Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saberhagen, Appier, and Greinke

I think it's safe to assume that the debate over the best starting pitcher in franchise history now includes three players instead of two. Zack Greinke has muscled his way into the conversation joining Bret Saberhagen and Kevin Appier. I still believe Appier has the overall edge but Greinke is closing fast. Appier had an ERA+ over 120 eight years in a row, Greinke is at three right now. Saberhagen never did it two seasons in a row due to his weird even year jinx.

NameWLERAGGSIPHRBBSOERA+WHIPH/9BB/9SO/9WAR
Saberhagen110783.212522261660.112633110931281.1348.41.85.937.3
Appier115923.492872521843.213863414581301.2508.13.17.144.1
Greinke50533.73177136888.0942257501201.2699.12.37.620.4

Right now I think they should be ranked:
1. Appier
2. Saberhagen
3. Greinke

Another dominant season and Greinke could surpass Sabes for the second spot. Here are their best three year stretches (by ERA+).

NameYearsWLERAIPBBSOERA+WHIPH/9BB/9SO/9WAR
Saberhagen1989-199141232.71593.21164161461.0717.91.86.316.9
Appier1992-199440222.86602.02124811581.1617.33.27.220.4
Greinke2007-200936252.97553.21435311491.1968.42.38.615.9

I have a feeling that those who believe Sabes holds the top spot tend to focus on his two Cy Young awards and World Series ring more than on his actual numbers. Impressive achievements for sure but not deciding factors, at least in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I do believe Sabes had some great numbers and some fantastic seasons, I'm not trying to take anything away from him. I just don't give him extra credit for pitching in a more nostalgic era.

Greinke has a ways to go to catch Appier, perhaps three more dominant seasons, but is there anyone who doesn't think he will? I really think it all depends on how much longer he remains a Royal which I hope is for a long, long time.

2 comments:

  1. Greinke has the opportunity to be right with those guys long term but he simply does not have the longevity to be in the same class as these other guys yet.

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  2. Greinke is a great prospect...we'll see if he becomes a great major leauger.

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