Friday, February 11, 2011

WAR and the Rotation

Okay so now that we know what the positions players need to do it's time to apply this pointless exercise to the pitchers. I was going to do just the rotation but then decided I'd do Joakim Soria too, although a bit differently than the rest. Same deal as before, I'll give their age this season and the best WAR (b-ref's) at that age in team history. Right handers will be compared to right handers and lefties to lefties, which I think is the fair way to do it.

2010 WAR - 0.5
WAR to beat - 5.0 (Saberhagen)

Bret Saberhagen had a 135 ERA+ that year (1991) and as much as I still believe in Hochevar I don't think he's capable of outperforming Sabes this year. Kevin Appier has the second best mark with 4.3 (1995), that the two best pitchers in team history have the two highest WAR totals at age 27 is unsurprising. 

2010 WAR - 0.5
WAR to beat - 5.5 (Charlie Liebrandt)

Francis won't challenge this, in his two best seasons he managed 4.7 WAR combined. But assuming that it all breaks right and he makes a run at it, well, you have to imagine that Moore will flip him, which would be the smart thing to do.

2010 WAR - -0.1
WAR to beat - 7.6 (Appier)

Appier did this in 1992, the year before he was robbed of the Cy Young award. In second place with 6.1 is 22 game winner Steve Busby. Mazzaro will fall far short of both marks but he could make a run at the 1.7 Davies put up in 2008, that'd put him in 15th place.

2010 WAR - 2.1
WAR to beat - 1.6 (Larry Gura)

Well this certainly reachable. It really depends on if Chen actually did start to figure things out last year or if he was just lucky, like many analysts have suggested.  If he was just lucky then the -1.7 WAR he put up in 2006-2009 in 171 innings will be more likely than Gura's mark.

2010 WAR - 0.2
WAR to beat - 5.0 (Saberhagen)

Davies is at -1.5 in his career, true most of that damage was done as a Brave but he's still only at 1.8 as a Royal. I'll be surprised if he's still in the rotation by the all star break, of course keep in mind I thought he'd be released over the winter. So his habit of never going away could land him 30 starts and half a WAR this year.

Like I mentioned before I want to look at Soria a little differently. When I discovered that Jeff Montgomery and Dan Quisenberry were one and two in WAR at age 27 I decided to show all three pitchers year by year total. Soria's career is unlike the other two because they didn't establish themselves as closers until age 27 whereas Soria was 23, so we kind of see what he needs to do going forward to top Quis and Monty

Age Quis Monty Soria
23 - - 2.9
24 - - 3.4
25 - - 2.7
26 0.7 0.9 3.8
27 3.0 4.1 -
28 2.1 2.8 -
29 3.4 2.7 -
30 5.3 3.3 -
31 3.2 4.5 -
32 4.1 1.1 -
33 1.7 1.6 -
34 1.5 1.3 -
35 0.2 1.1 -
36 - -0.1 -
37 - -1.0 -
Total 25.2 21.5 12.8

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