB. He went 10-13 & White Sox were 14-18 in his starts

That’s the same number of pitcher wins and same team record... for the best and worst pitchers in MLB.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5787741)
Mets went 14-18 in his starts
That's why they needed Brodie Van Wagenen, they were afraid of winning!
   6. TJ Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5787764)
That's three runner-up places for Verlander, losing by 4 points to David Price, 5 points to Rick Porcello and by 15 points to Blake Snell (and topped Price and Porcelloo in WAR, though he trialed Snell). Not arguing with any of those calls, but that's not a lot of votes keeping Verlander from being a four-time Cy Young winner and a HOF lock. Hope the voters recognize that when he goes on the ballot...
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5787777)
You don't think Verlander is a Hall of Fame lock already? I think once he crossed the 200-win line, he was probably in.
   8. base ball chick Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5787782)
who knows who is a lock any more

endless complaining that they didn't hit as wel;l as babe ruth or pitch as long as nolan ryan, didn't get 300 W, etc

i can't think of any single sensible reason to not elect verlander to the HOF
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5787784)
I think so too (that he's a lock).
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5787789)
i can't think of any single sensible reason to not elect verlander to the HOF

I agree, but until Mussina and Schilling are in, it's hard to call him a lock.
   11. ajnrules Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5787805)
It's worth noting that Verlander is the first player ever to win all three major awards: MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year. He also has the ALCS MVP title last year before helping the Astros to the ring. The three extra Cy Young awards would only push his voting percentage to the 95% territory, but I think he's a lock to get 75%.

Besides, he's pitching at a high enough level that he can reasonably add, 30, 50, or even 100 more wins to his ledger before he's through.
   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5787812)
Don Newcombe did it too.
   13. JRVJ Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5787831)
After the 2017 season, I opined that Verlander was two good years away from the HoF.

He then went and had a great season (his 5th best), improving his BRef WAR7 by 2 whole wins. I still think he's one good season away from inclusion due to counting numbers, but it would not surprise me if he's already in.

In any case, the Tweets by Verlander and Mrs. Verlander after he came in second in the Cy Young were outrageously funny.
   14. TJ Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5787837)
You don't think Verlander is a Hall of Fame lock already? I think once he crossed the 200-win line, he was probably in.


I would vote for him in a blink. But this is the BBWAA we're talking about. Say Verlander winds up with 230-240 wins. There are plenty of HOF voters out there who will say, "Well, that win total is a bit low, and he did only win one Cy Young. That the Hall of Very Good for me. Now if he had won a couple more Cy Young Awards..."
   15. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5787838)
Verlander sits at 14th all time in Cy Young shares, and that doesn't appear to include 2018.

Mussina 66th, Schilling 25th.

Scherzer at 11th and climbing.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/mvp_cya.shtml
   16. Booey Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5787841)
i can't think of any single sensible reason to not elect verlander to the HOF


I agree, but until Mussina and Schilling are in, it's hard to call him a lock.


Nah. Career WAR totals tend to blind people here to public perception, sometimes. Neither Schilling nor Moose ever won a CYA. Verlander has, plus an MVP. Schilling won 216 games in an era when 4 contemporaries won over 300, including 2 of 350+. None of Verlander's contemporaries are likely to approach 300, and barring a serious cliff dive (always possible, of course), his win total should be near the top of his era. Moose won a lot of games, but again, he wasn't anywhere near the top of his era and he rarely led the league in anything (15 pts of black ink), so he's viewed as somewhat of a compiler. He also has just one 2nd place CYA finish and then a bunch of 4th, 5th, and 6th place finishes, good for only 66th all time in CYA shares. Verlander has 50 pts of black ink (and it should be more; B-Ref isn't acknowledging his league leading K total this past season for some reason), and he was already 14th in CYA shares even before this latest 2nd place finish.

I don't think Moose or D0uche...er...Schilling...are good comps for Verlander's chances at all. At best, those 2 are the 5th and 6th best pitchers of their relative era (Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, Pedro), and in the eyes of the voters, they're really more like 7th and 8th (Glavine, Smoltz). Verlander could easily be seen as the 2nd or 3rd best of his era (Kershaw, maybe Scherzer). I guess Halladay had a better peak, but Verlander is likely to blow him away in career stats and value (they're almost equal as of now).

Plus Mussina and Schilling (and Halladay) will all be in well before Verlander is eligible anyway, so the argument is moo.*



* Like a cows opinion. It doesn't matter. It's moo.


Edit: cokes
   17. Booey Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5787849)
Say Verlander winds up with 230-240 wins. There are plenty of HOF voters out there who will say, "Well, that win total is a bit low


I'm not so sure. I don't think that win total will look low anymore by the time Verlander is eligible. There probably won't be very many pitchers from the era with a significantly higher total.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5787851)
Nah. Career WAR totals tend to blind people here to public perception, sometimes. Neither Schilling nor Moose ever won a CYA. Verlander has, plus an MVP. Schilling won 216 games in an era when 4 contemporaries won over 300, including 2 of 350+. None of Verlander's contemporaries are likely to approach 300, and barring a serious cliff dive (always possible, of course), his win total should be near the top of his era. Moose won a lot of games, but again, he wasn't anywhere near the top of his era and he rarely led the league in anything (15 pts of black ink), so he's viewed as somewhat of a compiler. He also has just one 2nd place CYA finish and then a bunch of 4th, 5th, and 6th place finishes, good for only 66th all time in CYA shares. Verlander has 50 pts of black ink (and it should be more; B-Ref isn't acknowledging his league leading K total this past season for some reason), and he was already 14th in CYA shares even before this latest 2nd place finish.

I don't think Moose or D0uche...er...Schilling...are good comps for Verlander's chances at all. At best, those 2 are the 5th and 6th best pitchers of their relative era (Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, Pedro), and in the eyes of the voters, they're really more like 7th and 8th (Glavine, Smoltz). Verlander could easily be seen as the 2nd or 3rd best of his era (Kershaw, maybe Scherzer). I guess Halladay had a better peak, but Verlander is likely to blow him away in career stats and value (they're almost equal as of now).

Plus Mussina and Schilling (and Halladay) will all be in well before Verlander is eligible anyway, so the argument is moo.*


I don't agree that relative position in your era matters. Didn't help guys like Stieb and Saberhagen that they were the best of their era. Didn't hurt Perry and Niekro and Sutton that they weren't.

WAR completely aside, you have this:

Mussina 3562.2 IP, 270 W, 3.68 ERA, 123 ERA+
Schilling 3261 IP, 216 W, 3.46 ERA, 127 ERA+, plus one of the gaudiest post-season records out there
Verlander 2759 IP, 204 W, 3.39 ERA, 126 ERA+

Verlander has a lot of work still to do to catch up to those guys in quantity, and his quality is likely to suffer in doing so.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5787853)
Verlander and Halladay's careers look remarkably similar at this point, with Halladay being slightly better and having a bit of a higher peak. Once Halladay is on the ballot (this year, right?) we should have a better sense of Verlander's floor at this point. Verlander will probably add a few more good seasons so it's all upside from there.

But I find it difficult to predict how the writers will view a guy. I thought Smoltz had a worse case than Schilling and Mussina but he got much more HOF support from the writers, and while I knew he would get more support I didn't think he would go in first ballot given those precedents.

I want to believe guys like Halladay will go in without much controversy, but I'll believe it when I see it.
   20. Booey Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5787860)
I don't agree that relative position in your era matters. Didn't help guys like Stieb and Saberhagen that they were the best of their era. Didn't hurt Perry and Niekro and Sutton that they weren't.


Stieb/Saberhagen - less than 200 wins
Perry/Niekro/Sutton - over 300 wins

Big difference. And Perry/Niekro/Sutton all had to wait a while anyway, so I'd say that it absolutely DID hurt them that they weren't considered as good as Seaver, Carlton, Ryan, Palmer, etc. Moose and Schill are getting in too, but they always seemed like "work their way up the ballot" types. I don't see why it would be surprising to anybody that they're not in yet (especially considering the packed ballots they've been on).
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5787882)
Stieb/Saberhagen - less than 200 wins
Perry/Niekro/Sutton - over 300 wins

Big difference.


Right. The HoF electorate really likes quantity, not relative dominance.
   22. Booey Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5787893)
WAR completely aside, you have this:

Mussina 3562.2 IP, 270 W, 3.68 ERA, 123 ERA+
Schilling 3261 IP, 216 W, 3.46 ERA, 127 ERA+, plus one of the gaudiest post-season records out there
Verlander 2759 IP, 204 W, 3.39 ERA, 126 ERA+

Verlander has a lot of work still to do to catch up to those guys in quantity, and his quality is likely to suffer in doing so.


I don't think the workload of modern pitchers can or will be compared to those of pitchers from earlier eras. Those guys won't be on the ballot with Verlander, so they're not his competition. Verlander WAS a work horse relative to his era, leading the league in innings 3 times, including MLB's last 250 inning season (2011). Those IP totals for Mussina and Schilling are nothing special compared to the top guys of their era like Maddux (5008!) and Clemens (4916).

Since my post #16, Verlander's B-Ref page has already been updated and he now has 56 pts of black ink and has jumped up to 11th all time in CYA shares (Scherzer jumped to 8th).
   23. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5787900)
I want to believe guys like Halladay will go in without much controversy, but I'll believe it when I see it.


Halladay will probably go in first ballot, in large part because of the sympathy and attention generated by his death. Verlander will probably be alive when he hits the ballot, so that's a significant way in which their cases won't be comparable.

Halladay is a fully qualified Hall of Famer, mind, and is certainly on my ballot.

Looks like Edgar, Mariano and Halladay will probably be the HOF class of 2019. I fear that Halladay's appearance on the ballot is going to significantly hurt Mike Mussina, but I hope I prove wrong about that.

I think Verlander will go in fairly easily, but in four or five ballots, not one.
   24. Booey Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5787902)
Right. The HoF electorate really likes quantity, not relative dominance.


They like both, but Stieb especially is a bad example since he didn't have either (in the eyes of the voters and the average fan). He never won 20 games, had 200 K's, or even finished in the top 3 in CYA voting. Despite what WAR says, he doesn't seem to have been considered a super-duper star when he played. And Saberhagen seems to be thought of as someone who had a few great years spaced out rather than someone with a tremendous "peak". Saberhagen is probably Zack Greinke if Greinke retired now.

Plus 204 wins (and counting) looks a whole lot better than 176 and 167. To get in with those latter totals, you'd need to be Koufax or Kershaw at your peak, which Stieb and Sabes weren't.
   25. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5787913)
It's worth noting that Verlander is the first player ever to win all three major awards: MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year.


Ichiro could have won a Cy Young Award if he'd wanted to.
   26. Booey Posted: November 15, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5787922)
HOF voters can be idiots, no doubt. But sometimes I think they deserve A LITTLE more credit than we give them. I absolutely DO think that they strongly consider "relative dominance". Tommy John and Jim Kaat aren't in the HOF despite win totals that would make them no brainers in almost any other era. The voters - correctly, IMO - took into consideration the fact that for whatever reason, conditions of the '70's allowed pitchers to throw roughly a billion innings for a billion consecutive years, so their gaudy innings and win totals aren't actually too special relative to their era. Likewise, McGriff and Delgado put up raw numbers that look pretty comparable to first ballot Hall of Fame Willie's McCovey and Stargell, but the voters knew the offensive differences between the 60's/70's vs the 90's/00's and rightly concluded that the latter pair weren't as dominant relative to their peers.

No one would mistake Verlander for Dave Stieb or Bret Saberhagen even if he retired now. As has been mentioned by a couple others, Halladay is probably a good comp for a hypothetical Verlander that chose to ride off into the sunset with Kate Upton after the 2018 season rather than continuing pitching. We'll find out how Halladay does in a couple months, but I'd be willing to bet that it's quite a bit better than Schilling or Moose did on their first ballots (and waaaaay better than Stieb and Saberhagen).
   27. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 15, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5787925)
Like I said, cfb... :)
   28. Booey Posted: November 15, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5787938)
It's worth noting that Verlander is the first player ever to win all three major awards: MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year.


I bet that gets mentioned on his HOF plaque.

It's only true cuz Doc Gooden was robbed in the 1985 MVP voting, though.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5787941)
Halladay will probably go in first ballot, in large part because of the sympathy and attention generated by his death.

Which he really doesn't deserve. His death was caused by his own poor judgement.
   30. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 15, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5787964)
It's only true cuz Doc Gooden was robbed in the 1985 MVP voting, though.


It's not true.
   31. Booey Posted: November 15, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5787972)
#30 - Oh yeah. Newcombe. Duh.
   32. QLE Posted: November 15, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5788023)
Some thoughts, on various aspects of this discussion:

I agree, but until Mussina and Schilling are in, it's hard to call him a lock.


Mussina, in spite of being on ballots far more crowded than those likely to face Verlander, has already reached 63.5% of the vote and has five more chances for induction. Schilling, meanwhile, is in his position for reasons that 1) have nothing to do with the assessment of his play, and 2) at the present time seem unlikely to be issues for Verlander.

But this is the BBWAA we're talking about. Say Verlander winds up with 230-240 wins. There are plenty of HOF voters out there who will say, "Well, that win total is a bit low, and he did only win one Cy Young. That the Hall of Very Good for me. Now if he had won a couple more Cy Young Awards..."


Two issues with this assessment:

1) One based on past performance of the BBWAA must calculate the effects of the voter purge of a few years ago- I have to wonder how many of our assessments are based on a set of voters no longer eligible to participate in that vote;

2) How soon are we expecting Verlander to be up for a vote? Remember that the BBWAA electorate is one that is likely to change massively between now and when he becomes eligible, especially as a lot of online writers gain eligibility.

Didn't help guys like Stieb and Saberhagen that they were the best of their era.


In addition to the other points, one that I feel is essential:

Did either the BBWAA electorate or the fans perceive them as being part of a separate era when they played? Stieb's peak largely came the period between 1982 and 1985, when a large hunk of the dominant pitchers who came onto the scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s were still active (note that Palmer, Niekro, Blyleven, and Seaver all show up in the top 10 for pitcher WAR in the AL during those years), while Saberhagen entered the majors the same year Clemens did and only two years earlier than Maddux. Yes, we can clearly perceive an era for Stieb in retrospective (less so Saberhagen, who feels more like someone whose peak came earlier than his rough generation)- but that doesn't mean they did then.

Right. The HoF electorate really likes quantity, not relative dominance.


Gaylord Perry: 4 seasons with 7+ pitching WAR, 11 seasons with 5+ pitching WAR.
Phil Niekro: 4 seasons with 7+ pitching WAR, 9 seasons with 5+ pitching WAR.
Dave Stieb: 3 seasons with 7+ pitching WAR, 5 seasons with 5+ pitching WAR.
Bret Saberhagen: 3 seasons with 7+ pitching WAR, 5 seasons with 5+ pitching WAR.

Either we're unduly punishing Perry and Niekro for having stronger competition, or we're rewarding Stieb and Saberhagen for having weaker competition.
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5788024)

I was never that surprised that Mussina struggled in the HOF voting, but I expected Schilling to do better. I mean, he was always a jerk, but he's objectively qualified *and* he has the narrative of a great post-season resume, the bloody sock, being a workhorse, etc. He doesn't have a CYA, but that's mainly due to pitching at the same time as Randy Johnson (and Johan Santana).
   34. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5788027)
But this is the BBWAA we're talking about. Say Verlander winds up with 230-240 wins. There are plenty of HOF voters out there who will say, "Well, that win total is a bit low, and he did only win one Cy Young. That the Hall of Very Good for me. Now if he had won a couple more Cy Young Awards..."

Oh, I think if Verlander gets to 230-240 wins he will sail in. If he gets hurt and is done next season (which happened to Halladay at roughly the same age), he'll still probably get in but it may take a few more years.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: November 18, 2018 at 02:01 AM (#5788949)
By the time Verlander's 10 years on the ballot are up (at least 15 years from now), either the BBWAA will have adjusted their pitcher standards to the current usage or Kershaw will be the last starting pitcher ever inducted.

Unless current usage allows studs to pitch well until they are 45+, nobody's reaching 300 wins, 4000 innings, etc. (Verlander is already past 2700 Ks though.) Nobody's got anything but what we might have considered a strong peak-only case back in the day.

They might not shift quickly enough to get Halladay in on the first ballot, but he's in. Kershaw's in, Verlander's in, I'm pretty sure Scherzer is in (3 CYAs carries the day). Corey Kluber is already 15th in CYA shares, another win would put him with Verlander and Scherzer. He's obviously got to make it to at least 2000 innings and 150 wins.

The voters have generally had it easy because nearly any player with a GREAT peak has at least hung on long enough to put up milestones if not just kept on being excellent-great. But a 10-year run as the best in the game and at an HoF-level is almost always gonna be enough -- those are the guys who "feel" like HoFers and it's hard to play your way out of it. Those great peaks are also (supposedly) the guys the (supposedly) more saber-aware voters will go for.

Verlander will get the Morris vote and the Schilling vote and the, ohhh, Bagwell vote. He's well short of Pedro -- but Pedro was first ballot with 91% on a brutally crowded, pitching-heavy ballot so well short of Pedro is not the borderline.
   36. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 18, 2018 at 08:01 AM (#5788953)
They might not shift quickly enough to get Halladay in on the first ballot, but he's in. Kershaw's in, Verlander's in, I'm pretty sure Scherzer is in (3 CYAs carries the day). Corey Kluber is already 15th in CYA shares, another win would put him with Verlander and Scherzer. He's obviously got to make it to at least 2000 innings and 150 wins.

There are nine active pitchers with at least 150 wins at the moment; seven of them (all but Lester and Hamels) have at least one Cy Young. The group includes everyone you mentioned except for Kluber, along with Sabathia, Greinke, King Felix, and the aforementioned Lester and Hamels. (And Bartolo Colon, who seems like a separate consideration even though he does have a Cy.) All of them but Kershaw (and Colon) were between ages 32-37 in 2018, and most of them (not Felix) had years that ranged from respectable to exceptional. At least some of those guys are likely to be productive long enough to be pretty well qualified even by old-school BBWAA standards (which have never necessarily required 300 wins if you have a good peak), and Verlander is close to the top of that list.

For whatever it's worth, half of Sabathia's best comps through age 37 are Hall of Famers, and one of the ones who isn't is Roger Clemens. Interestingly, one of the HOFers on the list is Warren Spahn, who had about 50 more innings than Sabathia through age 37... despite exhausting his rookie eligibility at 25 instead of 20.
   37. Ziggy's screen name Posted: November 18, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5788999)
I don't know about not being able to play you're way out of the HOF, I think Felix pulled it off.
   38. Booey Posted: November 18, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5789001)
Like I said, while the BBWAA certainly does some stupid things, sometimes I think we need to give them a little more credit. If their options are to either adjust their historical standards for starting pitchers, or to just stop electing starting pitchers altogether, I think they'll be smart enough to choose the former.

I suspect that anyone who A) tops 200 wins, B) has an ERA well below 4.00, and C) has a peak of at least a few years where he was considered one of the best pitchers in the game (CYA contention) will get serious consideration for the HOF. So that leaves:

IN:

Kershaw - If he keeps going strong, he'll be Greg Maddux or Tom Seaver and he'll fly in as one of the best pitchers of all time. If he retires abruptly, he'll be Sandy Koufax and he'll fly in with one of the best peaks of all time. If he keeps getting hurt and is a shadow of his former self throughout his 30's, well, he'll be the pitching version of Ken Griffey Jr and he'll still fly in without a hitch. Being an all time great for a full decade is impossible to ignore, regardless of how the rest of your career plays out. Basically, barring PED revelations, his ticket is punched.

Verlander - See arguments in the thread above. He's basically Halladay if he retires now, and should reach no brainer status with another good year or two.

Sabathia - He'll have to work his way up the ballot for several years, but he'll have 250 wins, 3500 innings, and 3000 k's after next season, and his peak included a CYA and 5 straight top 5 finishes. That resume will be too much to ignore. And while 62 WAR and 30 WAA don't scream HOFer, they don't scream against it either. At the very least, it should be enough to prevent the SABR crowd from mounting an anti-election campaign against him like they (correctly, IMO) did with The Jack.

NOT QUITE A LOCK IF THEY RETIRED NOW, BUT SHOULD GET THERE SOON:

Scherzer - Getting close to a lock. Once he tops 200 wins, he's in.

Greinke - Might not quite "feel" like a HOFer to some, but he's already at almost 66 WAR and 42 WAA when you factor in his batting, and with 187 wins and still going strong he should blow past 200 with ease. Two signature seasons with eye catching, league leading ERA totals of 2.16 and 1.66 (ERA+ of 205 and 222 for the SABR crowd) that led to a CYA and a runner up should defend him against compiler accusations.

JUST NEEDS MORE BULK:

Sale - Off to a great start. Just needs to keep doing what he's doing.

Kluber - Late start hurts his chances, obviously, but he's already got the peak. Just needs to be one of those power pitchers that lasts until he's 40 and he should have the career bulk for a solid argument.

POSSIBLE, BUT I WOULDN'T BET ON IT:

Hamels - Building a decent SABR case, but he doesn't have the obvious peak and his career numbers will likely be a bit low.

Lester - Sort of the opposite of Hamels. His SABR numbers aren't anything special yet, but he could amass a lot of wins. Still, despite a few good showings in CYA voting, I don't think he ever had the reputation as one of MLB's truly elite pitchers for any particular stretch of time, so I suspect he'll need some pretty big career totals to get in (a la Mussina).

Felix - Looked like a near lock a few years back barring a complete cliff dive, but then...well, that's exactly what happened. He's still young enough that he could pull out of it, but I'm not seeing it at this point.

Price - Could happen. I just doubt it. He's a bit too inconsistent from year to year.

   39. Booey Posted: November 18, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5789005)
I don't know about not being able to play you're way out of the HOF, I think Felix pulled it off.


Eh, not really. Like so many others (Santana, Andruw, Nomar, Gooden, Strawberry, Mattingly, Murphy, Belle, Juan Gone, Webb, Lincecum, etc), he was on a definite HOF PACE, but I don't think he ever hit a point where he could've made the hall if he retired then. That's what playing your way out of the HOF means, IMO, not just that you were ON TRACK until suddenly you weren't.
   40. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 18, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5789008)
Eh, not really. Like so many others (Santana, Andruw, Nomar, Gooden, Strawberry, Mattingly, Murphy, Belle, Juan Gone, Webb, Lincecum, etc), he was on a definite HOF PACE, but I don't think he ever hit a point where he could've made the hall if he retired then. That's what playing your way out of the HOF means, IMO, not just that you were ON TRACK until suddenly you weren't.

Concur. His decline, such as it is, really only started in 2016 (his ERA went up in 2015 but he only allowed 1 UER all year and pitched in front of a bad defense per B-R - plus, it's hard to imagine an 18-9 record for a modern starter being a year that hurts his chances). Through 2015, he had 2262 IP at a 128 ERA+, 50 WAR on the nose with two seasons over 6 and a max of 7.2. That's a wonderful start, but it's not a complete Hall of Fame career in most cases. (By traditional stats - 143 wins, one wins title, two ERA titles, one innings title, never led the league in K's. One Cy, two second-place finishes. 16th all-time in Cy Young shares - but that's one spot ahead of Bret Saberhagen, and two behind Johan Santana, both of whom fell off the ballot on their first chances.)
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 18, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5789017)
By the time Verlander's 10 years on the ballot are up (at least 15 years from now), either the BBWAA will have adjusted their pitcher standards to the current usage or Kershaw will be the last starting pitcher ever inducted.

Unless current usage allows studs to pitch well until they are 45+, nobody's reaching 300 wins, 4000 innings, etc. (Verlander is already past 2700 Ks though.) Nobody's got anything but what we might have considered a strong peak-only case back in the day.


I'm not sure about that. I mean, Verlander isn't getting to 300 wins or 4000 IP unless he pitches into his 40s, but if he simply pitches until age 40 he should comfortably get to 250+ wins, which has almost always been enough for the HOF (especially for a guy with a ROY, MVP, CYA, and World Series ring). Same thing with Greinke, and Scherzer should do it or come very close.

300 wins has never really been the standard. The only non-deadball guys who have 250+ wins and are not in the HOF are Clemens, compilers (John/Kaat/Moyer), Mussina (who should go in soon), and Pettitte (who probably won't). Meanwhile there are 13 guys in the HOF with between 250 and 300 wins, although some, like Morris, weren't selected by the writers.

Meanwhile, the writers have been willing to wait a while between electing starting pitchers so I wouldn't assume they will be quick to change their standards. Unless you count Eck, there were no starters inducted, by the writers or otherwise, between Nolan Ryan in 1999 and Bert Blyleven in 2011*. Other than Eck, the writers didn't elect a starter who debuted between Blyleven (1970) and Maddux (1986), and Morris (1977) was the only one to be inducted at all.

I do think the attitudes of the writers are evolving more quickly nowadays (and the electorate is being culled more aggressively), so they probably will be quicker to adapt than in the past. But if the current crop of guys are the last to reach 200 wins, for example, I'm not sure the writers will suddenly start electing SP with fewer than that.

* I'm not counting Negro League inductees -- I am not familiar with all of those names so it's possible one of them was a SP. Not that it would contradict my overall point.
   42. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 18, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5789027)
But if the current crop of guys are the last to reach 200 wins, for example, I'm not sure the writers will suddenly start electing SP with fewer than that.

If the trend of decreasing usage for starting pitchers continues, it's possible that this will be justified. (13 total MLB pitchers this year exceeded 200 innings, a group which did not include the AL Cy Young winner. At some point we may reach a limit to the amount of career value that can be accumulated by starting pitchers who average under 6 innings per appearance.)
   43. Sweatpants Posted: November 18, 2018 at 05:57 PM (#5789041)
Eh, not really. Like so many others (Santana, Andruw, Nomar, Gooden, Strawberry, Mattingly, Murphy, Belle, Juan Gone, Webb, Lincecum, etc), he was on a definite HOF PACE, but I don't think he ever hit a point where he could've made the hall if he retired then. That's what playing your way out of the HOF means, IMO, not just that you were ON TRACK until suddenly you weren't.
If that's the case, then who is someone who actually did play his way out of the Hall of Fame? It's such a rare thing that it would render the term as defined that way almost meaningless. Biggio made it, Sisler made it, Griffey made it, Ripken made it, Suzuki's going to make it, and Abreu was never going to make it. If a guy tacks some bad seasons onto a Hall of Fame career it doesn't seem to undo anyone's perception of him as a Hall of Famer.

Of the guys listed, Santana and Belle had injuries cut their careers short before they could get their numbers where they needed to be, but poor play wasn't an issue. Lincecum, Gooden, and Webb had only a few great seasons each, not enough to start making HOF predictions. Gonzalez, Mattingly, Strawberry, and Garciaparra are a bit like the first group, except the injuries/cocaine problems didn't immediately end their careers. Jones is a unique case, because of how much of his HOF argument depends on huge defensive numbers, but he might qualify. Murphy I think you could safely say played himself out of the Hall.

I always thought Hernandez was a bit overrated, though. Mariners fans talked about him like he was one of the elite pitchers in the game, but to me he's a guy who's had three great seasons and a few borderline great ones.
   44. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 18, 2018 at 06:09 PM (#5789043)
If that's the case, then who is someone who actually did play his way out of the Hall of Fame?

I don't think anyone has, unless you count the guys who were already qualified and then did something that got them into trouble (Jackson, Rose, Bonds, Clemens).

The few times I've heard the phrase used, I think it's generally questioning whether it's possible to play oneself out of the Hall of Fame. (I don't think it probably is, or should be.)
   45. Booey Posted: November 18, 2018 at 08:19 PM (#5789056)
If that's the case, then who is someone who actually did play his way out of the Hall of Fame? It's such a rare thing that it would render the term as defined that way almost meaningless.


Exactly. That's why people say that you can't play yourself out of the HOF, cuz it's virtually impossible barring those that got themselves snubbed for other reasons (the examples Eric mentioned, plus Manny and Palmeiro at least).

If you mean someone that started sucking right as he was on the verge of becoming a lock, well, Mauer is pretty close, but I still don't think he really qualifies because A) I don't think he would have had enough bulk to get elected if he'd retired right when the concussion forced him to move off of catcher, and B) he might eventually get elected anyway.

Basically, if someone's HOF case is fragile enough that a few bad years can tank their chances, then they weren't really a lock in the first place. Andruw for example, if he'd quit after his Braves years, he'd have had 368 HR, 1117 rbi, 1683 hits, and a .263/.342/.497 line. That wouldn't have been enough to get him elected. Ditto with Murphy; if he hangs it up after his last good year in 1987, he's at .279/.362/.500 (132 OPS+) with 310 homers and just 1555 hits and 927 rbi. Again, that's not getting him elected.

So yeah, I agree with whoever it was that said you pretty much can't play your way out of the HOF. The guys who are sometimes said to have done it were never really "in" to begin with.
   46. Born1951 Posted: November 18, 2018 at 09:06 PM (#5789065)
Getting back to Blake Snell, his clutch numbers were remarkable in 2018. All these are BA against.

0 outs .203
1 out .179
2 outs .147

Low leverage .203
Medium leverage .184
High leverage .095

Bases empty .205
Runners on .129
RISP .088
2 0uts and RISP .058

And in conventional stats, his H/9 of 5.58 was the 7th lowest among qualifying pitchers since 1900.

The .088 with RISP was the lowest I could find in the searchable era (min 100 AB). Here are the lowest 25 since 1950.

   47. QLE Posted: November 18, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5789069)
Some commentary, on some of these points:

I don't know about not being able to play you're way out of the HOF, I think Felix pulled it off.


I disagree- in Hernandez's case, I'd argue that, after the 2015 season, he was one more 5-WAR season away from hitting that position, and that (for various reasons) he has not and does not seem likely to. This is not unusual- there are quite a few players (David Wright is a good example among contemporary position players) who reached that point but didn't quite make it.

If their options are to either adjust their historical standards for starting pitchers, or to just stop electing starting pitchers altogether, I think they'll be smart enough to choose the former.


Agreed, and the history of the BBWAA demonstrates this- if we look at their pattern with pitchers, they have never really focused on an absolute number of pitcher wins where they draw the line, and there have been several cases where their support for given pitchers has changed as a result of shifts on the ballot (note what happened to Bunning and Tiant when Jenkins, Perry, and Palmer hit the ballot). I don't think there's any reason not to think that standards may shift again, especially if current calculations involving the BBWAA ballot and electorate are remotely accurate.

Other than Eck, the writers didn't elect a starter who debuted between Blyleven (1970) and Maddux (1986), and Morris (1977) was the only one to be inducted at all.


Mind you, how many pitchers meriting HOF induction can we clearly say were wronged? Ignoring Clemens (for whom there are clearly other issues at play), I have Reuschel, Stieb, and Saberhagen as the only pitchers in that group who strike me as meriting induction- and all three of them are fairly close to the borderline in one form or another. In general, the bigger issue has tended to be people who are clearly deserving who had the bad luck of being too close in their careers to superior pitchers (for example, had Mussina gotten his start in the era noted above, he'd have probably gotten earlier than he has in our timeline).

If you mean someone that started sucking right as he was on the verge of becoming a lock, well, Mauer is pretty close, but I still don't think he really qualifies because A) I don't think he would have had enough bulk to get elected if he'd retired right when the concussion forced him to move off of catcher, and B) he might eventually get elected anyway.


That, and, in Mauer's case, I'd also argue that the fact that he was a catcher complicates matters, as a lot of it depends on how well the BBWAA understands how even great and durable catchers don't compile in the same way that other position players do- it's clear that they have some understanding, but whether it is at the optimal level is a matter of debate.
   48. Sweatpants Posted: November 18, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5789077)
Basically, if someone's HOF case is fragile enough that a few bad years can tank their chances, then they weren't really a lock in the first place. Andruw for example, if he'd quit after his Braves years, he'd have had 368 HR, 1117 rbi, 1683 hits, and a .263/.342/.497 line. That wouldn't have been enough to get him elected. Ditto with Murphy; if he hangs it up after his last good year in 1987, he's at .279/.362/.500 (132 OPS+) with 310 homers and just 1555 hits and 927 rbi. Again, that's not getting him elected.
I just never took "played his way out of the Hall of Fame" (which I do think is an overly harsh turn of phrase) to mean that a guy would have had a better shot if he'd retired. I interpreted it as a case in which a player had a good, >50% shot at ending up worthy of the Hall of Fame, and then he just couldn't get there. All Murphy really needed was a less steep decline, or a few more Ernie Banks-at-1B seasons and he'd probably have made it. He had injuries, too, but I think he was the most likely HOFer of the guys listed in the post I quoted.
   49. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 18, 2018 at 10:15 PM (#5789079)
Ignoring Clemens (for whom there are clearly other issues at play), I have Reuschel, Stieb, and Saberhagen as the only pitchers in that group who strike me as meriting induction- and all three of them are fairly close to the borderline in one form or another. In general, the bigger issue has tended to be people who are clearly deserving who had the bad luck of being too close in their careers to superior pitchers (for example, had Mussina gotten his start in the era noted above, he'd have probably gotten earlier than he has in our timeline).

But that’s kind of my point. We had a decade-plus with basically no HOF starting pitchers and, rather than adjust their standards, the writers waited until there were guys who met the historical standards once again (and ignored a few guys who had borderline cases). If they wait 10-15 years again in the hope that things revert back, it will be a slow change, and they’ll probably miss some deserving guys given the shorter time on the ballot today . I suppose the difference between the 90s-00s and today is that there were clearly guys like Maddux and Clemens who were on a HOF trajectory by historical standards, so the writers had no reason to think that standards needed to change.
   50. Booey Posted: November 18, 2018 at 11:16 PM (#5789084)
I suppose the difference between the 90s-00s and today is that there were clearly guys like Maddux and Clemens who were on a HOF trajectory by historical standards, so the writers had no reason to think that standards needed to change.


Are we talking mainly about future generations of pitchers? Cuz I think the current generation has several guys who will still hit most the historical standards (300 wins was never really the standard). CC is right at the doorstep of 250 wins, 3500 innings, and 3000 k's. Kershaw, Verlander, Greinke, and Scherzer all seem likely to finish with 200-250 wins, 3000 k's, 70+ WAR, and at least 1 CYA. The writers won't have to lower their standards any to induct them. They'll be short of the BBWAA HOFer average for innings, but I don't know how much voters have ever really paid attention to innings specifically anyway; it just happens that you won't be able to hit the numbers they DO care about (wins, K's) if you haven't pitched enough.
   51. Booey Posted: November 18, 2018 at 11:33 PM (#5789085)
To add to my #50, the total number of innings doesn't matter, only the career totals that come from pitching a lot of innings. One advantage though, is that modern pitchers won't need as many innings to reach 3000 k's as they used to.
   52. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 19, 2018 at 12:00 AM (#5789086)
innings to reach 3000 k's


3000 k's doesn't get discussed enough with respect to Schilling's case. It's a pretty exclusive club and every one bar Clemens and Schilling are in. Sure it's only one stat but it's pretty much the single defining positive stat the pitcher can control. You couple that with Schilling's low BB rate and he really was amazingly effective for quite awhile. Too bad for him guys like Pedro, Johnson, Clemens and Maddux were doing their thing around the same time.
IMHO, Schilling is the most glaring omission from the HOF(steroid guys notwithstanding)
   53. Booey Posted: November 19, 2018 at 12:38 AM (#5789090)
IMHO, Schilling is the most glaring omission from the HOF(steroid guys notwithstanding)


He'll get in. He just needs to keep his yap shut for a few years.
   54. JL72 Posted: November 19, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5789144)
I just never took "played his way out of the Hall of Fame" (which I do think is an overly harsh turn of phrase) to mean that a guy would have had a better shot if he'd retired. I interpreted it as a case in which a player had a good, >50% shot at ending up worthy of the Hall of Fame, and then he just couldn't get there. All Murphy really needed was a less steep decline, or a few more Ernie Banks-at-1B seasons and he'd probably have made it. He had injuries, too, but I think he was the most likely HOFer of the guys listed in the post I quoted.


This is about how I interpret the phrase. A guy who has done what was needed to get into the Hall, then just needed a reasonable decline phase. Murphy is a great example - after one last 6.5 WAR season, has seven more years with nothing over 1.7 WAR. He just dropped off a cliff. If instead, he goes 5.0, 4.2, 3.7, 2.4, etc., I think he makes it in.
   55. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 19, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5789152)

Are we talking mainly about future generations of pitchers?

Yes. Just speculating at this point.

Cuz I think the current generation has several guys who will still hit most the historical standards (300 wins was never really the standard).

I agree (see the beginning of my post #41).
   56. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 19, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5789192)
IMHO, Schilling is the most glaring omission from the HOF(steroid guys notwithstanding)

He'll get in. He just needs to keep his yap shut for a few years.


What are the odds of that happening?
   57. Mefisto Posted: November 19, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5789217)
I thought of an interesting comparison for Felix: Addie Joss.

If you take Felix through 2015, his last good year, he had 2262 IP and 50 WAR, from a line of 143-101 and an ERA+ of 128.

Joss pitched 2327 innings in his career, with 46.5 WAR, from a line of 160-97 and an ERA+ of 142.

Joss was elected probably because the voters mentally extrapolated his career from the point when he died. So if Felix had died after 2015 instead of going into severe decline, would the writers have voted him in using the same sort of extrapolation?
   58. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 19, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5789350)
Joss was elected probably because the voters mentally extrapolated his career from the point when he died. So if Felix had died after 2015 instead of going into severe decline, would the writers have voted him in using the same sort of extrapolation?

Joss was a VC induction. (He kind of had to be, because he didn't play 10 years and was therefore ineligible via the writers, although that didn't stop some of them for voting for him anyway.)
   59. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 19, 2018 at 11:51 PM (#5789462)
So if Felix had died after 2015 instead of going into severe decline, would the writers have voted him in using the same sort of extrapolation?


A scenario like this? Yes. He's the Kirby Puckett of pitchers at that point.
   60. QLE Posted: November 20, 2018 at 12:06 AM (#5789467)
Joss was a VC induction.


And a VC induction from a VC that, firstly, was inducting people by the truckload, and, secondly, had actually alienated the BBWAA by how loose its criteria had gotten for induction- there's no reason to believe that the BBWAA now would be influenced by the Joss induction.
   61. Mefisto Posted: November 20, 2018 at 08:47 AM (#5789500)
Of course the Joss induction itself wouldn't influence the writers. I'm suggesting that they might use the same type of reasoning that perhaps motivated the VC in Joss' case (or Ross Youngs) -- mentally extrapolating from his career.

If voters actually do something like that, it suggests that in some sense you can "play your way out of the HOF": if you died after getting real close, instead of continuing to play while sucking, you might have made it.
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 20, 2018 at 09:12 AM (#5789512)
If voters actually do something like that, it suggests that in some sense you can "play your way out of the HOF": if you died after getting real close, instead of continuing to play while sucking, you might have made it.

That's two factors though. Not putting up the crappy performance, but also dying tragically young. I think the latter is the bigger one.

   63. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 20, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5789517)

Puckett didn't die of course (I mean, he did, but not before he was elected to the HOF). His is an interesting case, but if you look at things like the HOF Monitor, he had already met the writers' standards, if not the sabermetric ones, by the time of his sudden retirement.

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