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Stats parameters that make a starter elite, here's why:


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#1 Mike Taylor (no relation)

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:04 PM

We can all agree that the philosophy of this new regime in our front office (when it comes to pitchers) is to walk less batters and strike out more of them. Uh, that should be the philosophy of every front office, right? I would also like to add, "don't give up the long ball" because, you know, that's pretty important, too. So, I was drumming up numbers and figures in my head about what deems a pitcher elite. Some fans of the game don't like to get into statistics too much, so I'd try to make it simple and see if they would apply.

I used to pitch, so I could tell you what a good outing was for me... In a complete game: walking less than 3 batters, striking out at least 6 guys (didn't care if half of those were from the pitcher standing up there), giving up less than one hit per inning and hopefully not throwing a fat pitch and giving up a long ball (especially with runners on base). Anyway, enough brief history... back to basics. Would you be shocked if I told you that the only player currently on the Cubs that fits these parameters is James Russell? (Camp was close, but gave up 9.15 H/9 in 2012)

There were only 30 starters in 2012 who met the strict criteria of: at least 100 IP, >6 K/9, <3 BB/9, <9 H/9, and <1 HR/9. I'll list them for you (underlined numbers indicate category leader for this group)... along with some honorable mentions (red coloring and asterisk by name cites disqualification):

K / 9 - BB/9 - H /9 - HR/9 - NAME

07.83 - 1.50 - 6.72 - 0.39 - Medlen, Kris
06.10 - 1.62 - 8.19 - 0.81 - Lohse, Kyle -FA-
06.66 - 1.71 - 8.92 - 0.65 - Miley, Wade
07.04 - 1.98 - 8.56 - 0.83 - Zimmerman, Jordan
08.87 - 1.98 - 8.28 - 0.99 - Sabathia, C.C.
07.05 - 2.03 - 8.50 - 0.62 - Cueto, Johnny
07.63 - 2.06 - 8.68 - 0.84 - Fister, Doug
08.86 - 2.08 - 7.40 - 0.92 - Dickey, R.A.
07.92 - 2.09 - 7.26 - 0.86 - Cain, Matt
08.25 - 2.12 - 7.91 - 0.99 - Bumgarner, Madison
06.77 - 2.15 - 7.01 - 0.95 - Weaver, Jered
08.65 - 2.17 - 8.11 - 0.54 - Hernandez, Felix
09.03 - 2.17 - 7.94 - 1.00 - *Hamels, Cole
07.68 - 2.21 - 9.20 - 0.92 - *Sanchez, Anibal
09.03 - 2.27 - 7.25 - 0.72 - Verlander, Justin
08.48 - 2.29 - 8.48 - 0.76 - Greinke, Zack
08.82 - 2.29 - 8.22 - 0.99 - Shields, James
08.34 - 2.36 - 8.88 - 0.68 - Wainwright, Adam
07.96 - 2.38 - 8.86 - 0.98 - Gee, Dillon
09.00 - 2.39 - 7.83 - 0.89 - Sale, Chris
06.08 - 2.45 - 8.97 - 0.92 - Rodriguez, Wandy
09.05 - 2.49 - 6.72 - 0.63 - Kershaw, Clayton
08.74 - 2.52 - 7.38 - 0.68 - Price, David
06.67 - 2.52 - 8.48 - 0.95 - Maholm, Paul
09.52 - 2.54 - 8.81 - 0.85 - Fiers, Mike
07.00 - 2.64 - 8.58 - 0.73 - Cobb, Alex
05.93 - 2.67 - 8.19 - 0.84 - *Blackley, Travis
07.96 - 2.71 - 8.06 - 0.99 - Dempster, Ryan
07.70 - 2.71 - 8.90 - 0.66 - Billingsley, Chad
11.13 - 2.71 - 7.68 - 0.85 - Strasburg, Stephen
08.01 - 2.76 - 8.41 - 0.80 - Burnett, A.J.
05.75 - 2.85 - 8.16 - 0.82 - *Detwiler, Ross
11.08 - 2.88 - 8.58 - 1.10 - *Scherzer, Max
09.27 - 2.89 - 8.09 - 1.03 - *Samardzija, Jeff
07.50 - 2.94 - 8.11 - 0.81 - Vogelsong, Ryan
07.80 - 2.96 - 7.07 - 0.87 - Morrow, Brandon
07.91 - 2.98 - 8.42 - 1.16 - *Marcum, Shaun -FA-
06.31 - 3.03 - 9.42 - 0.84 - *Kelly, Joe
07.76 - 3.06 - 8.47 - 0.66 - *Johnson, Josh

I'm not going out on a limb by saying these pitchers all had great 2012 (unless they got injured / shut down) and I'm not implying they're a cut above the rest, because ERA, xFIP, etc., have a great deal to say about that. What I am saying is that if you were to come close to these parameters in a season, you've done a great job. There's value in how many innings you have pitched putting up these numbers as well, because that line is hard to maintain (especially if you're throwing 75+ pitches to get to 4IP and wearing out your bullpen every 5 days).

On a side note: please, Theo & Jed, sign Anibal Sanchez. He's worth what he's asking (especially having postseason experience and being under 30 years old).

EDIT: Thank you for trying to Signing Anibal Sanchez, Theo & Jed, you made my day.

PS-This should easily show you what a heck of a year Kris Medlen had.

#2 Morken

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:40 PM

Everyone believes that they have '"The Formula".

Truth be told: There's a lot that goes into judging a pither's effectiveness.

Sanchez has a few major factors that would make any sain general manager run in the opposite direction; especially the Cubs:

He has a history of injury problems

He's going to demand, as the market will dictate, way too much money. Money he's not even close to being worth.

Sanchez is inconsistent



#3 Myles

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

I think your list looks AWFULLY close to a list of "best pitchers in baseball".

Sanchez' only wart is he doesn't strike enough people out to be truly dominant. Strikeouts (and the ability get one when you need one) is what separates solid 2s and 3s from true top-of-the-rotation guys. There are 50 or so guys out there who can hold hits, homers, and walks down. There are only 10 or so guys who can do that AND punch you out when they really need to.




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