Friday, August 14, 2015

MLB’s Most Durable and Dependable Starting Pitchers


“Iron Man” Joe McGinnity would be proud of each and every one of them – even Corey Kluber.

Currently, there are seven Foremen of Baseball’s Foundry – the kind of a place where ol’ Joe would procure off-season employment a century or so ago, hence the “handle” – starting pitchers who have answered every call to duty and have the habit of staying late.

Through the games of last Sunday (Aug. 9), of the 279 guys who’ve started a big league game this season, 47 have delivered a Complete Game performance, 77 have provided full-time work (21 starts in 105 or so games), a mere 24 have lasted through the seventh inning in at least half their outings – only eight reach 60% in Long Starts, and one of them on just 10 tries.

Jeff Samardzija  23 starts (16 long, 70%), 1 CG, 8 No-Decisions, 1.478 (No. 18)*
Corey Kluber  24 starts (16 long, 67%), 3 CG’s, 5 No-Decisions, 1.042 (No. 38)*
Johnny Cueto  21 starts (14 long, 67%), 1 CG, 7 No-Decisions, 1.476 (No. 19)*
Max Scherzer  23 starts (15 long, 65%), 3 CG’s, 4 No-Decisions, 1.826 (No. 8)*
Sonny Gray  23 starts (14 long, 61%), 3 CG’s, 7 No-Decisions, 2.130 (No. 1)*
Dallas Keuchel  23 starts (14 long, 61%), 3 CG’s, 4 No-Decisions, 2.087 (No. 2)*
John Lackey  23 starts (14 long, 61%), 1 CG, 7 No-Decisions, 1.435 (No. 22)*

The rating and ranking on the right represents a measurement designed to hold pitchers accountable for the outcome of their games while rewarding them for the durability and efficiency to work deep into games. (The origins of the concept, still a work under construction, are discussed HERE.) The current leaders are:
Gray  --  2.130
Keuchel – 2.087
Mark Buehrle – 2.045
Zack Greinke – 2.045
David Price – 2.000
Felix Hernandez – 1.956
Gerrit Cole – 1.864
Jake Arrieta – 1.826
Scherzer – 1.826
Carlos Martinez – 1.800

Finally, in the matter of accountability…

After a premature end to his 2014 season, Ivan Nova returned to the Yankee rotation on June 24 and has earned a decision in all eight of his assignments. In another part of the Naked City, the Mets’ Bartolo Colon has 21 pitching decisions in 22 starts. On the Left Coast, Garrett Richards of the Angels is 20 for 21.