Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, December 16, 2017

CC Sabathia agrees to deal to return to Yanks | MLB.com

The Yankees have agreed to a one-year deal with CC Sabathia worth $10 million, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand on Saturday. The deal, pending a physical, has not been confirmed by the club.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:08 PM | 75 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: c.c. sabathia, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5593713)
Great deal for the Yanks. 10 million is middle reliever money these days.
   2. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5593715)
Meh. He's basically a 5 inning guy at this point, but reasonable at that price.
   3. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5593716)
Think I'm somewhere between "Meh" and "Great deal." Don't see much upside, but if he can approximate what he's done the past couple years, it'll be a nice deal for them. I'd be pleased with this were I a Yankee fan (which, being a decent human being, I am not).
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:36 PM (#5593719)
Meh. He's basically a 5 inning guy at this point, but reasonable at that price.

Aren't all 4th and 5th starters?

This is a steal when fungible middle relievers get $7M.
   5. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5593723)
As skeptical as I was of the deal he originally signed with the Yankees, it turned out to be one of the greatest free agent pitcher contracts (in terms of value for the team) of all time. Last year, he was worth $14.9 m in value according to fangraphs. I think he will once again outperform his contract this year.
   6. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5593726)
Yeah, he's a 5+ and done starter, but he's done a great job of re-inventing himself after dropping velocity and he's one of the best at avoiding hard contact over the last 2 years.

For the money, I think it will be a very solid deal.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:47 PM (#5593729)
Fair deal for both. Sabathia was pretty good last season, but at his age with a bum knee, there's a question as to how long he can continue. Not everyone can do the Bartolo Colon trick into their 40s. Hopefully, Sabathia has one more good season ahead, that might be all it'd take for the Yanks to excel, given their other assets, pitching and otherwise.

Does this mean the Yanks are no longer pursuing another top of the rotation starter, such as Gerrit Cole? Rotation would be a bit crowded with him, and some reports suggested the price might be Clint Frazier & Chance Adams, who I think I'd prefer to see in pinstripes, even if they are mostly unknowns at the moment and the Yanks have been pretty good at scouting there own prospects lately, seldom getting burnt on who they dealt.
   8. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:51 PM (#5593731)
From RAB:


For years and years, Sabathia was a power pitcher who overwhelmed hitters with velocity, a wipeout slider, and the sheer intimidation factor that comes with being 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds. As the years and innings piled up, that approach no longer worked, so last year Sabathia scrapped his four-seam fastball entirely. He started throwing a cutter.

The cutter did a few things for Sabathia. One, it gave him a way to bust right-handed hitters inside. Righties punished him from 2013-15, but once Sabathia was able to get in on their hands, he was able to keep them at bay. And two, it allowed him to miss the barrel more often. The straight four-seamer was getting squared up far too often. The subtle movement on the cutter makes it more difficult for hitters to get the sweet spot on the ball.

As a result, Sabathia traded hard contact for soft contact last year, and this year he was again one of the best contact managers in the league. Hitters had as much trouble making hard contact against Sabathia this season than they did against guys like Corey Kluber and Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw. Sabathia’s rates (min. 140 IP):

Soft Contact: 27.2% (sixth highest)
Hard Contact: 24.1% (fifth lowest)
Average Exit Velocity: 83.9 mph (lowest)
Average Launch Angle: 6.2° (12th lowest) (what’s this?)

Simply put, over the last two seasons Sabathia has made it very difficult to hit the ball hard against him. When he makes mistakes, they still get crushed. That’s true for everyone. Sabathia gave up a 470-foot homer to Manny Machado back in April. It was the 19th longest homer in baseball this season.

Sabathia has been able to limit those mistakes the last two seasons. From 2013-15, there were a few too many of those each time out. Now he keeps them to a minimum. Sabathia embraced the cutter and embraced the finesse pitcher within, which he absolutely had to do to be successful at this stage of his career. He’s transformed himself as a pitcher, and now that he’s done it for a second year in a row, we know it’s not a fluke. This is who Sabathia is now. He is one of the game’s best soft contact pitchers


RAB
   9. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 16, 2017 at 02:13 PM (#5593743)
He's going to be an interesting HOF case in about a decade or so if he can string together another couple of 2016-17 seasons at the end of his career.

Good job by the Yankees. The original contract was a bit of a dumpster fire for a while there, but Sabathia successfully re-invented himself and should be solid middle-of-rotation guy in 2018 for a very reasonable free agent price.
   10. Srul Itza Posted: December 16, 2017 at 02:30 PM (#5593752)
He's going to be an interesting HOF case in about a decade or so if he can string together another couple of 2016-17 seasons at the end of his career.


If he gets his wins over 260, his games above .500 to 100, and his Ks over 3,00 -- all within reason over 2 years -- then combined with the CYA, the ALCS MVP in WS winning year, and the 60+ WAR for the statnerds, I think he will make it after a few ballots. Ballotgeddon should be long gone by then, and the hangover of comparisons with the BIG 4 pitchers (Clemens, Maddux, Pedro and Unit) should also be fading, with a number of other great, but more mortal pitchers having been inducted.

If he completely craps out over the next couple of years, he will have a much harder time getting in.
   11. ajnrules Posted: December 16, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5593755)
He is 13 wins from 250 and 154 strikeouts from 3,000 in his career. With Judge and Stanton providing the offense I can see him getting to both numbers this coming year. And who knows? Once he hits 250 wins he may want to stick around to get to 300.
   12. BDC Posted: December 16, 2017 at 02:50 PM (#5593765)
The closest pitching career to Sabathia's is very close indeed:

Player           WAR  GS ERA+   W   L     IP   SO  ERA  FIP
Andy Pettitte   60.9 521  117 256 153 3316.0 2448 3.85 3.74
CC Sabathia     60.7 509  117 237 146 3317.0 2846 3.70 3.70 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/16/2017.

But Sabathia has four years on Pettitte (he's 37 now, Pettitte pitched till he was 41), and was somewhat better at his peak than Pettitte. I don't think that Pettitte has a shot at the Hall of Fame unless some aging Yankee-fan voters get very nostalgic a few decades from now. But Pettitte plus another four years at the level Sabathia reached in 2017 would be a heck of a career.
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 16, 2017 at 03:05 PM (#5593775)
Jack Morris is in. All bets are off now.
   14. Sunday silence Posted: December 16, 2017 at 03:36 PM (#5593784)
if we understand "preventing hard contact" is really skill then doesnt that call into question the concept that BABIP is constant for all pitchers? And similarly: doesnt it call into question using FIP as some sort of measure of predictability going forward?

Arent these just two ways of looking at the same thing?
   15. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 16, 2017 at 04:04 PM (#5593794)
Since we're on the topic of HOF chances for active starting pitchers, a few notes:

1) There are two active pitchers with more than 188 wins: Colon (240) and Sabathia (237).
2) There are only 26 pitchers with 100 career wins. If you had to bet on which ones have the best chance of making the HOF, which would you pick?:

Verlander, 34 yrs old, 188 wins
Greinke, 33, 172
Felix, 31, 160
Lester, 33, 159
Hamels, 33, 147
Kershaw, 29, 144
Scherzer, 32, 141
Price, 31, 127
Porcello, 28, 118
Gonzalez, 31, 117
Bumgarner, 27, 104
Sale, 28, 91
Strasburg, 28, 84
Cole, 26, 59

I'd say Verlander, Kershaw, maybe Sale (because he seems uniquely durable, and will have huge K numbers).
   16. Srul Itza Posted: December 16, 2017 at 04:08 PM (#5593797)
doesnt that call into question the concept that BABIP is constant for all pitchers?


I think it has been understood for some time that it is not.

The common denominator is late movement. The cutter is a prime pitch for this, as with Mariano Rivera. So is the knuckleball.

   17. cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2017 at 04:29 PM (#5593807)
if we understand "preventing hard contact" is really skill then doesnt that call into question the concept that BABIP is constant for all pitchers? And similarly: doesnt it call into question using FIP as some sort of measure of predictability going forward?

Arent these just two ways of looking at the same thing?


Babip isn't a constant for all pitchers, that much is known, but it's pretty close for all, but it's known that knuckleballers have a better than the group babip, and veterans also have a better than than the group babip. (and a few other groups)

But hard contact and babip are different, it's still possible to hit a well hit ball that gets caught or a weak ball that lands fair. And it's nearly impossible to hit a homerun on a weak contact ball, so many of those hard contact balls are being removed from the equation already.
   18. puck Posted: December 16, 2017 at 04:56 PM (#5593818)
10 million is middle reliever money these days.
   19. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 16, 2017 at 06:04 PM (#5593838)
Verlander, 34 yrs old, 188 wins
Greinke, 33, 172
Felix, 31, 160
Lester, 33, 159
Hamels, 33, 147
Kershaw, 29, 144
Scherzer, 32, 141
Price, 31, 127
Porcello, 28, 118
Gonzalez, 31, 117
Bumgarner, 27, 104
Sale, 28, 91
Strasburg, 28, 84
Cole, 26, 59

Kershaw for sure, with Hernandez and Scherzer being likely if they can both stay healthy. With an honorable mention to Bumgarner, just because he's at least a year younger than everyone else on that list and if he can get close enough to it, the postseason narrative will help push him over the threshold.

I do think that by the time these guys are on the ballot, pitcher wins will no longer have the importance for evaluating HOF pitchers that it has even today. I do think that IP will be an issue for longer, so all of these guys are going to have to pitch well into their late 30s, if not early 40s.

But 20 years from now, looking at Mussina and Schilling having to wait for induction is going to look downright silly.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: December 16, 2017 at 07:18 PM (#5593856)
CC is all but in. Weak ballots and he'll be the best SP on them by far probably. Depends somewhat on when he retires relative to Kershaw et al but either he'll be at least in the 50s before they get on the ballot or he'll jump up the ballot once they're cleared.

#12: I am now of the opinion that, unless the anti-roiders actually have principles, that Pettitte probably makes it. Again, some very weak ballots coming up. Once Halladay, Mussina and Schilling are off, he'll have it to himself pretty much.

From the big list -- Kershaw is already in barring roids or other; Scherzer is nearly a lock -- he's got 3 CYAs in 5 years, 35 points of black ink; Verlander is nearly a lock; Greinke is nearly a lock.

Felix needs to make some adjustments so he can last long enough to get the counting stats -- he has a scattered period of dominance and just one CYA so he probably does need another 5+ seasons of reasonable pitching ... which he might not get, some durability issues now, some HR issues.

Lester and Hamels have an outside shot. Price ... he should be in good shape but obviously can't go on like he has been. Bumgarner, Sale and Strasburg are in good shape but have a long way to go.

In there is an assumption that we don't transform back to the 70s ... which seems extremely unlikely. If anything, this is the last generation of pitchers to regularly go over 200 IP a year. There's also an assumption that voters will have little choice but to change their standards and will focus on dominance/rate stats more than career IP and wins such that a Halladay or Schilling type would have a pretty easy time of it. If they don't accept that then almost no pitchers will be elected again.

#17 ... additionally, FB pitchers will generally have a lower BABIP. On soft contact, we have no idea if this is a real skill or not -- we've got only a few years of data on such stuff. We can of course interpolate that Maddux, Glavine, etc. probably induced softer contact than typical. Still, a guy who relies on soft contact is successful until it becomes harder contact -- guys like Jon Garland, Brett Tomko, Jeff Suppan, Bob Tewksbury were pretty good pitchers there for a while ... then very suddenly they were terrible. Or not so suddenly since we'd all been predicting it for years. :-)

Also CC's transformation is probably overblown here. His K-rate the last 2 years has been 7.3 and 7.6 but it's just 7.7 for his career. His H/9 has been 8.6 and 8.4, right on his career averages. In his bad years, he was giving up a ton of HR -- and 2013-14 were relatively low HR years -- but he's gotten that back under control a bit.

Point being his IP% is the same as his career average. His BABIP in 2016 was basically his career average, in 2017 it was down quite a bit (278) but both of those are in line with the Yanks' team BABIP (294 and 282). He was getting absolutely hammered for 2013-15, quite contrary to league trends, so he obviously has changed some things to reduce the hard contact (very high HRs and BABIP to standard HRs and BABIP). But I'd bet the high soft contact results are mostly a fluke -- he made changes to get back to being a league-average pitcher who, of course, in a year when the soft contact/BABIP luck points in his direction puts up above-average results then will swing back the other way.

Which gets back to #17's point -- all that soft contact the last two years and CC's BABIP was still right in line with the team average BABIP. It remains quite unclear what the relationship between soft/hard contact and BABIP (and other results) is once it's aggregated to the player (or higher) level.

To wit -- guess which pitcher gave up the most barrels/batted ball event (BBE, min 100 BBE ... not per PA)? Craig Kimbrel who had a 319 ERA+ (or FIP+) and a 262 BABIP. It was as bad as Jered Weaver's (56 ERA+ ... on a 259 BABIP!). CC's barrels/BBE was very low at 4% ... same as journeyman Chris Rusin who had excellent results this year but not as good as Joe Blanton's 3.5% (78 ERA+, 328 BABIP, 2 HR/9). It is fair to say that down here you get a lot of relievers and that's good company to keep.

Last year CC was quite consistent at 4.4% barrels/BBE. Can he keep it up? This year Andrew Cashner was at 3.9% (with very good results) but last year he was at 7.8% with horrible results while Kimbrel was all the way down to 5.8% with fairly mediocre results (mainly due to a lot of walks). So if Kimbrel did anything this year, he gave up more hard contact in order to reduce walks and increase Ks and it paid off handsomely.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2017 at 07:18 PM (#5593857)
Since we're on the topic of HOF chances for active starting pitchers, a few notes:

1) There are two active pitchers with more than 188 wins: Colon (240) and Sabathia (237).
2) There are only 26 pitchers with 100 career wins. If you had to bet on which ones have the best chance of making the HOF, which would you pick?:

Verlander, 34 yrs old, 188 wins
Greinke, 33, 172
Felix, 31, 160
Lester, 33, 159
Hamels, 33, 147
Kershaw, 29, 144
Scherzer, 32, 141
Price, 31, 127
Porcello, 28, 118
Gonzalez, 31, 117
Bumgarner, 27, 104
Sale, 28, 91
Strasburg, 28, 84
Cole, 26, 59


Sadly Wainwright, who has the most Cy Young shares among pitchers who have never won the Cy Young, and has only 146 wins, has pretty much zero chance at the hof barring an incredible, unrealistic late career renaissance. I still think he'll end up with 200 career wins(yes that is 54 more wins for a guy who was pretty useless last year, but I do think he'll have a better season next year and that will allow him to stick around for another couple of years....)
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5593860)
From the big list -- Kershaw is already in barring roids or other; Scherzer is nearly a lock -- he's got 3 CYAs in 5 years, 35 points of black ink; Verlander is nearly a lock; Greinke is nearly a lock.

Felix needs to make some adjustments so he can last long enough to get the counting stats -- he has a scattered period of dominance and just one CYA so he probably does need another 5+ seasons of reasonable pitching ... which he might not get, some durability issues now, some HR issues.

Lester and Hamels have an outside shot. Price ... he should be in good shape but obviously can't go on like he has been. Bumgarner, Sale and Strasburg are in good shape but have a long way to go.

In there is an assumption that we don't transform back to the 70s ... which seems extremely unlikely. If anything, this is the last generation of pitchers to regularly go over 200 IP a year. There's also an assumption that voters will have little choice but to change their standards and will focus on dominance/rate stats more than career IP and wins such that a Halladay or Schilling type would have a pretty easy time of it. If they don't accept that then almost no pitchers will be elected again.


You are much more optimistic on the voters than I am.... I still think Halladay will struggle, which means that outside of Kershaw, none of the names you mentioned feel like guys that I think the writers will vote in, regardless of their increasing statheadness.... Scherzer is going to be an interesting case though, he feels a lot like Kevin Brown without the personality issues. Of course he's also only 32 years old coming off a Cy Young season....So he has a lot of time to cement his hof resume.

Verlander should be a lock, but I don't think the voters will see it that way, he probably needs a gradual decline phase to get the counting number(I'm talking about 240 or so wins).

CC is all but in


I hope so, I think he crosses the line, but outside of places like this, I don't hear much talk about him being a "Future hofer." (Colon I did in the past hear that type of talk, but not in the past decade or so)
   23. BDC Posted: December 16, 2017 at 07:44 PM (#5593866)
You are much more optimistic on the voters than I am

And somewhat more than I am. There have been seven integrated-league starting pitchers elected to the HOF in this century, six by the BBWAA (Blyleven, Glavine, Maddux, Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz) plus Jack Morris. Unless as usual I have missed somebody obvious. Dennis Eckersley was an OK starter but is clearly in the Hall as a closer.

Maddux, Johnson, and Martinez are way overqualified; Glavine has 300 wins; which leaves Smoltz, Blyleven, and Morris as bellwethers for pitchers like Pettitte and Sabathia (long careers, lots of wins but <300, never super-dominant types). But meanwhile it has been hard for Schilling and Mussina to make headway, and they are arguably better than Pettitte or Sabathia. Well, more than arguably.

Perhaps the thinning of the ballot in years to come will do wonders. That's a reasonable projection, but still an optimistic one.

   24. ptodd Posted: December 16, 2017 at 10:53 PM (#5593909)
Funny how CC turnaround began with the new balls MLB introduced in the 2nd half of 2015. Lower seams. Maybe just a coincidence or it helped the movement on one or more of his pitches
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2017 at 11:13 PM (#5593912)
Funny how CC turnaround began with the new balls MLB introduced in the 2nd half of 2015. Lower seams. Maybe just a coincidence or it helped the movement on one or more of his pitches


I don't speak nutter, which conspiracy are you pushing for in this post?
   26. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 17, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5593944)
I would expect lower seams to hurt movement rather than help.
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 17, 2017 at 08:54 AM (#5593946)
Quiet, he’s on a roll.
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:09 AM (#5593956)
Yeah, he's a 5+ and done starter, but he's done a great job of re-inventing himself after dropping velocity and he's one of the best at avoiding hard contact over the last 2 years.

For the money, I think it will be a very solid deal.


I agree, and these days when even the most celebrated workhorses are only good for 6+ innings,** we're basically talking about a 1 inning difference between Sabathia and a 2017 version of what's considered an ace.

** In 2017 Neither Chris Sale, Justin Verlander nor Clayton Kershaw averaged more than 6+ innings per start. There may have been some other pitcher who did, but the trend is clear.
   29. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5593959)
Hey Andy I’m wondering how you feel about Sabathia filing free agency then going back to the same team he played for last year. Is that a dick move like Meanie Ohtani having the gall to file free agency then decide not to sign with some teams?
   30. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:32 AM (#5593961)
Ignoring the conspiracy implications is there a reason a pitcher would benefit from the change in balls? As a veteran is Sabathia maybe more equipped to adjust to the change than a younger pitcher might be?
   31. BDC Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5593963)
There may have been some other pitcher who did

I think that Corey Kluber was the only qualifier in the majors last year to average 7 IP per start.

Seasons with the fewest ERA qualifiers averaging ≥7 IP per start:

Year                                    #Matching
2017           1                     Corey Kluber
2016           1                       Chris Sale
2006           1                     Brandon Webb
2015           2 Clayton Kershaw 
Dallas Keuchel
2007           2       Roy Halladay 
CC Sabathia 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/17/2017.

In the mid-1970s there were usually 50 qualifiers a year averaging 7 or more innings per start.
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 17, 2017 at 11:45 AM (#5593981)
Hey Andy I’m wondering how you feel about Sabathia filing free agency then going back to the same team he played for last year. Is that a dick move like Meanie Ohtani having the gall to file free agency then decide not to sign with some teams?

Why don't I just cut out the middleman (i.e. what I really think) and give you the only answer you believe I secretly believe:

"THE YANKEES DESERVE TO SIGN EVERY PLAYER IN BASEBALL, INCLUDING THE 3 OR 4 RED SOX WHO COULD SURVIVE THE YANKEES' 25-MAN ROSTER CUT."**

You can now say "Concession accepted", and we can fist bump and remain friends.

** Sale, Pomeranz, Kimbrell, and maybe Mookie as a quality benchwarmer.
   33. Sunday silence Posted: December 17, 2017 at 01:55 PM (#5594015)
wow what got into grandpa's Geritol this morning?
   34. Endless Trash Posted: December 17, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5594048)
He basically is like a 12 year old Yankee fan.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: December 17, 2017 at 03:51 PM (#5594051)
My "optimism" has nothing to do with a supposedly increasing "statheadiness" of the voters -- they aren't getting more stat-heady at a particularly fast rate. My "optimism" has to do with what BDC mentioned -- thinning ballots. But more importantly no SPs will qualify by old standards of IPs and wins but do you really think the voters will never put in another SP?

(With greater team statheadiness, we might also be seeing the slow demise of the closer. We haven't yet but with teams concerned about 5th inning leverage situations and probably trying to push relievers out to multi-inning performances, it's probably only a matter of time before we see them start to spread save chances around. In the current generation, obviously Kimbrel, Chapman, Jansen and maybe a few others will get to keep their closer jobs until they get hurt or just aren't very good anymore with the possibility of destroying Rivera's saves record (Kimbrel is 162 saves ahead through age 29) but this may be the last generation of that.)

In the absence of traditional SP candidates, the high-peak award-winners will stand out. And if statheads or roster expansion ever solve the third time through issue, they may be the last generation of traditional starters. But sure, for all I know, the reduction in seasonal IP will allow Chris Sale to pitch effectively until he's 46-47 and he'll push 4000 innings and 300 wins.

It's certainly true that the voters have been slow to change so it's fair to be skeptical. The lack of good 80s candidates didn't get Stieb a sniff. The transition guys seem to get caught out. So possibly these transition guys will get caught out as well. But we'll see how Mussina, Schilling and Halladay go. I'm confident Mussina is in. Schilling would be ahead of him if he wasn't a blowhard and maybe now won't make it but should still come close. Halladay is a mini-Pedro but Pedro's not a minimum standard.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: December 17, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5594059)
It's not going to make much of a difference but it's probably cleaner to look at BF/start rather than innings. If we look at the number of SPs who averaged at least 27 batters per start -- thrown off by the possibility of some relief appearances but probably close enough -- then the high count was 1978 with 71 pitchers but followed by the strike year of 1994 (not enough of them had gotten hurt yet). But 1996, 1998 and 2000 are still near the top with 61-62 pitchers. Even as late as 2010-11, it's in the mid-30s which is comparable (in number, not percentage) to the mid-60s.

The bottom has of course fallen out in the last few years. The bottom 8 years are all 2008 or later and 2016 had just 5 and 2017 just 1 (Michael Fulmer).

There is a flipside to this which is games started facing 18 or fewer batters. This used to happen a lot -- 580 times in 1977, 550 times in 1964 and again in 1965. Those mid-60s numbers are over 27 per team or one start out of every 6. Unfortunately this is making a bit of a comeback with 474 in 2017 but that's just 16 per team. But until the last couple of years, the lowest numbers were mainly between 2007-2014. But it's risen each of the last 3 years.
   37. taxandbeerguy Posted: December 17, 2017 at 05:37 PM (#5594072)
Verlander, 34 yrs old, 188 wins
Greinke, 33, 172
Felix, 31, 160
Lester, 33, 159
Hamels, 33, 147
Kershaw, 29, 144
Scherzer, 32, 141
Price, 31, 127
Porcello, 28, 118
Gonzalez, 31, 117
Bumgarner, 27, 104
Sale, 28, 91
Strasburg, 28, 84
Cole, 26, 59


Sabathia's got a good chance, he has that solid HOF prime from about 2006-2012 and is building his shoulder seasons. He doesn't seem a first ballot guy, but a couple more 3 WAR seasons (180 IP, decent ERA) might be enough to get him over the line and half sportscasters start talking about him as a future hall of famer.

Kershaw was in as of his first start in 17. He only turns 30 in March. Inner circle potential if he stays reasonably healthy / effective (even considering a downturn by his insanely high standards)

Verlander has the stats and narrative (WS, Cy Young, MVP, long time ace starter). If he can add a couple shoulder seasons, he's comfortably over the line.

Greinke has 2 amazeballs years, a bunch of other good work and a little dreck. I think he needs another year at 2017 levels and a couple more solid seasons (3-4 WAR should do it).

Felix was looking great, but the past couple years, not so much. Still has work to do and would great benefit from a Cy Young contending type year, something like 18 Wins, ERA just over 3 for a competitive Mariners team. Doesn't need to win, just be in contention or a solid runner up. (A 2017 Verlander-ish season possibly).

Hamels could be the Mussina (or Blyleven) of his era, overlooked by bigger and brighter stars, but at the end of the career, the stats clearly point to a hall of famer, despite the the lack of recognition. He does still have work to do, but with a normal decline, he may have enough to warrant induction.

Scherzer - Has the peak and the narrative (3 CYA's), a couple more near prime seasons and some shoulder seasons would certainly help. Add 20 WAR to his total and with that peak, I think he gets in.

Price and Lester, I suspect are a little behind with no indication that they will be able to pull it together sufficiently to gain enough votes.

Sale and Bumgarner - have the stats and the youth. Sale has more stats and Bumgarner has the narrative. I'd suspect at least one of them ultimately gets in, but need to see a solid second half to the career they've built already.

Strasburg, Cole, Gonzalez- too young, too injury prone, or well off the the HOF track.

Kluber's interesting - 2 CYA's already, can he add the bulk?
   38. Adam Starblind Posted: December 17, 2017 at 08:01 PM (#5594120)
Sabathia was a power pitcher who overwhelmed hitters with velocity, a wipeout slider, and the sheer intimidation factor that comes with being 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds


This was never an accurate description of Sabbathia, except for being a big tall fat guy.
   39. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 17, 2017 at 09:11 PM (#5594141)
This was never an accurate description of Sabbathia, except for being a big tall fat guy.


Yeah, for a big dude, Sabathia was never that hard of a thrower. His selling point as a mature pitcher was his control, and that was as true in 2007 as it was in 2017. I always thought of him as the answer to the question: "What if David Wells was actually great pitcher?"

As to his hall chances, I think he'll make it if he manages to get 3000 Ks. He has a Cy, and another year in which he probably would have won it if he hadn't been traded. If he can stick around for another couple of years, he'll get over 260 wins, which is a lot for a guy of his generation. He also has the distinction of being a highly unusual player, and having been the ace of a WS team.

Also, just because I want to settle scores. A few years ago I suggested that CC was the kind of pitcher who might be in for a late-career bounceback, based on his left handedness, excellent control, and intelligence. Ray mocked me, I guess because I wasn't emulating a computer program closely enough. Turns out I was right! Right, damn it!

Jesus, I've been keeping track of my BBTF grievances for almost 16 years.
   40. shoewizard Posted: December 17, 2017 at 09:43 PM (#5594157)

Yeah, for a big dude, Sabathia was never that hard of a thrower. His selling point as a mature pitcher was his control, and that was as true in 2007 as it was in 2017. I always thought of him as the answer to the question: "What if David Wells was actually great pitcher?"


This is not true. Sabathia was a VERY hard thrower when he was young. Even if you just look from 2007-20011 he Averaged just shy of 95 and maxed out at 99

And that Data does not include 2002-2006 when he was younger and probably threw even just a little bit harder.

The notion that he was "never that hard a thrower" is simply incorrect.
   41. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5594165)
Yeah, cripes, I remember seeing him pitch in Cleveland and he was consistently in the high-90s. I even think the James/Neyer book on pitchers had him listed with one of the top-10 fastballs of the aughts.
   42. Soul Man Posted: December 17, 2017 at 11:09 PM (#5594183)
Jesus, I've been keeping track of my BBTF grievances for almost 16 years.


This I can relate to.

Sometime around 2007, there was an article posted here about various players' HOF chances...I predicted CC would win 300 games and was met with an "Uh, no" type of response.
Not that I think he actually will at this point, but I'm holding out hope that he can somehow hang around for another six to eight years...just so I can say "I told you so" to...well, I'm not even sure to whom.
   43. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:06 AM (#5594187)
just so I can say "I told you so" to...well, I'm not even sure to whom.



#### I'm still pissed at RETARDO for the time he mocked me for using the handle "Vox Populi" . . . in 2002. I don't think he's been around in 10 years, hardly.
   44. bookbook Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:30 AM (#5594202)
So long as you don’t use “Vox Day” we’re cool.

Would love to see Felix make the hall of fame, but his decline looks too real to overcome so thoroughly. He’s smart enough to do the wily veteran th8ng, but his body doesn’t appear to be allowing him to even reach the low nineties with consistency/control iany more.
   45. Booey Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5594297)
Would love to see Felix make the hall of fame, but his decline looks too real to overcome so thoroughly. He’s smart enough to do the wily veteran th8ng, but his body doesn’t appear to be allowing him to even reach the low nineties with consistency/control iany more.


Yeah. King Felix has enough peak; I think all he needs are some filler seasons at decent rates to get the bulk (past 200 wins). But his drop off was so sudden and seems so...complete...that I'm not confident anymore that it's going to happen.

I guess you never know, though. Sabathia and Mauer also cliff dived right when they were on the verge of becoming locks and added no additional value for a few years, but then in 2017 they finally started to push their candidacy in the right direction again. Maybe Felix can do the same.
   46. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5594343)
Sabathia was a power pitcher who overwhelmed hitters with velocity, a wipeout slider, and the sheer intimidation factor that comes with being 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds

This was never an accurate description of Sabbathia, except for being a big tall fat guy.

This is not true. Sabathia was a VERY hard thrower when he was young. Even if you just look from 2007-20011 he Averaged just shy of 95 and maxed out at 99

And that Data does not include 2002-2006 when he was younger and probably threw even just a little bit harder.

The notion that he was "never that hard a thrower" is simply incorrect.


Well, there's more than one way to look at this.

Sabathia had 2 top-10 strikeout years at 26 and 27, including once when he was runner-up, so beyond his velocity numbers, that might have been another basis for the claim that he was a power pitcher.

OTOH his K/9 rate topped out at 8.9, and for his career it's only 7.7, which seems pretty low for an era where power pitchers routinely rack up over a strikeout an inning. And Sabathia's never made the top 10 in that category.

   47. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5594470)
OTOH his K/9 rate topped out at 8.9, and for his career it's only 7.7, which seems pretty low for an era where power pitchers routinely rack up over a strikeout an inning. And Sabathia's never made the top 10 in that category.

He's finished in the top 10 in that category 8 times.
   48. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5594482)
Scherzer is going to be an interesting case though, he feels a lot like Kevin Brown without the personality issues. Of course he's also only 32 years old coming off a Cy Young season....


Scherzer has 3 Cy's (so far) to Brown's 0. I don't think the Hall of Fame voters will see them the same at all.

Why do you think Scherzer is a lot like Kevin Brown?
   49. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:51 PM (#5594492)
CC's Hall case is interesting. The ERA+ (117) is just meh, and the WAR is good, not great (60). And the Ks might be seen as just a sign of the times.

But he has a Cy and a ring. The ring is actually underrated, IMO, as the Yankees went with a 3-man rotation that postseason. And I think he'll get "ace" credit for dragging Milwaukee to the postseason that year, even though he wasn't good in that start.

He's not the pitcher Mussina or Schilling were, but by the time he gets on a ballot, he might not have to be.
   50. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:02 PM (#5594506)
Hamels could be the Mussina (or Blyleven) of his era, overlooked by bigger and brighter stars, but at the end of the career, the stats clearly point to a hall of famer, despite the the lack of recognition. He does still have work to do, but with a normal decline, he may have enough to warrant induction.


Eh...I think he's going to struggle. Almost zero Cy love, and very little black ink. Might get to 230 wins. The 2008 postseason is huge, but it's kind of a meh overall playoff record. He's going to have the career WAR, but he's not going to have much of anything else.

Sale and Bumgarner - have the stats and the youth. Sale has more stats and Bumgarner has the narrative. I'd suspect at least one of them ultimately gets in, but need to see a solid second half to the career they've built already.


Disagree on Bumgarner. I mean, yeah he has narrative. But his best season by WAR is 5.0. He's got plenty of time, but he needs some great seasons. Sale is probably closer, in my book
   51. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:04 PM (#5594509)
Scherzer has 3 Cy's (so far)

Yeah, he's a lock to me, unless he goes full Johan. That third Cy was huge
   52. Booey Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:27 PM (#5594528)
Yeah, he's a lock to me, unless he goes full Johan. That third Cy was huge


Yep. There's been a few guys with 2 CYA's that aren't/won't be in the HOF (Saberhagen, McClain, Santana, Lincecum, maybe Kluber), but the list of 3 time winners is an elite group (Koufax, Seaver, Carlton, Palmer, Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, Pedro, Kershaw, and Scherzer).
   53. Rally Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:45 PM (#5594550)
Fangraphs has average velocity back to C.C.'s second year. His average velocity peaked at 94.7 in 2005. The only qualified starting pitcher with a higher average that year was A.J. Burnett. In 2009 he was 7th place at 94.2.

Those averages would have ranked 13th and 17th among 2017 starters.
   54. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 18, 2017 at 04:35 PM (#5594659)
OTOH his K/9 rate topped out at 8.9, and for his career it's only 7.7, which seems pretty low for an era where power pitchers routinely rack up over a strikeout an inning. And Sabathia's never made the top 10 in that category.

He's finished in the top 10 in that category 8 times.


We're both wrong. He did finish 7th in 2001 and 5th in 2008, but that's it. Here's the link that shows the top 10 in K/9 for every year. Expand the years from 2001 to 2017 and see what you can find beyond those two years I mentioned.

And on the career leaderboard, he's 70th. He's had years where you might have considered him a power/strikeout pitcher, but he's never been on the level of the the pitchers whose heaters strike terror in the hearts of the hitters.
   55. PreservedFish Posted: December 18, 2017 at 04:58 PM (#5594684)
There are two original comments on this above - that Sabathia was neither a power pitcher nor a "hard thrower." The second is demonstrably false, as #53 shows. The first is a question of interpretation. Statistics don't necessarily tell you all you need to know about "terror" or power. Looking at the 2001 K/9 list, for example, one finds Sabathia ranked next to guys that were decidedly not power pitchers (Zito and Wolf), and also next to Roger Clemens.

If you could find original scouting reports on Sabathia, he certainly would have sounded like a power pitcher. I remember that much. He got started when he was just 20 years old, and it took him a few years to put everything together. He peaked from 25-30, which is not unusual. He never flashed otherworldly strikeout ability, like Kerry Wood or Randy Johnson or Tim Lincecum, but the guy threw hard and hitters wouldn't have enjoyed facing him. The comparison to David Wells is bizarre.

Jeff Bagwell only hit the top 10 SLG boards twice in his career. Is it fair to say that his power never struck terror in the hearts of pitchers?
   56. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 18, 2017 at 05:10 PM (#5594695)
There are two original comments on this above - that Sabathia was neither a power pitcher nor a "hard thrower." The second is demonstrably false, as #53 shows. The first is a question of interpretation. Statistics don't necessarily tell you all you need to know about "terror" or power. Looking at the 2001 K/9 list, for example, one finds Sabathia ranked next to guys that were decidedly not power pitchers (Zito and Wolf), and also next to Roger Clemens.

If you could find original scouting reports on Sabathia, he certainly would have sounded like a power pitcher. I remember that much. He got started when he was just 20 years old, and it took him a few years to put everything together. He peaked from 25-30, which is not unusual. He never flashed otherworldly strikeout ability, like Kerry Wood or Randy Johnson or Tim Lincecum, but the guy threw hard and hitters wouldn't have enjoyed facing him. The comparison to David Wells is bizarre.

Jeff Bagwell only hit the top 10 SLG boards twice in his career. Is it fair to say that his power never struck terror in the hearts of pitchers?


That's a fair point, and I think the disagreement mostly comes from where you put the starting point. When I think of "power pitchers", I think of the Verlanders and the Clemenses and the scores of modern day relief pitchers, who throw in the high 90's and low triple digits. Sabathia may have briefly thrown in the high 90's, but never on a consistent basis, which is why I don't think of him as really belonging in that category. His career 7.7 K/9 rate is not what I'd call one of a power pitcher in the sense that I think of it.
   57. shoewizard Posted: December 18, 2017 at 06:58 PM (#5594749)
Well, there's more than one way to look at this.

Sabathia had 2 top-10 strikeout years at 26 and 27, including once when he was runner-up, so beyond his velocity numbers, that might have been another basis for the claim that he was a power pitcher.

OTOH his K/9 rate topped out at 8.9, and for his career it's only 7.7, which seems pretty low for an era where power pitchers routinely rack up over a strikeout an inning. And Sabathia's never made the top 10 in that category.


He was a hard thrower. Over the 10 year period from 2002-2011 he was routinely in the top 10 in FB velocity and had several seasons in the top 5 in Velocity by starting pitchers. The statement was he was not a hard thrower, and it's factually wrong. If you want to shift the discussion to whether or not he had the expected number of K's for his velocity, that is a different topic.

FB Velocity Ranks

2011-8th
2010-11th
2009-7th
2008-8th
2007-12th
2006-5th
2005-2nd
2004-3rd

2003-19th
2002-10th

Additional info: 90 pitchers had at least 1000 innings from 2002-2011. Sabathia ranks 6th in avg velocity during this time. report link


To entertain your counter point though, he ranked 21st in K% and 23rd in K/9 out of same 90 pitchers report link 2

Perhaps more indicative however is the swinging strike percentage. In that, Sabathia ranks 11th.

To me that would indicate that while he got plenty of swing and misses, his good command allowed him to also pitch to contact when he needed to and may have been a conscious choice that allowed him to pitch deeper into games.

I remember during his first 2-3 seasons he was protected somewhat. The Indians were very careful not to let his innings/pitch count get too high.
They gradually started to allow him to go deeper into games and up his pitch counts.

Year    Age   Tm  GS IP/GS Pit/GS 80 80-99 100-119 120 Max
2001     20  CLE  33   5.5     95  8     8      14   3 125
2002     21  CLE  33   6.4    103  1    10      20   2 122
2003     22  CLE  30   6.6    105  1    11      15   3 120
2004     23  CLE  30   6.3    104  2     5      21   2 128
2005     24  CLE  31   6.3    102  2     8      21   0 119
2006     25  CLE  28   6.9    105  2     2      22   2 122
2007     26  CLE  34   7.1    105  0     7      27   0 119
2008     27  TOT  35   7.2    109  0     6      24   5 130
2008     27  CLE  18   6.8    107  0     3      14   1 123
2008     27  MIL  17   7.7    111  0     3      10   4 130
2009     28  NYY  34   6.8    106  1     6      24   3 123
2010     29  NYY  34   7.0    105  3     6      23   2 123
2011     30  NYY  33   7.2    109  0     2      28   3 128
2012     31  NYY  28   7.1    108  0     4      22   2 121
2013     32  NYY  32   6.6    104  1     5      25   1 121
2014     33  NYY   8   5.8    100  1     3       4   0 111
2015     34  NYY  29   5.8     93  2    20       7   0 111
2016     35  NYY  30   6.0     97  0    17      13   0 116
2017     36  NYY  27   5.5     87  6    19       2   0 102
17 Y   17 Y 17 Y 509   6.5    102 30   139     312  28 130
MLB     MLB      MLB   5.9                              95 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2017.

   58. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 07:45 PM (#5594765)

Those averages would have ranked 13th and 17th among 2017 starters.


The readings changed this year.

IIRC it went from the reading 1/2 way to the plate to the reading out of the pitcher's hand. EVERYBODY "gained" velocity in 2017 ...
   59. shoewizard Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:05 PM (#5594792)
As has been well documented, there has been an inexorable march in the increase in velocity. This is not explained away by a measurement change in 2017. What also interesting is the fairly sharp drop in the percentage of Fastballs. I have to wonder if that is a classification issue. But it's so steady.....so I wonder.

Starting Pitchers

Season FB% FBv
2002 63.1% 88.6
2003 63.0% 88.9
2004 61.3% 89.7
2005 60.7% 89.7
2006 59.7% 90.0
2007 59.7% 89.8
2008 59.7% 90.3
2009 59.0% 90.8
2010 57.3% 90.7
2011 56.4% 91.0
2012 55.9% 91.0
2013 56.4% 91.3
2014 56.4% 91.4
2015 56.7% 91.7
2016 55.6% 91.9
2017 54.6% 92.3

Relievers

Season FB% FBv
2002 66.8% 89.9
2003 65.3% 90.4
2004 65.1% 90.8
2005 64.3% 91.0
2006 63.5% 91.3
2007 62.1% 91.1
2008 62.4% 91.4
2009 61.2% 91.8
2010 61.4% 92.1
2011 60.6% 92.3
2012 60.9% 92.5
2013 60.6% 92.5
2014 60.3% 92.5
2015 59.7% 92.9
2016 58.6% 93.0
2017 57.2% 93.7

   60. QLE Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:09 PM (#5594793)
#15- Addressing the HOF chances of Sabathia and the rest of your list:

Sabathia: In terms of both peak and career, somewhat short of what the HOF has traditionally wanted- he'll probably need another couple of 14-5 W-L seasons, either through the good luck he demonstrated this past season or by somehow reaching his 2007-2011 level of performance again.

Verlander: Closing in, and I suspect his performance in the stretch at the end of this season will help with a certain set of voters, but probably needs another couple of years like the last one to completely seal it.

Greinke: Needs more seasons like his 2017 one, in all likelihood- I don't think a case that relies too heavily on his 2009 and 2015 seasons alone will be enough by itself.

Hernandez: If this is a mild setback and he can get to his past levels, he still has a good shot- if, however, this is basically the end, it's the Johan Santana situation again, just with somewhat lighter competition facing the BBWAA.

Lester: Not unless he either manages to perform more often at his 2016 level or ends up getting the Catfish Hunter treatment, and I'm not sure how likely either of those are.

Hamels: Certainly not if he retires right now, and I suspect he'll either need to be a dominant pitcher for a few years or obtain a lot of bulk to be likely.

Kershaw: The only player on this list I am reasonably convinced would be inducted solely on the basis of their career to date.

Scherzer: Damned good peak, and the BBWAA certainly like him- but I don't think that will be enough if his career ends tomorrow.

Price: He clearly needs much more career than he has had so far in order to be a likely candidate- and, if his last two years mean anything concerning his career going forward, I'm not sure that is particularly plausible.

Porcello: None that I see as likely.

Gonzalez: Needs something like four or five more years on his 2017 level just to become a viable candidate- it's not impossible to become the Adrian Beltre of pitchers, but I don't know if it is remotely plausible.....

Bumgarner: Needs some seasons better than those he has pitched so far- that so much of his value to date in his peak seasons is tied to his batting doesn't seem likely to help him, and even his postseason heroics may not be enough to aid him if Buster Posey (who is closer to hitting the HOF benchmarks for catchers than Bumgarner is for pitchers) continues as he has.

Sale: Good peak, but not enough actual career yet.

Strasburg: Needs a lot more years like his 2017 to become a viable candidate- if he reverts back to what he was before, no chance.

Cole: Far too early in his career to make any sort of judgment in those terms.
   61. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:52 PM (#5594807)

To entertain your counter point though, he ranked 21st in K% and 23rd in K/9 out of same 90 pitchers report link 2

Perhaps more indicative however is the swinging strike percentage. In that, Sabathia ranks 11th.

To me that would indicate that while he got plenty of swing and misses, his good command allowed him to also pitch to contact when he needed to and may have been a conscious choice that allowed him to pitch deeper into games.


I think that 3rd paragraph is the best argument for Sabathia as a HoF quality pitcher. His biggest weakness now (IMO) is his general inability to make it out of the 6th inning, but (1) he's old; (2) his knees are unpredictable; (3) he's fat; (4) he's only their 3rd or 4th starter, not their ace; (5) this inability is now a common trait of the majority of starting pitchers; and (6) as of a few days ago, he's cheap.
   62. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:56 PM (#5594810)
Cole: Far too early in his career to make any sort of judgment in those terms.

Well, so far he's had only one year that anyone would consider to be HoF level. He's still got time, but by Spring training that one season will already be three years in the rear view mirror.
   63. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:48 PM (#5594827)
Bumgarner: Needs some seasons better than those he has pitched so far- that so much of his value to date in his peak seasons is tied to his batting doesn't seem likely to help him, and even his postseason heroics may not be enough to aid him if Buster Posey (who is closer to hitting the HOF benchmarks for catchers than Bumgarner is for pitchers) continues as he has.

How does the existence of Buster Posey weaken Bumgarner's postseason narrative case for the HOF?
   64. Sunday silence Posted: December 19, 2017 at 12:54 AM (#5594874)
just to reiterate that last point: for a team w/ three world championships (in a reasonably short span of years) 2 HoF'ers is hardly pushing it.
   65. QLE Posted: December 19, 2017 at 01:22 AM (#5594881)
Well, so far he's had only one year that anyone would consider to be HoF level. He's still got time, but by Spring training that one season will already be three years in the rear view mirror.


True, true, which is another reason why not to make such an assessment- lots of players have a year or two when they were at an at least theoretical HOF level without ever coming near meriting it for their career as well- the same can be said for Porcello as well, except that he's had enough of a career that we're reasonably sure that 2016 (and, to a lesser extent, 2014 as well) was a fluke.

How does the existence of Buster Posey weaken Bumgarner's postseason narrative case for the HOF?


just to reiterate that last point: for a team w/ three world championships (in a reasonably short span of years) 2 HoF'ers is hardly pushing it.


Depends on what sort of career he has- if he has one that seems reasonable for the HOF voters to support, it won't be a problem, but it means that the "if you don't back him, no member of a team that won three World Series in five years will get into the Hall of Fame" argument can't be used as a means to swing votes if he falls visibly short (think of some of the arguments used on behalf of Hunter and Morris, if it helps). Given that it isn't clear how helpful actual postseason heroics are at the moment (note that an 11-2 record with a 2.23 ERA, three rings, and a World Series MVP hasn't been aiding Schilling much) for a HOF case, that could be enough to have an effect, especially depending on how much turnover among the voters we have before this generation of pitchers reaches the BBWAA.
   66. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 19, 2017 at 03:02 AM (#5594885)
Is it possible that the hand that a pitcher throws with influences how hard a thrower they're perceived as? Certainly I get the feeling that averaging 94-95 as a lefty might 'feel' like throwing 96-97 as a righty given the comparison with other pitchers. 'Crafty lefty' being a thing and all.
   67. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 19, 2017 at 06:22 AM (#5594889)
Cole: Far too early in his career to make any sort of judgment in those terms.

Well, so far he's had only one year that anyone would consider to be HoF level. He's still got time, but by Spring training that one season will already be three years in the rear view mirror.

True, true, which is another reason why not to make such an assessment- lots of players have a year or two when they were at an at least theoretical HOF level without ever coming near meriting it for their career as well-


Another pitcher to look at this year may be Michael Fulmer, who had a great rookie season in 2016 (139 ERA+ in 26 starts), and then started out on a similar path up through his first start after the All-Star game with a 3.06 ERA in 18 starts. He then hit an injury-caused wall and put up a 6.15 ERA in his next 7 starts before being put on the DL for the rest of the season at the end of August.

He hasn't been a power pitcher, at least in terms of K/9, but before his injury he gave the Tigers a year and a half of ace-level pitching. The question is will he recover from that injury for 2018. He underwent minor surgery to correct an elbow problem, and the prognosis is good, but I was at the game in 1977 when Mark Fidrych hit a similar wall in the middle of his second year, and he was never the same again. Fortunately we seem to know a bit more these days about pitcher abuse, which Fidrych was a victim of,** and at least they won't be expecting complete games out of Fulmer. The last I heard, the Yankees were trying to trade for him, so they must have a certain confidence in how that surgery came out.

** After recovering from knee surgery that made him miss the first two months of his second (1977) season, Fidrych then threw 7 complete games in 8 starts (with a 1.83 ERA) before suddenly breaking down in a July 4th game in Baltimore. He'd breezed through the first 5 innings, but then fell apart in the 6th, and was instantly transformed from a HoF-level pitcher to one who was looking for miracles to keep him in the Majors. At the time he got knocked out it seemed like the law of averages had simply caught up to him---you can't win em all---but little did we know.
   68. Booey Posted: December 19, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5594963)
Given that it isn't clear how helpful actual postseason heroics are at the moment (note that an 11-2 record with a 2.23 ERA, three rings, and a World Series MVP hasn't been aiding Schilling much) for a HOF case,


I wouldn't say it isn't helping Schilling. With his win total, personality, and lack of CYA's, the postseason success may be the main difference between him and Kevin Brown in the eyes of the voters (well, and the Mitchell Report, I guess). I'd guess that an alternate universe Schilling without a great postseason record isn't on pace to work his way up to election.

Does Morris get in without Game 7? I think postseason heroics can be very important to a HOF case.
   69. Blastin Posted: December 19, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5594990)
on pace to work his way up to election.


Well, he WAS. But he keeps... being himself in public.
   70. Booey Posted: December 19, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5594998)
Well, he WAS. But he keeps... being himself in public.

Yeah, Schill's a dumbass. I still think he'll make it, though. Last year's Twitter misadventures seemed to be just a one year penalty on several voters ballots.*


* And honestly, holding a grudge forever because of that would just be childish and petty.
   71. PreservedFish Posted: December 19, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5595005)
I'd guess that an alternate universe Schilling without a great postseason record isn't on pace to work his way up to election.


Strongly agreed.
   72. Blastin Posted: December 19, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5595024)
* And honestly, holding a grudge forever because of that would just be childish and petty.


I agree with you. I do not honestly believe he will manage to lie low for long periods of time, though.
   73. Booey Posted: December 19, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5595029)
I agree with you. I do not honestly believe he will manage to lie low for long periods of time, though.


Good point.
   74. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 19, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5595109)
Jesus, if Sabathia does make it to the Hall he'll be going in as a Yankee. Time flies, man.
   75. TDF, trained monkey Posted: December 19, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5595154)
I'd say Verlander, Kershaw, maybe Sale (because he seems uniquely durable, and will have huge K numbers)
Since Sale became a starter in '12 (29 that year), he's started 180 games. That's 15th in MLB over that time - 15 behind Scherzer (the leader) and 10 behind even noted ironman Ian Kennedy. Even Kershaw, who's missed significant time 3 of the past 4 seasons, has made 174 starts since '12.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Randy Jones
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogLA wins NL, setting up titanic WS with Red Sox | MLB.com
(18 - 12:16pm, Oct 22)
Last: Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington

NewsblogOTP 2018 OCT 22: Meet the New York Teenager Who Created the 'Mets Are a Good Team' Super PAC
(104 - 12:15pm, Oct 22)
Last: Davo and his Moose Tacos

Newsblogmets gm search kim ng | Newsday
(19 - 12:14pm, Oct 22)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogFor Dave Dombrowski, Another World Series on the Path to the Hall of Fame - The New York Times
(11 - 12:14pm, Oct 22)
Last: McCoy

Gonfalon CubsNow what?
(121 - 12:12pm, Oct 22)
Last: Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(838 - 12:10pm, Oct 22)
Last: Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington

NewsblogBrad Ausmus named Angels manager | MLB.com
(18 - 12:08pm, Oct 22)
Last: Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant

NewsblogMLB -- Manny Machado, Yasiel Puig embrace their villain roles all the way to the World Series
(45 - 12:06pm, Oct 22)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogReds select David Bell as team's new manager | Cincinnati Reds
(8 - 12:05pm, Oct 22)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogBaseball’s Top Staffs Have Come Around On The High-Spin Fastball | FiveThirtyEight
(1 - 11:52am, Oct 22)
Last: The_Ex

NewsblogAfter two terrific postseason starts, Nathan Eovaldi should hit it big in free agency
(6 - 10:53am, Oct 22)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogOTP 2018 October 15: The shift in focus from sport to politics
(1522 - 10:09am, Oct 22)
Last: Greg K

Sox TherapyLet’s Get World Serious!
(3 - 9:49am, Oct 22)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogMLB PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS & PREVIEW 2018
(48 - 9:06am, Oct 22)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogMLB must fix glaring problem that ruined an all-time classic
(118 - 11:13pm, Oct 21)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

Page rendered in 0.7052 seconds
46 querie(s) executed