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Comparing pitching stats of relievers to those of starters (historical context)
Posted: 12 August 2009 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]

There has been significant discussion over the relative weight which should be given to a good closer’s pitching stats when compared to those of a good starter. The consensus seems to be that, because of the shorter stint, relievers are able to post higher rate numbers. But I’ve never seen the logic extended to comparing full-time starters to pitchers who both started and relieved. Perhaps this has been covered in Hall of Merit discussions. Among HoM caliber pitchers, not too many have significant number of games in each role. In the recent past, it has been done by Eckersley and Smoltz. Before the closer role was developed, guys like Grove anf Three Finger Brown, pitched a significant number of games in relief. If performance in a starting role is considered more significant than performance in relief, has that been figured into your calculations? For example, when Smoltz is considered for the Hall of Merit in a few years, will his innings as a reliever be treated the same as his innings as a starter?

Posted: 16 August 2009 01:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]

I cannot recall the study, but memory tells me analysis showed the diff between starting and current ace relief usage (1 IP per appearance) to be about .70 of ERA.

Relief innings are also more highly leveraged, such that 80 IP per year as a closer is as effective as about 130 IP as a starter.