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  • #46
    Originally posted by filihok View Post
    His WAR would be higher than either guy, but it wouldn't be higher than both guys' totals added together.

    If two pitchers combined to pitch 376 innings with a 126 ERA+ their combined WAR total would be 10.3. 5.15 for each. So, of course, if one pitcher pitches all 376 innings his WAR should be 10.3 since the production is the same.

    If the two 140 ERA+ pitchers pitched 376 innings and had, say, 13 WAR then Wood would have 13 WAR if he pitched 376 innings with a 126 ERA+


    Really? A guy pitching 1450 innings you would consider average?

    You're still confusing things.

    There were about 43355.3 innings pitched in the major leagues last season. A total of 460.6 WAR were credited to pitchers.

    That's 1445 innings and 15.4 WAR per team

    Whether those innings and WAR were produced by 1 pitcher, 12 pitchers, 20 pitchers, or 1445 pitchers, the level of production is the same.

    Suppose an entire team had only one player. He pitches, he hits, he fields balls. He does everything on the field. The team finishes at .500 (an average team).

    How much credit should the sole player get? All of it right? How much is that?

    A replacement level team is expected to win about 47 games. An average team would win 81 games. 81-47=34 wins. The sole player playing every position and doing everything is solely responsible for those 34 wins, correct? Even though his overall production was exactly average.
    I do understand how it works. My point is not that their WAR value should CHANGE, but that it is misleading. To me if you are an average pitcher, then you are an average pitcher, whether you pitch 200 innings or pitch 1000 innings. Being 'average', or even 'good' for a massive amount of time should not somehow translate into greatness.

    I do see the value in pitching more innings, but I just think that you should have to perform 'great' in order to end up in the realm of greatness. So, I am much more impressed with Seaver's 1971 season than I am with Wood's 1972 season.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by willshad View Post
      I do understand how it works. My point is not that their WAR value should CHANGE, but that it is misleading. To me if you are an average pitcher, then you are an average pitcher, whether you pitch 200 innings or pitch 1000 innings. Being 'average', or even 'good' for a massive amount of time should not somehow translate into greatness.

      I do see the value in pitching more innings, but I just think that you should have to perform 'great' in order to end up in the realm of greatness. So, I am much more impressed with Seaver's 1971 season than I am with Wood's 1972 season.
      No average pitcher has come close to 1000 innings. Nothing average about that.

      There are two kinds of statistics; counting stats and rate stats.
      Counting stats are things like: hits, runs, hr, RBI, Wins, saves, strikeouts. They count what happens and players who play more get more of these stats.
      Rate stats are things like: batting average, ERA, on base percentage, slugging percentage, strike our rate. The measure how often something happens and don't depend on playing time.

      WAR is a counting stat. If you play more, you can accumulate more WAR.

      Take the example of the one-man team. That player would have an average ERA, but 1450 innings, 81 wins, an unheard of amount of strikeouts. Batting, he'd have a league average batting average, a league average OBP and SLG. But over a hundred of home runs and hundreds of RBI.

      By his rate stats he'd be average in every way.
      By his counting stats he'd have unheard of numbers.

      When we use WAR to say one player is 'better' than another it's a bit of a misnomer. What we are actually saying is that one player produced more wins (above replacement) than another. Typically, we are referring to full time players who have a similar number of plate appearances or innings pitched.

      In this example, Seaver and Wood, we're not dealing with two players who played equally. We can then make WAR into a rate stat. We do this by figuring WAR per some amount of innings pitched. We can use Seaver's 286 innings, for example. Seaver had 9.7 WAR in 286 innings, or 9.7 WAR / 286 IP. How about Wood. 10.3 WAR in 386 innings. That's 7.9 WAR / 286 IP. This shows that Seaver was better on a per inning basis.

      This is also why stats like RBI don't tell the whole story. In 1986 Willie McGee had 48 RBI. In 1987 McGee had 105 RBI, in 1988 McGee had 50 RBI. What happened to McGee in 1987? Why was he so good?

      Well, he wasn't. He just had more opportunity.
      in 1986 McGee drove in 16% of the 291 runners on base when he batted
      in 1988 McGee drove in 14% of the 369 runners on base when he batted
      in 1987 McGee drove in 17% of the 544 runners on base when he batted

      Maybe an easier way to look at it would be hits.
      Derek Jeter had the most hits in 2012. 216 of them. He also had the most at bats and plate appearances.
      Miguel Cabrera 'lead the league in hitting'. He had a 205 hits in 622 at bats. A .330 batting average (hits/at bat).

      WAR is like hits. The more you play, the more you get.
      WAR/IP or WAR/PA is like batting average. The better you play. The higher your stat.

      Comment


      • #48
        One last example.

        Last season Fernando Rodney had a .60 ERA. Dominant. He accomplished this over 74 innings.
        This season was worth 3.7 WAR (baseball-reference WAR).

        Last season Justin Verlander led all major league pitchers in WAR with 7.6 (over double what Rodney had). He had a 2.64 ERA in 238 innings.

        Obviously Rodney was more dominant. Just as obviously (I hope), Verlander had a bigger hand in helping his team win games.

        Comment


        • #49
          WAR is not a counting stat. It's like calling MVP awards won a counting stat.

          WAR is not a measure of how many innings a pitcher pitches. It's a measure of his adjusted pitching quality (to replacement level) times the quantity of innings. The average pitcher is NOT replacement level. Replacement level (which could have it's own thread) is variously measured at 15-25% BELOW the average MLB pitching level.

          A pitcher who is average is 15-25% better than whoever that team would need to go get to replace him. If one does not follow this critical point, then I can see that it's confusing. So, you really must understand this part.

          Please note that: there are TONS of innings tossed each year by pitchers well below average (e.g., ERA+ of 60-90). If one thinks that there are 'average' pitchers in Triple A or Double A just toiling away because average pitchers are in the majors racking up counting stat WAR, then that is a gross error.

          You don't get WAR just because you pitch. You don't get it just because you pitch a lot.

          Since WAR compares a pitcher to replacement level, a pitcher with positive WAR is helping his team win games. You can accumulate a lot of WAR in 2 ways:

          1) pitching a LOT at a decent amount better than replacement level or
          2) pitching a decent amount at a lot better than replacement level.

          Both methods help a team equally IF the WAR amount is equal. The "Why" of this is what seems to be confusing.

          Teams must pitch all the innings they pitch regardless of how well any individual pitches his innings. If a team plays a full game and the starter throws 5 innings of perfect baseball and leaves, the team STILL has to pitch at least 4 more innings. There is no bonus for pitching perfect baseball.

          1) Every pitcher who is above replacement level helps his team win games but he ONLY does that while he pitches. He doesn't help the team by sitting on the bench, drinking beer in the locker room or napping in the bullpen.
          2) Every inning that is NOT pitched by a pitcher above replacement level NEEDS to be pitched by a pitcher at or below replacement level.

          If one were to assume that there are 140+ ERA pitchers sitting in AAA ball or not getting contracts, then would be erroneous. The 'leftover' pitchers not being used are close to or below replacement level. As a result, you can see from 1) and 2) above, that a pitcher above replacement level helps his team every time he pitches because he is better than anything else they have.

          The more a pitcher is above replacement level, the more it helps.
          The more a pitcher above replacement level pitches, the more it helps.

          WAR is meant to measure total contribution to a team during a season or career, not contribution per inning or contribution per AB. It's (IMO) incorrect to confuse value with quality. A pitcher with the same WAR in a season as another pitcher has the same value.
          "It's better to look good, than be good."

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by drstrangelove View Post
            WAR is not a counting stat.
            Yes it is. It's certainly not a rate stat.

            It's like calling MVP awards won a counting stat.
            That'd also be a counting stat.

            WAR is not a measure of how many innings a pitcher pitches. It's a measure of his adjusted pitching quality (to replacement level) times the quantity of innings. The average pitcher is NOT replacement level. Replacement level (which could have it's own thread) is variously measured at 15-25% BELOW the average MLB pitching level.
            This is all true.

            A pitcher who is average is 15-25% better than whoever that team would need to go get to replace him. If one does not follow this critical point, then I can see that it's confusing. So, you really must understand this part.
            Except you misunderstood it; or explained it poorly. The word 'need' makes no sense.
            Replacement level is a level of production where a player no longer has value.
            Remember that value is related to scarcity.
            How many players can be expected to produce 10 WAR in a season? Very few. They are very valuable.
            How many players can be expected to produce 5-10 WAR per season? Also few. But there are some. Maybe 30? About 1 per team
            How many players can be expected to produce 2-5 WAR per season? A lot more. About 130 last season. 4 or more per team.
            How many players can be expected to produce 1-2 WAR per season? Hundreds. Enough fill out rosters for most every team in baseball.
            How many players can be expected to produce 0 WAR per season? Even more than that. So, many that they have zero value.

            A team always wants to replace a player with another productive player, however, there are a limited number of productive players. There are, basically, an unlimited amount of replacement players.


            Please note that: there are TONS of innings tossed each year by pitchers well below average (e.g., ERA+ of 60-90)
            .
            By ERA+ any pitcher below 100 would be below average (not counting differences between leagues and starter/relieving)

            If one thinks that there are 'average' pitchers in Triple A or Double A just toiling away because average pitchers are in the majors racking up counting stat WAR, then that is a gross error.

            You don't get WAR just because you pitch. You don't get it just because you pitch a lot.

            Since WAR compares a pitcher to replacement level, a pitcher with positive WAR is helping his team win games. You can accumulate a lot of WAR in 2 ways:

            1) pitching a LOT at a decent amount better than replacement level or
            2) pitching a decent amount at a lot better than replacement level.
            3) Pitch a lot at a lot better than replacement level.

            Both methods help a team equally IF the WAR amount is equal. The "Why" of this is what seems to be confusing.

            Teams must pitch all the innings they pitch regardless of how well any individual pitches his innings. If a team plays a full game and the starter throws 5 innings of perfect baseball and leaves, the team STILL has to pitch at least 4 more innings. There is no bonus for pitching perfect baseball.

            1) Every pitcher who is above replacement level helps his team win games but he ONLY does that while he pitches. He doesn't help the team by sitting on the bench, drinking beer in the locker room or napping in the bullpen.
            2) Every inning that is NOT pitched by a pitcher above replacement level NEEDS to be pitched by a pitcher at or below replacement level.

            If one were to assume that there are 140+ ERA pitchers sitting in AAA ball or not getting contracts, then would be erroneous. The 'leftover' pitchers not being used are close to or below replacement level. As a result, you can see from 1) and 2) above, that a pitcher above replacement level helps his team every time he pitches because he is better than anything else they have.

            The more a pitcher is above replacement level, the more it helps.
            The more a pitcher above replacement level pitches, the more it helps.
            This is all pretty true.

            WAR is meant to measure total contribution to a team during a season or career, not contribution per inning or contribution per AB. It's (IMO) incorrect to confuse value with quality. A pitcher with the same WAR in a season as another pitcher has the same value.
            Of course we can use math to figure out that if a player produces 2 WAR in 200 innings that he produced WAR at a rate of 1 WAR per 100 innings.

            Comment


            • #51
              What throws a lot of people off is the fact that average or above average pitchers get a disproportionate bulk of innings pitched. There are tons of below average or replacement pitchers who aren't good enough to get accumulate innings or shift the mean ERA, etc. that much. So even though an Edwin Jackson may have an average ERA+ and IP numbers of a #3 or 4 starter, he is certainly better than well more than half of pitchers who pitched in the MLB during the season. Mean vs. median. So fwiw, WAR may say that Jackson is "average", but there are still a lot more MLB pitchers behind him than in front of him.

              Ex. Chris Capuano had a 1.8 WAR - which is "average". But he was also 39/374 of all NL pitchers in WAR.
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              • #52
                Originally posted by Matthew C. View Post
                Ex. Chris Capuano had a 1.8 WAR - which is "average". But he was also 39/374 of all NL pitchers in WAR.
                Where does he rank among starters? Of course most relievers won't produce more than 2 WAR


                If he ranked 39th among starters,

                15 teams in the NL
                15 #1 starters
                15 #2 starters = 30 pitchers
                9 #3 starters = 39 pitchers

                That puts Capuano in the middle of the middle group. Average.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by White Knight View Post
                  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.
                  I like this.
                  "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by filihok View Post
                    Where does he rank among starters? Of course most relievers won't produce more than 2 WAR


                    If he ranked 39th among starters,

                    15 teams in the NL
                    15 #1 starters
                    15 #2 starters = 30 pitchers
                    9 #3 starters = 39 pitchers

                    That puts Capuano in the middle of the middle group. Average.
                    HE was about 29th out of about 80 who started 15 or more games. Of course relievers are full of pitchers who are not good enough to be starters. So considering most relievers are worse than Capuano, he is still well above the median of all pitchers in value. This just shows why WAR has value, because "average" in WAR is above average in value reality. There are far more pitchers with fewer than 1.8 WAR than more. Relievers and starters. Therefore, Cap is certainly a guy you want on your team for the right price. Most guys cannot be starters that give you around 180 innings at a league-average ERA. That has a lot of value.
                    Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 12-23-2012, 05:07 PM.
                    1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                    1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

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                    The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
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