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Quality Starter \ Quality Closer!

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  • Quality Starter \ Quality Closer!

    Eckersley and Smoltz come to mind as pitchers who were
    quality starters who became quality closers in the majors.

    Mesa was not a quality starter, but has become a quality
    closer, in the eyes of many, though not all.

    So, if you would, panel members, can you identify those
    major league pitchers that you would rate with Eckersley
    (spelling) and Smoltz as quality starters and closers.

    Then, if you'd be so kind, could you also identify quality
    starters today (Randy Johnson?) who you feel might be
    asked or should be asked in time, now or later, to convert
    to the role of quality closer and, and this is key, would be
    equal to the task, remembering that psychological makeup
    for closing is just as important as pitching talent - who
    qualifies, in your estimation, of the hurlers pitching today,
    young or not so young.

    Lastly, if you have accepted the other two assignments,
    can you tell me of all the major league hurlers who've ever
    performed as quality starters in the majors (100 wins or more,
    .550 winning percentage or more), who might have also been
    able to serve as quality closers if they had been asked - a post
    the other day cited the "Big Train", at age 50, mowing down
    major league hitters during BP like it was a stroll in the park!

    Baseball gurus.......

    Have at it!!!

  • #2
    Phew! Let's break this down

    1) Derek Lowe- quality closer is 99 and he's not having too bad a year
    Eric Gagne- and so-so starter and so far is one of the best closers in the game
    Odalis Perez- went from a relief pitcher so I don't know if you count him...
    Mark Buehrle- ...but if you do Mark (don't want to butcher his last name again) is an excellent young lefty
    Roy Halladay- is having a good year but I don't if he's a one hit wonder

    2) Well the Big Unit did get credit for a relief appearance in that game that was postponed in San Diego. And all he did was rack up 15 k's. Lets see;
    Well the first thought is Pedro Martinez but that's just not fair.
    Kerry Wood- A few too many walks and on second thought probably not the best idea .

    How about- Curt Shilling, Tom Glavine, and yes I'm going on my hunch Kerry Wood. Sure he'll blow about the first 10 saves but after a while I think he could get good at it.

    3) Bob Feller, Spahn, Joe Wood, Mathewson (nah too gentlemanly), Bob Gibson, Koufax, big train, dizzy dean, waite hoyt... and thats all i've got


    • #3
      here are a few more oddball choices, Jamie Moyer and Santana (from minnesota, why am I forgetting his name now?)and let's not forget Jose Canseco


      • #4
        on second thought shilling is a tad homerun prone


        • #5
          I hate the term, "Quality Start". I remember when "Quality Start" meant going nine innings. Last season, 2001, there were 96 CGs in the ENTIRE NL (16 teams). In 1966, there were 402 CGS, in a 10-team NL. The lowest teams were the Reds and Cubs with 28. Three teams had 52 CGs each. That's QUALITY!



          • #6
            I agree completely! I've been saying that for a while and that when I first read this thread thats what I thought


            • #7
              Dave Righetti made a fairly smooth and successful transition from starter (with a July 4th no-hitter, no less) to closer ... Tom Gordon had that brilliant rookie season starting, and then became a fair-to-country reliever.

              And Tim Wakefield seems to make the transition between the two jobs on a near daily basis ... And though he hasn't had the kind of year I was expecting him to, Arizona's Miguel Batista has done a decent job the last couple of years bouncing around the pen and the rotation.

              The guy I'd like to see shift from starter to closer is Mark Prior since he'd only be pitching when the Cubs had a lead and, as we've all learned over the years, that won't be too often! ... Ok, just kidding, I really do like to watch him pitch even if he is playing for the Cubs.

              Seriously, I'm wondering if Josh Beckett might eventually make a strong transition from starting to closing.

              My $0.02
              Never confuse character with geography --- Red Smith
              Astros Daily


              • #8
                quality start

                Yep - I believe that officially a QS is defined as 5 innings with 3 or less runs. getting my brain to crank some numbers....that means that an era of over 5 is now quality!!!!!

                Starting pitchers today (with a few exceptions) are a bunch of sissies. They can't/won't pitch inside and don't know how to gut out the complete game - or even 7 innings for that matter.


                • #9
                  To back up the quality start stat, it is defined as 6 IP with 3 or less ER, so the highest an ERA could be is 4.50. There have been studies done, however, that show that the averaged ERA of quality starts is below 2. Here is the link to one such study.
                  I'm NickG, and I approve this message.

                  Home page

                  "In God we trust, all else must have data."
                  -- Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson


                  • #10

                    The numbers looked interesting - I'd love to see the same numbers from the last 5-6 years. the winning percentage doesn't surprise me, but he era did.


                    • #11
                      Based on a few of his appearances out of the pen, perhaps Jeff Weaver might make a nice transition from starter to closer ... But only if he corrals his high-strung ways
                      Never confuse character with geography --- Red Smith
                      Astros Daily


                      • #12
                        Well god-willing, Mariano still has a year or two left, but it is interesting to see the fireman come back and get the three-inning saves. But I got a feeling he'll be giving me heartburn for years to come. Maybr we'll draft that closer from UT he did a nice job in the CWS.


                        • #13
                          A couple of names I haven`t seen mentioned are Mudcat Grant and Wilbur Wood. If I`m not mistaken, Grant and Wood, along with Smoltz and Eckersley, are the only players ever to have both 20 wins and 20 saves in a season.

                          I believe Smoltz and Eckersley are also the only two to have 20 win and 40 save seasons. And if Smoltz can record 5 more saves this year he`ll join Eck in the 20 win-50 save club.


                          • #14
                            Quality Starts

                            I feel this is a good criteria for judging the overall pitching staff. When a team gets good starting pitching it allows the bullpen to pull from its strengths, meaning your best bullpen pitchers pitch less in key situations. Which over a long season can have a huge effect on how well a team will do. To use the measuring stick of 6 innings and 3 or less earned runs a start is fine with me.When you consider the type of run support the average starter gets per game 6/3 should do it. Here is my question I recently added all the 2006 Yankee starters quality starts and their total was 85. My question, is that good? Thanks


                            • #15
                              Without doubt, two of the best starters who also relieved frequently were Mordecai 'Three Finger' Brown and Lefty Grove. Check out their stats.
                              Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra


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