The REAL Hall of Fame: Damn lies and statistics...(pitchers edition)

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acnunnally
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:06 pm

The REAL Hall of Fame: Damn lies and statistics...(pitchers edition)

Post by acnunnally » Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:51 pm

All right. It was feeling very out of balance to report on HOF batters and leave everyone hanging about their hurler counterparts, so without further ado, here are your Hall of Fame starting pitcher statistics by era (HOFers who were primarily relievers, pithcer-umpire Hank O'Day, and Babe Ruth EXCLUDED, and John Smoltz and Eck INCLUDED):

All HOF___________________265-180 W-L, .600 W%, 2193 K, 2.99 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
YOR 1930+ (Live Ball Era)____260-184 W-L, .591 W%, 2481 K, 3.24 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
YOR 2010+ -- Doc only, so not reporting
YOR 2000-2009_____________278-167 W-L, .627 W%, 3317 K, 3.32 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
YOR 1990-1999_____________266-225 W-L, .543 W%, 3574 K, 3.48 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
YOR 1980-1989_____________307-232 W-L, .573 W%, 3376 K, 3.14 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
YOR 1970-1979_____________236-167 W-L, .586 W%, 2572 K, 3.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
YOR 1960-1969_____________260-182 W-L, .598 W%, 2352 K, 3.08 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
YOR 1950-1959_____________227-147 W-L, .606 W%, 1885 K, 3.18 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
YOR 1940-1949_____________238-156 W-L, .612 W%, 1605 K, 3.31 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
YOR 1930-1939_____________256-191 W-L, .573 W%, 1499 K, 3.31 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
YOR 1920-1929_____________261-181 W-L, .590 W%, 1949 K, 2.65 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
YOR Before 1920___________274-170 W-L, .619 W%, 1625 K, 2.51 ERA, 1.16 WHIP

Main messages here:
  • Nobody wins 300 games, and no era ever consistently produced 300-W pitchers, so erase that from your memories!
  • There have been remarkably steady ERA and WHIP averages in the Live Ball Era with spikes that correspond to the modern performance enhancement decades (1990-2009).
  • Interestingly, pitching to contact earlier in the Live Ball Era vs. pitching to strike batters out has left ERA pretty consistent, though WHIP (as expected) trends a bit higher in pitch-to-contact eras.

acnunnally
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:06 pm

Re: The REAL Hall of Fame: Damn lies and statistics...(pitchers edition)

Post by acnunnally » Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:23 am

There are 13 pitchers who pitched in the Live Ball Era (retired from 1930 to present) who won 300 games. They are:

Randy Johnson - 303 W
Greg Maddux - 355 W
Tom Glavine - 305 W
Nolan Ryan - 324 W
Don Sutton - 324 W
Steve Carlton - 329 W
Phil Niekro - 318 W
Tom Seaver - 311 W
Gaylord Perry - 314
Warren Spahn - 363
Early Wynn - 300
Lefty Grove - 300 (pitched five seasons in the Dead Ball Era)
Pete Alexander - 373 (pitched half of his career in the Dead Ball Era)

There are nine more from the Dead Ball Era -- a much shorter period of only 50 seasons (vs. 95 subsequent seasons of retirees):

Walter Johnson - 417
Christie Mathewson - 373
Cy Young - 511
Kid Nichols - 362
John Clarkson - 328
Tim Keefe - 342
Pud Gavin - 365
Michey Welch - 307
Old Hoss Radbourn - 310

There are 233 former MLB players in the Hall of Fame. Assuming a roster ratio of 11 pitchers to 14 position players, 44% should be pitchers, which means there ought to be about 100 pitchers in the Hall of Fame, though in reality, there fewer than 80. Even accounting for a handful of relievers, if the historical standard for starting pitchers were 300 wins, pitchers would be even more underrepresented than they are today. For Mike Mussina to have been anything other than a complete no-brainer with his 270 W, .638 W%, 2813 K, 3.58 ERA, 1.19 WHIP -- and 82.8 WAR -- seems foolish to me. Even had he been excluded from the statistics, the average line for elected pitchers from his retiree decade would have been 279 W, .624 W%, 3418 K, 3.25 ERA, and 1.18 WHIP. Sure, he had a slightly higher ERA and a few less strikeouts than the rest of his HOF cohort, but he doesn't exactly drag down the standards.

On that subject, Curt Schilling's exclusion is also unfair with these credentials:

216 W, 3116 K, 3.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 80.5 WAR

Clearly Schilling has been hurt by his lower win total (thanks, Philly, for returning him 12.6 W in exchange for 4.6 WAR per full season). This irks me from an objective standpoint, as he has more WAR than any non-PED-tainted candidate not elected to the HOF. Then again, the crap that he says is probably hurting him as much (or more) than the low win total at this point, so hopefully he'll get there in the interest of fairness and objectivity.

So, what does all of this tell us about Cesar Cedeno? Well, for one thing, with the current version of ABE, we are about as likely to see another 300-win pitcher as we are to be struck by lightning. If Darren Uchrinschko (296 W on 7 CYAs, 2.75 ERA and 1.11 WHIP) and Chris Stephenson (291 W on 3 CYAs, 3.02 ERA, and 1.14 WHIP) couldn't get there, what hope is there for any future pitcher? Those are two of the top five to seven pitchers in league history, and they missed that mark. Relatedly, although I'm not saying anyone is expecting pitchers in this league to get 300 wins to be elected, I AM saying that I think people are over-relying on win totals -- in much the same way people have historically for MLB HOF considerations.

DUTCH LEONARD SHOULD BE ELECTED TO OUR HOF!!!! Ignore the lower 223 W total and recognize that he had a career 3.13 ERA (18th All-Time) and 1.17 WHIP (18th All-Time) to go along with 2500+ K, a CYA, and a .603 W%. He was an All-Time GREAT by any objective measure, and it's really puzzling to me, how he is being ignored with these kind of objectively outstanding rate stats. I so wish we had WAR as a metric for SimDynasty because it would better reflect his true value. Think about it: His ERA was only 0.11 higher and his WHIP 0.03 higher than Chris Stephenson who recorded 291 W for the Brooklyn juggernaut. Do you really think that kind of pitcher doesn't belong in the HOF?

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