Posted tagged ‘Tom Glavine’

Andy Pettite retires, is he a Hall of Famer?

February 4, 2011

Well, tomorrow Andy Pettitte will officially retire. For the 2011 Yankees, this sucks. While I don’t believe Andy would have pitched as well as he did in 2010, he is a considerably better option than Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, Sergio Mitre, etc, etc for a spot in the rotation. So even at $12mil, Andy is worth that to this specific Yankee team. I can only imagine he would be a 1.5-2 win upgrade compared to our current next best option, so he honestly could be the make or break player/reason the Yankees miss out on the playoffs.

But Andy is not coming back, and as a fan, I cannot complain. He’s been a wonderful talent to watch, and a true competitor. I don’t want to sound all MSMish, but his toughness and appetite to win was fun to watch. For many seasons he was the Yankees star pitcher, and while the Yankees aren’t typically known for their pitching, that’s still an impressive label to carry considering how strong a team the Yankees have been while he’s played for them.

Andy Pettitte has had a good career, but is it a Hall of Fame career?

To begin, Pettitte was a true workhorse. He made 30+ starts in thirteen of his sixteen seasons. Moreover, he did everything well that a pitcher could control. He had a 6.63 K rate, 2.83 BB rate, 0.77 HR rate, and has been successful at inducing lots of ground balls, which usually turn into lots of outs. By limiting walks, keeping the ball in the park, and inducing grounders, Pettitte was able to go deep into ballgames and prevent runs, two significant things a pitcher can do to help his team win, and provide value to them. As a result, Andy had a 3.75 FIP and 66.9 fWAR. In fact, his fWAR/200 is 4.4. That’s not just good. That’s Hall of Fame good.

HOWEVER, bWAR disagrees. His bWAR is 50.2, or 3.3/200 IP. That’s a whole win lower than his fWAR/200. Moreover, his WAR goes from above the HOF standard, to well below it. Yikes. So as a rule of thumb, you average the two. His aWAR would be 58.9 and his aWAR/200 would be 3.8.

So Andy is legitimately borderline right now. His aWAR of 58.9, would just about put him on the Hall of Fame line. Of all players that come to mind, I don’t think a single player is more borderline than Andy Pettitte. If there was an actual line or standard to get into the Hall of Fame, it would be the Andy Pettitte line. I mean, his numbers and rate stats are good, but not OUTSTANDING. Yet he made a lot of starts and threw a lot of innings in the seasons he played, gaining a lot of value. He had 1 WAM season, and another TWELVE WAE seasons (and in two of the three seasons he didn’t 3+ WAR he missed half the season and otherwise would have got 3+ WAR). So Andy Pettitte was pretty much an excellent player for his ENTIRE career with a couple near MVP seasons along the way.

Looking at it right now, I can’t make up my mind on Andy. As I said, he is as borderline as it gets. If he got voted in, I’d agree. If he missed out, I wouldn’t complain. HOWEVER, if you had to lean in a certain way, the way to lean is PRO-HOF- for a couple reasons.

For one, we haven’t even looked at his postseason numbers. While he didn’t pitch as well in the postseason (4.17 FIP, 263 innings), he still accumulated a significant chunk of innings in the postseason. Although we don’t have a database of postseason WAR, if those numbers actually counted, I think it would have made Andy’s numbers look better, especially in terms of WAR.

Second, just go to Tom Tango. In 2009 he wrote:

QUOTE:

As I’ve talked about in the past, the best way to get a sense of someone’s place in history is to compare the player to his peers.  And typically, you get about 20-25 players elected to the Hall of Fame for every decade of birth years (with about one-third of those pitchers).

AND today… :

Andy Pettitte was born in June of 1972.  If we look at every pitcher born within 4.5 years of him (the nine years from 1968 to 1976), we get this list:

#1. Pedro
#2. Mussina
#3. Mariano Rivera
#4. Andy Pettitte
#5. Tim Hudson

We see that Pettitte is somewhere on the cusp of good to great.  I look forward to seeing Pettitte’s name on the Hall of Fame ballot for 15 years.  He deserves that much at least.

So if for a given generation 20-25 players make the HOF and 6-8 or so are pitchers, than it looks like Andy Pettitte is easily a HOF’er. That may speak more to the fact that the current generation is weaker than other generations (especially the one preceding it) but either way, it strengthens Andy’s case.

So yeah, Andy Pettitte the take it or leave it HOF candidate.

 

AND just for fun, lets compare him to fellow soft tossing lefty Tom Glavine, who is just about a lock for the HOF.

Pettitte: 3055 IP, 6.63 K/9, 2.83 BB/9, 0.77 HR/9, 66.9 fWAR, 4.4 fWAR/200, 20.1 WAE, 2.4 WAM

Glavine: 4413 IP, 5.32 K/9, 3.06 BB/9, 0.73 HR/9, 68.5 fWAR, 3.1 fWAR/200, 16.2 WAE, 0 WAM

So yeah. Despite tossing about 1400 less innings, Pettitte has pretty much the same fWAR, a much better fWAR/200, and has accumulated more WAE and WAM. If Glavine is a HOF’er, why not Pettitte?

Trevor Hoffman retires

January 11, 2011

And he retires the all-time saves leader (stoopid stat) with 601 career saves.

While I don’t like reliever all that well, it is a role and position of the game that isn’t going away anytime soon. Although Hoffman may be quite overrated, he still had a fantastic career. Will he be a Hall of Famer? No doubt about it. Should he be a Hall of Famer? Let’s take a look.

For obvious reasons, closers compile low WAR numbers. For that reason, most people are probably against their inclusion into the HOF. I disagree. It IS a position and their scale for getting into the HOF should be different than starting pitchers. While a HOF pitcher will generally have a 60+ WAR, I like to look at a reliever’s WAR/200. By scaling their WAR to 200 innings, you can put them on the “same level” as starters. Hoffman’s 22.9 fWAR is clearly not HOF worthy if you treat it the same as you would a starting pitcher. But you shouldn’t do that. His WAR/200 is 4.2. That’s pretty good. Tom Glavine’s WAR/200 is 3.1. John Smoltz is 4.8.

Granted, starting pitcher’s ARE more valuable than reliever’s and typically more talented. But when you put up the numbers of a Trevor Hoffman, it’s clear you have HOF skill and talent. The only reason you’re not seeing success as a starter is because 1) You lack the stamina 2) You lack multiple pitches 3) You dominant in the pen and your team refuses to move you from the position. Those factors should not be held against a dominant reliever.

So yes, Trevor Hoffman should be in the HOF. His numbers are better than current RP in the HOF, including Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage. Hoffman is retiring with more than a K per inning and a 3.08 FIP. For starters and position players, anything above 3 WAR is considered Wins Above Excellent and anything above 6 WAR is considered Wins Above MVP. For a RP I would estimate WAE would be either 1.5 or 2 and WAM would be 2 or 2.5. I could do further analysis on that, but estimating right now, that would give Hoffman three seasons of WAE and a whopping six seasons of WAM.

From 1996-2000 he had a dominant run, posting five consecutive WAM seasons, posting FIP’s between 2.04 and 2.70, accumunlating 12.5 fWAR (or 6.6 WAR/200!) and a K/9 of 11.0. Impressive.

So Trevor Hoffman is a HOF pitcher. I also want to take the time to talk about Lee Smith.

He has been on the ballot for a long while. He is better than Trevor Hoffman. So if Hoffman gets in, which I assume he will, then it is a shame Smith will probably not be. He threw about 200 more career innings, yet his fWAR/200 is 4.5. Remember, Hoffman’s is 4.2. Smith also finished with a better career FIP, which is 2.93. Smith had EIGHT seasons of WAM and another two seasons of WAE.

Lee Smith and Trevor Hoffman for Hall of Fame.

 

Analysis of Mike Minor’s ML Debut

August 10, 2010

Last night Mike Minor took the mound in his first major league start. Minor is the first of many great pitching prospects that the Braves have in their farm system. Arodys Vizcaino, Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, and Craig Kimbrel, among others, are going to be the next generation of Braves pitchers. The Braves could be putting together a carbon-copy of the 90’s Braves teams that thrived on pitching. If you are a Braves fan, there is great reason to be excited about the future of the team.

By looking at the box score, you probably thought that Minor’s start was just, well, meh. I would agree, but I would also disagree. First, lets meet his repertoire. Minor features a low 90’s fastball, a low 80’s changeup, as well as a high 70’s curve/slider. If you look at his pitch f/x data, it says he throws an 83 mph two-seamer. Its not. Should be classified as a changeup cause it looks like both are exactly the same and move identically. His fastball is fairly straight but it had a little more movement as the game progressed, his change up has some nice sinking action, and he has a sweeping curve/slider. Here are some things that really stood out to me about the 22 year old’s debut.

– It is very difficult to tell the difference between his fastball and changeup, as far as his mechanics are concerned- he had excellent arm action on his change. It ended up being a very successful pitch and helped him with men on base.
– Minor had a lot of trouble in the fourth inning. A couple of bloop hits led to a couple of runs with just one out in the inning. Minor was able to work out of that inning by striking out Jason Castro and Bud Norris on changeup’s. Say what you want about the quality of those two that he struck out, but he easily could have lost his poise after he gave up a couple of runs in that inning off balls that weren’t hit very hard (other than the Brett Wallace double).
– I was also extremely impressed that Minor was able to work through the 5th inning extremely quickly and efficiently. He threw just 10 pitches and it was arguably his best inning of the night.
– Minor generally pitched around the strikezone and looked to have that pinpoint control that scouting reports said he had. He only issued one walk which was to Hunter Pence in the 6th inning when it looked as if he was getting tired. Braves announcer Chip Caray and Joe Simpson said his ability to command the strike zone and his great mechanics reminded them of Tom Glavine. Ironically, I saw a lot of Glavine in him too.

Now here are some things that alarmed me about Minor’s debut.
– The velocity on his fastball began to decrease by a couple mph in the 6th inning and around the 75-80 pitch mark. Here is a graph of his pitch speed in reference to the number of pitches he threw. As you can see, as the game progressed he began to lose some velocity on the fastball. If I remember correctly, Minor only touched 91 a couple times from the 5th inning on. He ranged from primarily 88-90.

– His fastball lacks movement. It is fairly straight. A lot of pitchers try to establish dominance with the fastball and then move to off-speed pitches later in the count to get hitters out. It looks like that was the approach Minor took last night with the Astros hitters who were trying to be very aggressive. His fastball was being hit well for some loud outs last night.

Hopefully Mike Minor can be a good replacement for Kris Medlen for the rest of the season. We can’t conclude too much since hes only pitched 6 innings at the major league level, and faced the Astros, who have a lot of guys that could be in the minor leagues anyway. However, it does look like hes got some nice potential and should be serviceable as a low end starter for the Braves the rest of the season.

Hall of Fame or no Hall of Fame, that is the question

November 9, 2009

I’ve been reading Tom Tango lately, and recently he’s talked about a trick or shortcut in determing if someone is worthy of the HOF. So he’s an extended quote:

As I’ve talked about in the past, the best way to get a sense of someone’s place in history is to compare the player to his peers.  And typically, you get about 20-25 players elected to the Hall of Fame for every decade of birth years (with about one-third of those pitchers).  Seeing that the best of the new crop of eligible players were born between 1963-68, I decided to list the best players born between 1961-1970.  Here are the best non-pitchers, in alphabetical order, by position class (all have at least 50 WAR according to baseballprojection.com):

WAR born retroID player

Catchers:
59 1968 piazm001 Piazza Mike

Infielders (2B, SS, 3B):
64 1968 alomr001 Alomar Roberto
66 1965 biggc001 Biggio Craig
59 1968 kentj001 Kent Jeff
69 1964 larkb001 Larkin Barry
56 1967 ventr001 Ventura Robin

Outfielders:
172 1964 bondb001 Bonds Barry
67 1970 edmoj001 Edmonds Jim
80 1969 grifk002 Griffey Ken
65 1967 loftk001 Lofton Kenny
64 1968 shefg001 Sheffield Gary
60 1968 sosas001 Sosa Sammy
67 1966 walkl001 Walker Larry

Firstbasemen/DH:
80 1968 bagwj001 Bagwell Jeff
58 1964 clarw001 Clark Will
67 1963 marte001 Martinez Edgar
51 1963 mcgrf001 McGriff Fred
63 1963 mcgwm001 McGwire Mark
57 1968 olerj001 Olerud John
66 1964 palmr001 Palmeiro Rafael
76 1968 thomf001 Thomas Frank
66 1970 thomj002 Thome Jim

How many of those should (or will) make the Hall of Fame (based on your criteria, or those of the Holy Writers)?  If we look at every 10yr birth class, the high was the 36 players born from 1898-1907.  The low was the 13 players born 1924-1933.  More recently, there were 21 players born 1938-1947 elected to the HOF.  It’s fair to say that every ten year birth class should have somewhere between 20-25 players, more or less, with about 30% of them being pitchers, more or less.  So, somewhere around 15 non-pitchers.  The above list contains 22 non-pitchers.

If you can knock off about 7 players, the rest are likely to make the Hall of Fame.  Is there anyone out there that is knocking out Alomar or Larkin?  And how many of you are knocking out Edgar from the above list (and if you are, how many players are you left with)?  Fred McGriff would seem to me to be the cusp-player.

UPDATE: Here are the best pitchers:


born WAR retroID player
1962 128 clemr001 Clemens Roger
1963 92 johnr005 Johnson Randy
1966 97 maddg002 Maddux Greg

1965 65 browk001 Brown Kevin
1966 67 glavt001 Glavine Tom
1968 75 mussm001 Mussina Mike
1966 70 schic002 Schilling Curt
1967 65 smolj001 Smoltz John

1967 50 appik001 Appier Kevin
1963 58 coned001 Cone David
1962 55 finlc001 Finley Chuck
1964 48 goodd001 Gooden Dwight
1961 46 key-j001 Key Jimmy
1962 47 moyej001 Moyer Jamie
1964 47 rogek001 Rogers Kenny
1964 55 sabeb001 Saberhagen Bret
1963 51 welld001 Wells David

1969 47 rivem002 Rivera Mariano

So who am I leaving off?

Jeff Kent, Will Clark, Fred McGriff, John Olerud, Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield, and Robin Ventura. For the pitchers its Kevin Appier, David Cone, Chuck Finley, Dwight Gooden, Jimmy Key, Jamie Moyer, Kenny Rogers, Brett Saberhagen, and David Wells.

I just want to say what an amazing generation of players. This will probably go down as the best HOF generation in baseball history’s. To have this many great pitchers and hitters grouped into one generation at a single time is amazing. Steroids? Sure, but that shouldn’t tarnish the general amazingness of the generation.