November 8, 2005

AL Cy Young

2005 AL Adjusted ERA+*

Santana MIN 153
Millwood CLE 143
Buehrle CHW 143
Washburn LAA 131
Rogers TEX 130
Silva MIN 128
Blanton OAK 127
Garland CHW 127
Contreras CHW 123
Lackey LAA 122
So who does the Baseball Writers Association of America decide was the best pitcher in the American League?

Why, Bartolo Colon, of course.

Colon's ERA+ was 120. And as far as not allowing runs -- pretty much a pitcher's top job, right? -- he was the third best starter on his own team.

His 3.48 ERA was 8th best in the AL, behind Jarrod Washburn (4th, 3.20) and John Lackey (6th, 3.44).

But he got great run support and totaled 21 wins, so ...
       1st 2nd 3rd  Pts  ERA+

Colon 17 11 118 120
Rivera 8 7 7 68 323
Santana 3 8 12 51 153
Lee 2 2 8 108
Buehrle 5 5 143
Garland 1 1 127
Millwood 1 1 143
(Rivera's ERA+ is not a typo; he posted a 1.38 ERA and the AL average was 4.45.)

However, it isn't just the BBWAA who are morons. Colon was also named the top pitcher in all of MLB by The Sporting News and was chosen as the AL's outstanding pitcher in the Players Choice Awards.

*: ERA+ is the ratio of the league's ERA (adjusted to the pitcher's ballpark) to that of the pitcher (lgERA / ERA). 100 is league average.


Jack Marshall said...

Boy, are you ever right. Unbelievably dumb choice. Rivera was the guy, and if he can't win it this year, with such weak competition, he never will.
This is really strange when you think about it. Willy Hernandez, Fingers, Sutter and Eck are good enough to win Cy's in relief, but not the most amazing and consistent of them all?

RSNplus said...

Will there ever be a time when DH's and closer's are actually considered seriously in Cy Young and MVP award voting? Ridiculus.

Edward Lee said...

I agree that DHs should be seriously considered in MVP voting. Unless a fielder is gold glove-quality or close to it, one individual's defense really isn't a huge part of the game. 90% is still pitching and hitting.

I really don't think closers should ever be given Cy Young consideration, though. The reason they're closers is because they're either not strong or versatile enough to pitch 200+ innings per year. If Rivera (or any other relief pitcher) could pitch 200 great innings per year and still be good, he would.

Jack Marshall said...

Ed, I think the argument that closers are inferior pitchers has been pretty much debunked over the last three decades. Closers are guys with a special make-up who can be more dominating day after day under pressure for an inning or two than the best starters in the same role could ever be. If you ever saw Dick Radatz in his prime, a mediocre starter in the minors but the most dominating closer the Sox, and maybe any team, ever had, you'd never be able to dismiss the breed so cavalierly.
Sure, a great starter over the course of a whole season deserves the award over a great closer, but Colon wasn't great. Take Rivera away from the Yankees over the last decade and they win half the titles they did. Ask yourself this: If the Yankees traded Colon for Rivera, would they be better or worse? I'd PRAY for them to make that trade!

Edward Lee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Edward Lee said...

If you ever saw Dick Radatz in his prime, a mediocre starter in the minors but the most dominating closer the Sox, and maybe any team, ever had, you'd never be able to dismiss the breed so cavalierly.

Hey, any minor-league scrub starting pitcher can be the most dominant closer of all time!

If you want to attack my argument, you need to show me solid starting pitchers who couldn't hack it as closers. Curt Schilling doesn't count, because he stunk as a starter and closer this year.

Michael Leggett said...

Bartolo Colon? He who FEARETH A-Fraud? It was his fear that took him out of Game 5 of the ALDS. T'was a good thing, as Sheffield & Crosby played Alfonse & Gaston.

Bob McNeil said...

Rivera should have won it, easily. Closers have won before and Rivera's season was close to perfect. Pretty simple. Such a nonsensical result makes a convincing argument for taking relievers out of the Cy Young award and establishing separate awards for them. Nah, that would just make too much sense.