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Thread: 320 innings in a season

  1. #21
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    If I was a manager and knew going in that I was going to get this: 45 starts 376.1 innings, 25-14 2.92 ERA+124, I'd be pretty happy. I wouldn't be worry about mythical replacement players. I'd know that I had a pony.

  2. #22
    Looking at it from another perspective, not all these single season workhorses were among the leaders in career innings pitched. Of all pitchers who started their careers in 1926 or later (to scoop up Dean, Farrell, and Crowder), five from the above list were in the top ten career innings pitched: P Niekro, Ryan, Perry, Carlton, Blyleven.

    Roberts and Jenkins round out the top twenty. These are probably who we think of when the term "workhorse" comes up. But already, 13 out of the top twenty never pitched 320 innings/year.

    Number 10 on our list is Lolich, in 31st place overall, number 15 is Trout, who is 93rd overall. *

    Next is the hundredth overall, Wilbur Wood, with "only" 2684. Then the final 7 dribble off from 155, Koufax, to Crowder at 426.

    So it depends what you mean by a stud. Spahn, Sutton, Maddux, Clemens, Seaver, John, Wynn, Kaat, R Johnson, Glavine . . . Bob Friend, . . . Luis Tiant . . . . None of these guys put in 320 innings in a season. They all had more career innings (along with a lot of other guys) than did the average 320 inning hurler.

    Not to take away anything from the guys on our list. What they did deserves every word of praise heaped on them. But for some, at least, that's equaled by the frustration over what was lost.

    I'm not going to weigh in on Lolich-Grienke, but I can say I'd much rather have a Koufax treated like Grienke than treated like Koufax. I think the five-man rotation was one of the greatest contributions to the game, and annoying as the constant pitching changes are, the pitch count and deep bullpen may be another.


    Palmer, Feller, Lolich, Marichal, Osteen, Hunter, and Drysdale the top 42--or top 92, since the next is Trout, number 93.
    Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 12-16-2012 at 12:32 AM.

  3. #23
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    245 IP since 2000
    Code:
    Rk             Player    IP CG ERA+  WAR Year Age  Tm Lg GS  W  L  ERA   BF   BA OPS+  Pit
    1        Roy Halladay 266.0  9  145  7.7 2003  26 TOR AL 36 22  7 3.25 1071 .247   71 3627
    2       Randy Johnson 260.0  8  195 10.4 2002  38 ARI NL 35 24  5 2.32 1035 .208   59 3991
    3      Curt Schilling 259.1  5  140  8.3 2002  35 ARI NL 35 23  7 3.23 1017 .224   57 3721
    4      Curt Schilling 256.2  6  157  8.5 2001  34 ARI NL 35 22  6 2.98 1021 .245   71 3695
    5     Livan Hernandez 255.0  9  126  4.7 2004  29 MON NL 35 11 15 3.60 1053 .248   82 3918
    6         CC Sabathia 253.0 10  156  6.4 2008  27 TOT ML 35 17 10 2.70 1023 .237   68 3813
    7    Justin Verlander 251.0  4  172  8.3 2011  28 DET AL 34 24  5 2.40  969 .192   50 3941
    8          Jon Lieber 251.0  6  103  3.4 2000  30 CHC NL 35 12 11 4.41 1047 .257   88 3669
    9        Roy Halladay 250.2  9  167  8.3 2010  33 PHI NL 33 21 10 2.44  993 .245   75 3568
    10    Felix Hernandez 249.2  6  174  6.8 2010  24 SEA AL 34 13 12 2.27 1001 .212   65 3731
    11      Randy Johnson 249.2  3  188  9.8 2001  37 ARI NL 34 21  6 2.49  994 .203   50 4076
    12      James Shields 249.1 11  134  4.7 2011  29 TBR AL 33 16 12 2.82  975 .217   75 3576
    13        Greg Maddux 249.1  6  153  6.3 2000  34 ATL NL 35 19  9 3.00 1012 .238   58 3241
    14      Randy Johnson 248.2  8  181  7.8 2000  36 ARI NL 35 19  7 2.64 1001 .224   63 4021
    15    Livan Hernandez 246.1  2  102  2.7 2005  30 WSN NL 35 15 10 3.98 1065 .284  111 4007
    16       Roy Halladay 246.0  9  152  5.9 2008  31 TOR AL 33 20 11 2.78  987 .237   66 3557
    17      Randy Johnson 245.2  4  176  8.1 2004  40 ARI NL 35 16 14 2.60  964 .197   44 3632
    18       Mark Buehrle 245.1  4  121  3.8 2004  25 CHW AL 35 16 10 3.89 1016 .271   89 3690
    Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    If I was a manager and knew going in that I was going to get this: 45 starts 376.1 innings, 25-14 2.92 ERA+124, I'd be pretty happy. I wouldn't be worry about mythical replacement players. I'd know that I had a pony.
    I'd be happy too. But if I could get 220 innings with a 200 ERA+ from a starter and a bunch of specialists filling the other 140 innings with 120+ ERA (about the norm for relievers), I'd take that easily.

    But that really isn't the question here. The question is, was Grienke with historic run prevention numbers (200+ ERA+) and a good IP total better than a guy with historic IP totals but just a good run prevention season? Yes, Lolich had 140 more innings...but he also gave up 69 more runs. Which is more valuable to a team? 140 innings or 69 runs? Run values suggest 69 runs is more valuable. WAR and I would agree. WAA says yes too. Cy voters agreed as well.

    But I will say again, if big IP totals are your thing, than WAR is the stat for you.
    Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 12-16-2012 at 07:18 PM.
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  5. #25
    Matthew is exactly right.

    Using Baseball-References neutralized pitching stats (which account for changes in run scoring between seasons)
    Greinke's 2009 line was: 222 innings and 54 earned runs
    Lolich's 1971 line was 363 innings and 134 earned runs


    The difference between Greinke and Lolich is 141 innings and 80 earned runs. For Lolich's season to have been more valuable you have to believe that no pitchers capable of throwing 141 innings allowing less than 81 earned runs were available. Obviously, plenty of pitchers capable of doing so were available. Thus, Greinke + any one of those other pitchers would give up less runs than Lolich.

  6. #26
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    People are making one fundamental error in this comparison. Most of the difference in innings between Lolich and Greinke occur because Lolich started 12 more games than Greinke, not because Greinke was being replaced earlier in the game.

    Lolich started 45 games, so his 376 innings amount to 8.36 innings per game - numbers that look like they come from the 19th century. Greinke averaged a very respectable 6.95 innings per start in his 229 2/3 innings. Giving Lolich his 8.36 innings per start, you'd have to find a starting pitcher who could throw 100.32 innings in 12 starts to add to the Royals' rotation in order to match Lolich's contributions as a starter. Can you find one - remember this is adding innings to your fifth starter, or worse, bringing up a guy to add to the rotation when your fifth starter fails? In 2009, the Royals 3, 4, and 5 starters (in terms of innings pitched) had ERA's of 6.55, 5.09, and 5.27. Naturally, you can't be happy with this, so the next guys who had 9 starts each had ERA's of 5.78 and 7.36. Sure, it's fairly easy to find relievers with decent ERA's, but a lot of good that'll do you if they're coming in after the starter has given up 5 or 6 runs.

    I can't recommend using any pitcher like Billy Martin used Lolich, but if your purpose is to win at all costs, it seems like Lolich must be more valuable than Greinke.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Gee Walker View Post
    People are making one fundamental error in this comparison. Most of the difference in innings between Lolich and Greinke occur because Lolich started 12 more games than Greinke, not because Greinke was being replaced earlier in the game.

    Lolich started 45 games, so his 376 innings amount to 8.36 innings per game - numbers that look like they come from the 19th century. Greinke averaged a very respectable 6.95 innings per start in his 229 2/3 innings. Giving Lolich his 8.36 innings per start, you'd have to find a starting pitcher who could throw 100.32 innings in 12 starts to add to the Royals' rotation in order to match Lolich's contributions as a starter.
    Well, that's exactly what WAR does.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/misc/war/

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    Well, that's exactly what WAR does.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/misc/war/
    Exactly - WAR gives full credit for all of the extra innings pitched...almost a whopping 1.5 WAR in this case. And Grienke allowed runners at such an incredible clip less than Lolich, he was STILL more valuable. That is what happens when your ERA+ is over 200.

    Nobody is saying that racking up innings isn't very valuable. WAR is huge on racking up playing time - hence the "R" part in WAR.
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  9. #29
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    Curt Schilling pitched over 300 innings in 2001 if we include the postseason. His teammate Randy Johnson just missed with 291.
    Last edited by GiambiJuice; 12-18-2012 at 11:15 AM.
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  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    Looking at it from another perspective, not all these single season workhorses were among the leaders in career innings pitched. Of all pitchers who started their careers in 1926 or later (to scoop up Dean, Farrell, and Crowder), five from the above list were in the top ten career innings pitched: P Niekro, Ryan, Perry, Carlton, Blyleven.

    Roberts and Jenkins round out the top twenty. These are probably who we think of when the term "workhorse" comes up. But already, 13 out of the top twenty never pitched 320 innings/year.

    Number 10 on our list is Lolich, in 31st place overall, number 15 is Trout, who is 93rd overall. *

    Next is the hundredth overall, Wilbur Wood, with "only" 2684. Then the final 7 dribble off from 155, Koufax, to Crowder at 426.

    So it depends what you mean by a stud. Spahn, Sutton, Maddux, Clemens, Seaver, John, Wynn, Kaat, R Johnson, Glavine . . . Bob Friend, . . . Luis Tiant . . . . None of these guys put in 320 innings in a season. They all had more career innings (along with a lot of other guys) than did the average 320 inning hurler.

    Not to take away anything from the guys on our list. What they did deserves every word of praise heaped on them. But for some, at least, that's equaled by the frustration over what was lost.

    I'm not going to weigh in on Lolich-Grienke, but I can say I'd much rather have a Koufax treated like Grienke than treated like Koufax. I think the five-man rotation was one of the greatest contributions to the game, and annoying as the constant pitching changes are, the pitch count and deep bullpen may be another.


    Palmer, Feller, Lolich, Marichal, Osteen, Hunter, and Drysdale the top 42--or top 92, since the next is Trout, number 93.
    After you eliminate the dead ball era pitchers Young(1), Galvin (2), Johnson(3), Alexander(10), Nichols (11), Keefe (12), here is the list of all-time for innings pitched in a career:

    Niekro
    Ryan
    Perry
    Sutton
    Spahn
    Carlton
    Maddux
    Blyleven

    Of these 8, 7 started their careers in the 4 man rotation. (Spahn, by the way, pitched 7 seasons of 289.2 - 310.2 innings or more, but in the 154 game schedule. Under today's schedule, he would be more like 7 seasons of 304 - 325, with another 2 at just under 300.) Each of these pitchers (excluding Maddux) pitched well into their 40's, despite huge pitch counts and massive innings.

    Afaik, there is no evidence that reduced pitch counts in a game or pitching fewer innings a season is allowing pitchers to pitch longer careers or more innings over the course of their career. Or even to reduce the number of injuries they suffer. They are simply pitching less.
    Last edited by drstrangelove; 12-18-2012 at 08:40 PM.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew C. View Post
    I'd be happy too. But if I could get 220 innings with a 200 ERA+ from a starter and a bunch of specialists filling the other 140 innings with 120+ ERA (about the norm for relievers), I'd take that easily.

    But that really isn't the question here. The question is, was Grienke with historic run prevention numbers (200+ ERA+) and a good IP total better than a guy with historic IP totals but just a good run prevention season? Yes, Lolich had 140 more innings...but he also gave up 69 more runs. Which is more valuable to a team? 140 innings or 69 runs? Run values suggest 69 runs is more valuable. WAR and I would agree. WAA says yes too. Cy voters agreed as well.

    But I will say again, if big IP totals are your thing, than WAR is the stat for you.
    jr - I forgot, if you want to weigh IP even more heavily, look at Fangraph's WAR which has a lower replacement level. So Lolich would likely be closer to Grienke in their variation.
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  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by drstrangelove View Post
    After you eliminate the dead ball era pitchers Young(1), Galvin (2), Johnson(3), Alexander(10), Nichols (11), Keefe (12), here is the list of all-time for innings pitched in a career:
    "..........................
    Of these 8, 7 started their careers in the 4 man rotation. (Spahn, by the way, pitched 7 seasons of 289.2 - 310.2 innings or more, but in the 154 game schedule. Under today's schedule, he would be more like 7 seasons of 304 - 325, with another 2 at just under 300.) Each of these pitchers (excluding Maddux) pitched well into their 40's, despite huge pitch counts and massive innings.

    Afaik, there is no evidence that reduced pitch counts in a game or pitching fewer innings a season is allowing pitchers to pitch longer careers or more innings over the course of their career. Or even to reduce the number of injuries they suffer. They are simply pitching less.
    There is a step or two missing between "Afaik there is no evidence . . . " and "They are simply pitching less."

    Those pitchers were on my list, too, except Spahn and Sutton, but mine didn't stop at 8. Obviously no one is going to be among the top 8 unless they pitch a lot of innings per season along the way. But my concern is for those who pitch a lot of innings in a season and subsequently (I would say consequently) lose a good chunk of their careers.

    To my mind, there is no question that it is better to pitch 200 innings a year for 15 years than to pitch 300 for 10. Thus for me a five-man rotation would be preferable if

    a. Pitching injury is a function of tissue fatigue over a season
    OR
    b. Pitching injury is a function of the total number of pitches thrown, and variation is just a genetic lottery
    OR
    c. Pitching injury is completely random: it can come at any time, after any pitch.

    Case c would still favor the 5-man rotation in my view simply because the probability of pitching more seasons would be greater.

    To convince me that heavier pitching loads per season are equivalent would entail showing that pitchers' career pitch counts were shortened by pitching fewer innings a season.

  13. #33
    Actually, thinking it over, I wonder whether advances in sports medicine have increased number of innings thrown over a career. (Well, Tommy John surgery, of course, but generally?) One of the best things you can do for the health of an arm is not pitch with it. It may be that improved diagnoses and more and longer prescriptions of rest (or retirement) have lightened the pitching load. That wouldn't mean that advances in diagnosis and rehabilitation are a bad thiing, though.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    There is a step or two missing between "Afaik there is no evidence . . . " and "They are simply pitching less."

    Those pitchers were on my list, too, except Spahn and Sutton, but mine didn't stop at 8. Obviously no one is going to be among the top 8 unless they pitch a lot of innings per season along the way. But my concern is for those who pitch a lot of innings in a season and subsequently (I would say consequently) lose a good chunk of their careers.

    To my mind, there is no question that it is better to pitch 200 innings a year for 15 years than to pitch 300 for 10. Thus for me a five-man rotation would be preferable if

    a. Pitching injury is a function of tissue fatigue over a season
    OR
    b. Pitching injury is a function of the total number of pitches thrown, and variation is just a genetic lottery
    OR
    c. Pitching injury is completely random: it can come at any time, after any pitch.

    Case c would still favor the 5-man rotation in my view simply because the probability of pitching more seasons would be greater.

    To convince me that heavier pitching loads per season are equivalent would entail showing that pitchers' career pitch counts were shortened by pitching fewer innings a season.
    I think you've crafted the analysis.

    a. Pitching injury is a function of tissue fatigue over a season
    OR
    b. Pitching injury is a function of the total number of pitches thrown, and variation is just a genetic lottery
    OR
    c. Pitching injury is completely random: it can come at any time, after any pitch
    OR
    d. Pitching injury is a result of pitching improperly because pitchers are encouraged to throw as hard as possible because they are expected to throw only a limited amount of pitches every 5 days.


    Pitching injuries are related to using more physical effort than the body was designed to withstand. It's a threshold injury, not a usage injury. Koufax, Spahn, Marichal, Perry, Ryan, have games with pitch counts of 160-220. Throwing 70 pitches as hard as humanly possible with as much leverage as possible is not the same as throwing 115 pitches at 85-90% with 15 at 100%.

    None of the pitchers in the 60's and 70's, barring a few relievers, were asked or expected to use absolutely 100% effort on each pitch or to throw as hard for as long as possible. Even hard throwers like Radatz were expected to go 2 or 3 innings if needed. And not surprisingly, the only guy in the top 8 from the 5-man rotation era was known to staunchly support the "throw less hard but with more control" method of pitching.

    My point in my list is that:
    1) pitching injuries have not declined, they've gone up
    2) while pitching loads have declined
    3) while pitch counts have been lowered and controlled

    It's not really a comparison of pitching 300 innings for 10 years versus 200 innings for 15 years. (If it were, we'd see people on the top of the list from 5-man rotations.)

    The reality is that it's a comparison of pitching 280 innings for 15 years while NOT throwing with absolute effort on each pitch versus pitching 200 innings for 15 years while trying to make every pitch 100%. The 280 innings a year from a number 1 starter is far more valuable at 90% than 200 innings at 100% with the extra 80 made up by a replacement pitcher. Pitchers since 1900 have known that you can pitch successfully without 100% effort. In fact, it's better for the team if you do.

    Greinke was very good at 229 innings with a 205 ERA+. He would have been great for his team with 299 innings at 185 ERA+.

    The list I posted proves my point. No one is getting close to the top of that list.
    Last edited by drstrangelove; 12-18-2012 at 10:54 PM.

  15. #35
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    The funny part is pitching injuries are not down one bit from the 1970's. While I wouldn't call it a conspiracy, innings limits, the pitch count, and the 5 man rotation are a farce supported by the uneducated baseball higher-ups. They all need to go.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    If I was a manager and knew going in that I was going to get this: 45 starts 376.1 innings, 25-14 2.92 ERA+124, I'd be pretty happy. I wouldn't be worry about mythical replacement players. I'd know that I had a pony.
    Just looking at it in general, there are a few things to like.

    Those extra 12 or so starts would mean less games pitched by my #5 or call-ups. There'd be no need to waste money and roster spots on FA signings like Sidney Ponson and Bruce Chen that year. The 29 CGs would lead to less games needed by the bullpen who's ERA was near 6 not counting Soria.
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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Grimm View Post
    Just looking at it in general, there are a few things to like.

    Those extra 12 or so starts would mean less games pitched by my #5 or call-ups. There'd be no need to waste money and roster spots on FA signings like Sidney Ponson and Bruce Chen that year. The 29 CGs would lead to less games needed by the bullpen who's ERA was near 6 not counting Soria.
    I don't think there's any inherent value in pitching more, if the additional level you are pitching at is not good. That's why i think that pitcher's WAR is unreliable, especially the high innings pitched guys.

    For instance, imagine a hypothetical situation: a guy who was so good at playing shortstop, that he could play short AND third base at the same time. The manager only used 8 players, and the guy was inserted into the lineup 2 times. Imagine this guy played the field (both positions) and hit at an overall league average level.

    What would his WAR be? Twice as much as the average player who played short and hit at a league average level. Even more than a star player. But would you rather have THIS guy, or have a star third baseman, along with a league average shortstop? Which situation would be better for your team?
    Last edited by willshad; 12-22-2012 at 01:19 PM.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    I don't think there's any inherent value in pitching more, if the level you are pitching at is not good. That's why i think that pitcher's WAR is unreliable, especially the high innings pitched guys.
    I don't think you understand WAR that well.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/misc/war/
    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/201...to-explain-war


    War is dependent on both the quality of the playing time and the quantity of the playing time.

    If a pitcher is replacement level and pitches 1 inning his WAR will be 0. If he pitches 100 innings his WAR will be 0. If he pitches 200 innings his WAR will be 0.

    If a pitcher is a 2 WAR player at 200 innings and pitches 1 inning his WAR will be 0. If he pitches 100 innings his WAR will be 1. If the pitches 400 innings his WAR will be 4.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by filihok View Post
    I don't think you understand WAR that well.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/misc/war/
    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/201...to-explain-war


    War is dependent on both the quality of the playing time and the quantity of the playing time.

    If a pitcher is replacement level and pitches 1 inning his WAR will be 0. If he pitches 100 innings his WAR will be 0. If he pitches 200 innings his WAR will be 0.

    If a pitcher is a 2 WAR player at 200 innings and pitches 1 inning his WAR will be 0. If he pitches 100 innings his WAR will be 1. If the pitches 400 innings his WAR will be 4.
    That's not how I understand it. I thought there was an additional value added to WAR, simply related to playing time. I know that batters have RRep, which gives them credit just for showing up. For example, if Wilbur Wood and Zack Grienke both pitch 200 innings at a 200 ERA+, they will have similar WAR, but if Wood pitches an extra 150 innings at replacement level, he will have a much higher WAR total than Grienke for the season.

    Anyway, you are misunderstanding my point. I am saying that if a pitcher pitches as much as TWO starters would pitch, and pitches at a lower level than those two starters put together, then he really is not as more valuable than they are. He is accumulating more 'value' due to pitching more, but the team overall is suffering because overall the pitching is worse.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    That's not how I understand it. I thought there was an additional value added to WAR, simply related to playing time. I know that batters have RRep, which gives them credit just for showing up. For example, if Wilbur Wood and Zack Grienke both pitch 200 innings at a 200 ERA+, they will have similar WAR, but if Wood pitches an extra 150 innings at replacement level, he will have a much higher WAR total than Grienke for the season.
    That's not correct. If Wood and Greinke pitch 200 innings at a 4 WAR level, they will each have 4 WAR. If Wood then pitches an extra 150 inning at replacement level he'll have 200 IP @ 4 WAR + 150 IP @ 0 WAR = 4 WAR.

    Anyway, you are misunderstanding my point. I am saying that if a pitcher pitches as much as TWO starters would pitch, and pitches at a lower level than those two starters put together, then he really is not as more valuable than they are.
    You're right.
    Take Wood from above. 350 innings of 4 WAR production.
    If you have 2 starters, 1 who pitches 200 innings of 3 WAR production and another who pitches 150 innings of 2 WAR production that's 350 innings of 5 WAR production.
    The 2 starters together are more valuable.

    He is accumulating more 'value' due to pitching more, but the team overall is suffering because overall the pitching is worse.
    I don't understand why you say this

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