March 3, 2008

BP on Soriano, Papelbon

Rany Jazayerli, Doctoring The Numbers:
Leading off a player who's a threat to rap 100 extra-base hits in a season is crazy as it is, but it's certifiably insane in the NL. Not only does the pitcher make outs 85 percent of the time, but he's going to bunt a runner on first base over to scoring position as often as he can, negating the advantage of the extra-base hit over the single. Sure enough, last season, despite 33 homers, 42 doubles, and five triples, [Alfonso] Soriano finished the season with just 70 RBI. In major league history, no player with 75 or more extra-base hits has ever finished with so few:
Year  Player             2B  3B  HR  XBH  RBI
2007 Alfonso Soriano 42 5 33 80 70
2007 Curtis Granderson 38 23 23 84 74
1929 Johnny Frederick 52 6 24 82 75
2006 Grady Sizemore 53 11 28 92 76
1965 Zoilo Versalles 45 12 19 76 77
2000 Bobby Abreu 42 10 25 77 79
2007 Hanley Ramirez 48 6 29 83 81
1943 Stan Musial 48 20 13 81 81
1932 Paul Waner 62 10 8 80 82
2006 Jimmy Rollins 45 9 25 79 83
Apparently the use of Soriano in the leadoff spot [he had a .337 OBP in 2007] has sparked some sort of trend; five of the ten guys on this list played in the last two years ...

After a little over two seasons in the majors, [Jonathan] Papelbon's career line is a thing of beauty: 160 2/3 innings, 103 hits, 45 walks, 193 strikeouts, and an ERA of 1.62. It's been a long time since someone with that many career innings could boast of having a career ERA that low. In fact, you have to go back to 1916, when Walter Johnson’s career ERA stood at 1.61. (Obviously there's a slight difference between these two pitchers; at the conclusion of that season, the Big Train's 1.61 ERA had been amassed in 3148 innings ...

Since Johnson retired, here are the lowest career ERAs at the end of a season for a pitcher with at least 150 career innings:
Year  Pitcher             IP     ERA
2007 Jonathan Papelbon 160.2 1.62
1965 Bob Lee 268.1 1.71
1990 Rob Dibble 256.1 1.90
1977 Bruce Sutter 190.2 1.94
1985 Dwight Gooden 494.2 2.00
... Any way you slice it, Papelbon's career is off to one of the best starts for a relief pitcher -- or any pitcher -- in history.


Patriots Film said...

Interesting post! Kind of a useless comparison through that large of time period, so I'm going to look up the ERA+ numbers anyway...not that that is *perfect*, but it's better.

Patriots Film said...

Bob Lee: 216 + 177 over the 2 seasons referenced
Rob Dibble: 197,173,228 over the 3 referenced
Bruce Sutter: 142, 327 ...
Dwight Gooden: 137,228 ...

Papelbot: 171,515,256

But ERA+ is not the end of the story. A lot of the older guys pitched many more innings than the bot.

Jack Marshall said...

The Nomar as lead-off tactic of Jimy Williams was just as dumb---worse, maybe, because Jimy couldn't use the pat excuse that he was a base-stealer. Drove me nuts. But then a lot of things about Jimy Williams drove me nuts...his love affair with Midre Cummings, for example...

redsock said...

I think the Soriano stuff is more interesting than the Bot ERA, but I'm off cleaning the house today and figured I had to post something new.

W-L contest is coming, so start thinking!

Patriots Film said...

whose era this year?

redsock said...

I was thinking of asking for Manny's OPS this time.

Devine said...

Manny's OPS as tiebreaker = good idea.

phrenile said...

But tiebreaker ties should be broken by Matsusaka's or Beckett's OPS.

Patriots Film said...

+1 to manny ops!

Pete said...

So Cap'n Overated's '07 73 RBI were actually in line, given his general offensive ineptitude (55 extra base hits).

I take it all back, couple that with his ability to make plays-- throwing out the slower of the Giambi brothers at home, for example--and he's definitely worth the $21.6mm per.