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Sunday, May 06, 2018

Dodgers put Clayton Kershaw on disabled list

A hellish road trip for the Dodgers turned even darker Sunday morning, when the team placed Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.

Kershaw was scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles to be examined by team doctor Neal ElAttrache, a Dodgers official said.

Terrible season for the defending NL champs gets worse. How much worse remains to be seen.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 06, 2018 at 01:11 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: clayton kershaw, dodgers

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   1. Ziggy's screen name Posted: May 06, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5667310)
Too early and all, but it would be a huge disappointment if Kershaw ends up as a "what if" story. Sure, he was the league leader in W and ERA last year, but this is, what, three years in a row with DL stints? He was looking like a GOAT candidate (pitching division) for a while there.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 06, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5667315)
Too early and all, but it would be a huge disappointment if Kershaw ends up as a "what if" story. Sure, he was the league leader in W and ERA last year, but this is, what, three years in a row with DL stints? He was looking like a GOAT candidate (pitching division) for a while there.

He's already going to the HoF. You can't really be a "what if" when you've got a plaque.
   3. eric Posted: May 06, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5667332)
He's already going to the HoF. You can't really be a "what if" when you've got a plaque.


Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey Jr., and soon to be Ichiro, among others, are all counterpoints to that argument.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 06, 2018 at 02:24 PM (#5667338)
Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey Jr., and soon to be Ichiro, among others, are all counterpoints to that argument.

I don't see it. We know how good they were, and they all had long careers.
   5. eric Posted: May 06, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5667342)
The first two: what if they had been allowed to play in MLB?
Next: What if he hadn't missed 4.5 peak/prime years due to war?
Next: What if he hadn't been a raging alcoholic and instead had taken care of himself?
Next: What if he hadn't become an injury-prone shell of his former self after 30?
Next: What if he had been in MLB from age 20?

Add Sandy Koufax to that list, too, for obvious reasons.

If you have a plaque you might not be as tragic a story as an Herb Score, or JR Richard, or Darryl Strawberry (or Dwight Gooden, or Jose Fernandez...). But there's still plenty of "What if?" left.
   6. The Duke Posted: May 06, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5667412)
Is kershaw a hall of gamer already?
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 06, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5667414)
Is kershaw a hall of gamer already?

Yes.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5667471)
And a hall of famer also.
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 06, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5667473)
He has been awesome, obviously, but he is already a HOF'er?

List of starting pitchers in the HOF with fewer innings pitched than Kershaw's 1,979: Dizzy Dean, 1,967

List of starting pitchers with fewer wins than Kershaw's 145: Nobody

He's got 3 CY Awards, been in the top five four other times, amazing seasons, etc. But to be clear, he's still a year or two of work away from many of Koufax's counting statistics. One exception: strikeouts. He's already approaching the average career strikeouts number of a pitching HOFer, which is pretty amazing. It says a lot about Kershaw, as well as about how low the strikeout totals were in other eras of baseball history. There are a lot of HOF starting pitchers who averaged under 5 Ks per 9 IP.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5667478)
He has been awesome, obviously, but he is already a HOF'er?

List of starting pitchers in the HOF with fewer innings pitched than Kershaw's 1,979: Dizzy Dean, 1,967

List of starting pitchers with fewer wins than Kershaw's 145: Nobody

He's got 3 CY Awards, been in the top five four other times, amazing seasons, etc. But to be clear, he's still a year or two of work away from many of Koufax's counting statistics. One exception: strikeouts. He's already approaching the average career strikeouts number of a pitching HOFer, which is pretty amazing. It says a lot about Kershaw, as well as about how low the strikeout totals were in other eras of baseball history. There are a lot of HOF starting pitchers who averaged under 5 Ks per 9 IP.


List of pitchers with more than 40 career waa not in the hof.
1. Roger Clemens
2. Curt Schilling
3. Mike Mussina
4. Clatyon Kershaw
5. Jim McCormick
6. Roy Halladay
7. Kevin Brown

I'm comfortable saying that Schiling, Mussina and Halladay all make it and Clemens clearly deserves it, so that leaves McCormick(pre-1900 pitcher) and Brown(who I would also put in) You don't pitch at the level that Kershaw has pitched at, and not get serious HOF consideration. (extending the waa to 35 and you add Saberhagen, Reuschel, Greinke, Cone, Verlander and Charlie Buffington--another pre turn of the century pitcher---there is nobody on this list that appeared in a game post 1901 that I would consider to be a poor hof selection---but as Saberhagen and Reuschel shows, there is some argument to be made to get a few more counting stats)
   11. Endless Trash Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5667482)
I already consider Kershaw the best of all time
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5667485)
Kershaw will get in on the first ballot
   13. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5667486)
I believe he's a HOFer already.

However let's discuss this. Obviously he's not bus territory and will return in some form, however are his chances better to make the hall if:

He was a bus candidate and had to retire today with some Koufaxian type of issue?

Or if he comes back, puts up a couple of average seasons(let's say 3), gets to around 180 wins, 2500IP but obviously those rate stats will look a lot less shiny.

   14. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:31 PM (#5667492)
I already consider Kershaw the best of all time


That is pretty silly, he's not even the best of the past 30 years. Just comparing his career to the peaks of any of the great pitchers of the past few decades and it's not really close.

160 era+ 1979 innings pitched, 40 waa, 59.7 war...

Clemens doesn't have a consecutive peak as strong as Kershaw career by era+, but if still a ten year peak of 155 era+ and 50 waa and 71.1 war while missing out years of 9.4, 7.8, 7.1, war etc..
Pedro 10 year peak is 177 era+ with a 55.4 waa and 73.8 war.
Maddux 10 year peak is a 172 era+ 51.3 waa and 69.6 war
Randy Johnson 10 year peak is a 171 era+ 53.9 waa and 71.6 war...
Halladay 10 year peak is a 148 era+ and a 42.5 waa and 62.6 war....


Kershaw is hof worthy, but he's not the best pitcher of the past 30 years, at least not yet.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5667493)
I believe he's a HOFer already.

However let's discuss this. Obviously he's not bus territory and will return in some form, however are his chances better to make the hall if:

He was a bus candidate and had to retire today with some Koufaxian type of issue?

Or if he comes back, puts up a couple of average seasons(let's say 3), gets to around 180 wins, 2500IP but obviously those rate stats will look a lot less shiny.


He's in. Barring a PED or other type of scandal, it doesn't matter what happens from here on out.

If he's a bus guy, he's in like Puckett.

If he just deals with a bunch of injuries and drags along for 5-10 years with blah production, he's another Griffey.

If he keeps up existing level of play, he's inner circle.

   16. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:42 PM (#5667499)
However let's discuss this. Obviously he's not bus territory and will return in some form, however are his chances better to make the hall if:


Not sure he's not in the bus territory, he looks suspiciously like Dizzy Dean right now, a bit better rate stats
because of the era difference, but overall roughly the same level of dominance in his era and similar career length...except Kershaw did it a few more seasons than Dean(even though the counting numbers are close)

but he does help himself towards the hof with more seasons of averagish play. It's helping Sabathia tremendously honestly. Sabathia has posted 785 ip, at a war 7.7, waa .6 over the past 6 seasons... in the meantime he has added 48 wins to his numbers, putting his career total at 239. He's not a lock, but looks better at 239-146 record than he did at 191-102.

Same can be said about Colon... Those average counting seasons add up. I don't think Colon makes the hof, but I do think he stays on the ballot for a while longer than you would expect for a guy who hasn't actually added anything to his resume in the past decade. Sabathia is going to be close in my opinion, and it really depends on if he wants to play until he is 40, if he does, that probably puts him in the 270 win range, with 60+ war(which he already has) and that is going to be hard to ignore.
   17. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5667502)
List of starting pitchers in the HOF with fewer innings pitched than Kershaw's 1,979: Dizzy Dean, 1,967

List of starting pitchers with fewer wins than Kershaw's 145: Nobody


List of starting pitchers in the HOF with fewer than Kershaw's 5 ERA titles: most of them

List of starting pitchers in the HOF with fewer than 3 CYA: most of them (even excluding pre CYA guys)

But to be clear, he's still a year or two of work away from many of Koufax's counting statistics


Koufax going 36-40 with a 100 ERA+ through age 24 is not the difference between him in the HOF and out.
   18. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5667504)
Kershaw has done enough to make the Hall of Fame and that’s been true for a couple years now. The dude has won 3 Cy Young awards and has ridiculous amounts of black ink. You guys are overestimating the impact of counting numbers and underestimating the impact of how good a player was at their best when discussing the HoF.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 06, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5667505)
He's in. Barring a PED or other type of scandal, it doesn't matter what happens from here on out.

If he's a bus guy, he's in like Puckett.

If he just deals with a bunch of injuries and drags along for 5-10 years with blah production, he's another Griffey.


Yup.
   20. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 06:04 PM (#5667508)
Kershaw right now:

145-68 2.37 1979 IP 2168 K 160 ERA+ 5 ERA titles, 3 CYA, 1 MVP

Koufax from age 23 on:

145-66 2.49 ERA 1961 IP 2083 K 141 ERA+ 5 ERA titles, 3 CYA, 1 MVP

You couldn't get closer if you tried. Thus, the difference between them is Koufax's first 4 years:

20-21 363 IP 98 ERA+. Kershaw does not need to tack on the career of Randy Martz to be qualified for the hall.

   21. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 06, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5667518)
Obviously he's not bus territory and will return in some form,


bugger, this didn't come out as intended. I was trying to say, he's obviously NOT been hit by a bus and is still alive, so let's consider....

As stated, I think he's in no problem.

I'm just curious how the electorate would judge him and would he be more highly regarded if he never pitched again or if he came back but as an average hurler for the next few years and tacked on some counting stats.

His peak has been outrageously good but as pointed out by CFB we have seen a few guys better recently. 4 of them are inner circle great and one just fell apart in his mid-30's but to be in that conversation is impressive.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5667554)
I'm just curious how the electorate would judge him and would he be more highly regarded if he never pitched again or if he came back but as an average hurler for the next few years and tacked on some counting stats.


It's not one body though, and it's changing as the years move on, so it's hard to say, but for him to be a high percentage guy, he needs to have both a great peak and a long career. Puckett went in with 82.1% of the vote, Koufax with 86.9%, Dean 79.2% of the vote. That is the range that you would expect him to go in if he is "hit by a bus" OR if he sticks around for 3-5 years as an average player. Pedro Martinez got 91.1% of the vote and had 850 more innings pitched... if Kershaw could put up 800 more innings at 130 era+, which would put him in good company with Pedro(rough estimate) then you are looking at a guy who will be considered in 90+% range for the voters.
   23. BDC Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5667574)
You guys are overestimating the impact of counting numbers and underestimating the impact of how good a player was at their best when discussing the HoF

That would be my sense too. It's not just that Kershaw is great, it's how much greater he's been than his contemporaries. He is the active leader in ERA+ with 160, and the next on the list is Chris Sale with 141; Max Scherzer, a great pitcher and likely HOFer too, is at 128. Since 1893, the three best ERA+ marks in the first decade of a pitcher's career are Walter Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Clayton Kershaw, and #s 4 and 5 (Three-Finger Brown and Smoky Joe Wood) aren't real close.

For HOF voters who have never heard of ERA+ or wouldn't give a hoot if they did, the key numbers are the five ERA titles, three W titles, three SO titles, three CYAs.

His career is not as good as Pedro's, or as some of the super-long-career guys mentioned by cfb (Clemens, Unit, Maddux), but that's a somewhat different comparison. In terms of overshadowing his contemporaries, Kershaw has won the 2010s by a wide margin.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:31 PM (#5667576)
He is the active leader in ERA+ with 160,


I like his spot on the career ERA list. Among all starting pitchers, the next most recent debuting starting pitcher with a lower ERA than Kershaw is Babe Ruth (Mariano is the only other player to break up the B&W photos on the Top 20 page).

   25. Walt Davis Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5667580)
You really can't compare percentages of previous eras with today. It's clear that first ballot guys are mostly sailing in these days. I mean Mantle got only 88%, Mays a bit under 95%, Griffey 99%. (The second half of Griffey's career didn't take the shine off his HoF vote ... well, maybe it cost him 0.7%). Jim Thome had a higher %age than Mantle. The Pedro comp is relevant obviously but he did have the poor luck to share the ballot with Randy Johnson (and Smoltz).

Anyway, at some point there and as (I think) Dag has noted, we went from "1st ballot" being a big thing to massive percentages being the big thing. But sure, Kershaw with <2000 innings probably doesn't break 90% but he's a lock.

There of course will always be so few comps for true peak-only that we'll never really know how such a player will be treated ... because guys with great peaks almost always go on for that second decade and usually add at least counting stats but also usually a good bit of value.
   26. Ziggy's screen name Posted: May 06, 2018 at 10:17 PM (#5667592)
The only way in which Kershaw and Dizzy Dean are comparable is in IP. Otherwise Kershaw is just much much better. (I realize he had a good peak and was a popular announcer, but Dean always struck me as a very iffy HOF selection.)

Obviously Kershaw is going into the HOF. Next question please.

The issue is whether he's going to go all Griffey on us. When I said that he might end up being one of the great "what if" stories, that's what I meant. Kerhsaw has a shot at being Lefty Grove.*

*Over the first ten seasons of Grove's career he had a 144 ERA+ in about 2500 innings. So a good bit behind Kershaw in performance, but with a lot more bulk.
   27. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 06, 2018 at 10:41 PM (#5667599)
Regardless of what we try to surmise, I just want him back and healthy. MLB is a better product with Clayton Kershaw a part of it.
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:11 AM (#5667607)

The writers gave Kershaw a CYA and MVP for a season in which he didn't even break 200 IP. I think they will vote him into the Hall even if he has a short career.

Looking at it another way, Roy Halladay is basically Kershaw with another 800 IP of 90 ERA+ pitching added on, I think. Still not convinced that Halladay will go in on the first ballot, but I'm confident he will get in pretty easily.
   29. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5667691)
The dude has won 3 Cy Young awards and has ridiculous amounts of black ink. You guys are overestimating the impact of counting numbers and underestimating the impact of how good a player was at their best when discussing the HoF.


Johan Santana had two and a bunch of black ink, and didn't just fail to get elected, he got one-and-doned. Does the extra CY/black ink make the difference for 70% of the voters?
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5667709)
Johan Santana had two and a bunch of black ink, and didn't just fail to get elected, he got one-and-doned. Does the extra CY/black ink make the difference for 70% of the voters?


It's not the ink. It's not the Cys (though both reflect what's important). It's the perception. Kershaw was dominant at a level that Santana never reached. When you have Kershaw's peak (7 years as the clear-cut best pitcher in baseball*), the rest doesn't matter. It didn't matter for Koufax that he had a short career. It didn't matter for Griffey that he really didn't add to his case after leaving Seattle. It won't matter to Kershaw.

* Even over these last two years, when Scherzer went back-to-back, it's largely because Kershaw had missed starts, not because he was no longer seen as the best pitcher.
   31. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5667719)
Johan Santana had two and a bunch of black ink, and didn't just fail to get elected, he got one-and-doned. Does the extra CY/black ink make the difference for 70% of the voters?


2 is not 3. 42 (Santana's BI) is not 65 (Kershaw's BI). 136 (Santana's ERA+) is not 160. Kershaw has a MVP. Kershaw has 5 ERA titles. Tied for 3rd most all time with Walter Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Pedro Martinez, and Christy Mathewson. Johan has 3, which is nice but not historic.

Saying they both had multiple CYAs and both had a bunch of black ink really undersells the difference between the two.

Shorter answer: yes, it does make a difference. IMO.
   32. Rally Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5667729)
From 2013-2017 Kershaw had:

991 IP, 192 ERA+, 83-27 record, 34 WAR

Looking at other 1000 inning stretches that cover complete seasons:

Looks better than any stretch I can find for Clemens, though Roger had 4 separate stretches that come close in his career, 2 with Boston, one in Toronto and one in Houston.

Randy Johnson, 1999-2002 - Only 4 years but slightly more innings than Kershaw's best 5.

1030 IP, 187 ERA+, 81-27, 38 WAR

Pedro:
1999-2003 - looks better even with 1 injury season.

933 IP, 228 ERA+, 82-21, 41 WAR

Santana 2002-2006:
960 IP, 161 ERA+, 75-28, 30 WAR

Maddux 1992-95
946 IP, 202 ERA+, 75-29, 33 WAR
   33. Blastin Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5667736)
Still not convinced that Halladay will go in on the first ballot, but I'm confident he will get in pretty easily.


I hope Kershaw doesn't end up the same way in ten years, since that's what, I think, seals his first ballot inclussion.
   34. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5667741)
Saying they both had multiple CYAs and both had a bunch of black ink really undersells the difference between the two.


Put another way:

Kershaw and Pedro both have three CYs and 5 ERA titles, and ERA+ numbers are nearly identical. 9% of the voters didn't vote for Pedro, and Kershaw has about 23 WAR, 74 wins and 1,000 Ks to get to his level. I think that if Kershaw's career ended, that would matter to a segment of voters.
   35. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5667785)
The dude has won 3 Cy Young awards and has ridiculous amounts of black ink. You guys are overestimating the impact of counting numbers and underestimating the impact of how good a player was at their best when discussing the HoF.


Johan Santana had two and a bunch of black ink, and didn't just fail to get elected, he got one-and-doned. Does the extra CY/black ink make the difference for 70% of the voters?


Johan was a great pitcher, no where near as good as Kershaw, but if he had won the third CY in 2005 (where he was the best pitcher but Bartolo has the wins) would it have made a difference?
   36. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:33 PM (#5667788)
Back in 2013, Matt Harvey missed a start with "bicep tendinitis." The next day, they announced a torn UCL.

Just sayin'...
   37. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5667790)
Put another way:

Kershaw and Pedro both have three CYs and 5 ERA titles, and ERA+ numbers are nearly identical. 9% of the voters didn't vote for Pedro, and Kershaw has about 23 WAR, 74 wins and 1,000 Ks to get to his level. I think that if Kershaw's career ended, that would matter to a segment of voters.


This is where I'm at. The big variable that we cannot know is how the HOF electorate will evolve in the next 10-20 years relating to pitchers, career statistics, and evolving standards.

Here are all the pitchers with at Chris Sale's 94 wins and higher right now (sorry for blip on formatting). How many of these pitchers will get to 250 career wins? Either the standards for inclusion will change, or there will be historically low numbers of starting pitchers getting inducted for the next 20+ years:

1. Bartolo Colon (21, 45) 241 R
2. CC Sabathia (18, 37) 239 L
3. Justin Verlander (14, 35) 192 R
4. Zack Greinke (15, 34) 175 R
5. Felix Hernandez (14, 32) 164 R
6. Jon Lester (13, 34) 161 L
7. Freddy Garcia (15, 41) 156 R
8. Ervin Santana (13, 35) 149 R
9. Cole Hamels (13, 34) 148 L
10. Kyle Lohse (16, 39) 147 R
Max Scherzer (11, 33) 147 R
Adam Wainwright (13, 36) 147 R
13. Clayton Kershaw (11, 30) 145 L
14. James Shields (13, 36) 139 R
15. David Price (11, 32) 129 L
16. Johnny Cueto (11, 32) 125 R
17. Rick Porcello (10, 29) 123 R
18. Gio Gonzalez (11, 32) 121 L
19. Yovani Gallardo (12, 32) 113 R
20. Tim Lincecum (10, 34) 110 R
21. Francisco Liriano (13, 34) 105 L
22. Madison Bumgarner (9, 28) 104 L
Jorge De La Rosa (15, 37) 104 L
24. Edwin Jackson (15, 34) 98 R
25. J.A. Happ (12, 35) 96 L
   38. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5667792)
but if he had won the third CY in 2005 (where he was the best pitcher but Bartolo has the wins) would it have made a difference?


I doubt it, considering that this viewpoint wasn't exactly a state secret. Sure, it's different if he actually had one, but I think a whole lot of people understand he was robbed there.
   39. Mefisto Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5667795)
Either the standards for inclusion will change, or there will be historically low numbers of starting pitchers getting inducted for the next 20+ years


This is the other side of the coin in the arguments about the value of early pitchers. Because they pitched so many innings, SP had much more relative value in, say, 1910 than they do today. They could accumulate lots of (pitcher-)WAR over a career even if peak value was lower than what we see from, say, Pedro or Kershaw. Since today's pitchers throw many fewer innings, we should expect higher peak values from pitchers we label as "all time greats".
   40. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5667815)
but if he had won the third CY in 2005 (where he was the best pitcher but Bartolo has the wins) would it have made a difference?


I doubt it, considering that this viewpoint wasn't exactly a state secret. Sure, it's different if he actually had one, but I think a whole lot of people understand he was robbed there.


Not a state secret here, but among the actual voters?
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 07, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5667859)
A 160 ERA+ with 59.8 WAR by age 30 is more than enough to get Kershaw into the HoF. His only negative is his mediocre postseason record, but he doesn't need any tiebreakers.
   42. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: May 07, 2018 at 02:16 PM (#5667867)
With practically no research, I'll guess that Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Max Scherzer are the only ones with realistic shots of getting to 250 wins. I think Colon and Sabathia will (>90% chance) get there. Verlander and Scherzer are somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40%. Greinke is closer to 20%. The rest are at 10% or below.
   43. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 07, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5667905)
Not a state secret here, but among the actual voters?


I think anyone with even a cursory understanding of the issues of W/L. The significantly better ERA, massive K edge...it's not like you need to go down a rabbit hole of advanced stats. Anyone who even glances at the B-ref pages is going to see it.
   44. Rally Posted: May 07, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5667921)
With practically no research, I'll guess that Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Max Scherzer are the only ones with realistic shots of getting to 250 wins. I think Colon and Sabathia will (>90% chance) get there. Verlander and Scherzer are somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40%. Greinke is closer to 20%. The rest are at 10% or below.


Price and Porcello are longshots, but not impossible. I think Bumgarner can do it. He's hurt now and was hurt last year, but these are freak injuries, not indications that his arm is shot.

I think we can safely cross Freddy Garcia and Kyle Lohse off the list. Garcia hasn't pitched since 2016. I'm surprised that Lohse is still active. Last pitched MLB in 2016, but has one start this year in AAA for the Royals.
   45. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5667942)
With practically no research, I'll guess that Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Max Scherzer are the only ones with realistic shots of getting to 250 wins. I think Colon and Sabathia will (>90% chance) get there. Verlander and Scherzer are somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40%. Greinke is closer to 20%. The rest are at 10% or below.

In terms of younger guys, I'd put Bumgarner (depending on how he recovers from this year's injury) and Sale on that list.

I think Verlander is more than 30-40% and that he and Scherzer both still have a very slim shot at 300 wins. But I tend to rate recent performance as more important in these discussions than current career totals. Great pitchers who stay healthy can pitch into their early-mid 40s so these guys could have another 8-10 years left.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5667943)
Price and Porcello are longshots, but not impossible.


Porcello's always been quite the decision whore (79 percent of his starts have ended in decisions), particularly for a guy who doesn't throw as many IP per start as those others you mentioned.

To expand: Porcello has averaged a decision every 7.74 IP. Colon at 1 decision per every 8.02 is somewhat close, but the rest of those guys are all in the 1 per 8.7 range.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: May 07, 2018 at 05:42 PM (#5668076)
And while we can't quantify it and generally deride it, there's also the "feels like a HoFer" argument. Santana "became" the best pitcher in baseball; Kershaw was excellent at 21 and won his first CYA at 23. The way the Twins handled Santana was probably good for his development but it didn't help his HoF case as he didn't become a full-time starter until age 25. With rare exceptions (Maddux), if you want to be a no-doubt HoFer by age 30, you'd better start your domiance before age 25. In contrast, it's been obvious that Kershaw has the potential to be inner-circle since at least age 23. Since then he hasn't really done anything to take the shine off ... some minor injuries, some postseason disasters don't help but they just put the inner-circle in doubt.
   48. Walt Davis Posted: May 07, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5668094)
Through age 29, post-integration, IP, ERA+, WAR, by ERA+ ... the top 11 by ERA+, sorted to make a point :-)

Pedro 1700 169 57
Kershaw 1900 161 59
Clemens 2000 152 63
Seaver 2200 142 58
Maddux 2100 137 51

Santana 1500 144 43
Appier 1700 136 46

Webb 1300 143 33
Oswalt 1400 143 37
Sale 1400 141 39 (still counting through this year)

Ford 1400 143 24 (?)

So a few points ... (1) the BBWAA seems to intuit pitcher WAR, at least early career. (2) Kershaw's IP through age 29 is not particularly different from the other inner-circle guys. He might fall apart but he's keeping up just fine so far. (3) Santana and, so far, Sale are clearly well behind through age 29. (4) It's a bit sobering to see Sale not out-performing Webb and Oswalt yet although he's got a shot to join Appier and Santana by the end of the year. (5) And I don't know how Ford's WAR could be that low.

But that's why Kershaw is a lock -- he's Seaver, Clemens, Pedro.

On Pedro's 91% ... it's hard to judge. It could be relevant to Kershaw or it could just be that's how a small percentage of voters decided to show they thought Randy Johnson (and Maddux earlier) was the better pitcher. We'll never know but I'll WAG Pedro gets an extra 3-4% if Johnson's not on the ballot.

But sure, career numbers matter a lot, maybe even more for pitchers than hitters. But we'v also seen that being perceived as the best pitcher in baseball has historically been quite helpful -- that's why Catfish is in, that's why Palmer had a higher %age than Pedro, that's why Seaver had one of the highest percentages ever.

By the way, if you get age out of it and look at first 10 "seasons", the list changes a bit but not substantially. Basically some guys get to add age 30 and 31 to those totals. Seaver jumps out way ahead at 71 WAR. Santana and Sale improve their ERA+ ranking but Santana is still at just 46 WAR -- he's closer to Maddux ages 20-29 but was a year older (and Maddux's age 30 was another big year). The big mover is Marichal who's still low on the ERA+ list but is up to 55 WAR thanks to over 2500 IP in those 10 years.

So there are 5 post-war guys who, by age 29-30, looked like locks and Kershaw is one of those. The others had work to do and, for the most part, didn't get it done. The other guys elected have mostly been ones who matured around 25 then lasted a long time. Palmer didn't really enter the HoF pitcher until age 27 when he won his first CYA and is a reasonable comp to Santana in that way ... but different eras and more durability he added very good career numbers (and got a higher percentage than Pedro).

Here's a random but quite close comp. Pedro from ages 26-37 (his first year in Boston, the year after his first CYA) vs Kershaw's career:

PM 1915 IP, 160 ERA+, 2 CYA, 63 WAR (ages 26-37)
CK 1979 IP, 160 ERA+, 3 CYA, 60 WAR

Anyway, there's no "easier" path to the HoF than being among the very best in the game for the (near) entirety of your ages 21-30. It's much harder to play your way out of the HoF than to start "slow" and play your way in.

   49. shoewizard Posted: May 07, 2018 at 06:57 PM (#5668114)
scanned quick and didn't see this update posted


Clayton Kershaw's MRI revealed that the left-hander is dealing with biceps tendinitis.
This is good news for the Dodgers and for fantasy owners, as there was no structural damage found and Kershaw is battling exactly what the Dodgers thought. The bad news, is that there's still no clear timetable for his return. He'll begin his rehab on Monday in Los Angeles. May 6 - 9:43 PM


Rotoworld


Overview on shoulder injuries
   50. Ray (CTL) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5668269)
I think Kershaw is already a HOFer, but this really underscores how great pitchers like Clemens and Johnson and Pedro and Maddux were.

Clemens, who is my pick for the greatest pitcher of all time, had 3,000 more IP than Kershaw at something like a 135 ERA+. That's sick.

And don't forget that Kershaw isn't throwing the workload that the others were.
   51. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 08, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5668395)
But we'v also seen that being perceived as the best pitcher in baseball has historically been quite helpful...that's why Palmer had a higher %age than Pedro


I don't see how this is true, considering Pedro was also considered the best pitcher in baseball. If anything, Palmer getting more votes than Pedro would seem to be evidence that voters do care about longevity.
   52. SoSH U at work Posted: May 08, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5668401)
I don't see how this is true, considering Pedro was also considered the best pitcher in baseball.


Pedro was in a group of four guys who could carry that title, one of whom was on the same ballot with him.

If anything, Palmer getting more votes than Pedro would seem to be evidence that voters do care about longevity.


Some do. But the bulk of the electorate is more peak voter than career guy (though the pitcher on the ballot with Petey had both).

   53. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 08, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5668430)
Pedro was in a group of four guys who could carry that title, one of whom was on the same ballot with him.


Clemens in 1997: 10th place MVP voting, 0 first place votes
Clemens in 1998: 11th place in MVP voting, 0 first place votes
Johnson in 1999: 15th place in MVP voting, 0 first place votes
Pedro in 1999: 2nd in MVP voting, 8 first place votes
Johnson in 2000: 17th place in MVP voting, 0 first place votes
Johnson in 2001: 11th place in MVP voting, 0 first place votes
Johnson in 2002: 7th place in MVP voting, 0 first place votes

I guess my point is, even among those guys, Pedro was getting recognition that they weren't from the writers. So there's no reason to think, come Hall voting, that he suddenly wouldn't be considered someone who was the best pitcher in all of baseball just because he happened to share a ballot with Johnson.
   54. Booey Posted: May 08, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5668438)
Pedro was in a group of four guys who could carry that title, one of whom was on the same ballot with him.


Two of them, actually. Clemens was just getting the shaft from 65% of the writers.
   55. Booey Posted: May 08, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5668463)
I guess my point is, even among those guys, Pedro was getting recognition that they weren't from the writers. So there's no reason to think, come Hall voting, that he suddenly wouldn't be considered someone who was the best pitcher in all of baseball just because he happened to share a ballot with Johnson.

Sort of, but only for 1 or 2 seasons (depending on whether you consider his 5th place finish in 2000 to be proper recognition for an almost 12 WAR season). His other top years were mostly ignored by MVP voters just like they were for most the other top pitchers.

- 1997: 1.90 ERA in 241 innings (219 ERA+), 305 k's, 9.0 WAR, CYA, just 16th in MVP voting

- 1998: 19-7, 2.89 ERA (163 ERA+), 251 k's, 7.3 WAR, 2nd in CYA, just 21st in MVP voting

- 1999: 23-4, 2.07 ERA (243 ERA+), 313 k's, 9.8 WAR, CYA, 2nd in MVP voting

- 2000: 18-6, 1.74 ERA (291 (!) ERA+), 284 k's, 11.7 (!) WAR, CYA, 5th in MVP voting

- 2002: 20-4, 2.26 ERA (202 ERA+), 239 k's, 6.5 WAR, 2nd in CYA, just 20th in MVP voting

- 2003: 2.22 ERA (211 ERA+), 8.0 WAR, 3rd in CYA, just 22nd in MVP voting

Also worth noting that another contemporary - Maddux - did just as well as Pedro in MVP voting, with a 3rd and 5th place finish (plus 11th, 12th, 12th, 13th).
   56. SoSH U at work Posted: May 08, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5668470)
I guess my point is, even among those guys, Pedro was getting recognition that they weren't from the writers. So there's no reason to think, come Hall voting, that he suddenly wouldn't be considered someone who was the best pitcher in all of baseball just because he happened to share a ballot with Johnson.


Well, he did sail into the Hall rather easily on a stacked ballot. Did his shorter career hurt him with a very small percentage of the electorate? Possibly. And a Kershaw who retires tomorrow probably gets an even smaller percentage of votes than Pedro. But the larger point holds. When you're perceived as both of these guys are (in a way that Johan Santana simply, and correctly, wasn't), as the clear-cut best pitcher in baseball over a half decade or more, you don't need bulk. Johan needed some bulk because his peak simply wasn't peaky enough. So does Scherzer, who has the same number of Cys as Kershaw.

But Clayton doesn't.

Two of them, actually. Clemens was just getting the shaft from 65% of the writers.


I was referring to his ballot class, rather than the whole thing.
   57. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 08, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5668488)
But the larger point holds. When you're perceived as both of these guys are (in a way that Johan Santana simply, and correctly, wasn't), as the clear-cut best pitcher in baseball over a half decade or more, you don't need bulk.


There's a difference between "not having bulk", and having a super short career. Kershaw's 297 starts would be the 2nd fewest by any full-time starter in the past 100 years.

I think a tipping point exists, and the gap between Kershaw and Pedro (112 starts and ~900 IP) is wide enough that I'm not convinced it doesn't lie somewhere between them
   58. DavidFoss Posted: May 08, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5668495)
Did his shorter career hurt him with a very small percentage of the electorate? Possibly.

I think the 'career too short' worries vanish once a pitcher hits 200 wins. Pedro had 219. Obviously, you need a great peak to make it into the HOF when your career is not long.

Koufax had Kershaw's regular season and Madison Bumgarner's postseason. I mean that as a compliment to Koufax and not on knock on Kershaw. From 2010-2014, the postseason hype for Bumgarner was enormous. If he had been putting up Kershaw regular seasons at the time I can't imagine how much more that would have been. That's how I imagine older fans thought of Koufax in the mid-60s (I'm too young).

They may induct Kershaw with 145 wins anyways, but it'll take some thought. I'm rooting for him to get healthy and get back on the mound.
   59. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 08, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5668551)
I love Kershaw, and believe he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. However, I'd note that Pedro's peak was pretty obviously better than Kershaw's, because of context. In their seven best consecutive years:

Pedro (97-03): 118-36, 2.20 ERA, 201 Starts, 1408 IP, 1009 Hits, 1761/315 K/BB, 213 ERA+
Kershaw (11-17) 118-41, 2.10 ERA, 207 Starts, 1452 IP, 1043 Hits, 1623/283 K/BB, 179 ERA+

The numbers are crazy similar, but one was during the peak of PED Sillyball, playing at Fenway Park; the other was in the era of declining batting averages and increasing strikeouts, playing at Dodger Stadium.

And Pedro got 219 career wins, by sandwiching these seven historic years with six very good years (79-48), and four over-the-hill years (22-16).
So far, Kershaw has surrounded his seven best years at 27-27 (though two of those years were very good, just not a lot of wins to show for his work).

If Pedro had retired after the 2003 season ("hit by a bus" scenario), his record would been:
166-67, 2.58 ERA, 2,079 IP, 2426/554 K/BB, 175 ERA+, 3 CYA, 2 2nd-place finishes, and a 3rd place finish...and got hosed on an MVP

Kershaw is currently:
145-68, 2.37 ERA, 1979 IP, 2168/517 K/BB, 160 ERA+, 3 CYA, 2 2nd-place finishes, a 3rd, and a 5th...and an MVP

   60. Walt Davis Posted: May 08, 2018 at 06:58 PM (#5668800)
On Palmer: But Palmer's longevity and win totals were not particularly impressive relative to his contemporaries. Many pitchers of his era were winning 300, topping 4000 innings, striking out 3000. He sailed in because he was viewed as dominant for a period, largely due to 20-win seasons and win percentages. But sure, the extra 60 wins, 500 innings, etc. didn't hurt.

On Pedro vs Kershaw: Nobody's saying Kershaw is Pedro. Nobody's even claiming he'd get Pedro's percentage if he retired today. We're claiming he'd get 75% pretty easily -- still potentially a long way from Pedro at 92%. I consider the notion that the bus-hit Pedro line posted above wouldn't have been elected easily to be far-fetched. A 166-67 record ... you think voters wouldn't notice that massive winning percentage? 3 CYA, 2400 Ks, 2.58 ERA. And that's before they'd have started mentally filling in the rest of his career if the bus hadn't hit him.

Now I'm sure that if Pedro, say, retired after 2003 claiming "I've already proved I'm the best, I'm bored with this and let me just add a giant #### you to the reporters" then revenge for his arrogance would have kept him out.

Admittedly, I'm a big Pedro fan. Best pitcher I've ever seen. But I have no particular feelings about Kershaw and still consider him a lock if he retired today.

There aren't many true peak-only players but the BBWAA has generally done pretty good with them. Greenberg, Campy, Robinson, Koufax. Heck, I disagree with them but Sutter and Eck are both in on 5-6 year peaks and Gossage maybe 10. Mize and Santo are the big misses that spring to mind but Santo wasn't carrying 3 MVPs. I'm convinced they'd waive the 10-year rule for Trout if they had to.

The threshold here isn't Pedro or even Palmer. It's Catfish Hunter who made it in based on 6 really good but not great years. It's Jack Morris who nearly made it based on "best pitcher of the 80s" (among a very weak lot). "Dominant pitcher of the 2010s" will be enough.
   61. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 08, 2018 at 11:25 PM (#5669019)
On Pedro vs Kershaw: Nobody's saying Kershaw is Pedro. Nobody's even claiming he'd get Pedro's percentage if he retired today. We're claiming he'd get 75% pretty easily


And as I said, I disagree, because the 60 wins, 23 WAR and 900 K is not only a really big gap, it's a gap that could straddle a tipping point between "short but dominant" career and "dominant, but not for long enough". As it stands, he'll probably pitch and and bulk, but who knows.

It's Catfish Hunter who made it in based on 6 really good but not great years. It's Jack Morris who nearly made it based on "best pitcher of the 80s" (among a very weak lot)


The postseason helped both their legacies immensely
   62. TomH Posted: May 09, 2018 at 07:51 AM (#5669088)
Kershaw: Tied for 2nd (with Verlander) in active pitcher career WAR at 60, altho 1-2 great/lousy weeks could put him 1st or 4th. Of the top 25, 4 are < age 30 (younger than Clay).

Trout: (yes, another this-is-silly Trout stat): 7th in active player WAR (6th if you bump Ichiro! from active) with 57.5. Trout is 26, and the others in top 25 are all at least 31. Next guy Trout's age or younger is Machado, <30 WAR. Just sick.



   63. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: May 09, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5669147)
Trout: (yes, another this-is-silly Trout stat): 7th in active player WAR (6th if you bump Ichiro! from active) with 57.5. Trout is 26, and the others in top 25 are all at least 31. Next guy Trout's age or younger is Machado, <30 WAR. Just sick.


I think they're all at least 35 (Cano and Cabrera).
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: May 09, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5669150)
I think they're all at least 35 (Cano and Cabrera).


Not the rest in the Top 25. Longoria, for example, is 19th and 32.
   65. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: May 09, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5669293)
Whoops, my fault; I missed that part.

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