Starting Pitchers and Hall of Fame Numbers
Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame candidacy has generated a discussion about HOF numbers for pitchers which I feel is very useful – partly because it raises the question of whether there is a “sabermetric” way to objectively measure a starting pitcher’s career performance.
Here is how the CAWS Career Gauge suggests it may be done – using win shares.
- Add together the win shares for a pitcher’s 10 best seasons and call it his Core Value (CV).
- Add to this 25% of the difference between his career win shares (CWS) and his CV – to give credit for “longevity.”
- CAWS = CV + .25(CWS – CV)
Here is what the results look like for some selected pitchers. The first number is CWS, the second is CV and the third is the CAWS score. Each of these pitchers has “HOF numbers.”
Here are some pitchers who do not have “HOF numbers.”
You will note that Bert Blyleven’s numbers are significantly better than those of Curt Schilling or Jack Morris.
Also note that a Core Value of 200 for a starting pitcher is a fairly good indicator of “HOF numbers.”
I should add that there is another “CAWS criterion” that suggests that a few pitchers like Sandy Koufax, Hoyt Wilhelm, Goose Gossage, Pedro Martinez and Mariano Rivera also have HOF numbers: a CAWS score of 180 with fewer than 2400 innings pitched. (Pedro did this in his first thirteen seasons – as did Roy Halladay.)
Thanks for your time.
|Professor Emeritus – City U of NY|
|Author of DEFINING GREATNESS: A Hall of Fame Handbook|