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A. Cavatica
01-16-2004, 11:09 PM
We've all heard the old saw about not trading a position player for a starter who plays every fifth day. It's complete, utter bull****.

The outcome of a game depends on a series of individual pitcher/hitter confrontations. Each of these confrontations involves exactly one pitcher and one hitter.

Last year, Juan Pierre led the majors with 747 plate appearances. Vernon Wells was second with 735.

Roy Halladay piched to 1071 batters. Colon (984) and Buehrle (978) were second and third.

In other words, the steadiest "regular" faced a pitcher 747 times. But the busiest "every fifth day" starter was involved in 43% more at-bats. Consequently a starter has a *much* greater impact on his team's success than a position player.

Think about it. Regulars bat 4 or 5 times per game. Starters throw to 25, 30, 35 batters.

Of course, defense evens out the imbalance a little: moreso for a catcher, shortstop, or second baseman than for a corner outfielder, first baseman, or DH. You could make a credible case that A-Rod is as valuable as a (healthy) Pedro Martinez. You could never make that case about Manny Ramirez.

Rex Hudler
01-16-2004, 11:14 PM
Interesting thought.........

hold2dibber
01-16-2004, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by A. Cavatica
We've all heard the old saw about not trading a position player for a starter who plays every fifth day. It's complete, utter bull****.

The outcome of a game depends on a series of individual pitcher/hitter confrontations. Each of these confrontations involves exactly one pitcher and one hitter.

Last year, Juan Pierre led the majors with 747 plate appearances. Vernon Wells was second with 735.

Roy Halladay piched to 1071 batters. Colon (984) and Buehrle (978) were second and third.

In other words, the steadiest "regular" faced a pitcher 747 times. But the busiest "every fifth day" starter was involved in 43% more at-bats. Consequently a starter has a *much* greater impact on his team's success than a position player.

Think about it. Regulars bat 4 or 5 times per game. Starters throw to 25, 30, 35 batters.

Of course, defense evens out the imbalance a little: moreso for a catcher, shortstop, or second baseman than for a corner outfielder, first baseman, or DH. You could make a credible case that A-Rod is as valuable as a (healthy) Pedro Martinez. You could never make that case about Manny Ramirez.

Great post and great ammunition when people make that argument - which I've always disagreed with but never have had the stats at hand to back me up. Thanks.

john2499
01-16-2004, 11:56 PM
I never thought of it that way, good analysis.

CubKilla
01-17-2004, 12:02 AM
Good pitching usually bests good hitting. I'm not sure KW realizes this fact yet. Like the others said, good post.

doublem23
01-17-2004, 12:07 AM
It is an interesting thought, but I think that there are far more quality hitters than pitchers. Added to that, pitchers seem to get hurt more often is why pitching is still more important to have than hitting.

surfdudes
01-17-2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by doublem23
It is an interesting thought, but I think that there are far more quality hitters than pitchers. Added to that, pitchers seem to get hurt more often is why pitching is still more important to have than hitting.

On top of the fact that a good quality starter(s) that can go deep in games does't burn out your bullpen by allstar break, and opposing hitters get less at bats against your setup guys and closers, making them a little more effective over the course of a season. Can we convert Marte to a starter, or has that been tried already?