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Are pitching wins an accurate measure of a pitcher's value?

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Offline  Are pitching wins an accurate measure of a pitcher's value?
#21

Posted: February 20, 2008, 10:40 AM Post
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I dunno, if you ask me to write a paper comparing two pitchers and decide which is the better guy W's are about the 10th or 11th thing I'd talk about. Yeah they are a stat but just not a big one for me.

GM's do all kind of dumb things, using that as an excuse for Ws being a good stat just isn't a good argument(see Zito, Barry). I'm sure players who have won gold gloves make more each year even when they shouldn't have won them. Doesn't make it right.

I certainly wouldn't go after a Zito, Garland type because they are a 'proven winner'. They played on good teams and got wins but the other stats are just more important for judging how good they actually are or will be in the future and that is what I'm concerned with.


Last edited by Ennder on February 20, 2008, 10:43 AM, edited 1 time in total.

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Offline  Are pitching wins an accurate measure of a pitcher's value?
#22

Posted: February 20, 2008, 10:45 AM Post
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Ennder said:
I dunno, if you ask me to write a paper comparing two pitchers and decide which is the better guy W's are about the 10th or 11th thing I'd talk about. Yeah they are a stat but just not a big one for me.

GM's do all kind of dumb things, using that as an excuse for Ws being a good stat just isn't a good argument(see Zito, Barry). I'm sure players who have won gold gloves make more each year even when they shouldn't have won them. Doesn't make it right.

right or wrong it's reality. and not an excuse. if wins are so low on the importance list for you and others, you are mistaken. as j briggs pointed out , the win stat represents more--like durability and dependability. it is one of a few things that evaluate a pitcher.



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#23

Posted: February 20, 2008, 10:52 AM Post
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Yes and I would evaluate durability by itself before looking at Ws at all. I'd look at things like K rate, BB rate, GB% first off. Then I'd look at factors like the leagues they played in, the parks they played in and the defense behind them to try to get a realistic judgement of how much of their talent was the environment they pitched in.

Then I'd look at their health over their career. Then maybe a look at how consistent they were, were they good over the entire career or just for the peak etc.

I might even look at how they did with runners, HR/FB on etc to see if they had interesting career rates for that kind of thing.

Then finally after looking at all of that stuff I might throw out W's because to be honest everything I just mentioned above does a better job of judging a pitcher than an arbitrary stat like Ws which is one of the weakest stats evaluating a pitcher there is. A great pitcher on bad teams will W less than a good pitcher on amazing teams, that is the simple truth.

So like I said, maybe the 10th or 11th thing I'd look at. Kind of like super bowl rings for judging a QB.


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#24

Posted: February 20, 2008, 10:57 AM Post
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obviously oswalt has been the better pitcher than Sheets. the stats clearly reflect it.

I like to look at Bert Blyleven and Lee Smith. Anybody who was around during the years Blyleven pitched will say without reservation he was one of the top 10 pitchers in his day - maybe top 5. He was certainly a more feared pitcher than Don Sutton. Nothing against Sutton, but Bert was a lot better pitcher than him. bert didn't win 300 games. he should have. He should also be in the hal l of fame. but, he's not.

lee Smith is the all time saves leader. Sure, he gave up a lot of homers. but he did the job he was paid to do. lee Smith was better than Sutter and gossage. but they both are in the hall and Smith is not even close. All three pitchers are from the same era. Smith is a little more recent. For Smith, winning and saving games was not enough. people also expected him to have a low ERA. he got the job done. That should be enough - but it's not.

This is why I have such a big headache with stats. if you don't use the wins stats, you could make a very good case that bert Blyleven deserves to be in the hall of fame. he has great stats for complete games, era , Kos and shut outs. But his win /los s stats isn't worthy of induction.

On the other hand, Lee Smith had great stats for wins and saves and Kos for a reliever. but his ERA was just a tad too high.

People always looks for a single stat that will find a fault in a player rather than the 5-10 stats that make the player look great. people always look for a fault. if a player is a great base stealer, people look for his OBP or slug% and say he's bad. if he has a high average, people point out his numerous Kos. if he has a 370 batting average, wh y should we care if he struck out 145 times and only walked 45 times? but the fact is, we do. no matter how good a player is, we always find some sort of flaw.

Notice, i said we , and not you. I am as guilty as everyone else. I have my favorite stats. However, my favorite stats are not other people's favorite stats. That's my biggest problem with stats. Some people love OBP. I thinks it's OK, but I don't think it should be used against a guy like crawford or Pierre to say they are bad players, just because neither has a .400 OBP.

i used to love stats. but then people like ross perot came around and twisted every stat that existed for their own spin/purpose. Bill James is no different. Bill James sells a lot of stats books. Which are the best stats? and what can we use them for? I will give Bill James credit in that his player predictions for the last 10 years have been pretty accurate. but his player stats would never have predicted what teams have played in the world series the last 10 years. Based on stats alone, james would never have predicted the white Sox would win a world series or that Colorado and Houston actually made it to the world series or that the Yankees would be on the outside looking in.

Player stats and being able to predict them are important. But sometimes a player is better than his stats. you know it and the other team knows it. Sheets is a lot better pitcher than Vargus. I once led my basketball league in FT shooting. I was 2 for 2. if a team wanted to foul somebody on my team, I'm quite sure they would go against my stats and foul me if the game was on the line.

As I've gotten older, stats no longer are as important to me as they once were. we've invented some great new stats. but do these new stats translate into wins or championships? or do they just fill up new books with new stats to talk about? In my day, we didn't have the VORP stat. has the creation of that stat made the brewers a better team? or Fielder a better player? If Fielder's VORP was better than pujols' I'd still prefer Pujols. I'd still prefer the championships the cardinals, marlins and dbacks have won to being a very fiscally responsible franchise with a great farm system. i've seen a lot of baseball players with some really great stats come and go. Was Yount better than Yaz? Was Molitor better than Carew? Was Gibson better than Seaver? frankly, it doesn't matter to me. The only stat I really care about is a brewers' world series championship.

Pitching wins is a nice stat to measure a pitcher's worth. but so are a lot of stats. In the end, the player's worth is really measured by how much you personally like him. If you hate somebody like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martinez, their stats will never be good enough for you. you will always find fault with them - a flaw - and a stat to prove it. Rather than looking at their career stats, you'll look at what they did lately to find flaws. But if you truly like a player suc h as bill hall or ben Sheets, you will use those same stats to say how great your favorite player will be, and you will make up excuses as to why their past stats did not reflect their greatness. I think Gibson was a far better pitcher than Seaver. I can find stats to prove my case and I'm sure others can find stats to disprove them. So in the end, if your favorite player didn't generate the stats you wanted or expected, that doesn't mean he's a worthless player. That just means he's a player and sometimes stats don't tell the total picture of why you like him.

remember, all players have faults and flaws. if you really like a certain player, don't stop liking him just because of his stats. stats are great. but the game of baseball is so much greater!


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#25

Posted: February 20, 2008, 11:11 AM Post
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In trying to measure durability and dependability, wouldn't it be better to look at Games Started and Innings Pitched, and then comparing those amounts to league averages for starters, rather than using Wins?

I could see how Wins could very loosely tell me if a pitcher is durable or not over the course of time. But I think you should dig deeper than that. To me, Wins are just too team dependent when trying to delve into evaluating an individual pitcher.



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#26

Posted: February 20, 2008, 11:13 AM Post
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It really depends on what you are using wins for.

To determine who is the better pitcher? To determine a hall of fame candidacy? To decide which pitcher to sign next year?

Personally, if I were running a baseball team, wins are pretty much the last stat that I would look at if I was going to sign a pitcher or not.

I'd much rather have had Bert Blyleven for the 80's than Jack Morris, even though Morris won more games, Blyleven was very much the better pitcher, Morris just played for better teams.

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#27

Posted: February 20, 2008, 11:28 AM Post
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heresrobin said:

In trying to measure durability and dependability, wouldn't it be better to look at Games Started and Innings Pitched, and then comparing those amounts to league averages for starters, rather than using Wins?

I could see how Wins could very loosely tell me if a pitcher is durable or not over the course of time. But I think you should dig deeper than that. To me, Wins are just too team dependent when trying to delve into evaluating an individual pitcher.

agreed. and add quality starts. those 3 stats--gs, innings, and qs--all lead to higher win totals, which equals durability, which leads to higher win totals. that is why it is a good stat--not the end all bert b. fans-- but a good and important one.


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#28

Posted: February 20, 2008, 11:46 AM Post
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I can see how Wins would be an OK, quick measurement while looking at the overall career of a pitcher.

But when looking at Wins by a year-to-year basis or even over a span of a few years, I think just looking at Wins can be misleading. Then I would definitely take into consideration Run Support and Defense.


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#29

Posted: February 20, 2008, 11:48 AM Post
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ozzybourne said:
agreed. and add quality starts. those 3 stats--gs, innings, and qs--all lead to higher win totals, which equals durability, which leads to higher win totals. that is why it is a good stat--not the end all bert b. fans-- but a good and important one.

No they don't necessarily lead to higher win totals.

Again, look at Sheets back in 2004.

GS- 34 (Only Brandon Webb, Roy Oswalt, Mark Buehrle, Livan Hernandez, Randy Johnson and Kenny Rogers had more.)

QS- 24 (Only Johan Santana, Jeff Weaver and Randy Johnson had more.)

IP- 237 (Only Mark Buehrle, Randy Johnson and Livan Hernandez had more.)

Yet Sheets still only won 12 games and lost 14. Why is that? Because his offense and bullpen sucked.


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#30

Posted: February 20, 2008, 11:59 AM Post
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if wins are so low on the importance list for you and others, you are mistaken. as j briggs pointed out , the win stat represents more--like durability and dependability. it is one of a few things that evaluate a pitcher.

Every time the P W-L debate comes up, I think, 'there's nothing that anyone can say in support of W-L that will surprise me.' Every time I am wrong. I think Ennder's ranking of W-L as about 10th-most important is about right.

W-L, just like RBI/R/ERA, is a team stat. Its relevance to the individual is from a bygone era in which SP would make 40+ starts & throw well over 300 IP. Even then it was more accurately used as a team stat - and still is today.


On the other hand, Lee Smith had great stats for wins and saves and Kos for a reliever. but his ERA was just a tad too high.

People always looks for a single stat that will find a fault in a player rather than the 5-10 stats that make the player look great. people always look for a fault.


You claim people cherry-pick a small number of stats, but then say Smith should be in the Hall based on W & S -- two subpar methods by which to gauge success & impact. Especially W for a RP... yikes! The Save stat is one of the easiest in all of the pitching stats to obtain, by its definition. There isn't a P capable of hurling in MLB that shouldn't be able to get 3 outs before giving up 3 runs. There are certain save situations where it's obviously a much tougher situation than that, but too often there are saves picked up when your team is up 3.

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#31

Posted: February 20, 2008, 12:13 PM Post
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People always looks for a single stat that will find a fault in a player rather than the 5-10 stats that make the player look great. people always look for a fault. if a player is a great base stealer, people look for his OBP or slug% and say he's bad. if he has a high average, people point out his numerous Kos. if he has a 370 batting average, wh y should we care if he struck out 145 times and only walked 45 times? but the fact is, we do. no matter how good a player is, we always find some sort of flaw.


Just because we discuss the flaw doesn't mean we ignore the things he brings to the table. Of course people will gravitate toward the flaw, because that's the discussion point. If the Brewers are rumored to be acquiring a .420 OBPer who goes 20 for 40 in SB every year, the OBP will be noticed (and loved) but the SB rate will be the discussion. What else can you say about the good characteristics except that you like them?

Notice, i said we , and not you. I am as guilty as everyone else. I have my favorite stats. However, my favorite stats are not other people's favorite stats. That's my biggest problem with stats. Some people love OBP. I thinks it's OK, but I don't think it should be used against a guy like crawford or Pierre to say they are bad players, just because neither has a .400 OBP.


What is your basis for the value you place on statistics? If you base it on linear weights or analysis that actually place a value on them, there really isn't that much wiggle room on what is actually the most valuable, and even by how much. (still some though) I think partially educated stat users can't sometimes create the perception you have. And I don't consider myself fully educated either.


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Offline  Are pitching wins an accurate measure of a pitcher's value?
#32

Posted: February 20, 2008, 12:13 PM Post
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TooLiveBrew said:
if wins are so low on the importance list for you and others, you are mistaken. as j briggs pointed out , the win stat represents more--like durability and dependability. it is one of a few things that evaluate a pitcher.

Every time the P W-L debate comes up, I think, 'there's nothing that anyone can say in support of W-L that will surprise me.' Every time I am wrong. I think Ennder's ranking of W-L as about 10th-most important is about right.

W-L, just like RBI/R/ERA, is a team stat. Its relevance to the individual is from a bygone era in which SP would make 40+ starts & throw well over 300 IP. Even then it was more accurately used as a team stat - and still is today.

luke-it is a team stat. the question here was--i believe-- were wins relative to a pitchers value? are we all here playing GM as to who we want on our team, or how much we would pay them? the question was value, and does that mean getting the most bang for the buck, or paying for the going rate for front line pitchers. i say that the GM's of MLB pay for wins from their starters as an important stat, with close to .500 as the beginning mark. and the GM's set the value, not roto gods/stat hounds/mlb fans like us.

peripheral stats will help ben sheets, but if his innings, gs,qs, stats were higher, so would his wins=durability=santana payday.

that is value from wins.



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Offline  Are pitching wins an accurate measure of a pitcher's value?
#33

Posted: February 20, 2008, 12:16 PM Post
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i wish i had his money anyway. its just not as much as santana's.


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#34

Posted: February 20, 2008, 12:20 PM Post
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my last thought on this thread--time to go sing karaokee--is this; what if the post said--

ARE PITCHING LOSSES AN ACCURATE MEASURE OF A PITCHER'S VALUE?

i'm pretty sure ben sheets fans would have something to say about this.


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#35

Posted: February 20, 2008, 12:32 PM Post
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There was a save given out for the 30-3 game last year. Just pointing out how lame saves really are.

Fan is short for fanatic.
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#36

Posted: February 20, 2008, 2:35 PM Post
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ozzybourne said:
i say that the GM's of MLB pay for wins from their starters as an important stat, with close to .500 as the beginning mark. and the GM's set the value, not roto gods/stat hounds/mlb fans like us.

peripheral stats will help ben sheets, but if his innings, gs,qs, stats were higher, so would his wins=durability=santana payday.

So becuase some GM's place a high value on wins, that means we should consider it a good stat? I don't think so. It's possible for a person involved in baseball to be incorrect on the value of a stat. For the past 100 years, into the 90's and even today, albeit a lot less, baseball executives have relied on batting average to judge how good a hitter is. Does that mean they were right?

And as far as Sheet's GS, QS, IP leading to more wins, trwi just completely disproved that. That's what I don't get about the stat debates here. People present facts to support their viewpoint and then they're ignored by those who disagree.



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#37

Posted: February 20, 2008, 2:43 PM Post
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I would think after last year we would all be a little skeptical about calling a start that only goes 6 innings "quality."

Fan is short for fanatic.
I blame Wang.


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#38

Posted: February 20, 2008, 2:53 PM Post
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If people are saying that win totals are important with respect to what it says about durability, just look at IP. What we are really talking about is win% and what it says about a starting pitchers' overall performance. While it's obvious that a starting pitcher has a great deal of influence over whether his team is going to win a particular game, it's also obvious that there are many factors outside of his control. Now, for a starting pitcher with 1000+ innings, his win/loss record can generally represent career performance pretty well. But if you are talking about a win/loss record over a single season, there are many better ways to judge performance. The same goes for a pitcher who's gotten especially good or bad run support over his career.

None of this takes sabermetrics to prove. Just common sense.


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#39

Posted: February 20, 2008, 3:13 PM Post
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ozzybourne said:
my last thought on this thread--time to go sing karaokee--is this; what if the post said--

ARE PITCHING LOSSES AN ACCURATE MEASURE OF A PITCHER'S VALUE?

i'm pretty sure ben sheets fans would have something to say about this.

again--the thread asks about a pitcher's value. easy to take one season or a bert bly. season for debate. the DEBATE is for a pitchers value, and that adds to the accurate value of a pitcher. wins add to the value of a pitcher.

wins alone are not an accurate measure of a pitchers value. the combination of what the wins mean with other stats do.

so what's the big deal?



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Offline  Are pitching wins an accurate measure of a pitcher's value?
#40

Posted: February 20, 2008, 3:17 PM Post
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I think we should start including positional player's win/loss record in our analysis of his performance.


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