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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is 300-wins club done adding members?

JoePos clearly underestimates the drive of Rick Porcello. Next 300-game winner right there.

No one in baseball now threatens that magic 300 number. The active leader in victories is Bartolo Colon with 233, and while we would be the last people to ever underestimate Colon, no, he won’t win 300. After him is CC Sabathia with 223 wins. He’s just 36, but he has been trending down for a while now. Sabathia has a combined 18 victories his past three seasons.

After that, you drop to John Lackey with 176. He doesn’t have nearly enough time left. Then there’s Justin Verlander with 173. We will get back to him.

Point is, once again people are saying that 300-game winner is a dodo bird. And this time, they could be right, but perhaps not for the reasons usually given. Yes, there are pitch counts and, yes, starters go fewer innings and, yes, fewer pitchers win 20-plus games in a season than they did in, say, the 1970s.

But pitchers still could win 300.

It comes down to desire. Ambition. Zeal. If you look at history, most of the pitchers who won 300 games had not done it by the time they turned 40. Some of them, like Niekro and Johnson, were not even close to 300 wins after their age 40 season. They were still effective and they would not stop.

 

ajnrules Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:23 AM | 130 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 300 wins, joe posnanski, pitching, randy johnson

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.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5406753)
Is 300-wins club done adding members?

No.
Next question.
   2. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:19 PM (#5406769)
The only record in baseball that I'm completely confident will never be threatened is Chesbro's 48 CG in 1904.

Everything else is fair game at some point over the next century.
   3. Ithaca2323 Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5406773)
Everything else is fair game at some point over the next century.


Eh, I'd put single season wins/IP on the list for the same reason.
   4. JohnQ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5406791)
I think it's possible with the advancements in sports medicine and training. You can get 300 wins by averaging 12 wins a year for 25 years, 15 wins over 20. Jamie Moyer only needed to average 1 more win a year to do it. He probably would have done it had his career not fallen off a cliff from 1989-1995. You can have a knuckleball pitcher or a rubber arm pitcher like Colon do something like that. I think another problem is the money in baseball. MLB pitchers can make so much money if they pitch into their 30's. How much incentive will there be for a guy to pitch well into his 40's and deal with all the grind of pitching every season.
   5. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:46 PM (#5406799)
This sentence:

Glavine completed just 56 games in his entire career; Perry completed more games from 1972-73.


Holy smokes! I knew it was extreme but not THAT extreme!!
   6. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:52 PM (#5406806)
I'll be surprised if anyone ever challenges Ripken's record. I think players recognize the value of a day off, and teams do as well. The whole "iron man" concept doesn't really fit with modern thinking on health and injuries.

It will be years before we see another player even get to 1000 games, let alone 2000.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:53 PM (#5406807)
Eh, I'd put single season wins/IP on the list for the same reason.

Pretty sure Cy Young's 511 wins is safe.
   8. Perry Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5406819)
Pretty sure Cy Young's 511 wins is safe.


Probably his 316 losses, too, although Ryan took a run at it.
   9. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5406833)
I'd like to see the seven-fingered bastard who beats Antonio Alfonseca.
   10. Adam Starblind Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5406835)
How much incentive will there be for a guy to pitch well into his 40's and deal with all the grind of pitching every season.


There's the incentive that playing major league baseball for a living is fuccking awesome.
   11. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:25 PM (#5406850)
Everything else is fair game at some point over the next century.


Eh, I'd put single season wins/IP on the list for the same reason.


Aside from all the ridiculous pitcher durability related records (Cy Young's career decisions total being another), what records are the most untouchable? Seasonal or career to eliminate trivial in-game records and the like.

Here's a few suggestions:

Triples, season - 36. Set in 1912, no one else since the 1800s has gotten more than 26, only 2 players since 1980 have more than 20 (23 and 21). Not physically impossible like the pitching endurance records, but extremely unlikely.

AB/K - in 1899, Willie Keeler struck out 2 times in 575 AB. In his career, he struck out once per 63 AB, one ahead of Joe Sewell at once per 62. The closest modern player is Bill Buckner at once per 21.

Career SB. No one on the active list has even half as many, and the active leader is 42 years old. Only 9 other players in history have half as many, and the most recent one of those just got into the HOF on his last attempt.

These next 2 are kind of obscure, but under current rules are impossible to break. Most games played in a season - 165 by Maury Wills. Most defensive innings played in a season - 1472 by Ron Santo and Billy Williams. Wills played every regular season game in 1962, plus 3 games of the NL playoff, which is now of course one game. Santo and Williams played every inning of all 164 games the Cubs played in 1965. They had 2 suspended games, which under the rules, had to be replaced in entirety, but the stats counted. They came 4 innings short of averaging 9 innings per game for 164 games.

Ripken's consecutive games and innings streaks.



   12. Baldrick Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:26 PM (#5406852)
Pretty sure Cy Young's 511 wins is safe.

It depends how rigid we are about what counts as a win.

What if 50 years from now, there aren't really 'starting pitchers' anymore, but instead are tons of guys throwing 180 innings a year in 3 and 4 inning chunks? Seems like they'd have to tweak the rules for counting wins. Otherwise, the one pitcher who has the biggest role in most games would always be the one guy who can't get the win. If that did happen, it seems quite easy to imagine guys racking up 30+ wins a year, and making a run at 511.
   13. Perry Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:26 PM (#5406856)
There's the incentive that playing major league baseball for a living is fuccking awesome.


Sure, you and I think so, but when you've been doing it for 20 years, have more money than you could ever possibly spend, and young kids growing up that you barely see for half the year, it might look different.
   14. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:28 PM (#5406857)
One thing that makes pitcher wins different from other stats such as home runs, stolen bases, etc., is that there's going to be a pitcher win in virtually every game (minus the rare tie games or forfeits). Having a pitcher credited with a win isn't a a reflection of the style of play, which can affect the totals for other counting stats. The distribution may be different in various eras, but its existence is a constant. For that reason, I think it's likely that someone will win 300 games again.
   15. DavidFoss Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:31 PM (#5406862)
@10

Yeah, most seem to want to do it. Most of the 90s greats kept coming back until no one would take them anymore despite the 9-digit career earnings.

The only one I can think of that retired on a bit of an uptick was Mussina.
   16. Ziggy's screen name Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5406865)
You could get cute with it. "Home runs as percentage of league home runs" is probably something that Ruth has nailed down pretty comfortably, for now and forever.

Edit: for a single season.
   17. Adam Starblind Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5406866)

Sure, you and I think so, but when you've been doing it for 20 years, have more money than you could ever possibly spend, and young kids growing up that you barely see for half the year, it might look different.


But a lot of guys might still think it's fuccking awesome. Bartolo thinks it's fuccking awesome. I think Bartolo is fuccking awesome.
   18. TomH Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5406867)
If a team went to a 3-man rotation (no throwing in between days) who pitched 4 IP each, none of them would be eligible for a "win" under the current rules. Thus the 80-ish wins would be distributed among the other 9 or so bullpen guys. A pitcher who often threw the 5th-&-6th innings of games when a team was ahead may go 50 G, 100 IP, 25 (!) wins.
   19. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5406868)
The only one I can think of that retired on a bit of an uptick was Mussina.


Will Clark.
   20. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5406869)
Don't we get articles like this all the time. At the end of 1995, Dennis Martinez was the active leader in wins with 231. Roger Clemens was 32, had 182 wins, and was coming off a 140ip season where he had a 4.18 era. That guy probably isn't getting to 300, right? Well, 172 wins later, he finishes his career with 354.

Which would be the most since Warren Spahn, except.... at the end of that same season Greg Maddux was 29, had 150 wins, and, while still great, maybe getting another 150 would be expected to be a tall order. 205 wins later, Maddux finishes with 355. If not for the strikes of 1994, 1995 he would have been close enough to the NL record of 373 to go another season and get that record.

Heck, at the end of 1995, 31 year old Randy Johnson had a whopping 99 career victories. No way he gets to 300, right? Or Tom Glavine, same age as Maddux, but 26 fewer wins at that point... All of these guys made plenty of money, and pitched forever.

   21. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5406875)
Is the Top 100 Players Ever club done adding writers?
   22. Ziggy's screen name Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5406876)
I mean, really the question is about the relatively likelihood of something bizarre happening under current conditions, versus conditions changing.

A 57 game hitting streak isn't very likely. But there are still guys who take a run at .400 batting average (Gwynn in 1994 for example). Take the next ten of those guys, what's the probably that one of them will put together 57 game hitting streak? Now, in order to break Chesbro's CG record we're going to need conditions/rules changes. If Manfred decides to speed up the game by requiring only one strike for a strike out, maybe Chesbro's record is in danger. So how unlikely is it that another Gwynn takes down Dimaggio versus Manfred changing the number of strikes needed for a K?
   23. Adam Starblind Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5406877)
Yeah, it's very difficult to project guys to 300, even after 30, because they have to remain healthy and effective enough to pitch at a reasonable level ino their 40s, and good luck figuring out which guys with 150-75 wins are going to do that.
   24. TomH Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5406878)
In 1993, who thought we would have a 70-HR season in 1998?
   25. TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5406892)
Ty Cobb's .366 career BA. Since WWII, there have been only 20 such individual seasons, and only Tony Gwynn had more than 2 (he had 4). Ted Williams (.344) and Tony Gwynn (.338) are the only two players with even a single PA in the past 70 years who are in the top 25 in career BA.

The game has just changed too much.
   26. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:49 PM (#5406893)
Kershaw has 126 wins, is 28 and has averaged 16 wins per 162 games. If he keeps that up it will take him under 11 years which will leave him in his 30's with 300 wins. If he stays healthy and pitches into his early 40's he will have a good shot. Staying healthy and effective is very difficult so he's got a long hill to climb. Also it seems the Dodgers will be good for the foreseeable future which could make things a bit easier.
   27. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5406898)
The only one I can think of that retired on a bit of an uptick was Mussina.

Will Clark.



Tom Henke.
   28. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:00 PM (#5406907)
I'd like to see the seven-fingered bastard who beats Antonio Alfonseca.


I dunno. Back in the '80s I'd have said something similar about Three Finger Brown, & then along comes Jim Abbott.
   29. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:02 PM (#5406908)
Nobody will pitch with zero hands, I think.
   30. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:05 PM (#5406912)
All it takes is one telepath with control.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:08 PM (#5406914)
#11: It is possible that the gp (and therefore innings) in a season records could be broken. I'll admit I'm a bit wonky on the current rules on rain-outs and when they do/don't get finished but I think it's still possible for a team to have 4 tied official game rainouts that have to be made up. But even if I'm wrong about that, we also have all sorts of crazy tie-breaking scenarios when multiple teams are tied. Maybe the Tigers and Indians are tied at 87 wins which is also tied with 2 other teams at 87 for the second WC spot. Or something more complicated.

Of course, as records go, gp and innings in a year are boring as dirt so we've already given them more thought than they deserve. :-)

Holy ####, new baseball-reference format! I hate change!! (Also it's not formatting right on my tablet)

Anyway, on 300 wins, Kershaw has a pretty good shot. He's already got two 20-win seasons under his belt and 126 wins through age 28 and is an awesome pitcher. He's got a shot to have 300 by the end of his age-40 season.

On incentive to keep playing -- not much evidence that players are leaving early cuz they're filthy rich. Most of the superstars seem to hang on very late -- Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, Rickey, etc. -- or to plod their way to milestones (Biggio, Ichiro ... and Ichiro is still around). Possibly players are more aware now of longer-term health consequences and/or do get tired of dealing with pain earlier (e.g. Ortiz was obviously still very productive; so was Larry Walker). But if anything, the chance to earn another $10, $15, $20 M seems to inspire them to keep coming back even when they've earned $100+ M already.
   32. GGC Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5406915)
5. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:46 PM (#5406799)
This sentence:

Glavine completed just 56 games in his entire career; Perry completed more games from 1972-73.



Holy smokes! I knew it was extreme but not THAT extreme!!


I think that the AL was still mired in the minideadball era back then.
   33. Rally Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5406923)
In 1993, who thought we would have a 70-HR season in 1998?


In 1993, it was probably too early, but just a year later it seemed obvious to me that Maris's record would not last much longer.
   34. Perry Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:19 PM (#5406930)
I'd like to see the seven-fingered bastard who beats Antonio Alfonseca.


Or the seven-toed one that beats Sixto Lezcano.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5406934)
But if anything, the chance to earn another $10, $15, $20 M seems to inspire them to keep coming back even when they've earned $100+ M already.

The behavior of rich people does tend to show that people never really get tired of adding extra money to the pot.
   36. Rally Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:25 PM (#5406937)
Although innings are down, the typical league leader in wins usually has right about 20. That hasn't changed much since the 70's (eyeballing it, average leader about 23).

So we'll get a 300 game winner here or there as long as some great pitchers last into their 40's like the last generation of 300 game winners did.

Sabathia isn't the power pitcher he was, but maybe he can pitch like late career David Wells. If he wins 12 games a year for the next 5 he'll be 40 with 283.

Felix, Verlander, and Kershaw have a shot as long as they remain effective and pitch a long time. Just keep going like Maddux and Clemens did. Easier said than done of course.

And then there's the Randy Johnson way - just sneak up on everybody by having your best years in your mid 30s and keep pitching past 40. Impossible to predict who, if anyone, might do that.
   37. TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:39 PM (#5406952)
In 1993, who thought we would have a 70-HR season in 1998?

In 1993, it was probably too early, but just a year later it seemed obvious to me that Maris's record would not last much longer.
I've probably mentioned it before, but I told my boss at the beginning of the '98 season that if McGwire stayed healthy he'd hit 70.

Don't we get articles like this all the time. At the end of 1995, Dennis Martinez was the active leader in wins with 231. Roger Clemens was 32, had 182 wins, and was coming off a 140ip season where he had a 4.18 era. That guy probably isn't getting to 300, right?...

at the end of that same season Greg Maddux was 29, had 150 wins, and, while still great, maybe getting another 150 would be expected to be a tall order.
You would think that, but FTA:
A look at the age charts of 300-game winners shows that they get most of their wins after age 30. The 13 pitchers (who won 300 since the deadball era) only averaged 126 victories before their age 30 seasons, and only Maddux, Clemens and Seaver were halfway to 300 by then.
IOW, no one had enough wins by age-30 that you'd think they'd make it to 300.
   38. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5406958)

Anyway, on 300 wins, Kershaw has a pretty good shot. He's already got two 20-win seasons under his belt and 126 wins through age 28 and is an awesome pitcher. He's got a shot to have 300 by the end of his age-40 season.

Felix Hernandez (154 wins at age 30) seems like as good a bet as anyone besides Kershaw. But the guys who have gotten to 300 have taken such a variety of paths to getting there that I think the best bets are probably the guys who have the most wins over the last 5 or so seasons:

Scherzer (125 career wins, 89 in last 5 years, 31 years old)
Bumgarner (100, 80, 26)
Price (121, 80, 31)
Greinke (155, 79, 32)
Kershaw (126, 79, 28)
Cueto (114, 73, 30)
Lester (146, 70, 32)

One of these guys, or someone off our radar screen, will do it by pitching well into their early 40s.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:49 PM (#5406967)
Career SB. No one on the active list has even half as many, and the active leader is 42 years old. Only 9 other players in history have half as many, and the most recent one of those just got into the HOF on his last attempt.


That is era based though, it's cyclical and a resurgence of the stolen base is very possible. And if they ever expand the roster size and limit the number of pitchers, it might not be odd to see a Billy Hamilton type of guy getting a few seasons of 80+ steals. Nobody with over 500 career steals debuted between 1911 and 1956(dropping it to 400 as a qualifier you have a gap of 1919 to 1956) But you still have guys like Juan Pierre debuting in 2000 that made it to 600 steals, and Ichiro missed 5 good years and still made it to 500.

   40. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5406969)
You would think that, but FTA:

A look at the age charts of 300-game winners shows that they get most of their wins after age 30. The 13 pitchers (who won 300 since the deadball era) only averaged 126 victories before their age 30 seasons, and only Maddux, Clemens and Seaver were halfway to 300 by then.

IOW, no one had enough wins by age-30 that you'd think they'd make it to 300.


We've been saying that on this board for years, 300 wins is more often about staying healthy in your 30's than getting a head start in your 20's.
   41. Booey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:57 PM (#5406973)
I'd actually be surprised if any of Barry's single season records were broken. 73 homers would be tough - the game has changed a lot since 2001, and of course Bonds was a pretty transcendent talent - but some of his other records flat out look like typo's: .863 SLG, .609 OBP, 232 walks, 120 intentional walks.

Also the "modern" single season batting average record (.424 or .426, depending on the source). If no one has even hit .400 in 75 years, I think hitting over .420 is pretty much out of the question.
   42. Booey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5406974)
I've probably mentioned it before, but I told my boss at the beginning of the '98 season that if McGwire stayed healthy he'd hit 70.


Yeah, after 149 homers in 1280 AB's from 1995-1997 (one every 8.6 AB's), a healthy McGwire felt like a lock to pass Maris (staying healthy was obviously less of a lock for Mac).

It's interesting that Maris still holds the AL record though.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:39 PM (#5407002)
Now as far as the stolen base record, it is of course going to be tough, if you look at the numbers it took for Rickey Henderson to reach 1406, that is 3081 games over 25 seasons, but if you divide his total games played by 162, you get 19 seasons(19.018....) where he averaged 74 steals per 162 games over 19 years. That is going to be something really tough to do obviously. Hamilton isn't good enough player to even get enough playing time to reach 60 a year.

So it's probably an unreachable record, but I don't think it's impossible, like I do the Cy Young style records.
   44. Booey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:40 PM (#5407003)
On the flip side, which records seem MOST breakable? Gotta be saves, right? Both SS and career.
   45. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:45 PM (#5407009)
and Ichiro missed 5 good years and still made it to 500.


Give Ichiro 100 SB per for those 5 years and he's still 400 behind Rickey.



   46. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5407012)
On the flip side, which records seem MOST breakable? Gotta be saves, right? Both SS and career.


SS batting strikeouts. Bonds longstanding record has been broken 4 times since 2004. Chris Davis last year came within 4 of the current record. Davis has a decent shot at the career record, with over 1300 by age 30.
   47. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:51 PM (#5407013)
I'm guessing the auto-IBB record will be broken this year.
   48. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:53 PM (#5407016)
We've been saying that on this board for years, 300 wins is more often about staying healthy in your 30's than getting a head start in your 20's.


This is why I think Scherzer has a shot. At this stage, dude just does his 34 starts a year and away he goes. He gets his 15-16 wins a year for the next 10 years and he's gonna be getting real close.
I actually thought Buehrle might give it shot. He seems like that typical "crafty lefty" who'd throw into his 40's getting his 13-15 wins per year, but alas. Anyone who allows about 60SB and picks off nearly 100 guys over his career deserves a shot at something. Please note that I am the biggest Buehrle fan. I'm always amazed at guys who can succeed unconventionally.
   49. Fadeaway: The Baseball History Podcast Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:55 PM (#5407018)
Scherzer just seems like a guy whose violent max-effort delivery is going to cause his arm to fall off at some point.
   50. Booey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:55 PM (#5407019)
SS batting strikeouts.


Oh, yeah, that. The career (batting) SO record too. I'm actually surprised Reggie still has it. I figured Thome or Sosa or ARod or someone would have taken him down by now.

Too bad pitchers don't get enough innings anymore to challenge the SS and career pitching K records.
   51. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 22, 2017 at 06:03 PM (#5407023)
I think it's still possible for a team to have 4 tied official game rainouts that have to be made up


I think that's been changed. They're not counted as ties and replayed, as they used to be. They are all picked up where they left off.

However, one way to beat the record would be for a player traded at midseason from a team that had played 83 games to another that had played 80, and then his new team gets into a multiple tied team scenario.
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: February 22, 2017 at 06:11 PM (#5407026)
edit - nevermind - misread the post
   53. BDC Posted: February 22, 2017 at 06:26 PM (#5407034)
Everybody's said everything I thought of WRT to the stats themselves. (Though when has that ever stopped me?)

Though I will say this in a "theoretical" sort of way, agreeing with fanboy (and not with TFA): if a record, or a landmark, can be reached by means of determination alone, it probably will someday be reached. I remember Bill James making this point about Cal Ripken. Once Ripken had decided to break Gehrig's record, and gotten the Orioles to buy in, only injury could have stopped him. (Because he was a good enough player to contemplate breaking it to begin with, naturally.)

Obviously more marks are amenable to this attempt than others. If Billy Hamilton had Rickey Henderson's OBP and his manager decided it was a good idea to have him steal 131 bases, he could do it. But no pitcher can decide to complete 750 starts. They really never could; Even Cy Young only got to 749 because he got to 107 before the pitching distance increased.
   54. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 22, 2017 at 06:35 PM (#5407038)
However, one way to beat the record would be for a player traded at midseason from a team that had played 83 games to another that had played 80, and then his new team gets into a multiple tied team scenario.


Frank Taveras did this in 1979 - played 11 games for the Pirates, then was traded to the Mets, who had only played 9 games at that point, so he ended up appearing in 164 games on the season.
   55. shoewizard Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:08 PM (#5407046)
I would say the career ERA record is pretty safe.

We are not going back to the "deadball era" , ever, because baseball will never let the balls become undead and never let scoring get that low again that would make it possible to put up a 1.81 ERA in over 1000 innings.

   56. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:11 PM (#5407047)
I would say the career ERA record is pretty safe.


I love #17 on the list.
   57. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:15 PM (#5407049)
I love #17 on the list.


On that list, No. 17 is the most recent starting pitcher to debut before you get to Clayton Kershaw.
   58. Baldrick Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:41 PM (#5407061)
I would say the career ERA record is pretty safe.

We are not going back to the "deadball era" , ever, because baseball will never let the balls become undead and never let scoring get that low again that would make it possible to put up a 1.81 ERA in over 1000 innings.

Rivera had an ERA of 2.03 in over 1200 innings, if you exclude the year he started. Obviously, 'be a a bit better than Mariano Rivera' is a big ask, but it's not completely impossible.
   59. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:44 PM (#5407062)
On the flip side, which records seem MOST breakable?


A good place to look is the Chicago White Sox's all-time career record book (runs 1,327; HRs 448; hits 2,749; SB 368; wins 260; saves 201). This for a team that's existed for 116 years.
   60. grandcosmo Posted: February 22, 2017 at 08:01 PM (#5407071)
If you want to make up categories - Most consecutive no-hitters thrown. Scherzer almost tied it but breaking it will be tough.

Of the most recently set records, Bonds' 120 IBB seems unfathomable already.
   61. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 22, 2017 at 08:10 PM (#5407075)
On that list, No. 17 is the most recent starting pitcher to debut before you get to Clayton Kershaw.


And after Clayshaw at #24, you have to go all the way to #167 to find the next active player (Bumgarner).
   62. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 22, 2017 at 08:15 PM (#5407079)
Frank Taveras did this in 1979 - played 11 games for the Pirates, then was traded to the Mets, who had only played 9 games at that point, so he ended up appearing in 164 games on the season.


I think the best chance of this happening would be someone who played for a dome team in April (Toronto, Tampa, etc) being dealt to a team later in the season that had rain/snow-outs in April.

I think it was about 5 or 6 years ago there was a rash of rain/snow-outs early in the year (April/May) in the east that caused havoc in the schedules, forcing a lot of August/September double-headers to make up the games.

Edit: It was 2011.
   63. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: February 22, 2017 at 08:22 PM (#5407083)
which records seem MOST breakable? Gotta be saves, right? Both SS and career.

I don't think the single season saves record is that breakable. For the most part, teams have tried maximizing save opportunities for a single pitcher for about 25 years. And no one else has come that close to 62. Only two pitchers have even gotten 60 save opportunities in a season. I would not be surprised if the record is broken, but I would not be surprised if it still stands in 50 years.
   64. Booey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 08:30 PM (#5407085)
I would not be surprised if the record is broken, but I would not be surprised if it still stands in 50 years.


Same, but I think just the fact that we wouldn't be surprised if it were broken puts it near the top of the most breakable list. Most records I would be completely blown away if I ever lived to see them broken. Many of them just plain don't seem possible anymore.
   65. Booey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 08:44 PM (#5407093)
I guess I wouldn't be completely shocked if some of the counting stat records were broken in my lifetime; hits, HR's, rbi, etc. It will be tough, of course, but it at least seems theoretically possible. Ichiro playing his whole career in the US might have broken the hits record. If ARod aged a little better and didn't miss most of 2 seasons with injuries and suspensions he might have broken the HR and RBI records. Pujols might have had a shot at the rbi record if he aged a bit better too.
   66. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 22, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5407098)
I don't think the single season saves record is that breakable. For the most part, teams have tried maximizing save opportunities for a single pitcher for about 25 years. And no one else has come that close to 62. Only two pitchers have even gotten 60 save opportunities in a season. I would not be surprised if the record is broken, but I would not be surprised if it still stands in 50 years.


I was confused for a moment because I thought the record was still 57 (Thigpen).
I had to look up who held the current record (62), and it wasn't the guy I thought it was going to be (Gagne).
   67. GGC Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:11 PM (#5407104)
DiMaggio's hitting streak would be hard to top; especially with the modern level of walks and strikeouts. But that might not be the hardest baatting record to break.

As Ziggy mentions, it is more likely we'll see another .400 hitter. But I doubt that anyone will ever top a powerless .497 and qualify for the batting title.
   68. reech Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:19 PM (#5407107)
I want someone to challenge Cesar Tovar's and Bert Campaneris's record of playing 9 positions in a game.
In an American League Park, with the DH, it could be done.
   69. Howie Menckel Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:26 PM (#5407111)
I want someone to challenge Cesar Tovar's and Bert Campaneris's record of playing 9 positions in a game.
In an American League Park, with the DH, it could be done.

release the hounds!
   70. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5407113)
I would think Cy Young's 749 CGs is exponentially more unbreakable than his wins record or losses record.
   71. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:34 PM (#5407116)
Strikeouts by a hitter has been mentioned before, the career record is going to eventually get destroyed (By Trout probably) the single season record is a bit tougher to predict, we are getting close to the point that it's going to be real hard for a player to break the single season strikeout record and still be a viable enough player to keep getting chances.
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:36 PM (#5407119)
I want someone to challenge Cesar Tovar's and Bert Campaneris's record of playing 9 positions in a game.
In an American League Park, with the DH, it could be done.


according to some people, relief pitcher and starting pitcher are two different positions, so theoretically that's 11 positions, and who knows, maybe they'll come up with a new position because of the use of shifts called rover.

Of course position isn't actually defined in baseball other than pitcher, catcher and first base(?).
   73. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:43 PM (#5407120)
Strikeouts by a hitter has been mentioned before, the career record is going to eventually get destroyed (By Trout probably) the single season record is a bit tougher to predict, we are getting close to the point that it's going to be real hard for a player to break the single season strikeout record and still be a viable enough player to keep getting chances.


Why? Chris Davis came within 4 of breaking the record last year and played 157 games. His OPS+ wasn't that great (107), but in 2015 he had a 147 OPS+ and came within 16.
   74. The Duke Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:58 PM (#5407128)
I chuckle that on any other pitcher topic if you use wins to justify your case, you get shouted off the board. But sabr-heads just have to admit after all fStats and bStats, wins really are the way you grade greatness. And home runs and RBIs.
   75. GGC Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:09 PM (#5407131)
It's neat when a guy is chasing 300; but I'm not a career value guy, so I don't find wins that helpful when evaluating pitchers. I'm just not shrill about it like Brian Kenny.
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:10 PM (#5407134)
Why? Chris Davis came within 4 of breaking the record last year and played 157 games. His OPS+ wasn't that great (107), but in 2015 he had a 147 OPS+ and came within 16.


I was thinking more along the lines that we are close to the theoretical maximum strikeouts you can get and be a useful player, I do think the single season record is still at risk, until probably we reach 240 or maybe 250 or so. I wasn't clear on what my thought process was in that comment, just pointing out that at some point in time, some of these records have a finite limit.
   77. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:12 PM (#5407135)
I joined this thread late (it's morning in Vietnam) and everything I wanted to add is pretty much covered. But I'd like to agree with/expand on a couple of things:

1. Poz's argument about pitchers not having the will to stick around for 300 wins seems out of character for him. I've read several of his columns where he writes about how athletes are always the last to admit that they're "done," and there's more of a tendency to hang on as a shell of your former self, kicking around from team to team (Thome, Maddux) than to leave "prematurely" while you're still near your peak (Ortiz, Mussina).

I don't see any trend toward shorter careers or earlier retirements since the arrival of big money. For the most part -- the odd Adam Dunn aside -- baseball players play professional baseball because they love the game, and because it's better than a "real job." The goal is rarely to "make just enough money so that I can retire, then quit." Players generally retire because (i) nobody will give them a job, (ii) they don't want to be embarrassed by their declining ability, (iii) health issues, or (iv) they want to spend more time with their families/other activities. But not because they've reached a career wealth target. As Snapper alluded to above, rich people don't get tired of making money.

So I don't think this has really changed. Mussina's more the exception than the rule. If you look at other recent members of the 200-win club, most of them hung on as long as they could: Wakefield (44 years old), Finley (39 - probably could've pitched a couple more years), Halladay (just 36 - injuries stopped him, I think), Hershiser (41), Brown (40), Smoltz (42), Buehrle (36 - OK, he quit early), Schilling (40), Rogers (43), Pedro (37 - but clearly diminished), Hudson (39 - see Finley), Wells (44), Pettitte (41), Moyer (49). Buehrle's the only one of those guys who looks like he MIGHT'VE walked away from a chance at 300 wins.

2. I still think pitchers can get to the 300-win club by the conventional route (win a lot of games per year and pitch a lot of years), but it does seem to be getting harder due to workloads. However, there are some out-of-the-box ways that the 300-win club could become an easier target, and the career and single-season win records could even be threatened.

First, the season could be lengthened. Doesn't seem likely in my lifetime, but maybe MLB, in a revenue grab, could one day decide to go to a year-round season, 250 games a year. Or they could decide that postseason games count toward official season/career stats.

Second, with the trend toward shorter starts and the quirks of the win stat's definition, a team could decide to have a designated "winner," much like they currently have designated closers (or, if you will, "savers"). If starters are limited to 3-4 innings, and the win isn't redefined (retaining the 5-inning minimum for starters), a team that really cared about racking up individual win totals could take a Mariano Rivera-type talent and only bring him into games in the 4th or 5th inning where the team has a lead of 2 or more runs, to pitch an inning and be in line for the "win." He could conceivably do this 60+ times a year, and though a lot of these wins would be blown by subsequent relievers, it's not hard to envision someone getting 30 or 40 "wins" a year with this type of deployment.
   78. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:14 PM (#5407136)
I chuckle that on any other pitcher topic if you use wins to justify your case, you get shouted off the board. But sabr-heads just have to admit after all fStats and bStats, wins really are the way you grade greatness. And home runs and RBIs.


Career wins is a bit different than seasonal wins, but I'm not sure anyone uses it to grade greatness, they use it as a confirmation stat of greatness. I doubt there are many saberheads who are going to look at two pitchers with similar GS, IP, ERA+(and unearned runs rate) War, Waa and similar number of great seasons, while one has 270 wins and the other has 300 that are going to conclude the guy with 300 is the better pitcher.

More people are pushing for Schilling and his lower win total over Jack Morris. The thing is that if a pitcher can get close to 300 wins, he's probably going to be a pretty good pitcher and have a strong case for being in the hof, regardless of his win total.
   79. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:23 PM (#5407137)
First, the season could be lengthened. Doesn't seem likely in my lifetime, but maybe MLB, in a revenue grab, could one day decide to go to a year-round season, 250 games a year. Or they could decide that postseason games count toward official season/career stats.


Season being lengthened seems a bit tough to push, but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see somewhere down the line that someone makes a successful argument that post season stats should count for a players career numbers.

Second, with the trend toward shorter starts and the quirks of the win stat's definition, a team could decide to have a designated "winner," much like they currently have designated closers (or, if you will, "savers"). If starters are limited to 3-4 innings, and the win isn't redefined (retaining the 5-inning minimum for starters), a team that really cared about racking up individual win totals could take a Mariano Rivera-type talent and only bring him into games in the 4th or 5th inning where the team has a lead of 2 or more runs, to pitch an inning and be in line for the "win." He could conceivably do this 60+ times a year, and though a lot of these wins would be blown by subsequent relievers, it's not hard to envision someone getting 30 or 40 "wins" a year with this type of deployment.


I doubt you would get many players on the team on board with this option, except maybe as a last gasp for a player ending his career to reach 300.

300 wins is going to be more or less what they were in the past, guys who stay healthy in their 30s, enough to get 30+ starts a year. Bullpens are reducing the blown wins, so that pitching into the sixth inning with a lead, has probably the same chance of getting you a win in comparison to pitchers in the day going into the 7th inning. And you are less likely to blow the win yourself.

I still think that at some point in time, the ace and two of the staff will start to get 10 or so relief appearances a year on their "throw" day. (teams will basically make the rotation 1-2-3-5-4 or whatever to ensure that on the aces throw day, the fifth starter is getting the ball, so they know that the ace is very likely to have an inning of work--especially if they can time the throw days with a day game)
   80. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:30 PM (#5407140)
I wasn't clear on what my thought process was in that comment, just pointing out that at some point in time, some of these records have a finite limit.


Sure, I agree with that. But as long as someone can put up a 147 OPS+ with 208 K, or a 107 with 223, there is a long way to go before we get there.
   81. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5407142)
I doubt you would get many players on the team on board with this option, except maybe as a last gasp for a player ending his career to reach 300.

Yes. I should've noted that I also think it's a dumb idea, and I doubt any teams are stupid enough to try it. It's just a way-out scenario that could nevertheless still happen under the current rules.

Maybe some crazy billionaire buys a baseball team and signs his son (a legitimately good pitcher), and he's maniacally driven toward 300 wins and the Hall of Fame so he orders the manager to use his son this way.
   82. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:38 PM (#5407145)
And maybe it's not completely dumb. If the pitcher usage trend continues to move toward shorter starts and more relievers, we could start regularly seeing inning patterns of 4-2-1-1-1 or 3-2-1-1-1-1 or 2-2-2-1-1-1 or whatever is determined to make sense.

With relievers' supposed preference for "fixed roles," teams might have designated "first reliever for games where we're tied or in the lead" and "first reliever for games when we're behind" roles. The former could be the de facto "designated winner."
   83. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:42 PM (#5407147)
(The "dumb" part, I think, would be using the team's best reliever in this low-leverage role. But it would still be an opportunity for even a mediocre reliever to rack up 20 wins a year.)
   84. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:49 PM (#5407148)
And maybe it's not completely dumb. If the pitcher usage trend continues to move toward shorter starts and more relievers, we could start regularly seeing inning patterns of 4-2-1-1-1 or 3-2-1-1-1-1 or 2-2-2-1-1-1 or whatever is determined to make sense.

With relievers' supposed preference for "fixed roles," teams might have designated "first reliever for games where we're tied or in the lead" and "first reliever for games when we're behind" roles. The former could be the de facto "designated winner."


I'm fairly confident that at some point in the next ten, if not five years, that MLB will have a roster size limit on pitchers in some way or another. I don't know if I fully support that or not, but it really does feel like that is going to happen. It won't be as aggressive as some people hope, probably just a hard 12, but still I think it's going to happen.

And I don't see any time in which the starting pitcher is going to be expected to only go four innings. As it stands, the average inning per start hasn't changed much over the past couple of decades, it's just that pitchers are being expected to pitch five innings no matter how bad they pitched, while in the past, that didn't happen.

(I was going to show some numbers on the previous comment, but PI search has been stripped down)
   85. Booey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:53 PM (#5407149)
#74 - The SABR revolution has merely turned wins, BA, and rbi into fun stats rather than value reflecting stats. And since in the end the main point of sports is still just entertainment, fun stats will always have their place, even if wins and ribbies won't convince most posters here that Player A is better than Player B.

Despite knowing full well that they're overrated stats, I'd still be very excited about a run at .400, 30 wins, or Hack Wilson's SS rbi record. WAR and WAA and the like hasn't ruined any of that for me.
   86. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:02 PM (#5407152)
And I don't see any time in which the starting pitcher is going to be expected to only go four innings.

Maybe not, but there's been a lot of noise lately about the "third time through the lineup" disadvantage, and if a saber Bill Belichick-type manager is strictly trying to avoid that, that puts a hard cap of 6 innings on the starter, and more likely he's being pulled in the fourth or fifth.
   87. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:04 PM (#5407153)
Addenum to 84.

Since 1975 number of starts that go less than 3 innings per season.
1977 had the most starts less than 3 innings at 472, 2014 the fewest at 197. Pitchers are expected to pitch into the fifth more nowadays than in the past. Change it to 4 innings on the qualifier and you have 1977 at the top again with 770 starts 4 innings or less, and 2014 second best(1994 was best but a shortened season) with 481.... It's pitchers going into the 7th or 8th inning that is different, the 70's you had 1500 plus starts a year go 7.1 or more innings, nowadays you have around 500.
   88. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:05 PM (#5407154)
cardsfanboy, that's interesting, thanks!
   89. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:09 PM (#5407155)
Maybe not, but there's been a lot of noise lately about the "third time through the lineup" disadvantage, and if a saber Bill Belichick-type manager is strictly trying to avoid that, that puts a hard cap of 6 innings on the starter, and more likely he's being pulled in the fourth or fifth.


I think the noise is just noise. Pulling an ace level pitcher third time through the lineup because he has a 15% drop in performance, is like pulling Daryl Strawberry for Homer Simpson. The reliever advantage exists only because there are good relievers, expanding the rosters to the point that you are not only prepared for 5 innings from your relievers, but you are expecting it every game to happen, isn't going to happen. Yes I wouldn't be surprised to see number 4's and 5's on team get a harder 3 times through the lineup expectation, but not your ace, Kershaw with a 15% drop in performance is still better than whoever you are going to bring in.
   90. cardsfanboy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:16 PM (#5407157)
From this Prospectus article.



As you can see, there is a significant and distinctive trend in the last column, at least through the third time through the order. Basically, batters get better and better from the first time facing a pitcher in a game to the second, and then again to the third, and then revert back to “second time” levels by the time they have seen the pitcher for the fourth time. We’ll talk about that “fourth time” anomaly in a little while.

Another thing you can clearly see is that most pitchers make it through the order at least three times, which is actually something of a modern trend. In the past, starting pitchers pitched many more complete games, but they were also taken out earlier when they were getting shelled. It is also relatively rare for a pitcher today to face the order for the fourth time. That should not be surprising, since by the fourth trip through the lineup, pitch counts are usually elevated. On average, it takes almost 100 pitches to get through the order exactly three times (the current average “pitches per PA” (P/PA) is around 3.8).
   91. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: February 23, 2017 at 12:19 AM (#5407169)
37, 42:

I've probably mentioned it before, but I told my boss at the beginning of the '98 season that if McGwire stayed healthy he'd hit 70.


Yeah, after 149 homers in 1280 AB's from 1995-1997 (one every 8.6 AB's), a healthy McGwire felt like a lock to pass Maris (staying healthy was obviously less of a lock for Mac).


Indeed, Sports Illustrated predicted it (on the cover, no less!) in March of 98.
   92. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 23, 2017 at 12:36 AM (#5407171)
I want someone to challenge Cesar Tovar's and Bert Campaneris's record of playing 9 positions in a game


Don't forget Scott Sheldon and Shane Halter (both doing it in the last month of the 2000 season).
   93. Walt Davis Posted: February 23, 2017 at 01:19 AM (#5407178)
But as long as someone can put up a 147 OPS+ with 208 K, or a 107 with 223, there is a long way to go before we get there.

The latter is very close -- as an off-season or from a decent-fielding 3B maybe but not on a regular basis from a 1B. But let's take Davis's better 2015. On non-K PAs in 2015 he had the following line (this includes walks along with contact): 524 OBP, 882 SLG. I don't have a Lahman database but I'm pretty sure that 882 SLG on-contact is close to a full-season record.

If he K'd 240 times in 670 PA while keeping his non-K production constant, his OBP and SLG come out to: his overall OBP drops from 361 to 336 and his SLG from 562 to 520 (I think that's right, the SLG was a much more annoying calculation than I expected). Indeed, that is still a 129 OPS+.

If 2015 Chris Davis can maintain that sort of 420/880 on-contact production (he can't) along with about 80 walks a year, even with 270 Ks that comes out around 230/320/480 with a 115 OPS+ which is still good enough for a decent-fielding 1B to get a job. That's roughly Chris Carter 2013 with 100 more PAs. Carter had a 36% K-rate that year (270 Ks in 670 PA would be 40% but you get the idea).

Carter career on-contact: "just" 354/751 and he is already borderline for a 1B in terms of overall production although he'd have more wiggle room with average defense.

Davis on-contact: 387/773 which I believe is still among the best of all-time (no decline yet)

Khris Davis: 346/701; 352/748 last year.

Kris Bryant: 408/750 ... those are prime Manny numbers. He'll fall off that BA of course. Very impressive (and unsustainable?) that he dropped his K-rate from 30% to 22% while maintaining an on-contact of 392/744 last year.

BTW, Trumbo is nothing special because he doesn't walk much which slightly "inflates" his HR/TB.

That other MT nobody talks about -- Mike Trout: 414/755. Prime Manny over many more PAs. Manny was 404/762 over ages 23-37. He still ended up 400/750 for his career. I think that BA on-contact is 2nd only to Ruth (for long careers).
   94. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 23, 2017 at 02:09 AM (#5407185)
I think the noise is just noise. Pulling an ace level pitcher third time through the lineup because he has a 15% drop in performance, is like pulling Daryl Strawberry for Homer Simpson. The reliever advantage exists only because there are good relievers, expanding the rosters to the point that you are not only prepared for 5 innings from your relievers, but you are expecting it every game to happen, isn't going to happen. Yes I wouldn't be surprised to see number 4's and 5's on team get a harder 3 times through the lineup expectation, but not your ace, Kershaw with a 15% drop in performance is still better than whoever you are going to bring in.

Perhaps there would be a wholesale shift in pitcher usage, with all pitchers -- not just relievers -- having shorter outings, but also pitching more frequently. So, for example, the strict two-times-through-the-order limit would go in tandem with a shift to a 3-man rotation.

Obviously the transition would be difficult and I have no idea about the health implications, but just assuming it's feasible, would you rather have Clayton Kershaw pitching 7 innings every 5 days, or 4-5 innings every 3 days? You could get a similar amount of innings per year, but with the latter he'd have an impact in more games and would (theoretically) be even more dominant on a per-batter basis because he wouldn't ever face the third-timers.

I'm not advocating for this, just curious.
   95. cardsfanboy Posted: February 23, 2017 at 02:21 AM (#5407187)
Perhaps there would be a wholesale shift in pitcher usage, with all pitchers -- not just relievers -- having shorter outings, but also pitching more frequently. So, for example, the strict two-times-through-the-order limit would go in tandem with a shift to a 3-man rotation.


That type of change would require more than a couple of decades to happen. As it stands now, starting pitchers are expected to last three times through the order, it's the fourth time that people are really pushing to avoid. That Prospectus article points out the reason, say you have Kershaw level talent, his first time through the order, he's actually better than his talent level, his second time he's at his talent level, and the third time through he's only had about a 5% drop from his talent level, all of that is better than what you are going to get out of an average reliever.


I do think there is a real possibility that fourth and fifth pitchers might see a change in their usage, but again this is long term looking, and it's possible that because of TJS that the quality of fourth and fifth starters might improve on the whole. (heck looking at the Cardinals, even after losing Reyes, their 7th best projected pitcher this season is a highly regarded prospect Luke Weaver(after Martinez, Wainwright, Leake, Lynn, Wacha, Gonzales,---with Lyons and Rosenthal being another possibility.) the point is that teams have more quality options for fourth and fifth starter on average)

Teams don't want to pitch relievers in consecutive games, or at least limit the frequency of that happening. And the best way to do that is to pitch the starters as long as possible. Just anecdotally, relievers even now don't have the career length and consistent quality of starters. As a whole they are better, but predicting reliever consistency is still spotty at best.
   96. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 23, 2017 at 03:18 AM (#5407194)
That Prospectus article points out the reason, say you have Kershaw level talent, his first time through the order, he's actually better than his talent level, his second time he's at his talent level, and the third time through he's only had about a 5% drop from his talent level, all of that is better than what you are going to get out of an average reliever.

I didn't read the article (sorry, too long :)), but I'm wondering how he can be "better than his talent level"? Does this simply equate talent with performance, and his "talent level" would be his average performance (over all innings/batters)?

If I'm understanding this correctly, if he ONLY faced batters once per game, his "talent level" would actually go up. Is that correct? If so, would that be an argument for shorter but more frequent outings? (Again, assuming that pitchers can handle this change in usage physiologically. Probably they cannot.) What if Kershaw pitched to 9 batters every other game? As far as innings pitched, that's still going to be within a typical season's range (180-220 IP, perhaps). I wonder if these would be more important/higher leverage innings on average, or not?
   97. cardsfanboy Posted: February 23, 2017 at 03:34 AM (#5407196)
I didn't read the article (sorry, too long :)), but I'm wondering how he can be "better than his talent level"? Does this simply equate talent with performance, and his "talent level" would be his average performance (over all innings/batters)?


Talent level is basically his performance over a time period.... So if you are a 130 era+ pitcher for that time period, your fist time through you are a 145 era+ pitcher, second 130 era+ pitcher, third time 115 era+ (all numbers for illustrative purposes)

If I'm understanding this correctly, if he ONLY faced batters once per game, his "talent level" would actually go up. Is that correct? If so, would that be an argument for shorter but more frequent outings? (Again, assuming that pitchers can handle this change in usage physiologically. Probably they cannot.) What if Kershaw pitched to 9 batters every other game? As far as innings pitched, that's still going to be within a typical season's range (180-220 IP, perhaps). I wonder if these would be more important/higher leverage innings on average, or not?


Yes, in theory, the best pitching you could get out of every pitcher is to pitch them no more than two innings at a time, in reality, that isn't practical with a 25 man roster in which at least 8 players have to play a position. Of course within that article and another Fangraphs article, there is some indication that the number of pitches a pitcher has plays into their ability to pitch to more batters.

Historically relievers blow out arms at a much faster rate than starters and have much more volatility, so a team full of relievers, based upon current observations is not going to be projectable with confidence.
   98. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 23, 2017 at 06:28 AM (#5407199)
Historically relievers blow out arms at a much faster rate than starters and have much more volatility

This seems like a chicken-or-the-egg thing. It could be that the nature of bullpen work (less warm-up time, more pressure, higher percentage of max-effort pitches) makes arms blow out faster. But it could also be that the guys with strong, durable arms (and low volatility) are intentionally placed in the starting rotation, and the guys whose arms aren't durable enough, or are too volatile, are moved to the bullpen.

Probably a little of both, I bet.

Anyway, I don't think it's necessarily true that someone like Kershaw or Kluber or Verlander would burn out/get hurt more quickly pitching to 9 batters every other day vs. their current usage. But if I was a GM/manager, I certainly wouldn't want to risk it. :)
   99. SandyRiver Posted: February 23, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5407276)
Maddux finishes with 355. If not for the strikes of 1994, 1995 he would have been close enough to the NL record of 373 to go another season and get that record.


And if Spahnnie hadn't spent 3 years tromping around Europe with a rifle, He might've topped 400.

I don't have a Lahman database but I'm pretty sure that 882 SLG on-contact is close to a full-season record.


Top 3 I found:
Bonds 2001: 1.073
Ruth 1920: 1.026
Ruth 1921: .996
They each had other .900+ seasons, Bonds with 2 and Ruth with at least that (only checked '23 and '27.)

Edit: Forgot McGwire
1998: 1.082
Also over .900 in '97 and '99. In 2000 it was 1.285 but only 321 PA. He hit one hr every 6.05 AB, one every 4 on-contact.
   100. Moldorf Posted: February 23, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5407377)
Given the increasing specialization of pitching, breaking Ryan's career strikeout mark seems a very tall order. Divide 5714 by 300 strikeout seasons and you get a staggering 19 and change. Given the scarcity of 300 strikeout seasons these days, this record appears safe to say the least. Move the number down to 250 strikeouts, and you would need nearly 23 seasons to tie the record. Doable, perhaps. Likely, no.
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

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
TedBerg
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPhillies To Sign Andrew McCutchen
(18 - 5:11am, Dec 12)
Last: John Reynard

NewsblogJayson Stark wins Baseball Hall of Fame's Spink Award
(47 - 2:36am, Dec 12)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(3543 - 2:25am, Dec 12)
Last: maccoach57

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(314 - 12:58am, Dec 12)
Last: Jaack

NewsblogBlue Jays cut ties with Tulowitzki
(8 - 12:57am, Dec 12)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogSmith, Baines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
(529 - 12:54am, Dec 12)
Last: Jay Z

NewsblogAnalytics' rise a leading topic at Winter Meetings
(15 - 12:42am, Dec 12)
Last: Dr. Vaux

NewsblogMets, Yankees, Marlins In Talks On Three-Team Deal - MLB Trade Rumors
(55 - 12:30am, Dec 12)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogWhite Sox acquire Ivan Nova from Pirates to strengthen starting pitching depth
(4 - 12:08am, Dec 12)
Last: asinwreck

NewsblogThibs' Hall of Fame Tracker
(425 - 11:56pm, Dec 11)
Last: Kiko Sakata

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread (The Berhalter Thread?)
(141 - 11:07pm, Dec 11)
Last: J. Sosa

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-11-2018
(18 - 10:55pm, Dec 11)
Last: Der-K: at 10% emotional investment

NewsblogBradford: Dustin Pedroia and his biggest battle | WEEI
(1 - 10:31pm, Dec 11)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (December 2018)
(466 - 9:09pm, Dec 11)
Last: Davo and his Moose Tacos

Hall of MeritMock 2019 Hall of Fame Election Results
(6 - 8:21pm, Dec 11)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

Page rendered in 0.7145 seconds
46 querie(s) executed