Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My Top 60 Starters, 31-40

40. Kevin Brown (.589 NW%, 122 ARA, +33 WAA, +78 WAR)
39. Stan Coveleski (.574, 126, +35, +78)
38. Juan Marichal (.614, 118, +30, +79)
37. Tommy John (.545, 107, +18, +83)
36. Ted Lyons (.559, 112, +25, +82)
35. John Smoltz (.557, 127, +36, +80)
34. Eppa Rixey (.514, 111, +22, +85)
33. Vic Willis (.529, 114, +26, +82)
32. Red Ruffing (.522, 111, +23, +83)
31. Red Faber (.552, 114, +27, +84)

BROWN: I don’t have any insight on this, but I assume he’ll be snubbed by the Hall voters, for a number of reasons. First, he’s not well-liked, by anybody. Second, he never got the credit he was due when he was pitching, at least I never thought that he did. Third, he is the least-impressive of a barrage of great pitchers who will hit the ballot within a few years of his doing so (Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, Schilling), with Mussina and Pedro probably not that far behind. I think they are all worthy of the Hall, but I think Brown may have to wait until he’s long gone and the numbers speak louder then the other factors.

MARCICHAL: I was surprised to see the Dominican Dandy so low; he certainly does better in the W-L measures then he does in runs allowed. Bill James originally rated him in front of Gibson, but came around in the second edition of the Historical Abstract. Still a unique pitcher and one I would have loved to have watched.

JOHN: The first of two eligible pitchers on the ballot but not in the Hall. John is a career value special, as nobody that follows has less then 20 WAA. John recently agitated that he should be in Cooperstown, and while I agree, he can take comfort in knowing that barring some new advance in sports medicine, his name will remain in the forefront longer then a lot of pitchers who were better then he was.

SMOLTZ: He gets no extra credit here for the higher leverage innings in his three years of closing, either; of course, I also compared those innings to the lower replacement level for starters (.390), so things even out a bit.

WILLIS: Willis, a fairly recent Veterans’ Committee pick, is often put down as a bad one but I just don’t see it. His win-loss isn’t very impressive, but +63 WCR isn’t horrible. But he does well in run-based metrics, and he had three 10 WAR seasons, more then contemporaries like Plank and McGinnity. I see this moer as a wrong righted then a grievous blow to the sanctity of the Hall of Fame.


  1. Pat - I believe your underrating Ruffing and Smoltz systamticly as their post season records were tremedous.

    I'd have to think about the math, but I could see a world series inning being worth 30x a regular season inning, and an CS inning worth 10-15x a regular season inning.

  2. You are right that postseason play should be considered. I'm not sure I would be comfortable with thirty times as much though--if you look at it from valuing the events in real time, as WPA would, then I can see how one might come to that conclusion. But I'm not a big fan of that approach.

    If anything, I would think postseason performance would be worth more today then in the old 8 team pennant race days, because those were usually close, whereas many teams today cruise into the playoffs with room to spare, with the wilcard as a fallback.

    I think I remember Tango throwing out 3x more credit for the postseason, and something like that would seem reasonable to me. I agree though that it should be accounted for, somehow.

  3. MARCICHAL: I was surprised to see the Dominican Dandy so low; he certainly does better in the W-L measures then he does in runs allowed.

    That's at least in part because he had some of the greatest run support of any pitcher in baseball history.


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