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Thursday, November 02, 2017

Carlos Beltran finally gets his World Series ring | FTW

While his teammates sprayed beer and champagne around a cramped visitors clubhouse at Dodger Stadium following their 5-1 Game 7 win, Beltran, who saw only three at-bats in the series and did not record a hit, suggested he will consider retirement.

“My decision is going to be difficult — playing one more year, or deciding to stay home,” he told For The Win. “But staying home won’t mean staying at home. Staying home would still mean being able to be around the game of baseball. I love the game of baseball, and I have learned, this year, so much about working with the guys.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 02, 2017 at 10:46 AM | 83 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, carlos beltran, count the ringz, retirement

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   1. BDC Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5569756)
In terms of Hall of Fame progress, the great young stars for both clubs now have some added credentials, though their cases are just beginning. Kershaw didn't hurt himself any, despite his troubles in Game Five. Verlander did not help himself a whole lot in the WS, aside from simply getting his ring; but his ALCS certainly did improve his case.

And Beltran … just possessing a ring does show that he's not some kind of clutch failure, whatever his individual contributions. Like Chase Utley on the other side, the guy is now a champion forever, and though he had an off year, he was a major veteran-presence acquisition brought in for just this purpose. It's got to be a small plus for his case.
   2. Batman Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5569764)
All three members of the 1999 Royals outfield have rings now.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:25 AM (#5569777)
All three members of the 1999 Royals outfield have rings now.


And two-fifths of the rotation. I wonder what team has had the most World Series winners from other teams on it. I wouldn't even begin to know how you'd figure that out.

   4. Batman Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5569785)
And two-fifths of the rotation. I wonder what team has had the most World Series winners from other teams on it. I wouldn't even begin to know how you'd figure that out.
My first guesses would be the A's of the late '50's and early '60's or the Angels and Phillies of the early '80's.
   5. shoewizard Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5569794)
And Beltran … just possessing a ring does show that he's not some kind of clutch failure


The only people who consider Beltran a clutch failure are some Mets fans holding a grudge over one at bat, who fail to see an entire body of work.

Such as his career post season OPS of 1.021 in 256 PA

Or this

I          Split    G   PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
      High Lvrge 1397 2106 .294 .366 .499 .865
    Medium Lvrge 2161 3990 .283 .353 .482 .834
       Low Lvrge 2243 4925 .269 .343 .485 .828 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/2/2017.
   6. BDC Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:38 AM (#5569797)
The only people who consider Beltran a clutch failure are some Mets fans holding a grudge over one at bat, who fail to see an entire body of work.

Such as his career post season OPS of 1.021 in 256 PA


Oh, I'm not saying that such a conclusion is just. But even guys like Ted Williams and Barry Bonds have it as a knock on their careers that their teams didn't happen to win seventh games of World Series.
   7. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:45 AM (#5569810)
And Beltran … just possessing a ring does show that he's not some kind of clutch failure, whatever his individual contributions. Like Chase Utley on the other side, the guy is now a champion forever, and though he had an off year, he was a major veteran-presence acquisition brought in for just this purpose. It's got to be a small plus for his case.


The ring yes - but I think in terms of the HoF vote, tacking on another ~100 hits, a dozen homers, 50/50 runs/RBI helps too. The 231/283/383 certainly didn't, but it's buried enough not to hurt his overall line too badly.

My gut says that getting out of the 2600 hits and into 2700+ hits is the most helpful.

He'll be 41 - again, coming off a 231/283/383 year - so I think he ought to hang 'em up. Not a lot of nice round counting numbers within reach.... I suppose he could get to 1600 runs/1600 RBI - but it's hard for me to see how anyone gives him enough PAs to get there.

EDIT: Ooops, eyes.... I guess 18 runs and 13 RBI get him to the next round number there and I suppose that's doable...
   8. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5569811)
Barry Bonds have it as a knock on their careers that their teams didn't happen to win seventh games of World Series.


Agreed, but 2002 should definitely NOT be held against Bonds.

.356/.581/.978 for the whole post-season, and a ridiculous .471/.700/1.294 in the World Series itself, and 1-for-3 with a walk in Game 7 (albeit his only negative WPA for the series, at -0.003).
   9. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5569815)
I wonder what team has had the most World Series winners from other teams on it. I wouldn't even begin to know how you'd figure that out.

My first guesses would be the A's of the late '50's and early '60's or the Angels and Phillies of the early '80's.



Of more recent vintage, the 1996 Texas Rangers variously had Ivan Rodriguez, Kevin Elster, Benji Gil, Bobby Witt, Mike Stanton, Rick Helling, Dennis Cook, Ed Vosberg, and imaginary 1994 World Series champions Ken Hill, Lou Frazier and Gil Heredia. (I did not check to see which of those guys actually played in the World Series for their other winning teams.)


Oh, I'm not saying that such a conclusion is just. But even guys like Ted Williams and Barry Bonds have it as a knock on their careers that their teams didn't happen to win seventh games of World Series.


I'm beginning to suspect that the "Willie Mays World Series MVP Award" may not be such a sensible name.
   10. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:48 AM (#5569817)
And Beltran … just possessing a ring does show that he's not some kind of clutch failure, whatever his individual contributions. Like Chase Utley on the other side, the guy is now a champion forever, and though he had an off year, he was a major veteran-presence acquisition brought in for just this purpose. It's got to be a small plus for his case.

He strikes me as the kind of guy who is going to be right on the borderline. ~70 WAR, 400+ HRs, 300+ SBs, Rookie of the Year award, multiple Gold Gloves. But he kicked around the league a lot so no strong team affiliation, had no real extended peak (his best was really the 3 years from 2006-2008 with the Mets), only 2 top-10 MVP finishes (never higher than 4th).

His similars are Dawson, Billy Williams, Al Kaline, Luis Gonzalez, Tony Perez, Sheffield, Winfield, Dwight Evans, Chipper Jones, and Beltre. That's a good group - 5 current HOFers, 2 who will make it in the future (Beltre and Jones), one who would be in but for PEDS (Sheffield), plus Gonzalez (definitely HoVG) and Evans (HOF in a lot of people's opinion).

I think of a similar guy - Jim Edmonds, and he couldn't even get 5% in his one year on the ballot. Beltran is a (small) cut above Edmonds, but I'm not sure that's enough of a cut to get him from 2.5% to 75%.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5569824)
My first guesses would be the A's of the late '50's and early '60's or the Angels and Phillies of the early '80's.
The mid-90's Expos had Pedro, Alou, and Wetteland, and the '95 Mariners had Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Tino Martinez, and Jeff Nelson. Neither top the Royals mentioned above.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5569836)
The mid-90's Expos had Pedro, Alou, and Wetteland, and the '95 Mariners had Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Tino Martinez, and Jeff Nelson.


The eighty-two Expos had six - Carter, Flynn, Oliver, Raines, Reardon and Ken Phelps. And Frank Tavares probably won a ring or two, but he only played one game for Pittsburgh in 1971, and was dealt to the Mets in midseason in 79.
   13. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:06 PM (#5569843)
His similars are Dawson, Billy Williams, Al Kaline, Luis Gonzalez, Tony Perez, Sheffield, Winfield, Dwight Evans, Chipper Jones, and Beltre. That's a good group - 5 current HOFers, 2 who will make it in the future (Beltre and Jones), one who would be in but for PEDS (Sheffield), plus Gonzalez (definitely HoVG) and Evans (HOF in a lot of people's opinion).

I think of a similar guy - Jim Edmonds, and he couldn't even get 5% in his one year on the ballot. Beltran is a (small) cut above Edmonds, but I'm not sure that's enough of a cut to get him from 2.5% to 75%.


I'm surprised that Edmonds actually passes Beltran pretty handily in WAA - Edmonds is over 40, Beltran is shy of 35 -- a pretty big gap.

Of course, I think that just goes to show how truly underrated Edmonds was -- and bumps him a fair bit up my list of "guys dropped we really ought to take another, closer look at".

For the HoF -- I think WAA works better than WAR and Beltran's ~35 (depending on whose math you use) isn't quite as high as I'd have thought, but it's comfortably over the line for entry in my mind. It's lot closer to the line than inner circle, but still in.
   14. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5569844)
And two-fifths of the rotation. I wonder what team has had the most World Series winners from other teams on it. I wouldn't even begin to know how you'd figure that out.
My first guesses would be the A's of the late '50's and early '60's or the Angels and Phillies of the early '80's.


The 1955 A's had Clete boyer, Enos Slaughter, Hector Lopez, Bobby Shantz, Vic Raschi, Art Ditmar, Joe Demaestri, Johnny Sain, Ewell Blackwell, Tom Gorman, and probably a few more.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:16 PM (#5569849)
For some reason, I was only looking for teams with players who won it all elsewhere afterwards.

We get a bunch if we follow Beltran around, and look in both directions. 4/5th of the '06 Mets rotation has rings from elsewhere. And the 2014 Yankees have Beltran, Ellsbury, Matt Thornton, McCann, Stephen Drew, and Alfredo Aceves.
   16. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5569852)
For the HoF -- I think WAA works better than WAR and Beltran's ~35 (depending on whose math you use) isn't quite as high as I'd have thought, but it's comfortably over the line for entry in my mind. It's lot closer to the line than inner circle, but still in.

He would get my vote. He was really a spectacular player when he was younger, particularly on the base paths. His rate of stolen base success is one of the highest ever, and it's unfortunate that he had so many leg injuries that kind of took that part of his game away. Without the leg injuries, he's probably knocking on the door of 400/400, which is one of those things that HOF voters would likely get all giddy about.

I just think it will be interesting. Maybe his legend grows over the next 5 years after this and he sails in.
   17. BDC Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5569853)
the A's of the late '50's … The 1955 A's

The 1958 A's had at least eleven guys who played for World Champions, though not all of them played in the given World Series: Bob Cerv, Joe DeMaestri, Murry Dickson, Bob Grim, Woody Held, Billy Hunter, Hector Lopez, Roger Maris, Hal Smith, Ralph Terry, and Virgil Trucks. And for good measure, Whitey Herzog.

I may have missed some because I didn't check everybody. Most played for Yankee champions, of course, but Dickson also played for the 1946 Cardinals and Trucks also for the 1945 Tigers. Hal Smith hit the second-most-famous home run for the 1960 Pirates.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:19 PM (#5569854)
For some reason, I was only looking for teams with players who won it all elsewhere afterwards.


In the case of the team that sparked this, all five of those guys did get their rings afterwards (Damon, Dye, Beltran, Appier and Suppan).
   19. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:32 PM (#5569868)
The 1958 A's had at least eleven guys who played for World Champions


OK, that beats my list by 1, so I'll have to dig deeper.

Bill Renna
Dick kryhoski
Don Bollweg
Sonny Dixon
   20. Batman Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:38 PM (#5569875)
The 1958 A's had at least eleven guys who played for World Champions, though not all of them played in the given World Series: Bob Cerv, Joe DeMaestri, Murry Dickson, Bob Grim, Woody Held, Billy Hunter, Hector Lopez, Roger Maris, Hal Smith, Ralph Terry, and Virgil Trucks. And for good measure, Whitey Herzog.
Tom Gorman too. And Harry Simpson was a member of the 1958 World Series champs before he was traded to the A's in the middle of that season.
   21. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:42 PM (#5569882)
I'm surprised that Edmonds actually passes Beltran pretty handily in WAA - Edmonds is over 40, Beltran is shy of 35 -- a pretty big gap.


Where are you getting these #s? b-ref shows Edmonds at 34.9 WAA and Beltran at 34.1

   22. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:53 PM (#5569894)
Where are you getting these #s? b-ref shows Edmonds at 34.9 WAA and Beltran at 34.1


Here - didn't read the about close enough... looks like he's using Tango's methodology.

Is there a BBREF WAA leaderboard? That's what I was looking for, but couldn't find it -- and this was just the first one I found via google.
   23. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5569898)
i just went to each of their player pages and looked, actually. But, WAA is part of the play index, if you have a subscription to that (i do not).
   24. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:56 PM (#5569899)
In terms of Hall of Fame progress, Kershaw didn't hurt himself any, despite his troubles in Game Five.


All Kershaw's doing at this point is fighting for super inner circle recognition, and I think this hurt him badly. The defining moment of this series, for him, will be Game 5. The Dodgers had a chance to take control of the series, and head home up 3-2. They gave him a 4-0 lead, he blew it. They then gave him a 7-4 lead, and while he didn't blow it himself, he contributed to it. Game 1 will help some of that, but Game 7 will be meaningless. It'll be spun as four innings of mop-up duty (not his fault the Dodgers couldn't rally, but that's how narratives work)

   25. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: November 02, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5569902)
All Kershaw's doing at this point is fighting for super inner circle recognition, and I think this hurt him badly. The defining moment of this series, for him, will be Game 5. The Dodgers had a chance to take control of the series, and head home up 3-2. They gave him a 4-0 lead, he blew it. They then gave him a 7-4 lead, and while he didn't blow it himself, he contributed to it. Game 1 will help some of that, but Game 7 will be meaningless. It'll be spun as four innings of mop-up duty (not his fault the Dodgers couldn't rally, but that's how narratives work)


Indeed.

I think Kershaw is already in Pedro territory... meaning, he's going in, probably going in on first ballot, and only PEDs/some sort of crime is going to change that no matter what happens from here on out. Frankly, he could have shat the bed in his mop-up duty and while it might well have cost him a few percent on the vote totals, I don't think it would change much.
   26. Moeball Posted: November 02, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5569910)
You can do a bref leader list for WAA but it separates position players from pitchers. If you want a list of all players, pitchers included, it's better to do it on the Baseball Gauge.
   27. DavidFoss Posted: November 02, 2017 at 01:14 PM (#5569916)
The 1958 A's had at least eleven guys who played for World Champions

Are we counting only people who appeared in the postseason?

If you count players who played on a team during a WS championship season, I get the 1959 A's with 21 (!).

I'm skeptical.

Ray Boone,CLE
Tom Carroll,NYA
Bob Cerv,NYA
Rip Coleman,NYA
Bud Daley,NYA
Joe DeMaestri,NYA
Murry Dickson,NYA,SLN
Tom Gorman,NYA
Bob Grim,NYA
Johnny Kucks,NYA
Hector Lopez,NYA
Jerry Lumpe,NYA
Roger Maris,NYA,SLN
Russ Meyer,BRO
Joe Morgan,SLN
Howie Reed,LAN
Harry Simpson,NYA
Hal Smith,PIT
Russ Snyder,BAL
Tom Sturdivant,NYA
Ralph Terry,NYA

Some of these guys made very token appearances, though. I could modify the search I guess.

Runners up are the 2000 A's (20), 1957 A's (18), 1961 A's (18), 2004 Rangers (18), 2007 Mets (18), 1921 Phillies (17), 1951 Browns (17), 1955 Orioles (17)

Oh, I just remembered I haven't included the 2017 Astros players yet. That won't affect most of the teams on the list, though.
   28. Batman Posted: November 02, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5569918)
   29. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: November 02, 2017 at 01:19 PM (#5569922)
Thanks, all - for the bbref help.... I actually do have a PI subscription, but don't really use it (I see it more as a donation).

I was just using the leaderboard listings and couldn't find WAA.
   30. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 02, 2017 at 01:30 PM (#5569937)

I think Kershaw is already in Pedro territory... meaning, he's going in, probably going in on first ballot, and only PEDs/some sort of crime is going to change that no matter what happens from here on out. Frankly, he could have shat the bed in his mop-up duty and while it might well have cost him a few percent on the vote totals, I don't think it would change much.


It's funny, because I was trying to think of the analogy to Kershaw's Game 5, and the closest recent one I could come up with was Pedro in 2003, with 3 CYs under his belt, but zero rings, blowing the 5-2 lead in G7, (though there's a huge difference in coming undone in the 8th and doing so in the 4th)
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5569942)
In the case of the team that sparked this, all five of those guys did get their rings afterwards (Damon, Dye, Beltran, Appier and Suppan).
Yes, that's what made me think of future-only. One team that had several future elsewhere-winners was the '06 Rays: Huff, Gomes, Zobrist, Lugo, and Edwin Jackson.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: November 02, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5569946)
All Kershaw's doing at this point is fighting for super inner circle recognition, and I think this hurt him badly.


I'd say it possibly hurt him, temporarily.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: November 02, 2017 at 01:42 PM (#5569949)
If you count players who played on a team during a WS championship season, I get the 1959 A's with 21 (!).


Wow. I never dreamed it could be that high.

You could certainly do it either way. I'd be inclined to define it as on the postseason roster/saw postseason action for a title team. The former might be tough to identify.
   34. BDC Posted: November 02, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5569958)
the 1959 A's with 21

I agree with SoSH, that's pretty wild.

Eighteen for the 2004 Rangers is interesting. It would include Soriano (though briefly) and Rogers and Teixeira (more notably) with the Yankees, and Gerald Laird with the 2011 Cardinals; and then … geez, offhand, I have no idea. Leafing through their B-Ref pages, there must have been a substantial number of the 900 relief pitchers the Rangers used that year. Jay Powell and Jeff Nelson, for instance, for a start. But I still have 12 to find and not the first idea who to check :(
   35. DavidFoss Posted: November 02, 2017 at 02:02 PM (#5569961)
2004 Rangers:

Chad Allen,FLO
Rod Barajas,ARI
Nick Bierbrodt,ARI
Mickey Callaway,ANA
Jason Conti,ARI
David Dellucci,ARI
Scott Erickson,MIN
Andy Fox,FLO,NYA
Brad Fullmer,ANA
Ken Huckaby,ARI
Gerald Laird,SLN
Jeff Nelson,NYA
Jay Powell,FLO
Kenny Rogers,NYA
Alfonso Soriano,NYA
Mark Teixeira,NYA
Michael Tejera,FLO
Chris Young,KCA
   36. Rally Posted: November 02, 2017 at 02:04 PM (#5569963)
I'm surprised that Edmonds actually passes Beltran pretty handily in WAA - Edmonds is over 40, Beltran is shy of 35 -- a pretty big gap.


Beltran was up to 39 WAA before he signed with the Yankees. Now down to 34.1. Edmonds got up to 35.9 through 2005, then was a win below average for the rest of his career.
   37. BDC Posted: November 02, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5569977)
Thanks, David! Geez, that's so largely a group of nonentities :)
   38. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 02, 2017 at 02:22 PM (#5569978)
Frankly, he could have shat the bed in his mop-up duty and while it might well have cost him a few percent on the vote totals, I don't think it would change much.

It's funny, because I was trying to think of the analogy to Kershaw's Game 5, and the closest recent one I could come up with was Pedro in 2003, with 3 CYs under his belt, but zero rings, blowing the 5-2 lead in G7, (though there's a huge difference in coming undone in the 8th and doing so in the 4th)



And where do Mike Mussina's three innings of emergency clutchy-gutty-narrativey relief pitching in Game Seven of 2003 fit in? Unlike Kershaw, Mussina's performance did lead to an elimination game victory, yet is hardly mentioned come HoF balloting season.
   39. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 02, 2017 at 02:44 PM (#5570006)

And where do Mike Mussina's three innings of emergency clutchy-gutty-narrativey relief pitching in Game Seven of 2003 fit in? Unlike Kershaw, Mussina's performance did lead to an elimination game victory, yet is hardly mentioned come HoF balloting season.


Because Mussina's entire career was about being overshadowed.

Mussina put together an all-time great performance in the 1997 playoffs: 29 IP, 11 hits, 4 R, 7 BB, 41 K. But instead of going into the WS with a pair of wins over Randy Johnson in the ALDS and an ALCS MVP the Orioles don't score a single run while he's the pitcher of record in the LCS, and go home.

In 2001, he saves the Yankees' season with a 1-0 win over Barry Zito in Game 3 of the ALDS, but all we remember from that game is the Jeter Flip.

In 2003, he saves the season again with the aforementioned mop-up duty, but all we remember is Little and Boone. Then, he outduels Josh Beckett in G3 of the WS, only to see the Yankees lose 4, 5, and 6.

   40. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 02, 2017 at 02:58 PM (#5570029)
I'd say it possibly hurt him, temporarily.


I mean, sure, he could still do great and get his rings.

I just think, we're talking about inner, inner circle HOFers (which I think Kershaw will be, barring massive injuries. Probably a 90-100 WAR player with at least three Cys and a MVP) and G5 is a huge black mark. The Dodgers scored 12 runs in a game with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, and lost.
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 02, 2017 at 03:00 PM (#5570031)
I thought this was interesting looking at Beltran's BB-REF page. He is almost exactly the average HOF CFer:


Beltran:
69.8 career WAR / 44.3 7yr-peak WAR / 57.1 JAWS
Average HOF CF (out of 19):
71.2 career WAR / 44.6 7yr-peak WAR / 57.9 JAWS


EDIT: Beltran is actually 8th out of 19 HOF CFers. He's slightly below the mean, but above the median.
   42. Panic Posted: November 02, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5570039)
In the case of the team that sparked this, all five of those guys did get their rings afterwards (Damon, Dye, Beltran, Appier and Suppan).


Do coaches count?* Was fun to see the other half of the Royals dynamic "Dos Carlos" (Febles) be named 3rd base coach for Boston today. Maybe he'll get a ring that way someday.

*I know - they don't.
   43. DavidFoss Posted: November 02, 2017 at 03:35 PM (#5570062)
Playing around with my search more. The 2000 Yankees were the WS winner that included the most players who won elsewhere (16).

Clay Bellinger-ANA, Jose Canseco-OAK, David Cone-TOR, Dwight Gooden-NYM, Orlando Hernandez-CHW, Felix Jose-OAK, David Justice-ATL, Chuck Knoblauch-MIN, Ramiro Mendoza-BOS, Denny Neagle-MIN, Paul O'Neill-CIN, Luis Polonia-ATL,OAK, Luis Sojo-TOR, Mike Stanton-ATL, Jose Vizcaino-STL,
Jake Westbrook-STL
   44. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: November 02, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5570066)
The only people who consider Beltran a clutch failure are some Mets fans holding a grudge over one at bat, who fail to see an entire body of work.


BINGO!
   45. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2017 at 03:52 PM (#5570086)
Ramiro Mendoza-BOS
When Gabe Kapler was hired as Phillies manager the other day, I went and checked to see if he had played in the 2004 ALCS (he had), and I noticed that Mendoza had pitched in the series, albeit only in games 1 and 3. He got the loss in game 3, although it's quirky that a guy who only gave up one run in a 19-8 game got the loss. He only pitched one more inning in the majors after that.
   46. Stormy JE Posted: November 02, 2017 at 03:56 PM (#5570094)
The only people who consider Beltran a clutch failure are some Mets fans holding a grudge over one at bat, who fail to see an entire body of work.
BINGO!

The ridiculous #BlameBeltran thing over his K against Wainwright would've gone nowhere had it not been for the pretty awful 2005 campaign, his first season with the club.
   47. DavidFoss Posted: November 02, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5570106)
Yes, that's what made me think of future-only.

You get a different list when you look for players who won elsewhere *in the future*.

1915 A's 14
1914 A's 13
2004 A's 13
1913 A's 12
1919 Red Sox 12
1956 Cardinals 11
1999 Marlins 11
1999 Expos 11
2002 Marlins 11

Two famous "fire sales", the Moneyball A's, and the Cardinals. I wasn't expecting to see the Cardinals on there. The 1913 A's actually won the WS, but they also won elsewhere after broken up. Marlins were close, they won in 1997 & 2003.

   48. DavidFoss Posted: November 02, 2017 at 04:15 PM (#5570120)
The flip side are the teams who imported the most players from championship teams. These won rings *before* this season.

1961 A's - 15
2004 Rangers - 15
2007 Mets - 15
1955 Orioles - 14
1951 Browns - 13
1959 A's - 13
1937 Reds - 12
1962 Mets - 12
1984 Cubs - 12
1999 Orioles - 12
   49. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 02, 2017 at 04:27 PM (#5570129)
1984 Cubs - 12

Sutcliffe
Cey
Lopes
Bowa
Moreland
Hebner
Johnstone
Ruthven
Brusstar

That's 9. I don't think Sandberg was up with the Phillies in 1980. Dernier might have been.

Frazier played for the Yankees in 1981, but they lost. So did Reuschel.

Not sure who I'm forgetting.

EDIT: Dickie Noles. I didn't realize until now how much the Cubs raided those old Phillies teams. I suspect that's all Dallas Green.
   50. DavidFoss Posted: November 02, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5570138)
1984CHN 12 Larry Bowa-PHI / Warren Brusstar-PHI / Ron Cey-LAD / Bob Dernier-PHI / Richie Hebner-PIT / Jay Johnstone-LAD,NYY,OAK / Davey Lopes-LAD / Keith Moreland-PHI / Dickie Noles-PHI / Dick Ruthven-PHI / Tim Stoddard-BAL / Rick Sutcliffe-LAD

Dernier is right. Stoddard is the other.
   51. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 02, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5570152)

The ridiculous #BlameBeltran thing over his K against Wainwright would've gone nowhere had it not been for the pretty awful 2005 campaign, his first season with the club.


I think blaming Beltran became more of thing because of the team's inability to make the playoffs in 2007 and 2008 rather than his relatively poor 2005 season. For some reason, he became the whipping boy for the underachieving Mets. e had an MVP worthy 2006 season.
   52. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 02, 2017 at 04:55 PM (#5570154)
Ah, Stoddard. I forgot he came from the Orioles. Thanks.
   53. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 02, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5570159)
1915 A's 14
1914 A's 13
2004 A's 13
1913 A's 12
1919 Red Sox 12
1956 Cardinals 11
1999 Marlins 11
1999 Expos 11
2002 Marlins 11

Two famous "fire sales", the Moneyball A's, and the Cardinals. I wasn't expecting to see the Cardinals on there.


That was Frank "Trader" Lane's first year with the club. He pretty much cleaned house in season - there were 26 players who played for the Cardinals in 1956 who also played for another team that season. I think that increases the chances of players showing up on a list like this.
   54. No longer interested in this website Posted: November 02, 2017 at 07:50 PM (#5570240)
I just think, we're talking about inner, inner circle HOFers (which I think Kershaw will be, barring massive injuries. Probably a 90-100 WAR player with at least three Cys and a MVP) and G5 is a huge black mark. The Dodgers scored 12 runs in a game with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, and lost.


I like Kershaw, but this seems wildly optimistic. He has 57 WAR, so he'd need 43 to get to 100, a level only nine pitchers have reached in modern times. The oft-injured lefty will be 30 on opening day in 2018. So, he'll need to somehow accumulate 43 WAR in 7-8 years. That's six seasons of 7 WAR, for example. He only has three such seasons in his career, do you think he'll double that in his 30s? Or maybe you presume he'll have nine seasons of 5 WAR? That assumes his back and arm hold out that long.

A more likely path is a few more excellent seasons, injuries that keep him to 15-25 starts for a few seasons, and a decline. That'll put him in the 80-85 WAR range, which is Mussina/Pedro/Jenkins territory. Still at the edge of the top 20 in career value.

Thing is, Kershaw's peak value has not been ultra special. He's more in the Palmer/Blyleven/Bunning area in peak performance, not anywhere near Pedro.
   55. BDC Posted: November 02, 2017 at 10:06 PM (#5570302)
He's more in the Palmer/Blyleven/Bunning area in peak performance

Would that be in absolute terms, or relative to his peers? I can certainly see it in absolute terms – guys today just don't pitch as many innings, Kershaw included – but in relative terms, Kershaw's stat page is a mess of black ink.
   56. No longer interested in this website Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:25 PM (#5570333)
Would that be in absolute terms, or relative to his peers?


That's in terms of WAR. His peak WAR7 is in the range of Palmer, Blyleven, Bunning. If you want contemporaries, it's at 6.7 (per season) in his best seven seasons. Compared to Verlander (6.2) and Sabathia and Greinke (5.7). So, it's clearly the best peak of this generation. But even if we adjust up for his era (innings as you mention), say ten percent, he's not inner circle elite in peak performance.

A point I don't hear a lot of people making about innings (or usage) adjustment: yes, it's not Kershaw's fault that he is asked to only start 33 games and that the he is pulled after 7 innings. However, if he pitched the extra 7 games and two innings per start that Bob Gibson and Sandy used to pitch, his effectiveness would surely go down. His ERA would go up. His K/BB ratio would not be as good. And so on.

I'd love to hear others ideas on how to adjust for this. Precisely how do we compare starting pitchers from 1927 and 2017?
   57. John Northey Posted: November 02, 2017 at 11:52 PM (#5570338)
Speaking of Beltran's HOF chances, it clearly makes a big difference who is on the ballot with you. Jim Rice getting in but dozens of similar HOVG players didn't. Who else will be in Beltran's class for the HOF? After ballotgeddon for the past few years it is going to get very quiet by the time he is there I think.

2018: Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Scott Rolen, Andruw Jones, Johnny Damon, Johan Santana, and Jamie Moyer have 50+ WAR; Omar Vizquel, Chris Carpenter, and Hideki Matsui (over 500 HR combined between Japan and MLB) will each get some votes with Vizquel having some acting like he is a legit HOF'er.

2019: Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Lance Berkman, and Roy Oswalt (huh, who knew?) have 50+ WAR. Miguel Tejada will probably get a few 'thank you' votes too.

2020: Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi have 50+ WAR. Outside of Jeter a very weak year.

2021: Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle, and Torii Hunter have 50+ WAR. Talk about a very weak ballot.

2022 and beyond: hard to say right now. Only real locks are 90+ WAR: Pujols, Beltre; 60+ (very likely): Beltran, Cabrera, Cano, Chase Utley (never thought of him as close but there you go), Sabathia, Greinke. Ichiro, Trout, and Kershaw are all just under 60 but easily passing the bus test (Trout 3 years shy but I'm certain if he was hit by a bus tomorrow they'd make an exception and put him in quickly).

So given the very weak ballots he is likely to face I suspect Beltran will get in. Writers mostly hate to submit blank ballots and there is a very good chance he will be the best choice available for a few years.
   58. Bhaakon Posted: November 03, 2017 at 03:31 AM (#5570364)
I'd say it possibly hurt him, temporarily.


Well, his biggest problem is that the person he's competing against in this sense is himself, and that's a particularly tough act to follow. He's either going to have to go one one great postseason run or throw together a hundred or so stellar postseason innings to escape the shadow of his regular season performance. I don't think merely failing to embarrass himself will get the job done.
   59. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 03, 2017 at 09:05 AM (#5570390)
Thing is, Kershaw's peak value has not been ultra special. He's more in the Palmer/Blyleven/Bunning area in peak performance, not anywhere near Pedro.


Yes, Kershaw's three best seasons by WAR, produced a combined 22.9 to Palmer's 22.5, but Kershaw did that in 290 fewer innings. Bunning's 24.5 came in 240 extra innings, and Blyleven's 23.8 came in 214 more innings.

I mean, ERA+ tells a totally different story:

Kershaw: 187
Bunning: 144
Palmer: 141
Blyleven: 142

He's clearly a class or two above them.
   60. BDC Posted: November 03, 2017 at 09:51 AM (#5570418)
Precisely how do we compare starting pitchers from 1927 and 2017?

I like to search for comps based on number of starts and ERA+.

B-Ref PI is down at the moment or I would give examples, but many here have seen my comps lists and are probably pretty tired of them :-D

In 1927 an ace might throw CG in more than half his starts, and do some high-leverage relief pitching. But on the whole, he might not start a whole lot more games than an ace does in 1927, if any more – mid-30s total (in a slightly shorter season). So defining comps by Games Started (at a certain level of quality) yields comparisons of how a given pitcher, in 1927 or 2017, stood out against his peers.

My rationale is that you really can't compare starting pitchers with great directness. We have to stipulate that the job is just different now, and there's no way around that. We can compare success relative to era, though.

The value of that comps method begins to break down when you get back to deadball times (which were really different) or to some extent within the era centered on the early 1970s.
   61. eric Posted: November 03, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5570426)
He's clearly a class or two above them.


I wonder what Kershaw's ERA+ would be if he was going 9+ innings half to 2/3 of the time? Or what Palmer's, Blyleven's, et al, would be if they had the luxury of stopping after 6 or 7 every game?
   62. BDC Posted: November 03, 2017 at 10:05 AM (#5570433)
I wonder what Kershaw's ERA+ would be if he was going 9+ innings half to 2/3 of the time? Or what Palmer's, Blyleven's, et al, would be if they had the luxury of stopping after 6 or 7 every game?

That's pretty much unknowable, and depends a lot on the makeup of the individual pitcher. For all we know, given 2010s workloads, Frank Tanana might have been by far the greatest pitcher of his era, and given 1970s workloads, Livan Hernandez might still be active today and closing in on 400 wins.

What you can do is assess who stood out under the conditions he had to play in. Palmer and Blyleven won one ERA+ title apiece, and Bunning won none, over their entire long careers. Kershaw won four in his twenties.

   63. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 03, 2017 at 10:32 AM (#5570458)
I wonder what Kershaw's ERA+ would be if he was going 9+ innings half to 2/3 of the time?


And everyone else going 6-7? Probably worse. But if everyone was going 9+, then the same or better.
   64. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 03, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5570467)
In 2017, 15 pitchers threw over 200 innings, led by Chris Sale's 214. In 1974, 65 pitchers threw over 200 innings, and Sale's 214 would have ranked 56th. The NL ERA+ leader was a guy I had never heard of until this moment, Buzz Capra, who started 27 games and averaged less than 7 IP per start.
   65. Rally Posted: November 03, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5570473)
Clay Bellinger-ANA


I thought I knew my 2002 Angels, but I did not remember Bellinger being there. No wonder, his contributions amounted to 2 games, 3 innings at first base, 2 putouts, and one plate appearance (strikeout). His games were on April 6th and 8th, on the way to their 6-14 start. Looks like he did stick around the organization after that, playing in Salt Lake City.

We should have known back in April things would get better. Every MLB team for which any Bellinger has played even a single game has gone on to play in the world series. Something to look forward to for Dodger fans.
   66. SoSH U at work Posted: November 03, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5570479)
We should have known back in April things would get better. Every MLB team for which any Bellinger has played even a single game has gone on to play in the world series. Something to look forward to for Dodger fans.


Isn't that something to look forward to for Padres fans as well?
   67. Rally Posted: November 03, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5570504)
Things could get interesting if Cole makes it - he's 18 and has only pitched in rookie ball so far. Reds have Justin Bellinger, a big lefty 1b/dh drafted last summer. I don't know if he's related and I doubt it as he was born in Massachusetts while the others are from Arizona.
   68. Booey Posted: November 03, 2017 at 11:51 AM (#5570549)
I wonder what Kershaw's ERA+ would be if he was going 9+ innings half to 2/3 of the time? Or what Palmer's, Blyleven's, et al, would be if they had the luxury of stopping after 6 or 7 every game?


Pitchers need to be compared to their contemporaries, IMO. For whatever reason, conditions of the 70's allowed pitchers to throw 270-300 innings for 25 years or whatever. That needs to be adjusted for when ranking them against other eras, just like the deadball conditions of pre-1920's baseball do.

Five pitchers from the late 1960's to mid 1980's era reached 90 WAR (Seaver, Niekro, Blyleven, Perry, Carlton), and a few more were in the 80's (Ryan, Jenkins). If Kershaw gets to 90, he'll likely lead his era by a lot. And look at black ink, CYA voting, etc. All that puts him well above the Niekro/Blyleven group, IMO (except Seaver). If not, barring a massive shift in starting pitcher usage sometime in the future, we're basically saying that no starters will ever be eligible to crack the inner circle again.
   69. Rally Posted: November 03, 2017 at 01:20 PM (#5570620)
For whatever reason, conditions of the 70's allowed pitchers to throw 270-300 innings for 25 years or whatever.


I think they didn't have to throw with the same intensity because lineups were not so deep. So many shortstops if that era were hitting .210 with 1-3 homers per season. There were some sluggers who were both dangerous and worked the count, but generally no more than 2-3 on a team, not 7 like we see in so many lineups today.

You could just lay in a batting practice fastball to most of the 1970s shortstops, and on a good day they'd hurt you with a single. Now even some of the weaker hitting shortstops around (thinking Fred Galvis) have had 20 homer seasons.

Whether he had to or not, we know Nolan Ryan was capable of throwing 100 MPH heat and doing it every 4th day, often for 200 pitches. Most of the other pitchers from the 70s probably got their 275 innings without throwing significantly more pitches than guys do today.

There might be a hard throwing starter today who comes out after 5 innings with 100-120 pitches who is capable of handling the Ryan workload. But we have no idea who because nobody will let a pitcher try it. Ryan himself, if he came up today, would probably end up as a closer. I just can't see any team leaving him in to pitch deep into a game if he's got 7 strikeouts, 5 walks, and 95 pitches thrown after three innings.
   70. BDC Posted: November 03, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5570630)
And, so, here's what I was talking about. Comps for Kershaw, first ten years of a career, 1893 to present, centered on him in terms of ERA+ and Games Started:

Player             WAR  GS ERA+  CG  GF   W   L SV     IP
Roger Clemens     65.6 301  145  91   0 163  86  0 2222.2
Lefty Grove       64.9 279  144 184 112 203  87 50 2510.1
Ed Walsh          62.0 303  147 243 102 190 121 35 2871.1
Clayton Kershaw   57.4 290  161  25   1 144  64  0 1935.0
Mordecai Brown    48.2 261  153 223  93 195  96 39 2481.2
Addie Joss        45.9 260  142 234  22 160  97  5 2327.0 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/3/2017.

1) Kershaw has the lowest IP total in the group, predictably. That's pretty much a given, and as Booey says, if you don't somehow allow for that in your calculations, you don't get a sense of how distinct a guy was. By sheer WAR in his first ten years, Kershaw is comparable to Vic Willis and Stan Coveleski – still Hall of Famers, but not comparable in their impact, relative to their contemporaries.

2) There's actually no upper bound on the ERA+ in that search. For guys with that range of starts in their first ten years, Kershaw is streets ahead in quality – even ahead of easy inner-circle guys like Clemens and Grove.

3) There are some inner-circle deadball guys (Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Alexander), plus Tom Seaver, who started quite a few more games than Kershaw in their first ten seasons; Johnson had a better ERA+, too. I have no problem seeing Kershaw as inferior to Walter Johnson :)
   71. DanG Posted: November 03, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5570686)
Beltran comps. Players within 10 WAR, 9 OPS+, and 1400 PA, excluding C/SS/2B:

Player          WAROPSWAA/   PA    H   BA
Robin Yount     77.0  115 37.0 12249 3142 .285 H
Paul Molitor    75.4  122 37.1 12167 3319 .306 H
'Carlos Beltran 69.8  119 34.1 11031 2725 .279'
Tim Raines      69.1  123 35.0 10359 2605 .294 H
Graig Nettles   68.0  110 32.8 10228 2225 .248
Ernie Banks     67.4  122 28.5 10394 2583 .274 H
Dwight Evans    66.9  127 32.8 10569 2446 .272
Goose Goslin    66.1  128 30.5  9829 2735 .316 H
Andre Dawson    64.5  119 28.8 10769 2774 .279 H
Richie Ashburn  63.6  111 28.4  9736 2574 .308 H
Bobby Abreu     59.9  128 28.0 10081 2470 .291 
   72. stanmvp48 Posted: November 03, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5570691)
So, who is the DH next year. 896 runs without much help from DH. In fact; DH, C and 1B were the weakest offensive positions. 2B, SS, and CF were first. I was surprised that they scored many more runs on the road.
   73. Rally Posted: November 03, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5570700)
So, who is the DH next year. 896 runs without much help from DH. In fact; DH, C and 1B were the weakest offensive positions. 2B, SS, and CF were first. I was surprised that they scored many more runs on the road.


They are certainly in an enviable position there. They can sign a free agent, or have Marwin Gonzalez or one of the OFs hit there. Jake Marisnick was hurt for the playoffs but is their best defensive outfielder and had a 122 OPS+ last year. Gattis is under team control for another year. Derek Fisher could improve and work his way into the mix. Tyler White, A.J. Reed, and Colin Moran have proven themselves at AAA and could make a step forward. Kyle Tucker is a top prospect, just 20, and has already hit well at AA. They have more options than they could possibly know what to do with, with few openings in the big league lineup.
   74. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 03, 2017 at 03:20 PM (#5570715)
So, who is the DH next year. 896 runs without much help from DH. In fact; DH, C and 1B were the weakest offensive positions. 2B, SS, and CF were first. I was surprised that they scored many more runs on the road.

17th in payroll, lots of help in the system. They should trade for Giancarlo Stanton and make him the DH.

That's just what this lineup needs, someone who can hit.

Plus, batting behind Springer, Altuve, and Correa, and with that short porch in left field, he might hit 90 HRs and drive in 250 runs.
   75. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 03, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5570721)
They have more options than they could possibly know what to do with, with few openings in the big league lineup.

Yeah, that's what they said about the Cubs too.
   76. eric Posted: November 03, 2017 at 06:25 PM (#5570822)
I wonder what Kershaw's ERA+ would be if he was going 9+ innings half to 2/3 of the time? Or what Palmer's, Blyleven's, et al, would be if they had the luxury of stopping after 6 or 7 every game?

That's pretty much unknowable, and depends a lot on the makeup of the individual pitcher. For all we know, given 2010s workloads, Frank Tanana might have been by far the greatest pitcher of his era, and given 1970s workloads, Livan Hernandez might still be active today and closing in on 400 wins.

What you can do is assess who stood out under the conditions he had to play in. Palmer and Blyleven won one ERA+ title apiece, and Bunning won none, over their entire long careers. Kershaw won four in his twenties.


So, I was responding to this post here:

I mean, ERA+ tells a totally different story:

Kershaw: 187
Bunning: 144
Palmer: 141
Blyleven: 142

He's clearly a class or two above them.


I understand the point that every generation of pitchers has different conditions and so it's hard to compare. A 300 CG career with a 115 ERA+ (approximate totals for Gaylord Perry) is from a different environment than a 110 CG career with a 130 ERA+ (Maddux) which is from a different environment than an in-progress 25 CG career with a 160 ERA+ (Kershaw). Hence my response to someone who was comparing ERA+ across generations without taking into consideration the fact that it's easier to have more extreme ERAs when you're pitching fewer innings and fewer starts.

I will point out that then this post came about:

1) Kershaw has the lowest IP total in the group, predictably. That's pretty much a given, and as Booey says, if you don't somehow allow for that in your calculations, you don't get a sense of how distinct a guy was. By sheer WAR in his first ten years, Kershaw is comparable to Vic Willis and Stan Coveleski – still Hall of Famers, but not comparable in their impact, relative to their contemporaries.

2) There's actually no upper bound on the ERA+ in that search. For guys with that range of starts in their first ten years, Kershaw is streets ahead in quality – even ahead of easy inner-circle guys like Clemens and Grove.


So can we compare stats across generations or not? I don't think ERA+ translates that well as larger workloads push everyone closer to the mean. I think #2 is trying to compare one stat across generations, to which I can only respond the same way I did above: how would Clemens' or Grove's ERA+ look in modern usage, and how would Kershaw's look in their time?

If we want to compare how each pitcher looks vs their peers, first ten seasons (# times led league, # top 10):

IP: Kershaw 1,4; Clemens 1,7; Grove 0,8
WAR (for pitchers): Kershaw 3,8; Clemens 4,7; Grove 5,8
ERA+: Kershaw 4,8; Clemens 4,7; Grove 5,8

The others had higher workloads/durability for their time than did Kershaw, but quality looks pretty similar across the board. (This is a very rough measure, of course.) I think in each case we are looking at the greatest pitcher of the generation.

Kershaw may very well join Clemens and Grove in the discussion for GOAT, but he will first have to replicate their success over the remainder of their careers:

IP: Clemens 1,5; Grove 0,3
WAR (pitchers): Clemens 3,8; Grove 3,5
ERA+: Clemens 4,8; Grove 4,5

BTW I was initially surprised, and then not so much, to learn that Grove never led his league in IP (2nd twice, 3rd twice). He was the long-time career leader in ERA+ and had a lighter relative workload compared to most other great pitchers, so that makes sense. He was a less-extreme version of Pedro in that regard (who, himself, only had six finishes in the top 10 in IP, with a high of 4th).
   77. Walt Davis Posted: November 03, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5570855)
The first difficult to answer question is "are workloads lighter now?"

There are potentially several arguments here.

#1: The shift from (give or take) 37 starts a year to 32 is a pretty massive reduction in seasonal workload almost no matter how you slice it. However, are we comparing seasons or careers? In the end, Clemens, Johnson, Maddux, Glavine ended up starting as many games and pitching nearly as many innings as the 60s-70s studs. It's not clear that substituting starts and innings in your 40s for starts and innings in your 20s is going to help your career rate stats. (Granted, this generation isn't likely to match any of those guys on innings but for all we know they'll still be starting at 48.)

#2: The reduction in innings/start is not that dramatic except for a few crazy guys. Seaver had 7.4 IP/start in a league that averaged 6.4. Maddux had 6.8 in a league that was 6.0. Kershaw (so far) is at 6.7 in a league that is 5.8. So it's a reduction of about 2/3 of an inning for these guys relative to Seaver and their context relative to Seaver's -- maybe something like 2.5 batters. That's not massive and would seem to be within the range where arguments about pitches/PA (i.e. pitches/start), tougher batters, sillyball offenses, rake-and-take may indeed mean that a contemporary start is as tough as a 60s-70s start.

#3: We'd really prefer to use BF or, better, pitch count. We do have BF but I think I have to dig into the splits tables to be able to separate that out just for starts (and that won't give me league average). Give or take though, that's captured in WHIP (DPs, RoEs, HBPs and a few other things mess with that). Seaver and Maddux have nearly identical WHIPs, Kershaw's so far is a staggering 1.00 so he probably is facing even fewer batters per start -- of course that's a sign of his dominance and that he hasn't had a decline phase yet.

#4: You've really got to throw out the knucklers cuz they were barely breaking a sweat ... and Ryan cuz he was just a one-time freak. We will all freely stipulate that Ryan makes every other pitcher in MLB history look like a noodle-armed wimp who would struggle to make it through a 150-pitch game of softball.

#5: Some of that dominance in complete games is balanced by the fact that starters of yore were also pulled earlier from poor starts -- that's essentially the only way that IP/start can have changed so little. Seaver had 231 CG, Maddux just 109, Kershaw so far just 25 (on pace for maybe 50). Seaver had 31 starts of 3 or fewer innings; Maddux 14; Kershaw 8. (BTW, Ryan had 51.) For games of 7+, Seaver had 465 (72%), Maddux 410 (55.4$) and Kershaw 167 (58%). (Ryan also 465, lower %age)

Maddux vs Seaver is interesting there ... Maddux had 93 more starts but only about 225 more career IP ... so he picked up some innings by "always" going 5 and by adding about 3 seasons worth of short starts at the beginning and end along with being extra durable injury-wise. A season's worth of starts at 21 and again at 42 is not likely to help his career rate stats relative to Seaver or other 70s pitchers.

#6: It is (or should be) true that fewer innings per start make it more likely to have an extra good game performance (while probably not increasing the chances of a bad one very much) and fewer innings in a year make it more likely to post an extreme ERA in that season. But it's not like Kershaw has two extreme seasons mixed in with 8 Seaver-esque ones. He's topping Seaver rate stats year after year after year. He's now up to 1900 innings of a 161 ERA+. That is not random sampling variation relative to a 130.

Easier to understand for hitters. Say we've got a guy who only gets about 420 PA per year, does that for 10 years and puts up a 125 OPS+. There's another guy who put up 600 PA seasons but did it for only 7 years. Both guys are 4200 PA and 125 OPS+ and there's no immediate reason to think that the first player had it "easier" than the second. I mean we can make the common sense argument that the second player was probably getting worn down more, probably played with minor injuries more often, etc. but we're getting pretty marginal.

So we'd want to point to something concrete to demonstrate that the second player was probably the better one -- which for batters probably about the only think is that the first player was probably a platoon LHB while the second guy played everyday. A neat example is Matt Stairs (6024 PA, 118 OPS+) vs. Adam LaRoche (6300 PA, 111 OPS+). Stairs had about a 5/1 R/L PA split, putting up a 850 OPS vs RHP (where did sOPS+ go?). LaRoche had about a 3.2/1 PA split, putting up a 831 OPS vs RHP. It is probably more fair to compare them on their vs RHP basis then add in a boost to LaRoche since they thought he was good enough to play full-time. Between platoon advantages and regression to the mean, we would expect Stairs to have more "extreme" OPS+ seasons than LaRoche which he did with 5 "seasons" better than LaRoche's best. (Note LaRoche actually did even worse than Stairs against LHP so it's not clear one should have been platooned while the other wasn't).

So it seems to me that, when comparing pitcher careers or (sufficiently long) peaks, the place to start is just to equate them by innings. So Maddux and Seaver had about the same career IP, Maddux only beats him by 5 points on career ERA+, I'm not going to worry about their peaks. They're pretty close, give the slight edge to Maddux on both IP and ERA+. For Kershaw we'd compare roughly equivalent IP peaks. He's at 1935 IP, 161 ERA+, 57 WAR. Seaver's best consecutive stretch of 1900ish innings looks to be ages 24-30 that produced a 146 ERA+ and 53 WAR but his WAR7 is 60; Maddux's best run was 26-33 with a 179 ERA+ with 58 WAR and his best non-consecutive WAR comes in around 61. So one can argue there that Kershaw's peak (so far) is about the same as Seaver and Maddux.

I know you weren't arguing that it is just random sampling variation. It's much easier that to argue that, aside from platoon splits, one batter's average PA is the same as another batter's average PA. But this is where we get into the minutiae. Seaver did pitch more 8th and 9th innings (went through the order 3+ times more often) which likely hurt his rate stats but he probably threw fewer pitches/PA, maybe about the same pitches/start, got pulled early more often and probably got to take it easy against more batters while Maddux added those seasons at ages 21 and 42 which probably didn't help him and kinda had to go 5 nearly every time out. Kershaw probably has the toughest task on a per batter basis but is being asked to pitch to fewer batters on a start/season basis ... so many fewer it's quite unlikely he'll make it close to the 4800+ innings those guys threw. (Even at 200 per year, he's got to pitch into age 44 to make it.) There's just too many unknowns, maybe unknowables ... and we can't even get to something as basic as pitch count for Seaver except by estimation (all but the first 2 years of Maddux though).

So at some level I think it is too much to believe we can compare pitchers across eras. Seems silly to even try with the days of 400 IP in season. And we also need to remember that if you look at MLB history, especially post-Ruth, those 60s-70s guys are the freaky exceptions. The war interrupted some careers of course but for pitchers who debuted between 1910 and 1959, only 4 made it to 300 wins (Alexander, Spahn, Grove and Wynn both exactly at 300), only those first two topped 5000 IP and only 4 more topped 4490. Those who debuted from 1960 to 1975, 6 made it to 300 wins, 5 topped 5000 innings, another 4 topped 4490. For 1976+, it's 4 300 winners, Maddux>5000, Clemens >4900, Glavine >4400.

People like me grew up on that narrow band of incredibly durable, quality pitchers and we still have a tendency to think that's the way it's supposed to be rather than recognizing that as the greatest generation of starters of the last 100+ years. We might as well have grown up on 30s baseball and be disappointed that nobody hits 400 anymore. The scarcity argument suggests that what Maddux and Clemens achieved is more impressive than Seaver, Gibson and whoever else you want to cite from that era.
   78. karlmagnus Posted: November 03, 2017 at 09:40 PM (#5570863)
Why isn't Pedro on those Kershaw comps? Career to 2002 154-63, ERA+ just a bit better than Kershaw's, close in IP, better (but much shorter) postseason record.) If Kershaw declines like Roger or Maddux, he'll outdistance Pedro, but a Pedro career is probably the most likely case. That's still inner circle HoF, of course.
   79. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 03, 2017 at 09:41 PM (#5570864)
#2: The reduction in innings/start is not that dramatic except for a few crazy guys. Seaver had 7.4 IP/start in a league that averaged 6.4. Maddux had 6.8 in a league that was 6.0. Kershaw (so far) is at 6.7 in a league that is 5.8. So it's a reduction of about 2/3 of an inning for these guys relative to Seaver and their context relative to Seaver's -- maybe something like 2.5 batters. That's not massive and would seem to be within the range where arguments about pitches/PA (i.e. pitches/start), tougher batters, sillyball offenses, rake-and-take may indeed mean that a contemporary start is as tough as a 60s-70s start.

What's truly massive is the difference in the threats posed by the average current lineup in Maddux's and Seaver's era, with the resulting pressure on the pitcher to make a higher percentage of his pitches perfect. At the midpoint of Seaver's career (1976), there were 3.99 RPG and 0.58 home runs. At Maddux's midpoint, there were 4.77 RPG and 1.02 HR.

And when Kershaw now is roughly at his career midpoint, the RPG average has slid back slightly to 4.65, but the homers are now 1.26 per game. I'd say that those comparative numbers alone suggest that on a game-to-game basis, Seaver had far fewer stressful moments than either Maddux or Kershaw.
   80. eric Posted: November 03, 2017 at 11:11 PM (#5570879)
#6: It is (or should be) true that fewer innings per start make it more likely to have an extra good game performance (while probably not increasing the chances of a bad one very much) and fewer innings in a year make it more likely to post an extreme ERA in that season. But it's not like Kershaw has two extreme seasons mixed in with 8 Seaver-esque ones. He's topping Seaver rate stats year after year after year. He's now up to 1900 innings of a 161 ERA+. That is not random sampling variation relative to a 130.

Easier to understand for hitters. Say we've got a guy who only gets about 420 PA per year, does that for 10 years and puts up a 125 OPS+. There's another guy who put up 600 PA seasons but did it for only 7 years. Both guys are 4200 PA and 125 OPS+ and there's no immediate reason to think that the first player had it "easier" than the second. I mean we can make the common sense argument that the second player was probably getting worn down more, probably played with minor injuries more often, etc. but we're getting pretty marginal.


Walt, thank you for your very well thought-out response (as usual). One point I would like to quibble is this part quoted. While random variation will give more extreme values in fewer innings, I also think (especially for pitchers) that players getting worn down is a big deal.

We've just had a series where Kershaw's bizarrely substandard playoff results were talked about non-stop, with one hypothesis that he's just worn down at that point. A pitcher going 8-9 innings and 120-150 pitches regularly (like, for example, Clemens in the first half of his career) will have a tougher time later in the season when injuries and cumulative fatigue has set in, as well as poorer results in the later stages of games he's in.

Example: Roger Clemens 1988 at the end of July
15-5, 2.24 (est. 184 ERA+), 24 GS, 193 IP (over 8IP/gs), 232 K (10.8 K/9 in a lower-K environment), 10 HR, 35 BB, .540 OPS, 11 CG, 7 SHO.

Those are better numbers across the board (ok, not GS) than Kershaw had this year. Had he stopped there instead of going 3-7, 4.82, 71 IP, 59K, 27BB over his last 11 GS he would then potentially be rested and ready to go fresh the next year. Instead, having thrown 130+ pitches 13 times over those first 24 GS including games of 162 (!!) and 154 (!!) in back-to-back CG at the end of July, not to mention having thrown over 281 IP the previous year, overuse took its toll and he finished with a whimper, and had, not surprisingly, the worst full season of his early prime in 1989.

He had his best season of his first run in his shortest, 228 IP in 1990. In fact, 1986-1992 he was at 1799 IP and 160 ERA+, 58.5 WAR, eerily similar numbers to Kershaw.

Greg Maddux's two best seasons were the two strike-shortened seasons, perhaps not coincidentally.

I think Kershaw is a great pitcher, the best of the current generation. But I don't think analysis has come close to quantifying what the effect of pitching fewer innings and fewer starts has to really compare pitchers across generations. Lineups might have more home run threats, but that's balanced some by everyone striking out like a middle school wannabe gigolo. And players who know they're limited to about 100 pitches with extra days off thrown in can go at guys harder sooner (much like relievers with only 1 IP to worry about can suddenly gain 5+ mph to their fastballs). As a result, I think analysis like in this thread that just looks at ERA+, especially for a player at his peak vs completed careers of guys who played well into their 40s, is just disingenuous.
   81. JAHV Posted: November 03, 2017 at 11:57 PM (#5570883)
Clay Bellinger-ANA, Jose Canseco-OAK, David Cone-TOR, Dwight Gooden-NYM, Orlando Hernandez-CHW, Felix Jose-OAK, David Justice-ATL, Chuck Knoblauch-MIN, Ramiro Mendoza-BOS, Denny Neagle-MIN, Paul O'Neill-CIN, Luis Polonia-ATL,OAK, Luis Sojo-TOR, Mike Stanton-ATL, Jose Vizcaino-STL,
Jake Westbrook-STL


This shows you that while this is some decent trivia, without parameters you get some odd results. I thought I knew just about everyone who played even a little bit on the 2002 Angels team and Clay Bellinger threw me for a loop. I saw Mickey Callaway earlier in the thread and while he didn't make the postseason roster, at least he had a handful of starts during the regular season. I had to check BBRef for Clay Bellinger because I figured he was a minor league player and got credit for being on the roster. But as it turns out, he played 2 games in April, getting one at bat (in which he struck out), was released and never heard from again - not by the Angels or by any other major league team for that matter.

I don't know what kind of parameters you could set to make this meaningful (being on the postseason roster - any series - for the WS-winning team?) and whether or not that would be searchable, but I think it would give more meaningful results.
   82. DavidFoss Posted: November 04, 2017 at 08:26 AM (#5570906)
I don't know what kind of parameters you could set to make this meaningful (being on the postseason roster - any series - for the WS-winning team?) and whether or not that would be searchable, but I think it would give more meaningful results.

There are a few things I could try. I could add a 10 G cutoff. I could look at postseason appearances. I could do an 'or' of those (Verlander only pitched 5 regular season games for Houston this year.) If I did the 'or', I could increase the cutoff... just to credit guys who got a lot of playing time but got hurt or traded away late. On the other side, I could either do something similar or perhaps weight by PA+3*IP or something.

Sometimes the outliers are fun, and they probably tend to balance out in the aggregate but individually they can be quite distracting. This is the second person who mentioned Papa Bellinger on the 2002 Angels. I'll see what I can do to minimize them. I am busy this morning. I'll take a look later if I have time. (FYI -- I'm just playing around with Lahman data.)
   83. BDC Posted: November 04, 2017 at 09:03 AM (#5570912)
Why isn't Pedro on those Kershaw comps?

Martinez is not on the list in #70 because he made just 229 starts in his first ten seasons. Though that's really just because of the clumsiness of my search; Pedro made 258 starts in his second-through-eleventh seasons, and barely appeared in his first.

Even at that, he would just miss the cutoff because I set the minimum at 260. But you're right, he's fairly comparable to Kershaw: Pedro 2-11 has 258 starts, 172 ERA+; Kershaw 1-10 has 290 starts, 161 ERA+. Of course Pedro was a reliever in his second season, so maybe we should look at 3-12 (285; 177): but that doesn't change the overall similarity much. (And Kershaw's first season was a bit curtailed, so maybe we should look at his 2-11 after next year, but that way lies continual futzing around :)

Pedro was a bit better. And his initially being a reliever is part of the picture, as with the old-timey aces who worked a lot in relief. He did what he did.

I think eric makes some good points, BTW, but I still see the what-ifs as being fairly unknowable when you get down to individual pitchers. We just don't know how Lefty Grove would have responded to Wilbur-Woody workloads (45 starts a year), or how Zack Greinke would have done if he'd been used like Grove (25 CG in 30 starts, plus ace-reliever duties). We absolutely know that the further back you go (broadly speaking) ace starting pitchers played a much bigger part in team success, all the way back to Old Hoss Radbourn; but that is a very general statement.

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