Pitchers and the Win
By: Eli Geha
June 22nd, 2015
Listening to people talk about the win for pitchers and act as if the stat determines how well the pitcher is doing, is one of the most frustrating things to hear. At this time, Bartolo Colon has 9 wins and David Price has 7. Does this mean that Bartolo Colon is 2 wins better than David Price? Absolutely not. Looking further into the numbers, Bartolo Colon is sporting a 4.89 ERA, a FIP of 3.90, and 6.95 K/9. Price has a 2.50 ERA, a FIP of 2.94 and an 8.14 K/9. Too many times I will hear “analysts” and baseball commentators mention how Bartolo Colon has more value than Price because he is a winner and he helps his team win. The way to help your team win as a pitcher is to prevent runs from scoring. These “baseball minds” talk about how Colon is a better team motivator than Price; Colon knowing how to motivate his team to play behind him as he has the team chemistry. The pitcher controls none of this!! All the pitcher does during a game is throw the ball, do people actually think that hitters hit worse depending on who is throwing for them that day? Are there hitters out there that say, “Oh shit I can’t hit for this guy, he isn’t showing me he cares about his teammates, he hasn’t motivated me to play well.” The answer is no absolutely not. A major league hitter is going up to every at bat and giving his best effort to hit the baseball, there are no outside forces influencing him to do better or worse than what he can do.
Never should a pitcher be evaluated by the win for many reasons. First, the pitcher does not control the offense, he has no say about the outcome of half of the game. Secondly, he can be a pitcher for the worst offense in baseball, lose ten 1-0 ball games and have a record of 3-10. Then there can be a pitcher for the best offense in baseball and win ten games 9-8 and have a record of 10-3. Does this mean the pitcher who went 10-3 is better than the 3-10 pitcher? Hell no. Lastly, pitchers are not motivators, they do not control their teams offense, nor do they contribute to their success, so they should not be faulted for the offenses failures, nor praised for their successes.
There needs to be a new stat in baseball to accurately depict the value of a pitcher. With the help of fellow blogger, Matt Mastantuono, we have been working on a stat that just might do that. The new stat (that I will touch on in a future blog post) will contain the following factors: K/BB ratio, K/9, BB/9, average exit velocity, HR/Flyball ratio, soft and hard contact percentages, ballparks pitched in, swing and miss percentages, and home runs allowed.
I hope this has inspired you to look past the win stat and to dig deeper when evaluating your favorite pitcher, or to decide if you like the pitcher your favorite team recently acquired. The win is not the only horrible stat being used in baseball, this idea should be used to open the readers eyes into discovering the true value of players in the game today.