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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Minihane: Curt Schilling belongs in Hall of Fame

With a krelled-up Kenny Keltner List, sure.

7. Do the player’s numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

Sure. Again, 216 wins is low. The average Hall of Fame starting pitcher has 251 wins, which is bloated a touch when you consider 19th century-early 20th century guys who started 65, 70 games a year. But even among recent inductees, 216 wins would be among the lowest totals. But Drysdale won less, so did Dizzy Dean, Sandy Koufax, Bob Lemon, Lefty Gomez. There are 70 pitchers in the Hall of Fame (counting Babe Ruth)—if elected Schilling would be 45th in wins. But he would rank 21st in WAR—ahead of Jim Palmer, Bob Feller, Juan Marichal and Whitey Ford, among others.

13. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

Sure. I mean, he was all over the problems of steroids in baseball early on, but he contradicted his previous stance while testifying (also pronounced “turtling”) in front of Congress in 2005, saying he believed there was little steroid use in baseball. Of course since he has flip-flopped again, going back to his pre-Congress stance. And there is the matter of his very large role in costing the state of Rhode Island $112 million bucks, but that has nothing to do with his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Curt Schilling is not an immortal. He’s not Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Steve Carlton or Tom Seaver. But that’s not the established standard in Cooperstown, if it was it would take about 90 seconds to get though the room with all the plaques. For every Christy Mathewson there are at least a half dozen in the Red Ruffing, Don Sutton, Rube Waddell group. Schilling’s numbers are as good if not better than most starting pitchers in the Hall of Fame. If he had never pitched a postseason game I think he’d be a borderline candidate. Throw in the playoff record and you’ve got a Hall of Famer.

Repoz Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM | 99 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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

   1. JRVJ Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4332970)
I think Schilling is a douche, but I have no doubts he belongs in the HoF (my cut-off point is Mussina, who I think should go in, and anybody worse than him shouldn't).
   2. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4332980)
Well, we've learned over the last year that he is, ironically, a better candidate for the Liberal Hall of Fame than the Conservative Hall of Fame, as the former champion of small government sprinted to Rhode Island for a handout from the state. Combine that with some inconsistencies in the past and he's got a swell case as a first-ballot Fraud Hall of Famer.

This screams "Stop reading my column right now!" to me.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4332988)

This screams "Stop reading my column right now!" to me.


The cutoff point should have been the "Kirt Minihane" by-line. He's awful. I find him to be part of a small group of local writers lining up to be the next Dan "Everything Sucks" Shaughnessy.
   4. AROM Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4332993)
And there is the matter of his very large role in costing the state of Rhode Island $112 million bucks, but that has nothing to do with his Hall of Fame candidacy.


In my opinion things like this should be a much bigger deal than whether or not someone stuck a needle full of steroids in their butt. This isn't the Federal Government that can borrow and/or print any amount it wants. A State losing 112 million means a lot of other things it can't spend money on, some of them important. Schilling's no thief, as I understand it he's lost quite a bit of his own money. Just a bad businessman.

I would not hold that against Schilling's playing career. He'd get my vote.
   5. AROM Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4333008)
I used Play Index to find HOF pitchers born after 1900 (pitchers that had to pitch their whole career in the post-Babe homerun era), and exclude relievers (60% games started). There are 28 pitchers. The averages are:

65 WAR
238 Complete Games
263-189 record
3.19 ERA
121 ERA+
4037 Innings
2598 Strikeouts

Schilling's an average HOF starter on WAR, below average on volume (innings and wins), above average on rate (ERA+ and #1 in strikeout to walk). He's got more strikeouts than average despite fewer innings, though a lot of that is a product of the time when he pitched, just like his relative lack of complete games.
   6. AROM Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4333011)
In that group, I'd pick Jim Palmer as the closest to the average modern HOF starter:

63 WAR
211 CG
268-152
2.86 ERA
125 ERA+
3948 IP
2212 K

That's a pretty elite group.
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4333012)
my cut-off point is Mussina


Odd, I think of Mussina as a far better candidate than Schilling.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4333015)


Odd, I think of Mussina as a far better candidate than Schilling.


While 300 innings is nothing to scoff at, I can't see how that's enough to make him "far better," considering Curt has the edge pretty much everywhere else (except wins, though those are generally frowned upon here).

   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4333016)
Where are we posting ballots? Here's mine, roughly in order of most worthy since I have more than 10 qualified candidates:

In:

1. Bonds
2. Clemens
3. Piazza
4. McGwire
5. Bagwell
6. Schilling
7. Trammell
8. Biggio
9. Raines
10. Palmeiro
11. Sosa
12. McGriff
--------------

Borderline but could be convinced:
1. LWalker
2. LSmith
3. DMurphy
4. BWilliams
5. EMartinez
6. KLofton

Out:
1. DMattingly
2. DWells
5. JMorris
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4333021)
Odd, I think of Mussina as a far better candidate than Schilling.

Why? Mussina had a slightly longer career (9% more IP), but Schilling's postseason performances were far superior overall (11-2/2.23 to 7-8/3.42), and they were virtually tied in ERA+ and WAR. On balance I'd call it for Schilling on the basis of a postseason tiebreaker, maybe 51-49, but in any case I'd put them both in.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4333023)
Where are we posting ballots? Here's mine, roughly in order of most worthy since I have more than 10 qualified candidates:


Most of us posted them here, but since those ballots have already been tabulated, I'm not sure you'll want to add yours now.

The results to that election are linked on the home page.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4333031)
Why? Mussina had a slightly longer career (9% more IP), but Schilling's postseason performances were far superior overall (11-2/2.23 to 7-8/3.42), and they were virtually tied in ERA+ and WAR. On balance I'd call it for Schilling on the basis of a postseason tiebreaker, maybe 51-49, but in any case I'd put them both in.
It's peak that puts Schilling over the top for me. I'd take Schilling's 2001, 2002, and 2004 over any season Mussina had. Schilling at his best was a better pitcher than Mussina at his best.

Both were excellent pitchers and deserving middle-tier Hall of Famers.
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4333034)
I've got the following rough ordering of this past generation's pitchers:

1. Clemens
2. Maddux
3. Johnson
4. Pedro
5. Glavine
6. Schilling
7. Brown
8. Smoltz
9. Mussina
10. Rivera

No, I still don't care about the postseason with respect to the HOF.

EDITed because I forgot Brown.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4333037)
It's peak that puts Schilling over the top for me. I'd take Schilling's 2001, 2002, and 2004 over any season Mussina had. Schilling at his best was a better pitcher than Mussina at his best.

Both were excellent pitchers and deserving middle-tier Hall of Famers.


Yes.
   15. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4333039)
Schilling is such an obvious HOF Pitcher that no one even had to mention his strongest argument, RA vs. ERA.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4333040)
Ray - how do you figure Smoltz over Mussina? Smoltz had four seasons as a relief pitcher and still doesn't meaningfully beat Mussina on rate stats (125 v 123 ERA+). Between the two of them, Mussina had four of the five best seasons (92, 94, 95, 01, plus Smoltz' 96).

EDIT: Also, nitpicking, since I'm basically in agreement with the whole list, I'd put Kevin Brown in the top 10, ahead of Smoltz and Rivera.
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4333045)
Most of us posted them here, but since those ballots have already been tabulated, I'm not sure you'll want to add yours now.


Thanks. I posted mine there anyway.

Thinking about it more, I probably should have Walker in. Not sold on Edgar yet, but admittedly me supporting Palmeiro/McGriff/Sosa while leaving Walker/Edgar out might be problematic. I'm having trouble with Walker's durability issues and Edgar's DH'ing.
   18. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4333047)
Ray - how do you figure Smoltz over Mussina? Smoltz had four seasons as a relief pitcher and still doesn't meaningfully beat Mussina on rate stats (125 v 123 ERA+). Between the two of them, Mussina had four of the five best seasons (92, 94, 95, 01, plus Smoltz' 96).


You've convinced me. I agree Mussina should be placed over Smoltz. It's not a huge difference, but I can see it.

EDIT: Also, nitpicking, since I'm basically in agreement with the whole list, I'd put Kevin Brown in the top 10, ahead of Smoltz and Rivera.


Er, yes, this was an oversight. I absolutely think Brown is qualified. I've edited my list to include him.
   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4333051)
By the way, I wouldn't quite include Tim Hudson in the above list of pitchers because his career started later, but he's making a run.

How do people see the Hudson/Halladay/Lee/etc class? (I say this even though I think Lee still has a lot of work to do.)
   20. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4333053)
You've convinced me. I agree Mussina should be placed over Smoltz. It's not a huge difference, but I can see it.

Testing. Testing. Testing.

Is the internet still working? Can anyone see this?





(I kid, I kid!)
   21. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4333058)
2. Maddux
3. Johnson

I've been looking at this one recently for the next Hall of Merit election (I like following along and, if I can get my act together, actually work on a system) and I'm curious to hear the reasoning (not because I disagree, but purely because of curiosity). Is it Maddux's fielding ability which is the tiebreaker? Longevity of career? (as an aside, Maddux has a higher FIP than Johnson but also a higher fWAR...anyone know why that is? Is that, again, the fielding difference? I can't seem to find where the disparity is in their Fangraphs pages).
   22. JJ1986 Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4333062)
How do people see the Hudson/Halladay/Lee/etc class?


Halladay - yes
Santana - needs work
Oswalt - needs work and is probably done.
Hudson - don't see it
Lee - no chance

edit: forgot Sabathia. He's probably 2nd, but shouldn't be in yet.
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4333065)
How do people see the Hudson/Halladay/Lee/etc class? (I say this even though I think Lee still has a lot of work to do
This is a bit off the top of my head, so I'm surely missing things, but I see it as basically.

1. Halladay
-Hall of Fame in/out line-
<gap>
2. Sabathia
3. Santana
4. Hudson

Guys like Lee, Verlander, and Lincecum are too far from having HoF career bulk to be legitimate candidates. Putting Santana and Hudson on the list at all (if we're talking HoF) is debatable. Santana's got all the peak a Hall of Famer needs, but he might be Dave Stieb. Hudson has some good seasons, but he needs a serious career value argument to get in, and he's not young. Mark Buehrle has a shot at being Tommy John. Roy Oswalt is a classic HoVG pitcher. CC Sabathia is the only guy from this generation clearly on a good Hall of Fame track.
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4333067)
Haren and Webb actually had good starts, but have faded.
   25. JJ1986 Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4333068)
Haren and Webb actually had good starts, but have faded.


Brandon Webb? Faded is quite the understatement.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4333073)
(as an aside, Maddux has a higher FIP than Johnson but also a higher fWAR...anyone know why that is? Is that, again, the fielding difference? I can't seem to find where the disparity is in their Fangraphs pages)
It's IP, right? Maddux threw 900 more innings than Johnson.

For me, (1) Maddux's 94-95 peak, when adjusted for season length, stands up to Johnson's peak just fine, and (2) I don't like using FIP for pitcher value when we know that over 3000+ inning samples, the signal overwhelms the noise on hit prevention and situational pitching. You have to give him credit for his full run prevention value, but Fangraphs nicks 11 wins from his tally despite the fact that those runs didn't actually score.
   27. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4333078)
It's IP, right? Maddux threw 900 more innings than Johnson.

That's probably it.
(2) I don't like using FIP for pitcher value when we know that over 3000+ inning samples, the signal overwhelms the noise on hit prevention and situational pitching. You have to give him credit for his full run prevention value, but Fangraphs nicks 11 wins from his tally despite the fact that those runs didn't actually score.

I'm not a huge fan of fWAR for pitchers either, I just happened to be looking at Fangraphs at the time and noticed that, haha. The disparity between the two of them isn't massive whichever system you use: BRef WAR has Johnson slightly behind with 98.6 to 99.4 and Fangraphs WAR has the same overall result (Maddux over Johnson), 120.6 to 114.7 (if you use the run-based RA-9 Wins calculation of theirs, the gap is even more extensive, 131.2 to 110.4). I'm more interested in hearing the general reasons for Maddux over Johnson (which is where I stand on the issue, but I wanted to hear other opinions).

EDIT: I mean WAR as just a starting-point for the discussion, of course. When I first looked into the issue, I noticed how close the WARs were and was intrigued at the magnitude of the difference (putting my peaky tendencies to the side temporarily, of course). Thus the start of inquiries!
   28. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4333086)
Guys like Lee, Verlander, and Lincecum are too far from having HoF career bulk to be legitimate candidates. Putting Santana and Hudson on the list at all (if we're talking HoF) is debatable. Santana's got all the peak a Hall of Famer needs, but he might be Dave Stieb. Hudson has some good seasons, but he needs a serious career value argument to get in, and he's not young. Mark Buehrle has a shot at being Tommy John. Roy Oswalt is a classic HoVG pitcher. CC Sabathia is the only guy from this generation clearly on a good Hall of Fame track.


I think Mark Buehrle has a shot at being Don Sutton. 300 wins is a long shot for him (he'd need to average 14 wins through age 42), and he has no chance at Sutton's innings, but 280 wins, 4,000 IP, 115 ERA+ is possible, and that would be close to a modern version of Don Sutton. They also share the same (lack of) peak. Sutton's top 5 WAR - 6.3, 6.0, 5.2, 4.2, 4.2. Buehrle - 5.9, 5.7, 5.2, 4.7, 4.5.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4333090)
280 wins, 4,000 IP, 115 ERA+ is possible, and that would be close to a modern version of Don Sutton
Tommy John won 288 games, threw 4700 innings, and put up a career 111 ERA+. I stand by my comparison. Buehrle may have a little more peak than John, but Sutton's best seasons are pretty clearly better than his, too.
   30. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 27, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4333112)
Schilling should be in. If someone with his regular resume can't get over the top with his playoff record (2.23 ERA in 133 1/3 IP, 2 or fewer runs allowed in 16 of 19 playoff starts, 2nd all time in pitcher WPA behind Mo), then practically nobody can. The Morris argument is Schilling's actual argument, not Morris's.
   31. Peter Farted Posted: December 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4333143)
I've long thought Schilling's strongest selling point was his 3,116 strikeouts, in barely more IP. Yet I seldom see it mentioned. I wonder if it's because it doesn't really help his case (see Blyleven and his 14-ballot escapade), or if it's more a matter of voter ignorance.
   32. JRVJ Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4333158)
I think Verlander is a lock as soonn as he reaches 10 years.

Cliff Lee is a tough one, but I wouldn't put it past him if he has 3 or 4 more years in him like 2011 (objectively, ANY of Kershaw, Halladay or Lee could have won that Cy Young).

Lincecum looks a lot like Johan Santana too me (great peak, no bulk).

And Sabathia is probably in already (and if he is not in, he is a good 2013 away).
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4333167)
And Sabathia is probably in already (and if he is not in, he is a good 2013 away).
He's further away than that.

2564 IP, 125 ERA+ - CC Sabathia
-----------------------------
2563 IP, 126 ERA+ - Bret Saberhagen
2895 IP, 122 ERA+ - Dave Stieb
2899 IP, 121 ERA+ - David Cone
2592 IP, 122 ERA+ - Jimmy Key

Sabathia's very young to have compiled the career he has, so I think he's on a very nice HoF trajectory. He he won't be "in" for a couple more years barring an unexpected new peak.
   34. JRVJ Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4333168)
34, this is all very subjective, but I think that Sabathia is seen as a level-1 Ace in a way that perhaps Stieb or Key aren't.
   35. AROM Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4333174)
I don't see any point in considering the relative rankings of pitchers until they are done. Consider:

Jamie Moyer. In 1991, 0-5 with a 5.74 ERA. In 1992, did not pitch in the majors, and at 29 was no sort of prospect. He had 20 years left after that.

Kelvim Escobar, 2007. Age 31, won 18, ERA+ of 133, K-W of 160-66. He had one game left in him.

Tim Hudson is 37 and has a year left on his contract. He could get bashed around, win 5 in 2013, and hang them up with 202 wins. Or he might stay effective into his early 40's and win near 275. Or in terms of WAR (51 now), He could end up anywhere from 51 to 70.
   36. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4333175)
Sabathia needs three more good years to get him up to the 3100-innings level which is what he needs with a 125 ERA+.

EDIT: I mean, really, his peak isn't all that impressive on rate. It's fairly impressive for bulk (IP) at a high level, given the era. But while his peak fits _ok_ into a HOF career, he needs the career bulk to round out his case. And even at 3100 innings, looking at him again, I'm not all that impressed. He might need 3500 or 3800. He's missing the scintillating seasons that the others have, although I guess Smoltz as a starter is a fair comp. I'll have to look again when I have more time. Frankly, I'm surprised because I thought he was a lot closer than he appears.
   37. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4333179)
Tommy John won 288 games, threw 4700 innings, and put up a career 111 ERA+. I stand by my comparison.


Different era. Not that they are that far off. 4700 innings today would be more impressive than when John did it. John is 20th all time in IP, but he is merely 8th in his era. The last pitcher to top 4000 innings is Jamie Moyer (4074). If Buehrle passes him, it's likely the only contemporary pitchers with more than him would be Maddux, Clemens, Glavine, and Johnson.
   38. ecwcat Posted: December 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4333204)
You guys love Schilling because he Broke the Curse (tm) against the dreaded Evil Empire. He had a good run, but was he that much better than Brown, Cone, Wells, Hershiser, et al?

The guy had a rep for getting hurt, and was perceived as a solid #2 pitcher on a staff, even during his 9 consecutive year peak.

Only 4 years getting Cy Young votes, never won a Cy even though he switched leagues, so let's not rewrite history and make him a universally recognized ace or mention him in the same breath as Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, or Pedro.

216 wins, big deal.

His raw stats are similar to:


Kevin Brown (920)
Bob Welch (900)
Orel Hershiser (889)
Freddie Fitzsimmons (883)
Milt Pappas (880)
John Smoltz (876)
Don Drysdale (875) *
Dazzy Vance (873) *
Jim Perry (871)
Pedro Martinez (870)

20 year career, 11 seasons with over 3 WAR (8 over 5 WAR)
9/20 years 200+ innings.
14/20 ERA+ 100 or better.

Solid career. Hall of Fame worthy? I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

Comparing him to Brown, Moose, or Smoltzy is fine, but compare him to pitchers who are in the HOF. He has a 46 in HOF Standards.

His whole argument is based on his post-season, which flies in the face of your arguments that the post-season is a small sample, or at worse that they should not be considered for induction.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: December 27, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4333221)
You guys love Schilling because he Broke the Curse (tm) against the dreaded Evil Empire. He had a good run, but was he that much better than Brown, Cone, Wells, Hershiser, et al?


That's why I love him. That's not the reason most of him consider him a worthy Hall of Famer.

He's better than Brown, particularly when you look at RA instead of ERA (though Kev's also a deserving Hall of Famer), and considerably better than those other guys you mention.


His whole argument is based on his post-season, which flies in the face of your arguments that the post-season is a small sample, or at worse that they should not be considered for induction.


There's only a few guys who argue that, and they're wrong. The postseason is only a small sample if looked at in isolation. It should be considered part of a pitcher's record. It doesn't make any sense to ignore a significant portion of a pitcher's record, particularly one that has some innings heft to it.
   40. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4333228)
Some solid lower and middle tier Hall of Famers, best seasons by WAR in order:

7.4, 6.7, 5.7, 5.5, 5.0, 5.0, 4.3, 4.3, 3.9, 2.9, 2.7, 2.6 - Don Drysdale (career 57.4)
8.1, 7.0, 6.2, 6.2, 6.0, 5.9, 4.9, 4.5, 3.9, 3.8 - Jim Palmer (career 63.2)
9.6, 7.3, 7.0, 6.8, 6.0, 5.5, 5.2, 4.7, 3.8, 3.5, 3.3, 3.2, 3.1, 2.8, 2.7 - Fergie Jenkins (career 77.4)
8.5, 8.3, 7.5, 6.0, 5.9, 5.8, 5.7, 5.2, 4.7, 4.7, 3.8, 2.5 - Curt Schilling (career 76.9)

Schilling's easily a HoFer.
   41. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4333238)
There are two adjustments that must be made to properly compare 21st century guys to 20th century guys: (1) accounting properly for the enormous advances in nutrition, sports medicine, and the fundamental fact that certain injuries that used to be career changers, if not career-enders, no longer are; and (2) the ability to put up outlierish seasons engendered by TTO baseball (and roided-up baseball, though that isn't necessary to the point).

The best proxy for (1) is to focus very closely and overweight the ages at which an athlete in any era is at his physical peak -- roughly ages 23-32 or 33. Accounting for (2) is both art and science.

Curt Schilling got CYA votes in one season before the age of 34. That bears repeating: Curt Schilling got CYA votes in one season before the age of 34. His best run of years were at and after the age of 34. He's a textbook example of a guy who was uniquely a product of the secular changes I've outlined -- changes that the adjustments that make up ERA+ do not adequately address.

   42. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4333242)
Curt Schilling got CYA votes in one season before the age of 34. That bears repeating: Curt Schilling got CYA votes in one season before the age of 34. His best run of years were at and after the age of 34. He's a textbook example of a guy who was uniquely a product of the secular changes I've outlined -- changes that the adjustments that make up ERA+ do not adequately address.


So where is all of this headed? You support Morris but not Schilling?
   43. Walt Davis Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4333244)
But he would rank 21st in WAR—ahead of Jim Palmer, Bob Feller, Juan Marichal and Whitey Ford, among others.

And at least 3 of those 4 seem wrong to me. Of course if Feller doesn't miss nearly 4 full seasons for the war then he might have added 25-30 WAR.

Is Palmer's WAR negatively affected by his low K rate? From ages 23-32, Palmer had 2770 IP with a 139 ERA+. That looks better than Schilling's career right there -- 500 IP of 86 ERA+ would make them even. Outside of that, Palmer adds about 1000 innings of 110 ERA+ and some partial, mostly bad seasons.

In retrospect, Marichal is a fair comp, I'm probably overly influenced by his reputation. But Marichal is pretty much a pure peak candidate (7 seasons, 2020 IP, 146 ERA+, 154 wins).

Comparing starters across eras is hard because of changing usage patterns. And I admit that growing up on 70s baseball spoiled me and I got used to 4000 IP, 300 wins, 3000 Ks. But even if you look from 1980 on, Schilling's IP total is only 11th. He really looks more like one of Morris's contemporaries than Maddux's. A lot of that is trivial of course -- it's only 300 IP between 11th and 6th. But then it's also less IP than Morris, Martinez and Tanana; less than Rogers and Wells; barely more than Wakefield, Finley and even Livan. It's only 300 IP between 11th and 22nd too.

Schilling is Cone plus 300 IP or Stieb plus 500 IP. For those happy to put Stieb in and strongly considering Cone, he's a no-brainer. But to me we've just had an era with 4 great pitchers, 1 damn good one who stands out from the others (Glavine) and 4 damn good ones. I don't see any of those 4 damn good ones as slam dunks any more than Perry, Jenkins, Marichal or Drysdale were seen as slam dunks.

Anyway, I'm conflicted and have Schilling at the bottom of my mythical ballot although he might well have to fall off next year.

In a similar vein ...

Curt Schilling is not an immortal. He’s not Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Steve Carlton or Tom Seaver. But that’s not the established standard in Cooperstown

True but, until Morris slips in, that is pretty close to the current standard. Morris and Hunter are hard to figure but Blyleven was the first starter inducted since Ryan and he too forever. You have to go back to Hunter in 76 to find an elected starter with fewer than 250 wins. You have to go back to Palmer in 1990 to find one with fewer than 3000 Ks and Ks were a lot harder to come by in those days. Skipping Hunter, the three "short" career guys inducted just before the massive wave were Gibson, Drysdale and Marichal who were each pretty dominant in their way. Immediately before that, you get a parade of the best of a mostly uninspiring era of pitchers (and true greats like Koufax and Spahn).

So, yeah, Schilling certainly fits in or was better than Gomez, Ford, Lemon, Drysdale but that's the HoF starter standard of 35+ years ago. Fairly or unfairly, that standard got a lot higher. The 80s pitchers (except unexpectedly Morris) got wiped out by that new standard. And it seemed like that standard was going to have to change because nobody was going to reach those levels again ... but then Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, Glavine and Pedro came along and threw 4000 IP, won 300 games, K'd 3000 guys, had amazing peaks and won tons of CYAs. (I know, not all of them did all of those.)

Finally I guess another reason Schilling doesn't feel like an HoFer to me is his lack of consistency from year-to-year. He was awesome in 92, then mediocre in 93, then hurt some from 94 to 96, excellent in 97 and 98 but then hurt some in 99. Awesome from 00-02, hurt a bit in 03, awesome again in 04, hurt in 05. Don't get me wrong, the 97-07 run is outstanding and averaging 200 IP a year so, by the standards of the day, you can't ask for more really.

Anyway, my problem not yours. And while I think JAWS/WAR are quite over-rating Schilling and others (Saberhagen, Stieb and Cone all well ahead of Sutton on JAWS? Really?), Schilling must sit pretty comfortably in the top 50 starters of all-time and one of the 10 best to start his career in the last 40 years so I'm fine with him going in (as long as he's joined by Mussina and Smoltz, poor Brown).

And before I forget, I'll admit I keep forgetting about UER. It would be nice if the main stat page did an RA+ as well. Palmer and Schilling are a lot closer if you adjust for RA. Palmer still wins in my opinion.
   44. AROM Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4333246)
You guys love Schilling because he Broke the Curse (tm) against the dreaded Evil Empire. He had a good run, but was he that much better than Brown, Cone, Wells, Hershiser, et al?


My rooting interests are opposite to that. During the bloody sock game I was screaming at the TV for the Yankees to test Schilling with some bunts. But I'm just objective enough to say that yes indeed, Curt was better than that group. Brown is closest, but when you consider earned vs unearned runs and the bias that gives groundballer Brown in ERA+, Schilling is comfortably ahead of him too. Especially with the postseason.
   45. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4333247)
So where is all of this headed?

Hopefully to a better way of evaluating the guys from the early 70s to around 1994, because I don't think OPS+ and ERA+, awesome as they are, are perfect. That way has to revolve around overweighting how good a player was, as opposed to the "value" he accumulated.

I remain anti-anti-Morris, though these observations are plainly aimed at the 70s/80s/early 90s guys who are getting screwed.
   46. AROM Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4333248)
And at least 3 of those 4 seem wrong to me. Of course if Feller doesn't miss nearly 4 full seasons for the war then he might have added 25-30 WAR.


For Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, I agree with that kind of analysis. With Feller, I'm skeptical. He was worked extremely hard from ages 17-22. The military gave his arm some rest, and he came back to blow away his already dominant strikeout rate, with 348 whiffs in his first full season back. After that year, his strikeout rate very steadily faded.

My guess is that WW2 just pushed his career back a bit. He had a given amount of pitches in his arm, and the war just delayed the point where he ran out of bullets.
   47. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4333249)
Is Palmer's WAR negatively affected by his low K rate?
It's the defense adjustment. Palmer played his career in front of perhaps the greatest fielders ever. WAR's adjustment for this is rough, but I think with Palmer it's fair.
Schilling is Cone plus 300 IP or Stieb plus 500 IP.
No, he's a lot better than that. Schilling by ERA+ is not far from that, but he's the single best pitcher in history at preventing unearned runs. If you adjust Schilling's ER/UER rate to that of Stieb and Cone (roughly .1 UER for every ER), keeping his total runs allowed constant, these are their career numbers:

2895 IP, 122 ERA+ - Stieb
2892 IP, 121 ERA+ - Cone
3261 IP, 134 ERA+ - Schilling

He's at an entirely 'nother level.
   48. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4333250)
The best proxy for (1) is to focus very closely and overweight the ages at which an athlete in any era is at his physical peak -- roughly ages 23-32 or 33


Glad to see you're coming around on Dave Steib.

Ages 23-32:

Steib - 146-100 2294 IP 129 ERA+ 6 ASG, 4 years with CYA votes
Morris -161-104 2342 IP 115 ERA+ 4 ASG 5 years with CYA votes
   49. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4333270)
I would have loved to see Tim Hudson in the HOF but 2 things killed his chances.

#1 obviously was the arm injury in 2008 and the hip injuries that he had toward the end of his tenure with the A's

#2 It was mentioned in the book "Aces" by Mychal Urban that Hudson lost at least 3-6 wins a season because of bad luck with blown leads from his bullpen. It started in 2002 with the famous 200th win of the 20 game win streak and was most noticeable during the Rhodes/Foulke/Dotel closer era.
   50. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4333275)
The best proxy for (1) is to focus very closely and overweight the ages at which an athlete in any era is at his physical peak -- roughly ages 23-32 or 33.

Because nobody except a Selig-era pitcher could ever possibly have a late peak.
   51. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4333281)

11 games to be exact starting from the KC game on Sep 4th 2002 where the bullpen lost games where Hudson was in the lead in late innings
   52. JRVJ Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4333291)
48's argument is one of the reasons why I don't discount Cliff Lee's chances to get to the HoF.

IF there's a paradigm shift out there (like Bill James once speculated about in re: El Duque), Lee's K/BB numbers since he was first traded to the Phillies would surely weigh very favorably on his behalf.
   53. AROM Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4333297)
Hudson has himself to blame as much as the bullpen for that game. He was given an 11-0 lead. He gave up the first 5, along with his fielders.

He may have lost 11 wins by the bullpen blowing late leads, but how many has he lost relative to what a starter should expect over 10 years and 300 or so starts? Hudson's win total does not look low compared to what you'd expect from his innings and ERA+.
   54. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4333306)
He may have lost 11 wins by the bullpen blowing late leads, but how many has he lost relative to what a starter should expect over 10 years and 300 or so starts? Hudson's win total does not look low compared to what you'd expect from his innings and ERA+.



Yes even with the lost wins he would only have 208 not including any he might have received when he lost time due to injuries. So in that case he would have to make the argument with a stellar Post-season record which unfortunately he doesnt have.
   55. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4333308)
I'm not seeing why Hudson is given little chance. He looks like Sabathia to me - and indeed, I thought that before checking his list of sims, and lo and behold Sabathia is first on his list.

And everyone assumes that Sabathia is either almost in or going in. Granted Sabathia is 6 years younger - which is huge - but, again, people seem to think Sabathia is a near lock. If Hudson has a lot of work to do, then Sabathia does.
   56. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4333319)
EDIT: I mean, really, his peak isn't all that impressive on rate. It's fairly impressive for bulk (IP) at a high level, given the era. But while his peak fits _ok_ into a HOF career, he needs the career bulk to round out his case. And even at 3100 innings, looking at him again, I'm not all that impressed. He might need 3500 or 3800. He's missing the scintillating seasons that the others have, although I guess Smoltz as a starter is a fair comp. I'll have to look again when I have more time. Frankly, I'm surprised because I thought he was a lot closer than he appears.


Yup. I think it's the very Jack Morris-like (105 ERA+, career) start to Sabathia's career, distinctly at odds with the CC we now know, that throws things off.

CC: 2001-2005 972 IP, 157 GS. 69-45 W-L, 4.10 ERA, 107 ERA+

CC: 2006-2012 1592 IP, 226 GS, 122-57 W-L, 3.14 ERA, 139 ERA+

A completely different pitcher. The K/BB ratio looks like that of two different guys.

Why? Because he keeps getting put out there and performing worse than Fip predicts, should be an indication that he maybe is not a major league pitcher. I honestly think that at some point in time people have to accept that pitchers who aren't getting results predicted by Fip, may not be the same talent pool that Fip is designed to predict.


Sure, and it yields to the ordinary kind of analysis you'd expect.

Knuckleballers outperfrom FIP, which leads you to think that other pitch types might have an effect on over- and under- performance. Take the 50 pitchers in the last couple of decades who most overperformed, the 50 who most underperformed, and the 50 who most closely matched their FIP. Take note also of pitchers with long careers whose performance relative to FIP changed over time, and how their repertoires changed over time.

Sabathia needs three more good years to get him up to the 3100-innings level which is what he needs with a 125 ERA+.

I think Verlander is a lock as soonn as he reaches 10 years.... Lincecum looks a lot like Johan Santana too me (great peak, no bulk).....
Then isn't Santana already in by this standard? He's a bit better than Verlander.
   57. shoewizard Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4333323)
Hudson has himself to blame as much as the bullpen for that game. He was given an 11-0 lead. He gave up the first 5, along with his fielders.

He may have lost 11 wins by the bullpen blowing late leads, but how many has he lost relative to what a starter should expect over 10 years and 300 or so starts? Hudson's win total does not look low compared to what you'd expect from his innings and ERA+.


BB-REF has him with 24 cheap wins and 23 tough losses.

LINK

That may not be the best way to measure it, but at least it's one way, and it indicates a push.
   58. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4333325)
I'm not seeing why Hudson is given little chance. He looks like Sabathia to me - and indeed, I thought that before checking his list of sims, and lo and behold Sabathia is first on his list.

And everyone assumes that Sabathia is either almost in or going in. Granted Sabathia is 6 years younger - which is huge - but, again, people seem to think Sabathia is a near lock. If Hudson has a lot of work to do, then Sabathia does.


You'd think so, but it's easy to see why voters would think CC is a lot better--much more consist peak; the Cy Young itself, which makes a huge, narrative difference; CC has been better more recently, and we know voters have weird attention spans; CC got the huge deal, "proof" of his status as the best in the game.

It's weird, in that there's essentially no difference in their numbers, but even so, prior to this thread, if asked I would have said, 'oh, sure, Sabathia's a bit better'.

For the voters, though

Hudson: 2nd, 6th, 4th, 4th; a mere 3 AS games, all spread out.
Sabathia: 1st, 5th 4th, 3rd, 4th; 6 AS games, close together. I'll guess the voters find that much more impressive. It's also easy for the casual voter (still... what... half the BBWAA?) to grasp.

Sabathia has a 6 year peak Hudson can't quite touch: 6 years at 142 ERA+ versus 5 years at 137.

I'm not saying Sabathia is much better. There's a hair's difference between then. It's just that it's easy for me to see why voters would think Sabathia 'feels like' a HOFer while Hudson just doesn't quite make the cut, despite their almost identical career W-L records and ERA+s.

In any case, Hudson has very little chance of actually going in, while Sabathia needs three mediocre seasons on a team that's always going to be at or near the top in payroll, meaning that short of his arm falling off, he can be pretty ordinary and still win 15 games a season.

If Mike Mussina isn't considered a lock, Hudson's in real trouble. He's around 80 wins short of Moose's career total.
   59. LargeBill Posted: December 27, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4333327)
25. JJ1986 Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4333068)

Haren and Webb actually had good starts, but have faded.



Brandon Webb? Faded is quite the understatement.


In his defense he meant a Thelma and Louise style fade.
   60. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4333329)
Wow; had no idea Webb hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009, really 2008. One bad stint in the minors in 2011.

I vaguely recall him getting hurt but didn't realize he was simply out of the league. Everyone talks about Mark Prior being the "What if?" guy, but what about Webb? And Webb was worked very hard.
   61. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4333338)
Webb blew his shoulder out on opening day 2009. I remember watching the game in a bar after drafting him to my fantasy team.
   62. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4333366)
Schilling does not belong but he played the media well, so I imagine at some point he will make it. Kevin Brown wa a dick to the media, so he has no chance. Yes, this is how decisions get made. Yippee.
   63. SoSH U at work Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4333373)
Kevin Brown wa a dick to the media, so he has no chance.


So were Steve Carlton, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice and Jack Morris, two first-ballot choices and two others who received HoF support far in excess of their performance. Brown had a lot of things working against him, not the least of which was his place in the Mitchell report, but history doesn't suggest that being a dick to the voters is really damaging to one's case.

   64. LargeBill Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4333394)
but history doesn't suggest that being a dick to the voters is really damaging to one's case.


Actually could be a reverse effect where players the media had difficulties with get benefit of the doubt as voters are being extra careful not to let past problems affect their vote.
   65. Chokeland Bill Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4333410)
If Hudson can hang on for another 3 years or so at close to his recent level, he's going to have 230+ wins at a very high winning percentage. That could keep him on the ballot for a while. His ERA+ is probably going to end up better than Sabbathia, Lee, and Buerhle (already better and presumably fewer years left to decline) and counting stats quite a bit higher than Lee, Oswalt and Santana. Compared to the Verlander/Felix/Hamels/Weaver/Cain/Lincecum generation, his peak compares favorably to everyone but Verlander and most of those guys are having trouble picking up wins.

Really, Hudson's biggest obstacle against his contemporaries is that everyone seems to have mostly forgotten about him, though the whole group is in trouble since they will all be held against the Pedro/Maddux/Clemens/Johnson group.
   66. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4333418)
Compared to the Verlander/Felix/Hamels/Weaver/Cain/Lincecum generation, his peak compares favorably to everyone but Verlander

Except that Hudson's peak is probably done, and most of the other guys are still racking up peak years. It's way too early to start the HOF conversation for any of the non-Verlander guys. (Too early for Verlander as well, but as you note, his peak is already better than Hudson's.)
   67. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4333438)
Hudson's ERA is about 1/3 of a run better than his FIP for his career. Yet his fWAR is actually slightly higher than his bWAR. Anyone know what would cause this? After seeing 52 WAR at Fangraphs I was quite surprised to see 51 at B-R.
   68. bjhanke Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4333442)
I didn't vote for either Brown or Cone in the Hall of Merit, so those comparisons don't help Schlilling with me. What DOES help is the postseason credit, which is enough that I will be voting for him. I'm not sure, and I know I haven't looked at everyone who ever played, but Curt has at least one of the very very best postseason credits in history, perhaps the absolute best. For me, that counts a lot. There are "pennants added", but then there are "championships added." Curt scores extremely well on the second one. -Brock Hanke
   69. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:20 AM (#4333477)
Iirc fWAR versus ERA isn't the only difference in how fangraphs and BBRef calculate pitching WAR.
   70. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:57 AM (#4333482)
Schilling does not belong but he played the media well


Sucking up to the media gave him the 19th highest pitching fWAR and 26th highest pitchers bWAR of all time?

Or did the press give him the best post season record ever?

Anyone who uses ERA or ERA+ to measure Schilling by on this site is obtuse. He's clearly in top 20 all time and that's close to HOF inner circle.
   71. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:58 AM (#4333483)
BB-REF has him with 24 cheap wins and 23 tough losses.

LINK

That may not be the best way to measure it, but at least it's one way, and it indicates a push.

With the A's: 9 cheap wins, 5 tough losses (183 starts).
With the Braves: 15 cheap wins, 18 tough losses (222 starts).
   72. bjhanke Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:48 AM (#4333489)
The 19th century guys who "started 60-70 games a year" don't really skew the career win numbers. They mostly ended up with just about the same number of career wins as the other top pitchers in history. Distributed over ten years instead of 20, but still, about the same number. There does appear to be a "sweet spot" right around the turn of the century, which is why the top few pitchers in history include Johnson, Young and Alexander. My theory about this is that, during the 1880s, MLB managers realized that their pitchers just could not pitch 500 IP a year without damage, so they started adding pitchers to what we now call a "rotation." Well, once that ball got rolling, it rolled real good. I think that, by 1895 or so, pitchers are pitching fewer innings than their arms could have safely handled. By the turn of the century, this looks very true to me, and then it drifts away because 1) the number of IP a pitcher can handle in a year has gone down steadily since 1879, and 2) the early 20th century, if you read about pitchers, is just obsessed with the curve ball, which we now know to be hard on arms.

AROM (#47) - I see your point about Bob Feller and WWII, but I'm not sure it's accurate. Feller had already pitched a few MLB seasons when he went to war (as opposed to WAR). One guy whose longevity is, I think, due to WWII is Warren Spahn. Warren pitched only one season before he went to war, and apparently came back with a Wonder Arm, given his career longevity. Such medical people as I've heard comment on sports talk a lot about the joints, especially the shoulder joint, not being fully solidified until your early 20s. Feller, having started young, had probably done as much damage to his arm as he was going to do by the time he went to war. Spahn, on the other hand, avoided arm stress during the exact years that it would have been most damaging. Now, I ain't saying that I can PROVE any of this. I'm just offering it as a different way to look at young pitchers and war credit. -Brock Hanke
   73. vivaelpujols Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:37 AM (#4333501)
Hudson's ERA is about 1/3 of a run better than his FIP for his career. Yet his fWAR is actually slightly higher than his bWAR. Anyone know what would cause this? After seeing 52 WAR at Fangraphs I was quite surprised to see 51 at B-R.


Hudson, being an extreme groundballer with a low strikeout rate, is going to have a #### ton of unearned runs, which bWAR counts in addition to earned runs. I think it's about time for ERA to go away and be replaced by RA. At the very list, B-R and FanGraphs should show both. Also, Hudson has generally played on good defensive teams IIRC. And I think (but I'm not sure) that B-R has a higher replacement level.
   74. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4333526)
And I think (but I'm not sure) that B-R has a higher replacement level.
This is the big issue. Both fWAR and bWAR work from RA, not ERA, but they have different calculations of replacement level, so the vast majority of players will have more fWAR than bWAR.

It would be really nice if baseball-reference would publish RA+ numbers alongside ERA+, since their value stats are built off something like RA+.
   75. Tippecanoe Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4333536)
Hudson, being an extreme groundballer with a low strikeout rate, is going to have a #### ton of unearned runs

Not really. He has fewer than Sabathia in more innings, and a better rate than Cone, for example. He is not some sort of outlier in this regard.
   76. vivaelpujols Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4333539)
About 92% of runs in a given year are earned. For his career, Hudson's at 91.7%. So yeah, he's been about average in that, which is really surprising considering he's an extreme contact and groundball pitcher. My bad.

I would guess then that the higher replacement level and the defensive adjustments explain his fWAR and bWAR being the same. B-R says Hudson's teams were .07 runs per 9 better than average, which is pretty small. So I guess most of it is the higher replacement level.
   77. vivaelpujols Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4333543)
Edit to 74, it turns out B-R does have RA/9 in the value section. Looks like you can just divide RAopp by RA and get RA+ (sort of, it's not league average but rather opponents average, which is going to be pretty close over a career). Hudson's at 128 for his career.
   78. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4333655)
BB-REF has him with 24 cheap wins and 23 tough losses.

LINK

That may not be the best way to measure it, but at least it's one way, and it indicates a push.


With the A's: 9 cheap wins, 5 tough losses (183 starts).
With the Braves: 15 cheap wins, 18 tough losses (222 starts).


You also have 30 ND from 2002-2004 which seems pretty high and indicates games where he might have taken leads into the late innings as well. In 2003 alone Keith Foulke had 4 blown saves by July 6th. All for Hudson so I think those numbers for cheap wins and losses are a bit off. Either way he would need to have had a stronger post-season I feel to make it to the Hall. I'm hoping he does because I have a bunch of his rookie baseball cars.
   79. AROM Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4333671)
You also have 30 ND from 2002-2004 which seems pretty high and indicates games where he might have taken leads into the late innings as well.


Over his career Hudson has about as many decisions as should be expected. Over the last 30 years, starting pitchers have averaged about one decision per 8.6 innings. Hudson has 2682 innings which should mean 311 decisions. He actually has 301.

He's got a winning percentage of .654, but based on the ERA+ of 126 he "should" only be a .614 pitcher. That's the benefit of playing on good teams for most of his career.

His Innings/ERA+ neutral record is 191-120, so overall a bit lucky, but his win total more or less reflects his ability.
   80. SoSH U at work Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4333675)

Over his career Hudson has about as many decisions as should be expected. Over the last 30 years, starting pitchers have averaged about one decision per 8.6 innings. Hudson has 2682 innings which should mean 311 decisions. He actually has 301.


Isn't the IP:Decisions ratio fairly consistent throughout most of baseball history?

   81. AROM Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4333678)
If Hudson were done tomorrow, his closest comps in innings, and ERA+ are David Cone, Jimmy Key, and Dave Steib. Well, at least among recent retired pitchers. He's nearly identical to Sabathia.

Not a HOFer today, But he certainly has a shot. If he pitches to age 40 at the same level as the last 3 years, he's in. That would give him 250+ wins and keep the ERA+ over 120. There are no cases of pitchers meeting those criteria and not getting into the hall.

   82. The District Attorney Posted: December 28, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4333718)
Hudson will surely face a lot of "he was never dominant" resistance from the writers. If I'm reading the chart correctly, the only starting pitchers whose careers began after the Cy Young Award began and who have fewer Cy Young shares than Hudson are Blyleven, Sutton and Niekro. I certainly don't think that Sutton would get in if he hadn't won 300. Not sure about Niekro. Although it took a lot of work to get the info out there, Blyleven has many claims to "dominance" that Hudson does not.

Hudson does have a great win%, but I've never gotten the impression that anyone cares about that. (Which, if one cares about "wins" to begin with, isn't too logical. But hey, the "win" stat isn't very logical either, so I guess it's poetic justice.)

   83. Chokeland Bill Posted: December 28, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4333749)
I think win% definitely played a part in Blyleven having to wait for so long.

While the bullpen support probably evened out over time, it likely cost Hudson some Cy support in his best 2 years. Particularly 2003, where with 19-20 wins he would have been a happy medium in the Pedro vs Halladay / ERA vs IP argument.
   84. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4333764)
Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, Glavine. Everyone else can pound sand.
   85. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4333766)
Pedro?
   86. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4333772)
Pedro?


Yeah. Okay. He's little. He slips the mind.
   87. Jittery McFrog Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4333823)
The consensus here seems to be that Glavine >> Schilling. Can someone who thinks this explain? This is an honest question, not a gotcha. At first glance I see this:

Schilling (career): 3261.0 IP, 127 ERA+, 89 R/162, 76.9 bWAR, 86.1 fWAR
Glavine (career): 4413.1 IP, 118 ERA+, 95 R/162, 69.3 bWAR, 68.4 fWAR
Glavine (1991-2006): 3503.2 IP, 127 ERA+, 91 R/162, 65.0 bWAR, 60.0 fWAR

Judging by ERA+ and IP, Schilling's career looks a bit like Glavine's 1991-2006, with a bit less bulk and a bit better rate. 1991 is Glavine's first year with ERA+ > 100, and 2006 is his last one. This favors Glavine a bit -- a few extra OK seasons are worth something, at least if you're a career voter. But this is before considering defense (this favors Schilling), unearned runs (favors Schilling), and postseason (both were good, but I'd still give Schilling an edge).

Both b-ref and Fangraphs WAR favor Schilling by a solid margin, both on peak and career. (I'm not so keen on Fangraphs pitcher WAR but it's there in case others are.) Part of this seems to be defense -- bref sees the defenses behind Schilling as average-ish and those behind Glavine as being very good.

In any case, I don't see a lot of separation between Glavine and Schilling at first glance, but I'm willing to be persuaded.
   88. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4333834)
One thing they have at Fangraphs now, which I rather like, is a pure "RA wins" column in their WAR table. B-Ref used to make it easy to pull out their defensive adjustments, but now it requires a spreadsheet to disentangle the different factors. That's annoying.

Best seasons for Schilling and Glavine by pure RA wins (adjusted for league and park):

9.3, 7.8, 7.7, 7.7, 7.4, 6.5, 5.8, 5.8, 5.5, 5.5, 5.3, 3.8, 3.7, 2.4 - Schilling (career 86.2)
8.7, 7.2, 7.1, 6.6, 6.6, 6.6, 5.9, 5.6, 5.3, 5.1, 4.6, 4.5, 4.3, 3.6, 3.2, 2.7, 2.3, 2.3 - Glavine (career 94.7)

It's a peak v career case, but not a classic one because Schilling also wins on 7-year and 10-year prime. Glavine only passes Schilling around year 15. For me, looking over these numbers, I think it's pretty clear that Schilling was the greater pitcher. (I prefer peak/prime to career candidates.) Schilling's insanely low UER rate really obscures his greatness in many of the traditional metrics. He's right there with Glavine in the third tier of contemporary Hall of Fame pitchers, and he should actually be slightly above.

Any adjustments you make to pure RA runs for quality of defense or other factors will almost all benefit Schilling. I really didn't expect him to beat Glavine, or at least I expected it to be a hard call. But I don't think it is.
   89. Tippecanoe Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4333848)
Best seasons for Schilling and Glavine by pure RA wins (adjusted for league and park):


How does this come out if you add in batting? Glavine has a clear advantage there.
   90. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4333853)
Hey, wow, that makes a huge difference. Adding up batting and pitching wins for Glavine and Schilling-

9.0, 7.8, 7.7, 7.5, 7.4, 6.5, 6.0, 5.5, 5.5, 5.4, 5.4, 3.7, 3.7, 2.4 - Schilling (career 85.5)
9.2, 7.9, 7.8, 7.7, 6.8, 6.7, 6.0, 5.8, 5.6, 5.4, 5.0, 4.6, 4.6, 4.0, 3.4, 3.1, 2.4, 2.4, 2.4 - Glavine (career 101.1)

Glavine has multiple seasons where he's 5-10 runs better with the bat than an average pitcher. Schilling was pretty much dead average with the bat for his career, while Glavine has seasons like 1996 where his 675 OPS adds 10 runs to his value.

Now it becomes a question of the value of those extra 5-7 seasons of moderately above average pitching Glavine adds compared to the various defensive adjustments which should benefit Schilling and push his peak higher than Glavine's. It's a much harder call.
   91. vivaelpujols Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4333904)
Obviously this doesn't attest to his value, but Schilling having the best K/BB ratio of all time really puts him over the top to me (not necessarily over Glavine, but makes him a clear top 25 pitcher of all time). Also if you're going to count pitcher batting, you should count postseason as well. This, surprisingly, favors Glavine as well. Curt had better rate stats, but pitched 80 fewer postseason innings than Glavine (who was no slouch with a career 3.30 ERA).
   92. dlf Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4333921)
... but makes him a clear top 25 pitcher of all time


I have a hard time believing that the -- at best -- 5th best pitcher of his own generation (clearly behind Clemens, Maddux, Johnson & Martinez, closely grouped with Brown, Mussia, Glavine & Brown) is in the top 25. In addition to the four who overlapped, who of Seaver, W. Johnson, Young, Alexander, Mathewson, Grove, Nicols, Hubbell, Koufax, Spahn, Ford, Gibson, Marichal, Perry, Niekro, Feller, Blyleven, Carlton, Roberts, Jenkins, or Ryan would you kick out? That is also ignoring almost all of the early stars (Pud Galvin, Tim Keefe, Eddie Plank, etc.) as well as Negro Leaguers (Satchel Paige, Smokey Joe Williams, etc.) and relief aces (Wilhelm and Rivera may have an argument). Because Schilling got a slow start and had a relatively brief peak, he simply didn't accumulate the value that the top 25 pitchers did.
   93. vivaelpujols Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4333929)
Schilling is top 30 by bWAR and top 20 by fWAR. I know bWAR is a better value stat over a career, but the K/BB thing (reflected in fWAR) bumps him up to me.
   94. Squash Posted: December 28, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4333949)
So were Steve Carlton, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice and Jack Morris, two first-ballot choices and two others who received HoF support far in excess of their performance. Brown had a lot of things working against him, not the least of which was his place in the Mitchell report, but history doesn't suggest that being a dick to the voters is really damaging to one's case.

What's interesting about that list of players is that the two who received support far in excess of their performance took many years to ramp up to that excess level of support. Brown's primary problem is that he didn't have enough wins and that he was one of the first steroid guys to hit the HOF ballot, but if he'd gotten over that early hump and got up to year 12-15 of his HOF candidacy the voters might have had time to re-remember his surliness as toughness/manliness/"back in the good ol' days when ballplayers were men instead of the spoiled children they are today"-ness as they did with Rice and Morris.
   95. The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4336574)
Glavine has multiple seasons where he's 5-10 runs better with the bat than an average pitcher. Schilling was pretty much dead average with the bat for his career, while Glavine has seasons like 1996 where his 675 OPS adds 10 runs to his value.
FWIW, from Bill James' most recent mailbag:
Hey Bill, if an NL team acquired the top 5 hitting pitchers how many aprox runs would it add to a teams season totals.

Between 10 and 20, depending on the variables.
Dunno what Bill is basing that on.
   96. bigglou115 Posted: January 02, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4336591)
Don't understand why Smoltz doesn't get more love here. I agree he's a step behind the big boys, but he's not clearly behind Schilling. From 96-99 he put up 30.8 fWAR, with an ERA a little over 3.00, then he came back in 05-07 to put up another 16.5 fWAR. Despite spending the bulk of the time in between those runs as a reliever (and a dominant one at that for what its worth) he still managed to put together 82.5 fWAR for his career. Not as impressive as Pedro's 89 in far fewer innings, but a reasonable peak supported by HOF level career numbers.

Schilling's peak lasted longer, and was higher, and in all honesty the entire picture probably leads to the conclusion that Schilling was better, but not so much as to dismiss the conversation entirely. I guess I just want this on the record for when Smoltz gets way more HOF support than Schilling.
   97. DanG Posted: January 02, 2013 at 01:10 AM (#4336626)
Guys with 49+ pitching WAR, past 30 years, ranked by Adjusted Pitching Wins:

Rk            Player PitchW   WAR ERA+   W   L     IP From   To
1      Roger Clemens  74.27 133.1  143 354 184 4916.2 1984 2007
2        Greg Maddux  57.75  99.4  132 355 227 5008.1 1986 2008
3      Randy Johnson  52.32  98.6  135 303 166 4135.1 1988 2009
4     Pedro Martinez  50.85  82.6  154 219 100 2827.1 1992 2009
5     Curt Schilling  36.94  76.9  127 216 146 3261.0 1988 2007
6       Roy Halladay  35.06  63.1  134 199 100 2687.1 1998 2012
7       Mike Mussina  34.75  78.1  123 270 153 3562.2 1991 2008
8        John Smoltz  33.93  62.6  125 213 155 3473.0 1988 2009
9        Tom Glavine  32.35  69.3  118 305 203 4413.1 1987 2008
10       Kevin Brown  32.24  64.5  127 211 144 3256.1 1986 2005
11    Mariano Rivera  31.06  52.7  206  76  58 1219.2 1995 2012
12        Tim Hudson  27.17  51.1  126 197 104 2682.1 1999 2012
13   Bret Saberhagen  26.43  56.0  126 167 117 2562.2 1984 2001
14       CC Sabathia  24.86  51.0  125 191 102 2564.1 2001 2012
15        David Cone  24.24  58.2  121 194 126 2898.2 1986 2003
16      Kevin Appier  23.04  51.9  121 169 137 2595.1 1989 2004
17     Andy Pettitte  21.95  54.5  117 245 142 3130.2 1995 2012
18      Chuck Finley  19.59  54.3  115 200 173 3197.1 1986 2002
19       David Wells  13.33  49.4  108 239 157 3439.0 1987 2007 
   98. CrosbyBird Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4338136)
The consensus here seems to be that Glavine >> Schilling. Can someone who thinks this explain? This is an honest question, not a gotcha

I suppose it depends in large part on how much you value Schilling's superior peak and playoff dominance over Glavine's superior durability and career length. ~1150 more innings is pretty impressive.

Not sure how much it matters, but Glavine was pretty much an iron man through most of his career: from 1990-2007, he never started fewer than 32 games in a non-strike season (and he started 25 and 29 in 1994 and 1995, so he was pretty reliable in those years too). Not that Schilling was fragile, but he's got a few seasons with mid-20s starts in the mix.

I think you could make a pretty good argument on pure performance for either player, especially when you account for batting (about an 8 win difference over their careers, which isn't insignificant) and fielding (it's hard to compare a fly ball and ground ball pitcher, but the data we do have suggests that Glavine was significantly better).

It's very difficult to rank these guys. My gut feeling is that Schilling might be the better pitcher while Glavine is the better player; both are easy HOFer but I think if you care at all about career milestones (which I do), I think Glavine's high IP and win totals for the era carry a little more oomph than Schilling's high K total. 216 wins is fairly low for a HOF starting pitcher and 305 wins is fairly high, especially when you do some era-adjustment.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dingbat_Charlie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog5 for Friday: Leo Mazzone, pitching coach to the HOFers
(25 - 1:10am, Jul 26)
Last: Good cripple hitter

NewsblogHurdles remain in Mets-Rockies deal for Tulowitzki, Gonzalez
(34 - 1:04am, Jul 26)
Last: Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band.

NewsblogWisch: Cooperstown Shouldn’t Close Out Lee Smith
(23 - 12:50am, Jul 26)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3204 - 12:43am, Jul 26)
Last: greenback calls it soccer

Newsblog7-25-14 OMNICHATTER
(52 - 12:26am, Jul 26)
Last: Jose Can Still Seabiscuit

NewsblogBA Report: MLBPA Files Grievance Against Astros Over Aiken, Nix, Marshall
(10 - 11:52pm, Jul 25)
Last: Hank G.

NewsblogRe/code: Major League Baseball Cries Foul on Net Neutrality Proposal
(6 - 10:16pm, Jul 25)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(942 - 10:09pm, Jul 25)
Last: kpelton

NewsblogSurprising Sports Stars – Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard
(16 - 9:52pm, Jul 25)
Last: eddieot

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(414 - 8:38pm, Jul 25)
Last: J. Sosa

NewsblogThe Inventor of the High Five
(30 - 8:32pm, Jul 25)
Last: Willie Mayspedes

NewsblogSoE: AN IDIOT IN EXILE
(4 - 8:24pm, Jul 25)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogNoble: Tom Seaver expects Derek Jeter to become first unanimous Hall of Fame inductee
(88 - 7:50pm, Jul 25)
Last: Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick.

NewsblogESPN : GM Offers To Get Prostate Exam During Game
(17 - 7:48pm, Jul 25)
Last: mos def panel

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-25-2014
(8 - 7:27pm, Jul 25)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

Page rendered in 0.6198 seconds
52 querie(s) executed