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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Feinstein: Jeff Passan: ‘Tim Hudson Not A Hall Of Famer’

Fabulous Hudson hornet’s nest.

Is Hudson a Hall of Famer?

“I think that’s a little much,” Yahoo! Sports columnist Jeff Passan said on The John Feinstein Show. “I think he’s one of those guys who has been very good and would be a first-ballot Hall of Very Good player, but Hall of Fame is a little too much. He’s never been the best pitcher in the league, and I think part of that is due to the fact that what he does is really under-appreciated.”

“I think we’re just starting to understand now why Tim Hudson has been as successful as he is,” Passan continued. “We always knew the ground ball rate was there, which leads to fewer strikeouts. And the peripheral categories that we now look at for greatness aren’t quite as great with Tim Hudson. But what he does is he throws a sinker ball that doesn’t spin a whole lot. With the technology that’s in place these days, we now understand why some pitches that seemingly shouldn’t be effective – such as a 90-mile-per-hour sinker from a guy who stands about 5-10 and weighs 175 pounds – is a monster pitch.”

Indeed, higher spin on a fast ball gives the pitch a rising effect, and higher spin on a curve gives it a tighter break. But higher spin on a sinker? That’s no good. The less spin on a sinker, the tougher it is for a batter to square up and hit.

“That’s Tim Hudson’s secret,” Passan said. “He throws a sinker ball that doesn’t spin very much.”

The Atlanta Braves have to be kicking themselves for letting Hudson sign with San Francisco.

“I was actually shocked that the Braves let him go,” Passan said. “He just made too much sense for them, and I think they were foolish. They ended up with a rotation right now that has been patchwork for most of the season, and losing Gavin Floyd to a broken elbow certainly doesn’t help.”

Repoz Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:27 AM | 139 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:50 AM (#4734174)
"I think we’re just starting to understand now why Tim Hudson has been as successful as he is,” Passan continued. “We always knew the ground ball rate was there, which leads to fewer strikeouts. And the peripheral categories that we now look at for greatness aren’t quite as great with Tim Hudson.

A quibble: Hudson has one great peripheral, HR/9. Among guys with 1500+ IP since 1990:

Rk            Player  HR9
1        Kevin Brown 0.58
2        Greg Maddux 0.64
3      Roger Clemens 0.66
4    Felix Hernandez 0.69
5         Tim Hudson 0.70 


Hudson has only led the league once, but that's still elite company in one of the core DIPS peripherals.

(If you move the start date earlier you draw in a lot of pitcher whose careers mostly pre-dated the sillyball era. And #6 on the list above is Bob Tewksbury, a fine sinkerballing control artist, but no one's idea of an elite pitcher.)
   2. Transmission Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:26 AM (#4734180)
This is the first I've heard about low-spin sinkers being harder to hit well than higher-spin sinkers. Is this a real thing? If so, why?
   3. Scott Lange Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:43 AM (#4734183)
The list in #1 is interesting, but could you index it to the league-average HR/9? I guess it would have to be done on a season-by-season basis and then compiled, which may make it difficult to easily do with the available tools...
   4. Bourbon Samurai Posted: June 24, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4734199)
Not a hall of farmer, but always one of my favorites
   5. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 24, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4734209)
“I was actually shocked that the Braves let him go,” Passan said. “He just made too much sense for them, and I think they were foolish. They ended up with a rotation right now that has been patchwork for most of the season, and losing Gavin Floyd to a broken elbow certainly doesn’t help.”


Tim Hudson made very little sense for the Braves last winter. He made a good deal of sense for them about halfway through spring training, when they lost two of their starters to repeat Tommy John surgery, but before that? No. Passan has no idea what he's talking about here.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4734211)
He’s never been the best pitcher in the league, and I think part of that is due to the fact that what he does is really under-appreciated.


a) Since when does a starter need to be the best pitcher in the league to be worthy of the Hall?

b) If Hudson is being unfairly remembered as less good than he was, how does denying him further honors and accolades address the issue?

I don't think Hudson is a slam dunk selection, but he's putting together a good case, and 2014 doesn't hurt it at all.
   7. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: June 24, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4734216)
Reading the headline, I clicked over to Hudson's BBRef page expecting to come away thinking "No way is he a Hall of Famer", but instead my position is now "I probably wouldn't vote for him, but it wouldn't be a travesty if he got in."
   8. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 24, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4734222)
The list in #1 is interesting, but could you index it to the league-average HR/9? I guess it would have to be done on a season-by-season basis and then compiled, which may make it difficult to easily do with the available tools...


I'm pretty sure you can do that with the Lee Sinins' Complete Baseball Encyclopedia.
The lists that he sends out as part of his daily reports have included things like rate stats versus league average:
BEST WHIP VS. THE LEAGUE AVERAGE, LHP (min. 2000 IP)

WHIP                            DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE   
1    Johan Santana              0.26     1.13     1.39   Twins/Mets
2    Carl Hubbell               0.24     1.17     1.40   Giants
3    Randy Johnson              0.23     1.17     1.40   Expos/Mariners/Astros/Diamondbacks/Yankees/Diamondbacks/Giants
4    Lefty Grove                0.22     1.28     1.50   A's/Red Sox
5    Sandy Koufax               0.20     1.11     1.31   Dodgers
6    Ron Guidry                 0.19     1.18     1.37   Yankees
7    Jimmy Key                  0.17     1.23     1.40   Blue Jays/Yankees/Orioles
8    Warren Spahn               0.17     1.19     1.36   Braves/Mets/Giants
9    Cliff Lee                  0.17     1.19     1.36   Indians/Phillies/Mariners/Rangers/Phillies
10   Lefty Gomez                0.16     1.35     1.51   Yankees/Senators
   9. AROM Posted: June 24, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4734233)
Hudson certainly has a case. 212 wins, .650 winning pct, 124 ERA+, 58 WAR. He's a better candidate than some other players who get regular HOF columns written about them.

Probably won't make it if he retires tomorrow, but he might if he has a few more years like this one.
   10. AROM Posted: June 24, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4734239)
Pitchers with 200-250 wins, post WW2, ERA+ between 120-130, ranked by WAR:

Schilling 80.7
K Brown 68.5
Smoltz 66.5
Marichal 61.9
Drysdale 61.2
Hudson 57.8
   11. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 24, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4734246)
He's a decent candidate now, and if he hangs around for a couple more years and adds 10-15 more wins, 5-7 more WAR, etc., he'll be a pretty easy choice IMO.
   12. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: June 24, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4734263)
140 fewer wins and 2500 fewer strikeouts than Roger Clemens, and Clemens isn't in the Hall of Fame, so I can't see how you can put Hudson in ahead of him, and good God do I hate how the BBWAA has ruined HOF discussions.
   13. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 24, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4734279)
Yeah, it's the BBWAA that's ruined it, here and now.

I'm very surprised to realize that Hudson was in Atlanta longer than Oakland.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4734282)
140 fewer wins and 2500 fewer strikeouts than Roger Clemens, and Clemens isn't in the Hall of Fame, so I can't see how you can put Hudson in ahead of him, and good God do I hate how the BBWAA has ruined HOF discussions.

I don't see how that ruins the discussions. We all know Clemens is a HoF on the pure statistical merits, and we all know why he isn't getting in any time soon.

Why does that prevent us from enjoying the discussion of whether another candidate is worthy?
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4734283)
Hudson certainly has a case. 212 wins, .650 winning pct, 124 ERA+, 58 WAR. He's a better candidate than some other players who get regular HOF columns written about them.

Probably won't make it if he retires tomorrow, but he might if he has a few more years like this one.


Agreed, I think he probably needs a little more career numbers just to have the "look" of a hofer, since he isn't a Pedro/Brown type of peak candidate, but in comparison to other threads around here of recent vintage in which we talked about potential hofers, he clearly beats the DH and second baseman that we have recently discussed.

But if he makes it to 250 wins(that is 38 wins from now) and keeps his era+ over 120 then he's on a list of Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, (and temporarily Randy Johnson) of players over that line and not in. Drop the qualifier to 115 era+ and you add Pettitte (ignoring turn of the century guys) ... If Wins isn't your thing, and replacing wins with 3200 ip, you'll add Schilling, Smoltz, and Eddie Ciccotte to the list of over 120 era+ guys, and Billy Pierce, Dutch Leonard, Dolf Luque and Wilbur Cooper to the over 115 era+ guys.

He's not currently there imho but he's on the verge of being there, with a few average seasons. He's 38 and having a very good year this year so it's pretty likely he'll stick around for another two+ years if his arm allows him. (to the Ortiz fans, this is what a borderline guy looks like...not someone three steps from the border)
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4734288)
He’s never been the best pitcher in the league, and I think part of that is due to the fact that what he does is really under-appreciated.”


#6, I'll add to your list: How the hell is whether or not the player is the best in terms of actual performance affected in any way by the public's appreciation or lack thereof of that performance?
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4734291)
Agreed, I think he probably needs a little more career numbers just to have the "look" of a hofer, since he isn't a Pedro/Brown type of peak candidate, but in comparison to other threads around here of recent vintage in which we talked about potential hofers, he clearly beats the DH and second baseman that we have recently discussed.

He feels a decent bit below the line to me. He needs another 400-500 IP of good quality.

He's not clearly better than Andy Pettitte right now, and Pettitte is probably my personal borderline.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4734293)
He feels a decent bit below the line to me. He needs another 400-500 IP of good quality.

He's not clearly better than Andy Pettitte right now, and Pettitte is probably my personal borderline.


I was editing my comment...didn't even realize I had already submitted it....

   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4734297)
I was editing my comment...didn't even realize I had already submitted it....

Yeah, we were simul-posting :-)

Now, if you were to expand the SP ranks significantly (which should probably happen) and add Tiant, Tommy John, Stieb, etc., then Hudson would fit comfortably.
   20. TJ Posted: June 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4734299)
Refreshing beverages to Vlad and snapper...
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4734308)
Now, if you were to expand the SP ranks significantly (which should probably happen) and add Tiant, Tommy John, Stieb, etc., then Hudson would fit comfortably.



My biggest gripe on the hof votes for starting pitchers was Kevin Brown one and done. The sad part is that Andy Pettitte is going to get more votes than him, while having an inferior resume and a much stronger PED hint. (If post 12 wanted to find a legitimate gripe about the hof, then Brown's handling would have been better than ######## about Clemens)
   22. Squash Posted: June 24, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4734309)
This is the first I've heard about low-spin sinkers being harder to hit well than higher-spin sinkers. Is this a real thing? If so, why?

I have no idea if it's really true that low spin is harder to hit than high spin, but the theory would be that a low-spin sinker would be more akin to a splitter/forkball and have more tumbling/fall-off-the-table action, whereas a high-spin sinker would be much more akin to a moving/riding fastball. I suspect which is harder to hit is more based on who's throwing it. You'd rather swing at Jeff Suppan's splitter (no idea if he threw a splitter) than Kevin Brown's moving fastball.
   23. Booey Posted: June 24, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4734328)
I think Hudson would be just a smidge below my personal cutoff line for the HOF (peak isn't quite "peaky" enough for a guy with borderline career totals). Problem is, it seems that most of the "peaky" guys from the post 90's era got injured or burned out before they amassed a HOF career (Santana, Webb, Oswalt, Lincecum, etc). And the recent rash of TJ surgeries for all the current young phenoms is just adding to the problem (Strasburg, Harvey, Jose Fernandez, etc). Even the guys that seemed like locks a couple years back tried their damndest to remove their names from consideration (Halladay*, Sabathia, even Verlander looks like he might be taking this route). So does that mean we might need to adjust our standards about what constitutes a HOF pitcher and give the Hudson/Buehrle types who were good (and healthy!) for a long time but never truly great a longer look? It appears that these guys are going to end up with more valuable careers than most the higher peak pitchers that were beating them for CYA's.

* Halladay will probably make it anyway, but with getting hurt, sucking, and then retiring abruptly in quick succession, he sure dropped himself from "no-brainer" to "probably" pretty fast.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4734329)
My biggest gripe on the hof votes for starting pitchers was Kevin Brown one and done.

Brown's a weird case, but Reuschel and Tiant are in the same ballpark (WAR wise) and didn't get close either.
   25. DL from MN Posted: June 24, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4734332)
expand the SP ranks significantly (which should probably happen) and add Tiant, Tommy John, Stieb, etc


The Hall is pretty short on modern pitchers compared to previous eras. Dropping to a 5 man rotation and adding the modern bullpen means modern pitchers resumes don't look as impressive as those from the early 20th century.
   26. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: June 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4734347)
Just to add some of Hudson's contemporaries to AROM's list, either ones who didn't meet some of his criteria or were lower than Hudson in WAR:

Schilling 80.7
K Brown 68.5
Smoltz 66.5
Halladay 65.6 (ERA+ 131)
Marichal 61.9
Drysdale 61.2
Pettitte 60.9 (ERA+ 117)
Buerhle 58.1 (ERA+ 119)
Hudson 57.8
Sabathia 54.1
J. Santana 50.7 (ERA+ 136)

edited to add Halladay
   27. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4734386)
Pitchers with 200-250 wins, post WW2, ERA+ between 120-130, ranked by WAR:

Schilling 80.7
K Brown 68.5
Smoltz 66.5
Marichal 61.9
Drysdale 61.2
Hudson 57.8


I thought Marichal was a pretty good comp looking at WAR and ERA+, then when I did a sort by WAA I found Palmer was identical in terms of WAA and nearly so in ERA+, albeit in many more innings. Seems like Hudson has some precedent for being considered HOF worthy.

Not seeing the Pettitte similarity myself, but maybe that's because I've always liked Hudson and I've never liked Pettitte. :-)
   28. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4734408)
So does that mean we might need to adjust our standards about what constitutes a HOF pitcher and give the Hudson/Buehrle types who were good (and healthy!) for a long time but never truly great a longer look?


I wouldn't put it quite that way, but, yes, as DL from MN points out, the HOF criteria for SP in the 5 man rotation & modern bullpen era probably do need to be revised. The average IP for HOF SP whose careers were primarily post-integration (Feller, Newhouser, Spahn, and Wynn were included) is over 4,000 IP. That sort of longevity does not exist any longer (although I think writers may be deluded into thinking it does/will becasue of some truly extraordinary exceptions: Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, and Glavine). Other than those four exceptions, only 25 pitchers have made it to even 2,500 IP from 1990 forward.
   29. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 24, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4734450)
I devised a quick similarity score measure based on Wins, WAA, and WAR. Hudson has 20 pitchers with a similarity score of at least 900:

Mark Buehrle 946
Mordecai Brown* 939
Hal Newhouser* 936
Chuck Finley 934
Don Drysdale* 934
Eddie Cicotte 931
Stan Coveleski* 930
Dennis Eckersley* 929
David Cone 924
Jim Bunning* 923
CC Sabathia 919
Luis Tiant 917
Ed Walsh* 913
John Smoltz 909
Juan Marichal* 907
Urban Shocker 905
Whitey Ford* 905
Billy Pierce 901
Rick Reuschel 900

Nine of the 16 pitchers eligible for the HOF have been inducted, with Smoltz seeming likely. This would appear to bode well for Hudson. However, only four of these pitchers were inducted by the BBWAA (Drysdale, Eckersley, Ford, Marichal). Moreover, these guys have "fame" that Hudson does not (awards, postseason performance, COUNT DA SAVEZZZ), so it's difficult to see him performing as well on the ballot. This seems about right: a 20-25% chance of getting in through the BBWAA, and a 30-35% chance of making it in through the Veterans Committee.

Giving Hudson two more seasons at his 162-game averages (roughly 2.5 full seasons) puts him at 244-132, 66.7 WAR, 37.7 WAA. This represents something close to a best-case scenario for the rest of his career. In this scenario, he has the following similarity score comps:

Carl Hubbell* 973
John Smoltz 954
Rick Reuschel 949
Luis Tiant 948
Stan Coveleski* 936
Bob Feller* 933
Kevin Brown 923
Jim Palmer* 920
Hal Newhouser* 916
Roy Halladay 914
Juan Marichal* 907
Ed Walsh* 903
Dazzy Vance* 903
Red Faber* 903

Nine of the 12 eligible are in the HOF. Five of the nine were inducted by the writers. This would suggest that Hudson's odds would improve somewhat, but he would not be a lock. Again, this seems about right. A Hudson close to 250 wins would be favored for the HOF, with about a 35-40% chance each of being inducted by the writers or the veterans.

   30. DL from MN Posted: June 24, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4734463)
Cliff Lee 43.6 (ERA+ 119)

He's getting close and has a better peak than some of the others.
   31. DL from MN Posted: June 24, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4734477)
Bolding Hall of Merit


Mark Buehrle 946
Mordecai Brown* 939
Hal Newhouser* 936

Chuck Finley 934
Don Drysdale* 934
Eddie Cicotte 931
Stan Coveleski* 930
Dennis Eckersley* 929
David Cone 924
Jim Bunning* 923

CC Sabathia 919
Luis Tiant 917
Ed Walsh* 913
John Smoltz 909
Juan Marichal* 907
Urban Shocker 905
Whitey Ford* 905
Billy Pierce 901
Rick Reuschel 900


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


Everyone on the 2nd list is either HoM, a lock to be elected or Luis Tiant. Hudson is borderline right now and probable with just a little bit more production.
   32. GEB4000 Posted: June 24, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4734479)
Hudson will have to be an effective pitcher for another four years to even be considered. He has no big years or memorable playoff appearances accompanied with World Series rings. Longevity will be the only thing going for him. Even if he gets 300 wins, he will be though of as a Don Sutton accumulator type pitcher.
   33. GEB4000 Posted: June 24, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4734508)
Most of the guys that got in had big years:

Carl Hubbell* 973--2 MVPs
John Smoltz 954--Cy Young
Rick Reuschel 949-No big years
Luis Tiant 948--No big years
Stan Coveleski* 936-No big years
Bob Feller* 933--Led league in wins 6 times, strikeouts 7 times and Top 5 MVP voting 4 times
Kevin Brown 923--No big years
Jim Palmer* 920--3 Cy Youngs
Hal Newhouser* 916--2 MVPs and 2nd place finish
Roy Halladay 914-2 Cy Youngs
Juan Marichal* 907-Led league in wins 2 times and won over 20 games 6 times
Ed Walsh* 903--40 Win season
Dazzy Vance* 903--MVP
Red Faber* 903--No big years

Hudson can hang his at on Coveleski and Faber. Good luck.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4734518)
Brown's a weird case, but Reuschel and Tiant are in the same ballpark (WAR wise) and didn't get close either.


Brown was on a crowded ballot, was a full on a-hole to the writers and had a hint of ped... he didn't have a chance. I like Browns peak more than Tiant or Reuschel.

The Hall is pretty short on modern pitchers compared to previous eras. Dropping to a 5 man rotation and adding the modern bullpen means modern pitchers resumes don't look as impressive as those from the early 20th century.


Not seeing it. Modern pitchers include Randy, Maddux, Clemens and Pedro... their resumes look impressive in any era, if anything, them being the standards makes the other guys look lesser, it has nothing to do with historical standards. It has to do with "Brown was good at his peak, but he was no Pedro." "Mussina has a nice career, but he's no Maddux".
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4734549)
I wouldn't put it quite that way, but, yes, as DL from MN points out, the HOF criteria for SP in the 5 man rotation & modern bullpen era probably do need to be revised. The average IP for HOF SP whose careers were primarily post-integration (Feller, Newhouser, Spahn, and Wynn were included) is over 4,000 IP. That sort of longevity does not exist any longer (although I think writers may be deluded into thinking it does/will becasue of some truly extraordinary exceptions: Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, and Glavine). Other than those four exceptions, only 25 pitchers have made it to even 2,500 IP from 1990 forward.



is that a low total?
pitchers debuting 1920 with over 2500ip
1920-18
1930-13
1940*-6
1950-15
1960-26
1970-26
1980-26
1990-13 (there are currently 12 active pitchers who debut in 1990 with over 2000 ip)

*war years probably hurt that decade.
   36. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4734587)
The average IP for HOF SP whose careers were primarily post-integration (Feller, Newhouser, Spahn, and Wynn were included) is over 4,000 IP. That sort of longevity does not exist any longer (although I think writers may be deluded into thinking it does/will becasue of some truly extraordinary exceptions: Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, and Glavine). Other than those four exceptions, only 25 pitchers have made it to even 2,500 IP from 1990 forward.


I'm not sure that's true. It's my impression that starting pitchers have been trading fewer starts and innings in-season for longer careers, so career IP for top starting pitchers hasn't been dropping much at all.

If the postwar generation of HOF SPs averaged 4000 innings, that makes them a bit of an anomaly, since there are only 40 pitchers with 4000 IP in all of MLB history. Sixteen of those 40 pitchers had the bulk of their careers in the expansion era; eight of them (Ryan, Blyleven, Clemens, Tanana, Maddux, Glavine, Johnson, Moyer) were active after 1990. I don't think the number of career innings thrown by elite starters is dropping at all.
   37. DL from MN Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4734592)
Modern pitchers include Randy, Maddux, Clemens and Pedro


And 4 pitchers would massively underrepresent this era. I'm going to be a little nauseated if they keep out Tim Hudson and Mark Buehrle but elect Trevor Hoffman.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4734604)
And 4 pitchers would massively underrepresent this era. I'm going to be a little nauseated if they keep out Tim Hudson and Mark Buehrle but elect Trevor Hoffman.

They've already elected Glavine. They're also going to elect Smoltz, Schilling and Mussina. Pettitte probably gets in eventually (gaudy W%, rings).
   39. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4734614)
If the postwar generation of HOF SPs averaged 4000 innings, that makes them a bit of an anomaly, since there are only 40 pitchers with 4000 IP in all of MLB history. Sixteen of those 40 pitchers had the bulk of their careers in the expansion era

as I have mentioned before, it was the 60's and 70's (approximately 1963-1978) that were the anomaly in terms of 35 start seasons, 300 IP seasons, etc. Those numbers were not reached in the 20's to the 50's or from the 80's onwards
   40. Booey Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4734623)
They're also going to elect Smoltz, Schilling and Mussina.


Who's 'they'? The BBWAA, or the HOF in general, including future incarnations of the VC? Schilling and Moose are lost in the shuffle on a historically crowded ballot. They could gain ground, of course, but the ballot fustercluck isn't going away anytime soon and they've got a lot of ground to make up. I don't think it's anywhere near a certainty that they're going in via the writers.
   41. Booey Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4734633)
Pettitte probably gets in eventually


Similar to the Ortiz thread, any particular reason why you think the writers will ignore the roids just this one time only (or twice, I suppose, if you think Ortiz is getting in too)? It would be flat out idiotic for them to elect Pettitte but ignore his infinitely better PED buddy Clemens.*

* Not that I put blatant idiocy past them, I just don't see 75% of the writers ignoring an issue that's been so black and white with all the previous candidates.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4734638)
Who's 'they'? The BBWAA, or the HOF in general, including future incarnations of the VC? Schilling and Moose are lost in the shuffle on a historically crowded ballot. They could gain ground, of course, but the ballot fustercluck isn't going away anytime soon and they've got a lot of ground to make up. I don't think it's anywhere near a certainty that they're going in via the writers.

Both. We're comparing to past eras that are represented by BBWAA and Vet candidates.

The BBWAA will elect Mussina and Schilling. They both have a strong start, and should go in within a reasonable period of time. Smoltz should follow the same pattern.

Pettitte will be a VC guy. Clemens will be in by that point.
   43. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4734643)
Can't agree with GEB4000's assertion that the guys who didn't get in had "no big years."


Rick Reuschel had 20 Wins in 1977, and led the NL in WAR, finishing 3rd in the CYA voting (which he did again 10 years later).

Luis Tiant had four 20+ Win seasons, two ERA titles, got CYA votes three times and MVP votes four times and made 3 AS teams.

Stan Coveleski won 20+ five times, including four in a row, and went 3-0 in the 1920 WS for the Tribe.

Kevin Brown led the AL with 21 Wins in 1992, led the league in pitcher WAR twice, picked up two ERA titles, got CYA votes five times and made 6 All Star teams.

Red Faber had four 20+ Win seasons, two ERA titles, led the AL in pitcher WAR twice and would have led in overall WAR twice if not for Babe Ruth's insane 1921 season. Also got 3 of the White Sox' 4 wins in the 1917 WS. So even though he "only" went 16-13 with a 1.92 ERA that year, I think you can count that as a "big year" too.
   44. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4734658)
Similar to the Ortiz thread, any particular reason why you think the writers will ignore the roids just this one time only (or twice, I suppose, if you think Ortiz is getting in too)? It would be flat out idiotic for them to elect Pettitte but ignore his infinitely better PED buddy Clemens.*


I think a lot of people overrate how much love Pettitte gets from the press, the vote is still national, and he isn't going to receive many votes outside of New York and Houston. But as Snapper pointed out, eventually Clemens and other roiders are going to go in(once people realize the obviousness of Nolan Ryan as a roider....only person to ever thank a known ped pusher at his induction ceremony) then Pettitte's door will open....problem is that it's going to probably be a vc selection by that time, and who knows if the veterans are going to be as forgiving as the writers(the old writers will die off, and younger writers have very few problems with peds)
   45. Booey Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4734673)
#43 - I agree with most the others (especially Brown in 1996 - a 1.89 ERA in the heart of the sillyball era sure as hell felt like a massive season to me), but I really don't see the 'big season' thing with Reuschel. WAR didn't exist at the time he was being voted on so it's not really fair to use it as a point in his favor. One 20 win season and two 3rd place CYA finishes don't exactly scream HOFer to the average voters who rarely look beyond tradional stats.
   46. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4734677)
any particular reason why you think the writers will ignore the roids just this one time only (or twice, I suppose, if you think Ortiz is getting in too)?

The writers have, for some odd reason, basically forgiven Pettite. Its odd.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4734682)
I think a lot of people overrate how much love Pettitte gets from the press, the vote is still national, and he isn't going to receive many votes outside of New York and Houston. But as Snapper pointed out, eventually Clemens and other roiders are going to go in(once people realize the obviousness of Nolan Ryan as a roider....only person to ever thank a known ped pusher at his induction ceremony) then Pettitte's door will open....problem is that it's going to probably be a vc selection by that time, and who knows if the veterans are going to be as forgiving as the writers(the old writers will die off, and younger writers have very few problems with peds)

He's 256-153 and played on 5 Championship teams (19-11 in the postseason). Combine that with solid advanced stats (117 ERA+, 61 WAR) he's going in once the PED thing dies down.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4734687)
He's 256-153 and played on 5 Championship teams (19-11 in the postseason). Combine that with solid advanced stats (117 ERA+, 61 WAR) he's going in once the PED thing dies down.


If it was the writers voting for him, and the ped issue wasn't there, then I could see it. But I have no clue how the veterans committee is going to treat him. You are going to have guys like Schilling, Frank Thomas, etc who will make up whatever form the committee takes, because they are going to be the vocal guys.

My point was that I can see a future version of the veteran's committee being adamant about excluding roiders, even after the writers themselves have started putting them in.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4734691)
The writers have, for some odd reason, basically forgiven Pettite. Its odd.


And it's overstated here. It's not that they have forgiven him, it's just that he isn't a big enough fish to care about. I'm fairly certain 50% of the articles written by Pettitte over the past decade have mentioned his ped taint. The only people the writers care about in regards to ped users is 1. a-holes to them as players 2. record breakers 3. mvp's/cy young winners. Those are the guys the writers are going to continually inflame the masses about. (oops 4. active players who got a big contract after their usage was public)
   50. Booey Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4734693)
CFB #44 - I think that Pettitte and Ortiz WILL get way more HOF love than other borderline candidates with PED connections (Canseco, Brown, Juan Gone, Giambi), but I still don't see a full 75% of the writers ignoring the roids, especially in the cases of guys who are far from slam dunks to begin with. To put Pettitte and Papi in while snubbing Clemens and Bonds goes well beyond simple inconsistency. It would just make no sense whatsoever. The voters are stupid, but they can't possibly be THAT stupid, can they?

younger writers have very few problems with peds


Depends on how young we're talking about. From my experience, it seems that the people most tolerant of PED's are those that were in their teens and 20's during the height of the sillyball era. Really young fans (teens and children) who weren't around to understand the context of the era and have only known the "Steroids are the root of all evil!!!" mindset that's popular now are every bit as rabidly anti-PED as the older crowd that feels offended Bonds and company 'cheated' their heroes out of the record books. If there's going to be a change in the way the voters view roiders, it will need to come quickly after the old writers die off, before the really young fans come of age to pick up the crusade. I only see the Bonds/Clemens/McGwire types getting elected if it ever gets to the point where the vast majority of the BBWAA is made up of people born in the 70's and 80's.

Edit: apologies to any older primates whom my description of their generation doesn't apply to. Andy, for one.
   51. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4734694)
I think Petitte has a remarkable shape to his career, worst year by ERA+ was a 97 in 204 IP... WAR of 2.2

worst year by WAR was 1.1 in 83 IP, worst WAR for a full year was 1.5...

literally never had a "bad" year, but never had a peak/prime

graph his career and he has two single season spikes, 1997 and 2005, outside of that he was consistently good and never great, his career ERA+ of 117 is quite good for someone with 3000 + IP, but a big reason it's so high is he has literally no bad years dragging it down...
   52. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4734703)
#45, I agree that Reuschel is nobody's idea of a HoFer (except maybe his mom's). My point of contention was only that it wasn't fair to say the man had "no big seasons" when in fact he'd had a 20-Win season in which he also received Cy Young votes and an All-Star nod. The fact that he was actually the best player in the league that year helps affirm in hindsight what the writers, voters and fans all knew at the time: Reuschel had a big year in '77, though perhaps only one other arguably big year in his long career.
   53. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: June 24, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4734706)
once people realize the obviousness of Nolan Ryan as a roider....only person to ever thank a known ped pusher at his induction ceremony

Err...what?
   54. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 24, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4734712)
. . . any particular reason why you think the writers will ignore the roids just this one time only (or twice, I suppose, if you think Ortiz is getting in too)? It would be flat out idiotic for them to elect Pettitte . . .

Unless I'm misremembering, Pettitte was linked to HGH, not steroids. Whether that is a valid basis for differentiation may be an open question, but the anti-PED zealots do seem to be focused on steroids.
   55. bookbook Posted: June 24, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4734715)
In my mind, Tim Hudson is a smidge better than Chuck Finley. I'd rather have either--on my team or in the HOF--than Petitte.

Of course, Kevin Brown, Schilling, Mussina have better claims...
   56. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4734723)
Ryan induction speech:

"And so I do appreciate the Rangers staff and the Rangers organization for giving me that opportunity. And while I was there, I was very fortunate to have a pitching coach by the name of Tom House. And Tom and I are the same age and Tom is a coach that is always on the cutting edge and I really enjoyed our association together. He would always come up with new training techniques that we would try and see how they would work into my routine. And because of our friendship and Tom pushing me, I think that I got into the best shape of my life during the years that I was with the Rangers. And Tom, I really miss those days that we spent in the weight room and out on the field working together. And that last year that you weren't there, I can really say, buddy, that I missed you. Thank you for being here today."

The same "evidence" that is applied to other "known users".
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4734731)
Unless I'm misremembering, Pettitte was linked to HGH, not steroids. Whether that is a valid basis for differentiation may be an open question, but the anti-PED zealots do seem to be focused on steroids.


The zealots lump them all together. All ped's are the same, provided that the ped's require the user to work his butt off to get the benefits. Ped's which are magic pills and provide benefits without any effort from the user, are perfectly acceptable and don't count as cheating in their eyes.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4734784)
I think Petitte has a remarkable shape to his career, worst year by ERA+ was a 97 in 204 IP... WAR of 2.2

worst year by WAR was 1.1 in 83 IP, worst WAR for a full year was 1.5...

literally never had a "bad" year, but never had a peak/prime

graph his career and he has two single season spikes, 1997 and 2005, outside of that he was consistently good and never great, his career ERA+ of 117 is quite good for someone with 3000 + IP, but a big reason it's so high is he has literally no bad years dragging it down...


Even more remarkable, he has positive WAA every year but 1. -0.2 in 2006.

He was basically never worse than an average pitcher. That's pretty amazing.
   59. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4734811)
1990-13 (there are currently 12 active pitchers who debut in 1990 with over 2000 ip)


I'm guessing you mean debuted in the 1990's, not 1990 specifically. So how many of them will go over 2,500? Burnett seems like a good bet. Arroyo should with health. Dempster, Wolf, Peavy, Harang, Santana, and Wright are all highly unlikely. This leaves Lohse, Lackey, and Lee as possibles, and Haren as a bit of a tweener between the unlikely and the possibles, to me anyway. Even if all six of those guys make it, it's a dropoff from 26 (where it's been for 3 decades) to 19, which seems like a pretty significant drop to me.
   60. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4734835)
I'm guessing you mean debuted in the 1990's, not 1990 specifically.

Yes I meant to go back and edit that.

It's a drop, but I wouldn't say signficant, since you have to allow for increased in number of quality pitchers going to the pen. I really don't think the 'standards' have changed that much from the pitchers of the 50's or 80's in terms of a pitchers ability to make it to 2000, 3000 or 4000 innings. I think the raw number of people who are able to do that is pretty consistent, maybe instead of getting 3200, they'll end up with 2900 or so. Pitchers last longer nowadays, but put out fewer innings per year it's mostly a wash, the freaks of nature like Randy Johnson or Greg Maddux or even Buehrle might be getting shafted a bit in their totals(say 10ip per year on average), but for everyone getting shafted, it seems there is another guy who is reaping the extra innings. Add in that the fewer innings pitched per game has probably allowed many of these guys to put up higher era(era+) than they would have in the past, and of course has probably helped their winning percentage(bullpens take a larger percentage of losses than they do wins)

Now of course one argument not being put forth here, that usually comes up in these discussions, is whether or not the raw number of hof players per "era" should be consistent, or should it be relative to the number of players in the league?
   61. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4734836)
Even more remarkable, he has positive WAA every year but 1. -0.2 in 2006.

He was basically never worse than an average pitcher. That's pretty amazing


And even 2006, he was probably better than average, if you subscribe to the theory that war underrates current starting pitchers. 106 era+, 35 starts, 214 ip, with 20 quality starts, even acknowledging he had 14 unearned runs, doesn't look like an average pitcher to me.
   62. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4734837)
It's my impression that starting pitchers have been trading fewer starts and innings in-season for longer careers, so career IP for top starting pitchers hasn't been dropping much at all.


Do you have any examples? There are no active pitchers with 3,000 IP (though Buerhle, Hudson, and Sabathia all look likely to exceed it eventually). But of those three Buerhle (maybe Sabathia if the past three years are not signaling his demise) is the only one who appears likely to join the four guys I've mentioned in pushing much higher than that.

The difficulty in judging is modern bullpen use has really only been around since the 90's, so we're only now beginning to see how it will play out for someone who plays their entire career under those circumstances.

If the postwar generation of HOF SPs averaged 4000 innings, that makes them a bit of an anomaly, since there are only 40 pitchers with 4000 IP in all of MLB history. Sixteen of those 40 pitchers had the bulk of their careers in the expansion era; eight of them (Ryan, Blyleven, Clemens, Tanana, Maddux, Glavine, Johnson, Moyer) were active after 1990.


They may have been active after 1990, but they started well before both 5 man rotations AND modern bullpen usage was in place (though in thinking about it a bit more maybe it's more correct to say pitch counts than modern bullpen usage). Clemens, Johnson, and Maddux all had mulitiple seasons of 250+ IP in their careers (Glavine didn't, but he was in the top 10 in IP for 11 straight years). There are only two active pitchers with season totals of 250+: Verlander and Sabathia, once each. The pitchers you mentioned being active after 1990 are still from a different era.

Essentially the guys who have exceeded 4,000 IP have played for 23 seasons and pitched into their early to mid 40's. Are you saying modern, elite starting pitchers are now going to start playing for 25+ seasons and pitching into their late 40's? I'm not seeing how trading in season IP totals for career longevity is going to get them there.

I don't think the number of career innings thrown by elite starters is dropping at all.


Again, any examples?
   63. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4734844)
Even if all six of those guys make it, it's a dropoff from 26 (where it's been for 3 decades) to 19, which seems like a pretty significant drop to me.

Especially considering expansion - there were presumably more pitchers overall who debuted in the '90s than in any previous decade.
   64. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4734847)
On lengthened careers, seasons of 200+ IP by pitchers aged 40+ by decade:

1900 3 (all Cy Young)
1910 2
1920 7
1930 2
1940 1
1950 0
1960 4
1970 2
1980 19
1990 4 (Ryan and Hough, the very end of the workhorse era)
2000 15 (mainly Moyer, Clemens, Johnson)
2010 0

So hard to say. The 60/70s workhorses stand out again as does the end of the latest workhorse careers. Colon missed by 10 innings last year and is on pace for it this year (if 31-32 starts). In addition to the 5-man rotation, current workhorses are probably limited by the fact that IP/start are pretty low these days. Colon averaged 6 1/3 last year, is at 6.5 this year ... teams just don't have incentive to leave the old dude out there when they've got a pen full of flamethrowers.

So a modern cut-off would probably be 180 IP by pitchers 40+. That boosts the 1980s to 24 and that 2000s to 27 and the 2010s to 2 (Colon and Pettitte last year).

I have been firmly in the "they're trading in-season IP for career IP" boat for a long time but in the last few years have leaned a bit further back towards the idea that current usage will limit career IP. But on the third hand, we seem to see again and again that maybe it's not so structural and it is the number of pitches in an arm ... and in some eras you happen to fluke into a lot of durable arms.

We're not going to see many in the 2010s. We're halfway through already and the count will probably be up to 3 at the end of the year but I'm not sure Colon can last much longer. Dickey and Kuroda are good bets for 2015. But then, bssed on 2013, the only other ones who will be 40 before 2019 are Burnett and Arroyo and I don't like either's chances of making it to 40. Buehrle, Lee and some others turn 40 in 2019 and those first two are pretty good bets to still be pitching. So the 2010s will be lucky to hit double figures so will have about 1/3 as many as the 2000s.

There seems to have been a gap in pitcher debuts in the 1990s similar to the one that followed the workhorse era. Maybe that's "natural" -- if you have a lot of effective late 30s pitchers from the earlier era, young pitchers have fewer opportunities.

   65. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4734849)
as I have mentioned before, it was the 60's and 70's (approximately 1963-1978) that were the anomaly in terms of 35 start seasons, 300 IP seasons, etc. Those numbers were not reached in the 20's to the 50's or from the 80's onwards


While I agree with you that it was the 60's and 70's, by and large, which were most anomalous, the 1920's saw the highest number of seasons of 300 or more IP with 44, while the 70's had 40, and the 60's but 25 (closer to the 1930's total of 17 than to the 70's or 20's).
   66. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4734852)
as I have mentioned before, it was the 60's and 70's (approximately 1963-1978) that were the anomaly in terms of 35 start seasons, 300 IP seasons, etc. Those numbers were not reached in the 20's to the 50's or from the 80's onwards


While I agree with you that it was the 60's and 70's, by and large, which were most anomalous, the 1920's saw the highest number of seasons of 300 or more IP with 44, while the 70's had 40, and the 60's but 25 (closer to the 1930's total of 17 than to the 70's or 20's).



300 IP seasons:

20s--44
30s--17
40s--13
50s--10
60s--25
70s--40
80s--1

and none since

like I said above "the 60s" in this context is really only the latter part of the decade:

1960-64--5
1965-69--20

so the latter half of the 60s precisely matches the 70s
   67. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4734856)
and seasons with 35 or more GS follows pretty much the same pattern

20s--77
30s--53
40s--46
50s--62
60s--195
70s--290
80s--153
90s--76
00s--45

You have to adjust for expansion, of course (more teams = more pitchers = more chances for >35 GS)

But I maintain that the period of 1965-1980 represents a singularity in terms of pitcher usage
   68. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4734858)
Again, any examples?


Maddux, Clemens, Randy, Glavine.... those examples will continue to exist no matter how often you push them away.
   69. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4734859)
It's a drop, but I wouldn't say signficant, since you have to allow for increased in number of quality pitchers going to the pen.


I guess you consider it a return to normalcy as it would be a return to simlar numbers from the 20's, 30's, and 50's after the high numbers from the 60's to 80's, but as Eric J. pointed out this doesn't account for expansion. Many more pitchers have the opportunity now than they did from the 20's to the 50's. Also, I'd say that my scenario is pretty much a best case one, and the decrease would be over 25%. I don't see how it couldn't be considered significant.

Pitchers last longer nowadays,


Are we sure of this?
   70. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4734870)
there were presumably more pitchers overall who debuted in the '90s than in any previous decade.


From the 1920's through the 200's pitcher debuts were:

555, 462, 524, 512, 603, 629, 710, 1026, 1202.

If you use the PI default of started at lest 60% of gmes it becomes:

102, 112, 127, 116, 145, 172, 230, 315, 355.
   71. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4734876)
I guess you consider it a return to normalcy as it would be a return to simlar numbers from the 20's, 30's, and 50's after the high numbers from the 60's to 80's, but as Eric J. pointed out this doesn't account for expansion. Many more pitchers have the opportunity now than they did from the 20's to the 50's. Also, I'd say that my scenario is pretty much a best case one, and the decrease would be over 25%. I don't see how it couldn't be considered significant.


But that isn't the argument. The argument is basically, pitchers nowadays cannot put up the innings of their predeccessors. It's not about percentage of opportunities, it's about the number of people capable of doing it. Maybe there are only 10 people at any one point in time on the planet capable of doing it, and the 70's was an aberration. The percentage of opportunities is a completely different argument.

Are we sure of this?


Sure?...no, but
pitchers careers by debut decade...over 15 years
1920's-22
1930's-17
1940's-11
1950's-34
1960's-45
1970's-48
1980's-54
1990's-53

Pitchers who's career started in those decades who pitched for at least 15 years...Of course the more modern era has guys going to the pen, like Jim Kaat..oops(that was a 50's guy) , I meant Dennis Eckersley.(oops that was a 70's guy) I mean guys like Latroy Hawkins who were relievers for their whole careers etc.

Now when we get to the extreme numbers, 20 year careers, the modern age doesn't do so well.


Pitchers careers...over 20 years
1920's-4
1930's-2
1940's-2
1950's-3
1960's-9
1970's-10
1980's-12
1990's-3
   72. bobm Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4734877)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2014, (requiring W>=200, W<=250), sorted by greatest WAA Pitchers

                                                                          
Rk                Player WAA/pitch   W  WAR From   To  GS     IP   SO ERA+
1         Pedro Martinez      61.3 219 86.0 1992 2009 409 2827.1 3154  154
2         Curt Schilling      54.1 216 80.7 1988 2007 436 3261.0 3116  127
3               Cy Young      43.1 225 72.7 1901 1911 369 3312.1 1563  137
4           Roy Halladay      40.7 203 65.6 1998 2013 390 2749.1 2117  131
5            Kevin Brown      40.5 211 68.5 1986 2005 476 3256.1 2397  127
6            John Smoltz      38.0 213 66.5 1988 2009 481 3473.0 3084  125
7          Rick Reuschel      38.0 214 68.2 1972 1991 529 3548.1 2015  114
8          Hal Newhouser      37.5 207 60.4 1939 1955 374 2993.0 1796  130
9         Stan Coveleski      35.8 215 65.2 1912 1928 385 3082.0  981  127
10            Luis Tiant      34.5 229 66.1 1964 1982 484 3486.1 2416  114
11            Tim Hudson      32.8 212 57.8 1999 2014 440 2907.2 1956  124
12        Mordecai Brown      32.0 239 55.1 1903 1916 332 3172.1 1375  139
13         Juan Marichal      30.0 243 61.9 1960 1975 457 3507.0 2303  123
14           Whitey Ford      29.0 236 53.9 1950 1967 438 3170.1 1956  133
15          Chuck Finley      28.6 200 58.5 1986 2002 467 3197.1 2610  115
16          Don Drysdale      28.6 209 61.2 1956 1969 465 3432.0 2486  121
17           Jim Bunning      28.3 224 60.3 1955 1971 519 3760.1 2855  115
18           CC Sabathia      27.5 208 54.1 2001 2014 423 2821.1 2437  120
19         Eddie Cicotte      27.0 209 56.9 1905 1920 361 3226.0 1374  123
20          Billy Pierce      25.9 211 53.1 1945 1964 433 3306.2 1999  119
21        Orel Hershiser      25.1 204 51.7 1983 2000 466 3130.1 2014  112
22            Jack Quinn      25.0 247 59.0 1909 1933 443 3920.1 1329  114
23         Jerry Koosman      24.1 222 57.1 1967 1985 527 3839.1 2556  110
24         Wilbur Cooper      22.0 216 49.0 1912 1926 406 3480.0 1252  116
25           David Wells      21.9 239 53.5 1987 2007 489 3439.0 2201  108
Rk                Player WAA/pitch   W  WAR From   To  GS     IP   SO ERA+
26           Milt Pappas      20.5 209 46.8 1957 1973 465 3186.0 1728  110
27          Kenny Rogers      20.0 219 51.1 1989 2008 474 3302.2 1968  107
28          Frank Tanana      19.9 240 57.5 1973 1993 616 4188.1 2773  106
29           Bobo Newsom      19.9 211 51.7 1929 1953 483 3759.1 2082  107
30            Waite Hoyt      18.1 237 53.3 1918 1938 425 3762.1 1206  112
31          Chief Bender      17.7 212 44.0 1903 1925 334 3017.0 1711  112
32         Mickey Lolich      17.4 217 48.8 1963 1979 496 3638.1 2832  104
33            Mel Harder      17.1 223 47.9 1928 1947 433 3426.1 1161  113
34             Bob Welch      15.9 211 43.5 1978 1994 462 3092.0 1969  106
35             Vida Blue      15.4 209 45.0 1969 1986 473 3343.1 2175  108
36             Carl Mays      15.3 207 42.5 1915 1929 325 3021.1  862  119
37             Bob Lemon      15.1 207 37.5 1946 1958 350 2850.0 1277  119
38       Dennis Martinez      14.9 245 49.5 1976 1998 562 3999.2 2149  106
39           George Uhle      14.1 200 44.4 1919 1936 368 3119.2 1135  106
40          Charlie Root      11.9 201 38.0 1923 1941 341 3197.1 1459  111
41             Jim Perry      11.0 215 38.7 1959 1975 447 3285.2 1576  106
42          Jesse Haines      10.3 210 35.7 1918 1937 387 3208.2  981  109
43          Herb Pennock       9.4 241 44.1 1912 1934 419 3571.2 1227  106
44        Paul Derringer       9.3 223 39.0 1931 1945 445 3645.0 1507  108
45         Rube Marquard       8.8 201 34.2 1908 1925 408 3306.2 1593  103
46   Freddie Fitzsimmons       7.5 217 33.5 1925 1943 424 3223.2  870  112
47         Charlie Hough       6.5 216 39.6 1970 1994 440 3801.1 2362  106
48        Catfish Hunter       5.8 224 36.6 1965 1979 476 3449.1 2012  104
49         Tim Wakefield       3.9 200 34.5 1992 2011 463 3226.1 2156  105
50           Hooks Dauss       3.1 223 35.2 1912 1926 388 3390.2 1201  102
Rk                Player WAA/pitch   W  WAR From   To  GS     IP   SO ERA+
51         Sad Sam Jones       2.9 229 40.4 1914 1935 487 3883.0 1223  104
52         George Mullin       2.4 228 34.3 1902 1915 428 3686.2 1482  101
53        Earl Whitehill       2.0 218 36.3 1923 1939 473 3564.2 1350  100
54           Jerry Reuss       1.6 220 33.1 1969 1990 547 3669.2 1907  100
55            Joe Niekro      -2.5 221 28.7 1967 1988 500 3584.1 1747   98
56          Lew Burdette      -4.1 203 25.8 1950 1967 373 3067.1 1074   99
   73. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4734880)
Maddux, Clemens, Randy, Glavine.... those examples will continue to exist no matter how often you push them away.


Mmmkay. Any examples of guys who actually pitched their entire careers under the circumstances we're discussing? That would be BOTH a five man rotation AND modern bullpen use (or the commonplace use of pitch counts if you prefer). Or put it another way, which active pitchers do you see who will end up anywhere near the equivalent of the four you are promoting as examples?
   74. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4734887)
Maybe there are only 10 people at any one point in time on the planet capable of doing it, and the 70's was an aberration.


Good point! This ties in really nicely with jmac's point about the 60's and 70's being the anomalous period. Something about the reduced offense, the higher mound, greenies? Who knows?
   75. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4734890)
Mmmkay. Any examples of guys who actually pitched their entire careers under the circumstances we're discussing? That would be BOTH a five man rotation AND modern bullpen use (or the commonplace use of pitch counts if you prefer). Or put it another way, which active pitchers do you see who will end up anywhere near the equivalent of the four you are promoting as examples?


Considering that the modern bullpen usage you are referring to has existed for about a decade or less, then of course not.

As to which active pitchers? Who knows. Buehrle is going to easily surpass 3000 innings, and has a legitimate chance at 4000 innings. There are 21 pitchers who debuted after 1920 who have reached 4000 innings, that is an average of one every 3 or 4 years....Ask me in three years to provide another name, right now King Felix is the next likeliest, but we'll see then.
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4734894)
Good point! This ties in really nicely with jmac's point about the 60's and 70's being the anomalous period. Something about the reduced offense, the higher mound, greenies? Who knows?


Artificial turf? (the higher temperature in the stadiums allowed the muscle to loosen up better...)Just throwing it out there.
   77. GregD Posted: June 24, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4734901)
Now when we get to the extreme numbers, 20 year careers, the modern age doesn't do so well.
But this is limited by the fact that most of the people who came up in the 1990s haven't yet had an opportunity to hit 20 years, right? Of course the number of guys who came up in the 90s and played 20 years is low...it's 2014. We'll know more in 2019.
   78. cardsfanboy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4734930)
But this is limited by the fact that most of the people who came up in the 1990s haven't yet had an opportunity to hit 20 years, right? Of course the number of guys who came up in the 90s and played 20 years is low...it's 2014. We'll know more in 2019.


yes, but I'm not seeing many guys who have a chance to make it to 20 of the remaining guys. Colon is 41 and needs to last until 2017, Jamey Wright might make it(he's at 19years) Burnett has more or less announced this is his last season, if not he needs to make it to 2019...not likely, Hudson needs to hold on until 2019, and that is pretty much it.

Here is the list of pitchers bb-ref considers to be active who debut in 1990's..(ignore McDonald) Latroy is one of the 3 from the 90's to make it to 20 years...not really the type of pitcher we are discussing here.

Rk            Player FroFrom   To            Age
                                                
1     LaTroy Hawkins    1995 1995 2014     22
-41
2       Jamey Wright    1996 1996 2014     21
-39
3       Dennys Reyes    1997 1997 2011     20
-34
4        Brett Tomko    1997 1997 2011     24
-38
5      Bartolo Colon    1997 1997 2014     24
-41
6      Ryan Dempster    1998 1998 2013     21
-36
7         Bruce Chen    1998 1998 2014     21
-37
8      Buddy Carlyle    1999 1999 2014     21
-36
9       A
.JBurnett    1999 1999 2014     22-37
10        Randy Wolf    1999 1999 2014     22
-37
11        Tim Hudson    1999 1999 2014     23
-38
12   Kyle Farnsworth    1999 1999 2014     23
-38
13     Luis Vizcaino    1999 1999 2009     24
-34
14        Joe Nathan    1999 1999 2014     24
-39
15       Ramon Ortiz    1999 1999 2013     26
-40
16     John McDonald    1999 2013 2013 38
-38/div 
   79. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2014 at 09:36 PM (#4734947)
Or put it another way, which active pitchers do you see who will end up anywhere near the equivalent of the four you are promoting as examples?

Buehrle is quite likely to hit 4000 IP in my opinion. You never know of course but he'll pass 3000 in the next couple of weeks. He's only 35. Pettitte was mentioned earlier and Buehrle is in his 15th season and his worst WAA is +.2.

In the expansion era, Buehrle is currently 21st in IP through age 35 and should end the season about 40 innings shy of Glavine. He will be about 500 behind Maddux and about 200 behind Clemens and about 250 behind Ryan. He will also be 250 ahead of John, 800 ahead of Randy Johnson and 1300 ahead of Moyer.

Does Buehrle have the stuff to last? Who knows but the list of guys with 1000+ IP from age 36 on in the expansion era (24 of them) is not exactly superstars -- Moyer, John, Wells, Sutton, D Martinez, J Niekro, Rogers, Koosman, Kaat, Reuschel, Darwin -- and that's ignoring the knuckleballers. Maybe current usage holds Buehrle to 180 IP seasons rather than 200 but he still would need to extend his career by only another half-season past 40 to make up the difference. Guys like Glavine, Rogers and Maddux averaged only a bit over 6 IP/start which is consistent with current usage.

Of course usage might continue to change and IP/start will go down even further then Buehrle's challenge is bigger.

As to others ... for now my guess is it's just a fluke and we didn't see many durable pitchers debut in the late 90s and early 2000s. The same thing happened in the wake of the warhorses -- that's why Jack Morris has the most wins of the 80s and nobody of his "generation" made it close to 4000 IP I don't think.

Of course many guys who amassed, say, 2500+ IP through age 35 didn't last. Of course many of them were already pretty much done by 35 -- no easy way to filter them out with P-I. But let's look at guys in expansion era with at least 720 IP and an ERA+ of 110-120 from ages 32-35. This gives us 19 guys. 4 of those guys had 1200+ IP (Wells the most modern), two more hit 900. Lowe made it another 700 IP despite an 83 ERA+. Mussina made it only 700 but then he retired after his age 39 season despite 200 IP of 131 ERA+ (and the FIP to match). Surely Mussina would have been given another couple of seasons if he'd wanted them.

There's no guarantee that Buehrle will want to pitch past 40 -- heck, he made noises about retiring at 33. But similarly no particular reason to think he's got less of a chance than Wells or Sutton (who got about the same number of starts and same IP/start from 36 on).

If you arm is still attached and you can throw league average innings, MLB will gladly give you starts if you're 65. Fair enough, they don't care if your arm is attached.
   80. djordan Posted: June 24, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4734948)
Getting that WAR above 60 would place Hudson on the "RT 20 Corridor," the actual road that leads you to Cooperstown, but doesn't drop you off at the foot of the Hall.
   81. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: June 25, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4735086)
I have a theory (wholly unsupported by actual data, I admit) that the Baby Boom after WWII is one of the factors that led to the great number of workhorse pitchers in the 60's and 70's. Admittedly, there were a lot of factors, and most of them had to do with how the Powers that Be at the time became terrified of more Sacred Records getting broken after Maris hit #61 in '61 and so started making it nearly impossible to hit in the majors. And expansion gave more opportunities to pitchers (though admittedly this mostly helps add to the bottom of the barrel, not the top).

But some of it, I think, maybe has to do with the fact that there was a population explosion that came of age in the mid-60's. All those extra people meant that there were more chances for outliers, and more of those outliers got to pitch and pitch and pitch until either their arm fell off or they got voted into the Hall of Fame. Don't know how to support this, exactly, but it's a thought.

   82. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: June 25, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4735108)
yes, but I'm not seeing many guys who have a chance to make it to 20 of the remaining guys. Colon is 41 and needs to last until 2017, Jamey Wright might make it(he's at 19years) Burnett has more or less announced this is his last season, if not he needs to make it to 2019...not likely, Hudson needs to hold on until 2019, and that is pretty much it.


As an aside (I guess this whole thread is an aside now...) can I just say how astonished I am to learn that Jamey Wright has been in the majors for almost two decades? I remember him being a terrible starter with Colorado when I was in college, and I assumed (if I ever thought of him at all) that he was forced into retirement like 10 years ago.

Consider that after the 2006 season, in which he went 6-10 with a 5.19 ERA for SF, his 11-year career had included six stints with five different teams and five other times he'd been signed and then released without ever pitching for the major league club. His record stood at 67-98, 5.14 ERA (93 ERA+). He was 32, had only one 200-IP season, at age 23, and one season with a winning record, when he went 4-3 for the Rockies in 1999.

Somehow he convinced the Rangers to give him a 2-year deal, where they made him exclusively a reliever after half a season of lackluster starts. He's not exactly been Mariano Rivera since the switch to the pen, but he's managed to parlay a string of 1-year deals into 8 more years of active pitching (despite being released twice in 2010). Somehow the washed-up starter has a 3.82 ERA (108 ERA+) in 539 innings since then. Who says the job market is soft?


The somehow? He throws a sinker. ;)



   83. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: June 25, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4735115)
I had similar thoughts on seeing the reference to Jamey Wright. Looks like he is tied with Bruce Chen and LaTroy Hawkins as the active leader in franchises played for.
   84. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 25, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4735169)
Or put it another way, which active pitchers do you see who will end up anywhere near the equivalent of the four you are promoting as examples?


This kind of thing is really hard to predict. In 2004, when he was a 41-year-old pitcher with a 7-13, 5.21 record, no one would have predicted that Jamie Moyer would make it to 4000 IP.

But surely lots of guys have the chance to make it that far. Buehrle, obviously, but Felix Hernandez is halfway there, and just turned 28. Matt Cain isn't far behind King Felix. Sabathia is two thirds of the way there, and Verlander halfway. Clayton Kershaw has a long way to go, but is off to a very good start. As long as he doesn't keep throwing at Carlos Quentin, Zack Greinke has a shot. Cole Hamels is 40 percent of the way there, just turned 30, and is as consistent as they come.

Now, it's possible that none of these guys ends up throwing 4000 innings. But I'd guess the eventual number of 4000-IP throwers among active pitchers ends up closer to four than to zero.
   85. alilisd Posted: June 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4735181)
But this is limited by the fact that most of the people who came up in the 1990s haven't yet had an opportunity to hit 20 years, right?


Probably not "most." Although it's almost certainly not an even distribution, with the same number of guys debuting each year, anyone debuting from 1990 to 1995 would already have hit the 20 year mark. That's over half of the decade, so it's likely that most, as in more than half, of the people who came up in the 1990s have had the opportunity to hit 20 years.

How's that for being pedantic?
   86. alilisd Posted: June 25, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4735197)
Considering that the modern bullpen usage you are referring to has existed for about a decade or less, then of course not.


Don't you think it's a bit longer than that? The one inning closer was in vogue in the early 90's. I do think it's become more extreme though as time has passed. Bullpens became one inning closer plus set up/8th inning guy. I know the Padres have been using a 7, 8, closer set up for quite some time, though I'm not sure how prevalent that is.

The more I think about this, the more I'm inclined to look at it as a pitch count issue, or perhaps a bit more of a pitch count issue than a bullpen usage issue. It's certainly both, but I'm leaning more towards weighting the impact as being pitch counts. Seems as if starters are pulled, regardless of performance, earlier if the pitch count dictates, which forces a 7th inning guy into the equation.

Interesting discussion. Thanks all!
   87. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: June 25, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4735233)
The more I think about this, the more I'm inclined to look at it as a pitch count issue, or perhaps a bit more of a pitch count issue than a bullpen usage issue. It's certainly both, but I'm leaning more towards weighting the impact as being pitch counts.
Impossible to quantify, but on questions like this I wonder if there has been a general trend toward throwing more pitches--and maybe more pitches that are more stressful on the arm--at maximum effort. IOW, in the 60s/70s, was it more common that a pitcher could, and did, coast a little bit more because of pitcher-friendly conditions, fewer hitters capable of doing big damage, etc.?
   88. alilisd Posted: June 25, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4735251)
This kind of thing is really hard to predict. In 2004, when he was a 41-year-old pitcher with a 7-13, 5.21 record, no one would have predicted that Jamie Moyer would make it to 4000 IP.


Agreed, but I was more interested in your take on "elite" pitchers, of which Moyer was never one. I was just looking at this, or trying to look at it, with PI. Criteria was from 1985 to 2014, through age 30 season, ERA+ 110 or better, at least 1,000 IP, and I ordered it by WAA. The guys at the top who could easily be considered elite are Martinez, Maddux, Clemens, Saberhagen, and Santana. So Johan is our first elite guy who pitched under the circumstances I'm looking at, clearly he does not support the idea elite pitchers are enjoying longer careers.

Moving down the list we come next to CC and Oswalt, one who is done, the other looking suspect, but could turn it around. Next come Kershaw, too early to tell (but let's pray he lasts!), Verlander, looking suspect, and Hernandez, very promising but too early to tell. Then come Webb, Hamels, Buehrle, and Greinke. A bit of a mixed bag; Webb burned out, but the others look promising, and Buehrle has already had a long career. Hallady, Hudson, and Weaver follow. Again, a bit of a mixed bag. Halladay pitched a lot of innings, but definitely didn't have a long career. Hudson has had a nice, long one, much like Buehrle, and Weaver has a long way to go.

There's a big group who are tightly packed below those last three: Cain, Radke, Colon, Haren, Pettitte, Zito, Peavy, Lester, and Wood. It just doesn't look like there's any trend toward longer careers among these guys. Some careers cut short: Santana, Webb, Oswalt, Halladay, Radke, Peavy (though I suppose he could recover, seems unlikely though). A few really good, long careers: Pettitte, Hudson, and Buehrle (though it's interesting these guys seem to have trouble being seen as elite); I guess Colon fits in here, too (though from age 31 on, nearly half his IP, he's only been 3.4 WAA, not particularly elite). Some guys who look suspect, or could go either way: CC, Verlander, Hamels (looks very promising), Weaver, Cain, Lester and Greinke (though he looks like he's pretty solidly back as the reduced innings last season was not due to pitching injury and saw no decrease in performance). Then the two very young studs: Kershaw and Hernadez. Who knows where they'll end up? As you say, it's tough to predict, but we all should say a little prayer for them; they are special!

If these guys are trading in season IP for longer careers, it's really going to take all of those "tweeners" to come through in a big way to show a trend, IMO.

Now, it's possible that none of these guys ends up throwing 4000 innings. But I'd guess the eventual number of 4000-IP throwers among active pitchers ends up closer to four than to zero.


I'll take the under, and let's hope we're around to see it! Loser buys the beverage of choice! :-)
   89. alilisd Posted: June 25, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4735258)
I wonder if there has been a general trend toward throwing more pitches--and maybe more pitches that are more stressful on the arm--at maximum effort. IOW, in the 60s/70s, was it more common that a pitcher could, and did, coast a little bit more because of pitcher-friendly conditions, fewer hitters capable of doing big damage, etc.?


Regarding the former, more maximum effort, I believe this is the case. The latter, could pitchers coast more in hte 60s/70s, I think this is almost undoubtedly the case. No DH for most of the time, extremely weak hitting middle infielders, and up the middle generally. I feel quite certain there were innings where pitchers turned down the intensity during that period, whereas now there are no real breaks in the lineup where they can't, or at least don't, go all out.

I don't have it with me, but I took a look at OPS by batting order position across eras (60s/70s and, I think, post 90s). The difference between the 7, 8, and 9 spots in the 60s/70s versus today is pretty dramatic.
   90. DL from MN Posted: June 25, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4735262)
Expansion could really help some of these pitchers stay in the league as they get older.

Re 89 - Jim Palmer CLEARLY was pitching below max effort if you look at his clutch stats (HR allowed is the one that sticks out). If you can let the defense get the outs and dial it up only when you have to it is a huge advantage for a pitcher.
   91. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 25, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4735274)
Jim Palmer CLEARLY was pitching below max effort if you look at his clutch stats (HR allowed is the one that sticks out).


Under that theory, Tom Glavine had an even larger HR split between bases empty/men on. I'm not sure if he's from the pitchers had to try harder generation.

I know it's a popular theory, but I'm extremely skeptical of the idea that today's pitchers have to exert max effort ALL THE TIME whereas guys in the past could just coast. It just doesn't make sense to me.

   92. cardsfanboy Posted: June 25, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4735280)
Don't you think it's a bit longer than that? The one inning closer was in vogue in the early 90's


Yes it's more than a decade ago, the "current" usage more or less started with TLR's A's in the late 80's, where you had a very good one inning closer, and a very good set up man. Current bullpen usage is more than just a one inning closer, it's also the setup man and the Lefty specialist and most relievers being limited to one innings.

Of course if that is the case, then that means guys like Maddux, Clemens, Randy, and Glavine all qualify as "under current usage"...which is exactly what I think they do.

The more I think about this, the more I'm inclined to look at it as a pitch count issue, or perhaps a bit more of a pitch count issue than a bullpen usage issue. It's certainly both, but I'm leaning more towards weighting the impact as being pitch counts. Seems as if starters are pulled, regardless of performance, earlier if the pitch count dictates, which forces a 7th inning guy into the equation.


Pitch count usage has become a bigger deal in the last 20 years or so, although it's not 100 pitches like people seem to act, it's closer to 110 pitches in practice. And of course the score of the game, the look of fatigue on the pitcher, and the quality of their pen all figure into it.

The funniest thing about looking at the eras, say 2013 vs 1974, is that starting pitchers today average pretty close to the same number of innings per start. 5.9 vs 6.45(NL)...basically the average pitcher in 1974 recorded two more outs per start. The difference in usage today vs in the past is that 1. pitchers do not get pulled, as frequently today before the 5th inning, even in blow outs. 2. The spread between the aces in innings pitched and average, was greater in the 70's than nowadays.
   93. cardsfanboy Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4735306)
I know it's a popular theory, but I'm extremely skeptical of the idea that today's pitchers have to exert max effort ALL THE TIME whereas guys in the past could just coast. It just doesn't make sense to me.


all the time? I doubt it, but I don't think it's outrageous to say that pitchers of the past could coast more than in the present.
   94. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4735343)
all the time? I doubt it, but I don't think it's outrageous to say that pitchers of the past could coast more than in the present.


We're not in a high-offensive environment. Why should I believe that a pitcher facing some 2014 NL team, for example, really has to work harder than someone who was facing teams from more offense-friendly eras?

Yes, the mid-1960s probably offered fewer high-stress innings than any other era (and clearly it took fewer pitches to get through an inning than it did at other times, which has to help longevity) but by that token 2014 surely offers fewer high-stress innings than 2004.

Either higher offensive levels = higher stress, in which case this shouldn't be a max effort era, or we're just engaging in reverse "In My Daying" of things.

   95. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4735347)
Either higher offensive levels = higher stress, in which case this shouldn't be a max effort era, or we're just engaging in reverse "In My Daying" of things.

Good point. No reason 2014 should be more stress than 1984.
   96. cardsfanboy Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4735356)
We're not in a high-offensive environment. Why should I believe that a pitcher facing some 2014 NL team, for example, really has to work harder than someone who was facing teams from more offense-friendly eras?


I agree with you here, if you are talking about late 90's to about 3 years ago, then sure, I don't think pitchers today have to work harder, but I do think they are, as indicated by the increased strikeout rates they are putting up in comparison to that era.

   97. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4735357)
Pitches per plate appearance have been steadily increasing since 1988 when data was first tracked. They have not oscillated with runs scored but were increasing when runs were increasing and have still been increasing as runs have dropped down.
   98. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4735362)
Yes, wouldn't more strikeouts automatically have to equal more pitches?

Also, a lot of pitchers blew out early in the '80s because they were being subjected to '70s workloads, which implies that the '80s were a relatively hard environment to pitch in. If the current environment is the '80s plus more strikeouts, then it's more difficult to pitch in than the '80s. (Paradoxical that more strikeouts means pitching is more difficult, but we're talking about physically difficult, not results difficult.)
   99. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4735373)
I agree with you here, if you are talking about late 90's to about 3 years ago, then sure, I don't think pitchers today have to work harder, but I do think they are, as indicated by the increased strikeout rates they are putting up in comparison to that era.


Yes, wouldn't more strikeouts automatically have to equal more pitches?

Automatically? No. But likely, sure. Of course, higher offensive levels do even more to drive up pitch totals than high strikeout totals.

And, removing the offensive environment issue entirely, the strikeout numbers would simply mean that the average plate appearance may last longer, but that doesn't necessarily follow that each pitch requires max (or closer to) max effort, which is the argument I object to.
   100. cardsfanboy Posted: June 25, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4735380)
And, removing the offensive environment issue entirely, the strikeout numbers would simply mean that the average plate appearance may last longer, but that doesn't necessarily follow that each pitch requires max (or closer to) max effort, which is the argument I object to.


I think strikeouts are an indication of more effort being put forth. Strikeouts are not entirely the domain of the batter, the pitchers figure pretty heavily into that particular result, an uptick in strikeouts is indicative(at least to me) that a pitcher is trying harder to get that batter out, than just allowing him to put the ball in play and see what happens.
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