Posts Tagged ‘cy young’

2012 Fantasy Pros 911 (@FP911) Staff MLB Predictions

2012 Fantasy Pros 911 Staff Major League Baseball Predictions: http://fp911.com/2012-staff-predictions/.

Be sure to check out who I and the rest of the Fantasy Pros 911 think will take home the major awards and the World Series.

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang from 9/26/11

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang from 9/27/2011. The show included a great discussion of the wild card, MVP and CY Young races. We also dished on Ozzie Guillen and talked about total fantasy failures.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefantasyinsiders/2011/09/26/baseball-daily-digest-radio-with-joel-henard-and-albert-lang

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Cal Ripken

Cal Ripken - 1992 frontJust like Willie Mays (greenies), Len Dykstra, and Brady Anderson, I am a cheater. There is nothing all that interesting or bizarre about the back of this card. What I love about it is the front of the card: Cal pictured with Henry Louis Gehrig’s Cooperstown plague.

One of my favorite pictures of myself is from my first visit to the Hall of Fame. It was under remodeling at the time and the plagues were all on dry wall basically in an anteroom. However, there was on HoFer (I can’t remember who) between Frank and Brooks Robinson — my father’s gods. That gave just enough room for me to peak my head in between and be snapped between two of the great Orioles and baseball players of all time. It’s a good shot.

However, at this point I have to come clean (are you listening Palmeiro?). I wanted the Orioles to trade Ripken after his brilliant 1991 campaign. Yes, fresh off a .323/.374/.566 season, I thought they should move him. I was foolish and didn’t understand what was to come. I was thinking about all the losing I had experience in my lifetime and how many players Ripken was worth. I was thinking the Orioles could reverse the Glenn Davis damage.

But I was wrong, in fact, nothing could reverse the damage of trading a player like Ripken in his prime — quite simply few players have been equal to him on a baseball diamond.

People like to lump Cal into the accumulator Hall of Fame class. In my opinion, that’s sort of like distinguishing between the guys who earned their millions or were trust funded them – when you get down to it, what’s the real difference? That said, Cal was not just an accumulator, a guy who stuck around for a long time and eventually put up Ruthian numbers (a little like what Eddie Murray did).

Cal was one of the best players ever. Would I believe this as ardently if he wasn’t the best thing to happen to my baseball world in my lifetime (other than Roger Clemens being tied to Roids)? Probably not, but that’s because I’d be ignorant of Cal’s place in history. I would not have tried to defend him and research his awe-inspiring career benchmarks which outshine even the shiniest of Cooperstown plagues. Walk with me…

Cal Ripken has the 13th most hits in history — 3,184. That is more than George Brett, Robin Yount, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, etc.

He has the 32nd most singles (with 2,106) — behind Ty Cobb, Pete Rose, Rod Carew, Tris Speaker, Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Stan Musial and Boggs.

That leaves a lot of room for extra base hits. In fact, Ripken hit the 13th most doubles (603) — more than Barry Bonds, Boggs, Gwynn, Lou Gehrig, Frank Robinson and Ted Williams.

He also finished with the 17th most extra base hits with 1,078 and the 13th most total bases: 5,168. While Ripken hung around, he wasn’t hitting wimpy singles, but continually mashing his way to top 20 numbers in power categories.

Still, durability does count (ask Dale Murphy), 19 times Cal Ripken had at least 100 hits. That is tied for the seventh most in history. In addition, 15 times Ripken had over 150 hits — that is tied for the 6th most seasons. In 20 consecutive seasons, Ripken had 10+ HRs. Hank Aaron is the only player to have more years in a row – Aaron did it 23 times.

All those hits put him on his way to scoring the 30th most runs in MLB history: 1,647. That is more than Brett, Rogers Hornsby, and Tim Raines.

All that aside, May 28, 1996 must have been a special day. His brother, Billy hit a HR, and Cal added three! It was the second time both he and Billy hit HRs in the same game.

What gives Ripken so much additional value (and we’ll get to WAR) is his glove. He has the seventh most assists by a SS in a career – he had 6,977. That is behind Ozzie Smith, Louis Aparicio, Luke Appling and a few others. With all those assists, he got to a ton of balls, but still managed to post the fifth best fielding percentage by a shortstop in major league history (min. 1,000 games). He also had excellent years. In 1990, he posted the best fielding average ever by a shortstop in a single season: .9956. He also owns the 11th best year. In 1984, Ripken recorded 583 assists — the 6th most ever in a season.

Now for the new-age stuff: Ripken was worth 89.9 wins above a replacement player in his career. According to Baseball Reference, that is the 26th best mark all time — and, depending, on how you look at Alex Rodriguez, puts him tops among shortstops. In 1991, Ripken was worth 11 WAR — tied for the 30th best mark in a season ever.

Yes, Cal Ripken was an accumulator, but his accumulations were great statistics, not just ho-hum years. Four times, Ripken was worth 7.0 WAR or better. From 1983-1991, he was worth less than 6.0 WAR just once. The rest of his career (1992-2001) was not as good (he averaged 2.4 WAR) but that is just 2 less WAR than Derek Jeter has averaged for his career by way of comparison. Quite simply there are very few men who are Cal’s better on the diamond.

Thank god the Orioles didn’t trade him and thank god for 1983, Cal grew to deserve it.

Cal Ripken - 1992 back

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Bob Tewksbury

tewks backtewksfI love the back of this card. It reminds me of Bob Ross immediately. It’s eloquent, succinct and simple: Tewks paints both canvas and the outside corner.

And it’s really true! Tewks has two of the 16 best seasons in terms of walking the fewest batters per 9 innings. In 1992 he posted the 8th best ever (tied with Greg Maddux): 0.77. This effort was behind Cy Young, Christy Mathewson (twice) and Carlos Silva (who had the best at 0.43). Tewks also owns the 16th best season tied with Cy Young at 0.84. When he finished up his career, he had a 1.5 BB/9 rate – that is 22nd all time and slightly better than Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Old Hoss Radbourn (follow his ghost on Twitter!), and Greg Maddux. Amazing.

It’s kind of remarkable that, given his ability to control the zone, Tewks wasn’t a more productive pitcher. He got his first taste of the majors at 25 in 1986. He threw 130.1 innings for the New York Yankees that year and posted a 3.31 ERA and 1.34 WHIP — good enough for 2.2 WAR – not bad.

However he and his promise would be traded the next year in a deal for Steve Trout. The Cubs wouldn’t benefit much from the deal, as Tewks pitched just 21.1 innings for them before becoming a free agent.

The St. Louis Cardinals astutely snapped him up. While he pitched only 30 innings for the Cards his first season (1989), from 1990-1994, he averaged a 3.49 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 188 IPs, a 1.1 BB/9 rate and a 3.41 K/BB rate. He was worth 10.6 wins above a replacement player during that time.

His worst year was his walk year for the Cards. It was the beginning of his decline, as Tewks was 34. He pitched poorly for the Rangers and Padres in 1995 and 1996 respectively. He had a minor bounce back from 1997-1998 for the Minnesota Twins, averaging a 4.49 ERA, 158 IPs, a 1.34 WHIP and 1.4 BB/9 rate.

However that would end his career. His last five seasons saw BB/9 rates above 1.2 which made him an ordinary pitcher compared to his back-to-back .8 BB/9 seasons.

Well, he wasn’t exactly ordinary – clearly he was as adroit with the plate as he was with a pallet…I mean his (art)work was featured in Sports Illustrated and you know what they do with paint!

Oh and he was a fielding artist as well – he owns the 21st best fielding percentage by a pitcher (min. 1,500 IPs): .980. He is tied with Tom Glavine and Scott McGregor.

Pretty interesting, if for the Bob Ross links alone.

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Mark Gubicza 2.0

gubiczabackThe more I read about Mark Gubicza, the more I like him/his career. And he became the first two time Flip Sider (first appearance: here).

In this Donruss Triple Play card, we learn about another hobby of Gubicza’s (if you remember, his hobby in 1986 was “being music”). While I was confused by the phraseology in the past card, I wholeheartedly support players who approach the game like a fan (see also: Richard, Chris).

It is super cool to me that, even though Gubicza had played nine season in the majors at this point, he collects sports memorabilia and autographed baseball cards. I imagine he was able to get some really cool autos — maybe even a few George Brett’s?

Anyway, my second look at Gubicza has me investigating his career a bit more. The two-time All-star led AL pitchers in WAR in 1988. That year, he won 20 games with a 2.70 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He added 183 Ks and a 2.20 K:BB rate. Unfortunately, he’d get little Cy Young recognition, finishing behind Frank Viola and Dennis Eckersley in voting. The next year he’d lead the league in starts (36) and do it again in 1995 (with 33 starts).

gubiczabackfront

Given his durability, it isn’t surprising that he owns a few dubious Royals records, most notably: walks allowed (783) and hit batsmen (58). But you gotta be good to be able to hit that many guys. Let’s hope he parted amicably with the guys he hit and maybe even got their John Hancock on a baseball card.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Steve Bedrosian

bedrosian back bedrosian frontJudging by his awesome facial hair and hobbies, Bedrosian seems to be the consummate flame-throwing good ole boy (never mind that he was born in Massachusetts). To me, four wheeling and breeding dogs screams hunter — of course, I’m not a hunter, so I might be completely wrong. Either way, given these three things: awesome beard, four-wheeler and breeds dogs, you would absolutely agree that he is capable of 120+ IPs in (predominantly) relief in back-to-back years.

Bedrosian did accomplish that feat and so much more. Outside of 1985, Bedrosian was basically a relief pitcher. It’s kind of odd because in ’85, he threw 206.2 innings and posted a 3.83 ERA. Of course he had a 4.14 FIP and recorded just 5.84 K/9 compared to the 8.71 rate he posted in the previous season. Another reason he’d start zero games for the rest of his career after posting 37 starts for the Braves? The organization would trade him and Milt Thompson to the Phillies for Pete Smith and Ozzie Virgil. The Phillies saw his ability to strike guys out in relief and kept him there permanently.

It’d turn out to be a pretty smart move. Bedrosian finished his career with the 34th most relief wins all time with 65 — one more than Al Hrabosky, he of the awesomest facial hair ever. Of course, on the flip side, Bedrosian has the 31st most loses (61) in relief in MLB History — tied with Bob Stanley and one ahead of Mike Stanton.

You add up that career and durability and you get the pitcher with the 46th most innings pitched in relief in MLB history — just 2.1 innings behind José Mesa (seriously – what? I’m as confused as you are).

However, the most surprising/confusing aspect of Bedrosian’s career would be the 1987 season. He did post a 2.83 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 7.5 K/9 and lead the league in saves with 40. Not surprising you’d say? A pretty average/above average year? Well, he won the Cy Young that year, yet had only a 2.0 WAR and only 89 IPs. Sure his win was by no means unanimous as he received just 9 first place votes (out of 24). The problem is no one could see through records and recognize the dominance of Orel Hershiser (16-16, 264 IPs, 3.06 ERA, 190 Ks, 1.21 WHIP).

Relievers are often a different breed – fiery and eclectic as always. Bedrosian, while not really remembered and with his Cy Young completely forgotten, is one of the more underrated useful relievers of all time. Plus, you can’t ignore that beard, ahem Brian Wilson.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.