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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-7-2019

Pittsburgh Press, August 7, 1919:

An unusual accident was recorded recently in a semi-professional baseball game at Denver, when James Hume, a pitcher for one of the contending teams, suffered a broken arm. Hume had pitched about 12 balls when he wound up for a wide out-curve. Just as the ball left his hand Hume’s arm broke midway between the shoulder and elbow as clean as if struck by a flywheel. The accident was one of the most unusual ever recorded in baseball.

*Dave Dravecky, Tony Saunders, John Smiley and Joel Zumaya wince*

Elsewhere in the news, the Yankees have unsurprisingly gotten an injunction preventing the American League from suspending Carl Mays.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 10:18 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5869039)
Today's Birthday Team features the greatest baseball player I have ever seen. 71.7 WAR before you turn 28 is bonkers.

C: Jerry McNertney (4.0 WAR)
1B: Les Fleming (9.2 WAR)
2B: Rocky Bridges (2.9 WAR)
3B/Manager: Bill McKechnie (3.3 WAR)
SS: Edgar Renteria (32.3 WAR)
LF: Steve Kemp (19.5 WAR)
CF: Mike Trout (71.7 WAR)
RF: Kirk Nieuwenhuis (2.7 WAR)

SP: Adonis Terry (31.3 WAR)
SP: Motoshi Fujita (NPB pitcher, back-to-back Central League MVP awards, would be #1 if not for a very short career)
SP: Don Larsen (18.4 WAR)
SP: Art Houtteman (11.3 WAR)
SP: Wade LeBlanc (5.9 WAR)
RP: Danny Graves (5.6 WAR)

Umpire: Bruce Dreckman
Goofy pitching motion that probably never should have been legal: Carter Capps
Muppet or ballplayer?: Guy Sturdy
East German Secret Police or ballplayer?: Brock Stassi
Not that one: Jim Gray
Fun name: Sparrow Morton
Proto-Kieschnick, except this guy wasn't a big-league hitter *or* a big-league pitcher: Greg Pirkl
   2. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5869044)
RF: Kirk Nieuwenhuis (2.7 WAR)


A Nieuwenhuis sighting! Well, this side of East Islip, anyway...
   3. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5869046)
71.7 WAR before you turn 28 is bonkers.
If 2.0 WAR is about what you'd expect from a cromulent everyday player, Trout has (on average) been a pretty solid everyday player since the day he was born. He's averaged 2.56 WAR per year since birth.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5869051)
SP: Don Larsen (18.4 WAR)

Hmmm, Larsen had 5.8 of his 18.3 WAR from hitting (82 career OPS+). That's over 30%. Is there any other pitcher with more than say 10 WAR, who has a higher % from hitting?

No idea how to search that.
   5. Rally Posted: August 07, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5869057)
He's averaged 2.56 WAR per year since birth.


Bonds has been out of baseball for 12 years but is still at 2.96. Ruth has been dead for 71 years but has still averaged better than a win per year since 1895. Pujols is just ahead of Trout at 2.57 but not for long as both his numerator and denominator are moving in the wrong direction.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 11:04 AM (#5869060)
Ruth has been dead for 71 years but has still averaged better than a win per year since 1895.

I think you have to stop counting when he died.

Ruth averaged 3.4 WAR for his life-time.
   7. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 07, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5869062)
I think you have to stop counting when he died.

Or at least adjust replacement level.

Hmmm, Larsen had 5.8 of his 18.3 WAR from hitting (82 career OPS+). That's over 30%. Is there any other pitcher with more than say 10 WAR, who has a higher % from hitting?

One guy I thought of was Red Lucas, who was a .281 career hitter. But he doesn't quite get there. About 26% of his 44 WAR came from hitting.
   8. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 07, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5869075)
Earl Wilson had 7.4 WAR as a hitter, 20.4 as a pitcher, which is also 27 percent. He was a better pitcher than I thought, and indeed led the AL in pitcher WAR in 1966, despite splitting the season between the Red Sox and the Tigers. That seems like an exceedingly funky result, given that Jim Kaat pitched 40 more innings than Wilson with an ERA a quarter of a run lower.

Was Larsen known as a hitter during his career? I have never heard him described that way, but a .242 career average with 14 homers in 596 ABs is pretty good.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 11:22 AM (#5869079)
Newk: 8.4 hitting, 29.1 pitching
   10. caspian88 Posted: August 07, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5869082)
Nelson Cruz is now eight home runs shy of 400. At his current pace, he should get there by... what, the third inning?
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 11:26 AM (#5869083)
Or at least adjust replacement level.

There's gotta be baseball in Heaven right?
   12. Sweatpants Posted: August 07, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5869090)
1910s pitcher Doc Crandall had 21.2 WAR, 7.9 of which came as a position player. His situation is complicated a bit by the fact that he spent 1914 as a two-way player for the St. Louis FL club. Crandall started 21 games on the mound (13-9, 94 ERA+) and 55 games at 2B (.309/.429/.424, 140 OPS+) that year.

Mike Hampton was at about the same level as Wilson and Lucas.
   13. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5869133)
No Omnichatter yet, so I'll do this here:

Pete Alonso goes yard again, Mets score 1st inning runs again, lead 2-0.
   14. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5869143)
Marlins run themselves out of a potentially big inning in the top of the 2nd. Seems like Matz ain't got it today. 2-1 Mets.
   15. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:01 PM (#5869162)
Michael Conforto gives the Mets some breathing space with a 2-run jack. 4-1, NY, still batting in the 3rd.
   16. SandyRiver Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5869173)
Thru 1917, Babe Ruth had 17,4 WAR pitching and 5.4 batting, the latter 24% of the total. Add 1918, the last year he had enough IP to qualify for the ERA title (even though I don't think it was officially being recorded at the time) and the numbers are 19.7 and 10.1, with batting WAR now 34% of the total. For some reason, its share increased markedly after that.
   17. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5869174)
C: Jerry McNertney (4.0 WAR)


The Seattle Pilots were the first MLB team I followed, and Jerry McNertney was the first player I can recall as being my favorite player, but I honestly don't remember why. I got a McNertney model bat on bat day at Sicks' Stadium, but I don't remember if that made him my favorite player, or whether he was my favorite before bat day, and I managed to get a bat with his name on it on purpose.
   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5869193)
Wait, you personally attended a Seattle Pilots game? A home game, at that? You're my new favorite poster.
   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 07, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5869198)
Add 1918, the last year he had enough IP to qualify for the ERA title (even though I don't think it was officially being recorded at the time)


ERA was officially adopted by the AL in 1913 (and while ERA was recognized, it's not generally remembered, but the AL did not issue won-lost records for pitchers in its official stats from 1913 to 1919).

Innings pitched was not the qualifying standard for the ERA title until 1951, when the familiar rule of pitchers having to pitch the equivelent of one inning per scheduled game was adopted. Prior to that, it was ten complete games to qualify for the ERA championship. This gives us several pitchers who are recognized as ERA leaders who would not have qualified under today's rules, because they wouldn't have pitched enough innings. See Monte Pearson, 1933; Spud Chandler, 1947; and Jim Hearn, 1950, for three examples.
   20. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 07, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5869199)
Wait, you personally attended a Seattle Pilots game? A home game, at that? You're my new favorite poster.


I saw four Pilots games at Sicks' Stadium. One against the Senators, one against the White Sox, and a double-header against the Twins. The Pilots were 3-1 in games I attended, two of them being walk-off wins in the bottom of the ninth...
   21. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5869203)
2 more homers for the Metsies: McNeil with 1 on and another for Conforto 2 batters later. 7-2 in favor of New York.
   22. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5869205)
Familia on for the 8th with a 5-run lead. Will that be enough?
   23. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 07, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5869209)
A note to my post #19:

In 1940 there was a huge controversy over the AL ERA title. Tiny Bonham of the Yankees had a 1.90 ERA, which was by far the lowest in the league, but pitched only 12 games, with 10 complete games. At the time, 10 complete games was regarded as the qualifier. But Bonham had only 99-1/3 innings pitched. Bob Feller was next with a 2.61 ERA, and had 320 IP and 31 CG. The AL made the decision to give Feller the ERA title, despite the fact that Bonham technically qualified, because of Bonham's low number of IP and G.
   24. Hank Gillette Posted: August 07, 2019 at 02:24 PM (#5869210)
Today's Birthday Team features the greatest baseball player I have ever seen. 71.7 WAR before you turn 28 is bonkers.


In a small return to normality in our chaotic world, Mike Trout has finally taken over the Major League in rWAR (I think he has had the lead for some time in fWAR, since Fangraphs does not rate Bellinger nearly has highly as BRef does).
   25. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 07, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5869223)
In a small return to normality in our chaotic world, Mike Trout has finally taken over the Major League in rWAR


Our long national nightmare is over!
   26. Walt Davis Posted: August 07, 2019 at 06:20 PM (#5869321)
Trout has (on average) been a pretty solid everyday player since the day he was born.

The Angels messed up not signing him for 40/$100 M when they had the chance. (I'm sure Bryce Harper's dad would have turned that down.)

Don Robinson had 13/4.5 pitch/hit WAR which is 25.7%. Bob Forsch 18.8/5.7, 23.2%. He's a reliever so not many PAs but Michael Lorenzen is at 3.6/1.4. Ankeil didn't hit amazingly well in his brief time as just a pitcher.

Hey, you kinda can search it. I put together a list of pitchers with batting WAR >=3, saved that, then loaded that as a report in the pitching WAR table and looked for guys who weren't particularly good pitchers.

The batting table found here and the matched pitching table found here.

Looks like the leader is Russ Ortiz at 9.4/3.9 at 29.3%. Pretty sure Robinson is 2nd -- 3rd least pWAR, 19th most bWAR.

Hmmm... apparently 95% is too high a threashold. I was trying to eliminate anybody who was a two-way player but I guess some guys PH enough to miss 95%. Even at 90%, Larsen doesn't show up. So let's try that again at 80% here and here.

He didn't meet the 10 WAR pitching criterion but he's a well-known pitcher so looks like Blue Moon Odom leads at 2.2/3.1. Then Larsen, Ortiz, Wilson, Robinson I think.

Man, Blue Moon was a strange career. He had full seasons of 113, 117, 115 ERA+ and a half-season of 137. Those 4 seasons add up to 9.3 WAR and about 40% of his career innings. The other 900 innings, he was very bad. At age 19, he made 5 starts for KC lasting just 17 innings and -1 WAR. His 1975 is kinda incredible in that he kept getting chances -- pitched for 3 different teams, just 77 IP total and -1.7 WAR.

By the way, the KC A's gave Larsen one start in LF, I assume as a stunt.
   27. Itchy Row Posted: August 07, 2019 at 06:24 PM (#5869324)
Prior to that, it was ten complete games to qualify for the ERA championship.
Under those rules, we would have only had one league ERA champion in this century- James Shields in 2011. Sabathia had 10 CG in 2008, but 3 in the AL and 7 in the NL.
   28. AndrewJ Posted: August 07, 2019 at 07:52 PM (#5869342)
Today's Birthday Team features the greatest baseball player I have ever seen. 71.7 WAR before you turn 28 is bonkers.

Some entire Birthday Teams don't have 71.7 WAR. Happy 28th.
   29. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 07, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5869371)
By the way, the KC A's gave Larsen one start in LF, I assume as a stunt.


It wasn't really a stunt, just an attempt to get another bat in the line-up. On May 23, 1961, the A's were in a batting slump, and manager Joe Gordon decided to shake up the line-up. He made several changes, the most notable being playing Larsen in left field and hitting him clean-up. Larsen had pinch hit a home run the day before; he was 4 for 8 as a hitter that season going into the May 23 game, with five of those AB as a pinch hitter. According to the game report in the next day's paper, Gordon decided to start Larsen after he hit the home run.

"I simply have to get more punch in the line-up," said Gordon. "Maybe Don can help. He's a good hitter."


Larsen went 0-4, and was called out on strikes twice.

"I took two many pitches," said the 31-year-old pitcher who had been hitting well as a pinch hitter. "This outfielding is all right. I don't mind it but I don't want to forget pitching, either."


Larsen caught both fly balls hit to him, but the Senators won 7-3. Gordon did not repeat the experiment. In 1961, Larsen hit .311/.326/.444, with two home runs.

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