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Transplanted from the Open-Mike thread, here's Jonny German's thoughts on Roy Halladay, because we here at Batter's Box are all about value. And beer. And making sure a good post gets its due.


Well, Mick emphatically insisted he wouldn't, and was met with token resistance (a nod to Spicol), but you'd have to say at this point that our man Roy stands a good chance of winning the Cy Young. He could meet one of Mick's criteria, "Won a ridiculous (23+) number of games", but as cautioned he may not be the only one to do so. The key is his big winning streak, which got him into the (inter)national spotlight and took away the familiarity advantage of guys like Pedro, Mussina, Mulder, Zito, Hudson.

Looking first at the guys who have won more than 10 games, since we're talking about the Cy Young and not "the best pitcher".

Roy 175 15 3.29 1.10 5.52
Ponson 148 14 3.77 1.28 2.33
Mulder 160.1 14 3.03 1.15 3.26
Moyer 138.2 14 3.50 1.24 1.96
Loaiza 143.2 13 2.19 1.06 3.48
Pettit. 138.2 13 4.41 1.33 3.70
Pineir. 144.2 12 3.17 1.20 1.88
Ortiz 127.2 12 4.44 1.45 1.53
Wells 139.2 12 3.80 1.20 6.55
Lidle 144 11 5.81 1.44 2.02
Meche 130.2 11 3.86 1.29 2.12
Lowe 134 11 4.84 1.48 1.61
Mussina 138.2 11 3.38 1.06 5.08

I'm going to throw out Pettite, Pineiro, Ortiz, Lidle, Meche, and Lowe without further explanation. If anyone wants to make a case for any of them, go right ahead. I feel the numbers above are enough to say that they don't have a realistic shot of getting attention from the voters. A closer look at the remaining 7 candidates:

Roy 15 2 2 175 3.29 1.10 0.248 1.08 1.18 6.53 5.52
Ponson 14 6 4 148 3.77 1.28 0.258 0.61 2.61 6.08 2.33
Mulder 14 7 7 160.1 3.03 1.15 0.251 0.73 1.91 6.24 3.26
Moyer 14 5 0 138.2 3.50 1.24 0.243 0.85 2.93 5.73 1.96
Loaiza 13 5 1 143.2 2.19 1.06 0.226 0.69 2.07 7.23 3.48
Wells 12 3 3 139.2 3.80 1.20 0.284 1.16 0.71 4.66 6.55
Mussina 11 6 0 138.2 3.38 1.06 0.234 0.98 1.69 8.60 5.08

I can't think of a good reason to prefer Ponson over Roy, and there's less reason to believe that he'll keep up the pace over the rest of the season.

Mulder looks to be the strongest competition, with the aura of being part of the Big 3, an improved offense behind him over the rest of the season, and a good shot at the playoffs. Roy will have to maintain his leads in BB/9, K/9, and K/BB, and will have to continue to throw a ton of innings. Perhaps more so than any other team, innings pitched are the key to Wins as a Blue Jay starter. The offense will surely back you up, and the bullpen will surely let you down.

Moyer is an un-sexy pitcher with an unimpressive K/BB, and Roy trounces him in IP, K, K/BB, and BB/9. At the risk of contradicting myself, I'll postulate that he could be hurt by vote splitting with Meche and Pineiro.

Count me among those who still expect Loaiza to come down somewhat, but if he doesn't he could be a problem; he has been better than Roy in several ways, and has gotten a lot of media attention. While the attention will help, I can also see it hurting: the voters, like the rest of us, will struggle with the notion of Loaiza being a great pitcher. Roy's IP advantage should be substantial by the end of the season.

If Wells stays healthy over the remainder of the season, he could be a contender, but with him that's a big if. Supposing he does ward off the obesity and other ailments for the rest of the season, expect vote-splitting with...

Mussina, a scary candidate. He has great rate stats, a solid career with no Cy Youngs, plays in New York, will make the playoffs. Making up 4 wins over the rest of the season will be difficult for him, and it's safe to postulate that he'll end up with 10 or more losses.

If the season ended today it would come down to Halladay or Mulder, Halladay's winning percentage or Mulder's 7 CG, Halladay's winning streak or Mulder's status as a Big 3 starter.
Is There a Cy for Doc? | 19 comments | Create New Account
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_Pedro Martinez - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#13860) #
I'm going to win my next 10 starts, strike out another 90 guys and carry my team into the playoffs. Where's the love?
_Jonny German - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#13861) #
Thanks Jordan. Tomorrow I'll re-post the charts so they're more readable (Who me thinking about baseball at work?).

Pedro, 10 more wins would leave you at 17. Here in the Box we wouldn't hold that against you, but the BBWAA is still in the dark ages.

Mick, you said in the Open-Mike thread that you're still thinking Halladay won't win. Who then? Note that I'm not committing to Halladay just yet, I'm saying he's neck-and-neck with Mulder.
_Mick - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#13862) #
I think he won't win for all the reasons I posted originally.

There's no dominant closer in the AL this year -- I still think Smoltz is going to breeze to the NL Cy Young Award. (Alert: I did NOT say "should" -- I said "is going to") ... so strike that from the competition.

Now consider the likely playoff teams -- all but one (Kansas City) have one or more legitimate candidates:

Yankees: Mussina
White Sox: Loaiza
A's: Mulder
Red Sox: Martinez
Mariners: Moyer, Pineiro, Meche

With Ponson off to the Bay area, candidates among non-contenders include Halladay and uh ... uh ... that's pretty much it.

Second-tier candidates from contenders -- guys who did more than enough in the first half that a strong finish gets them on some ballots -- include Wells, Pettitte, Hudson and Lowe.

Keep in mind that there are 32 ballots, each with three spots on them, for a total of 96 possible votes.

A certain number of writers will use up the #3 slot on their ballot for the league leader in saves -- happens every year -- especially if he pitched for a playoff team (Foulke is the leading candidate, but MacDougal would suck away many votes on the gee whiz factor).

A certain number of other (or maybe the same) writers -- maybe fewer than in the past, but who knows? -- will dismiss Halladay because he didn't pitch "for a winner" in "games that matter" so his wins "count less."

Just in this brief, off the top of my head recap I've named 14 pitchers who have an excellent chance of earning Cy Young votes, about half of which, as the Tom Berenger character in Major League declared, could still "win the whole flaking thing."

In the original story I posted waybackwhen, Coach projected a 22-7 season for Halladay. That sounds like it's going to be right about exact. So let's give Halladay 22-7 for the 82-80 Jays.

With so many candidates, many playing in major media markets (New York, Boston, Chicago), even if all the Yankees and Mariners cancel each other out, I think it is unlikely he will find room on enough ballots to win.

UNLESS, as the original artical postulated, he puts up stupid win numbers -- the crooked number that seems to be the cutoff point for "definitely will win no matter what" has been 23. Can he get there? Sure. I think the odds are he won't. And he won't win the Cy.

Here's another caveat ... even if Halladay rips off a terrific second half, finishes a Clemens/Gooden/Guidry season at 25-4 or somesuch, if Loaiza reaches 20 wins -- even if he cools off and finishes, say 20-13 -- and the White Sox make the playoffs, Loaiza will win the award. The "overnight success" factor will be too much for the American press to ignore.
_DS - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#13863) #
What if Halladay sets the new AL record for consecutive wins? You don't think that will garner some votes in his favour?
Gitz - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#13864) #
In the years Clemens and Guidry won all those games, their respective teams made the playoffs. Gooden's 1985 Mets didn't qualify -- though they won 98 games -- but his numbers were so good (226 ERA+, other nice peripherals) that he won the award over John Tudor anyway, even though it was the Cardinals and their 101 wins that sent the Mets on their hunting and fishing trips. Plus Guidry and Clemens were fairly high above their competitors; Halladay has been great this year, but it's not like he's been significantly better, if at all, than some of the players Jonny charted.

Here's another famous high win=Cy Young story. In 1990, when Bob Welch won 27 games -- much to the angst of Bill James, I seem to recall -- his ERA+ was only 126, whereas runner-up Roger Clemens's ERA+ was 211. Clemens went 21-6, the Red Sox won the AL East, but in the end it was those 27 wins by Welch that the voters could not ignore. But the A's also won their division, so he had that going for him. My hunch, however, is that if the A's had not won the AL West, Clemens would have won the Cy. Pointless speculation, to be sure, but Roger's other numbers, including strikeouts, were so superior to Welch that the voters surely would have selected the Rocket over him if the A's didn't make the playoffs.

Which is why Halladay won't win even if he wins 25 games this year. If things go as they are going now -- i.e. Loaiza does not fall off a cliff, gets 20 wins, and the ChiSox overtake the Royals -- then, as Mick says, he's going to win the award. Unless ...

Mulder reels off 10 in a row of his own and finishes with more wins than Loaiza (and assuming the Sox make the playoffs). Then's it a no doubter: Mulder wins the award for all the reasons Jonny said. In fact, Mulder doesn't even have to do that. All he has to do is do what he's been doing, end up with more wins that Loaiza, and the voters will respond in kind, even if Loaiza's E.R.A. and other peripherals are better and even if the White Sox make the playoffs. Then it won't matter how much better Loaiza's E.R.A./"overnight success" story is. The lure or More Wins will give Mulder the Cy, even if Loaiza (or even Mulder's teammate, Tim Hudson), will have proven to be the better pitcher. It will be 1990 all over again, except this time there will be at least two pitchers who were jobbed -- Loaiza and Hudson -- intstead of one, because of the Magic Super Duper Category Of Wins.

Bottom line: Roy Halladay won't win this year, because the Jays aren't contenders. Right, wrong, yadda, yadda, yadda, that's the reality. And, at any rate, as I say above, other than innings pitched and his nice K/BB ratio none of his numbers are dominant -- like some of Gooden's were -- to warrant Roy taking home the trophy -- this year. If Halladay was putting up the numbers Clemens did when he won his awards with the non-division-winning Jays, while racking up the Ws, it'd be a different story.

Whatever the case, assuming the Jays do contend in 2005 or so, there's a Cy Young in Halladay's future, despite the massive amount of pitching talent in the American League right now.
Gitz - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#13865) #
Obviously, the A's need to get to the playoffs in the above scenario. There should have been something in there about Mulder winning all those games AND the A's making the playoffs. Proceed.
_R Billie - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 12:51 AM EDT (#13866) #
At his current pace, Roy is going to finish with 265 innings, a 23-3 record, 192 strikeouts and just 35 walks. If it weren't for his 32 homer pace, he'd easily be the hands down winner.

It's probably just as well Roy doesn't win it, since it will only hurt the Jays when they try to sign the big guy long term.
Gitz - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 01:20 AM EDT (#13867) #
Hands-down? That's a big leap.

Hudson's on pace for 251 innings, 201 hits allowed, 64 walks, and 159 strikeouts. His E.R.A. is half a run lower than Halladay's. He doesn't have the wins.

Loaiza's on pace for 228 innings, 194 hits allowed, 50 walks, and 185 strikeouts. His E.R.A. is nearly a run lower than Halladay's. He's on pace to win 20 games exactly. Sure, he's pitched against the Tigers and D-Rays, et al, but you can't simply dismiss him out of hand.

Mulder's on pace for 242 innings, 227 hits allowed, 51 walks, and 168 strikeouts, to go along with 21 wins, and an E.R.A comparable to Halladay. If the A's had gone with a four-man rotation, Mulder and Hudson would both receive a few extra starts, thus neutralizing Roy's advantage in innings and strikeouts. Ball park factors would give the edge to Halladay, I am sure, but I doubt many BBWA folks will take those into consideration.

You can say "Halladay is one of many pitchers who could stake a claim to the AL Cy Young," but it's not accurate to say "he'd easily be the hands down winner." Assuming all goes as above, and discounting who "should" win, if Mulder wins 21 games and the A's win the AL West, he "will" win.
_Spicol - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 01:44 AM EDT (#13868) #
If it weren't for his 32 homer pace, he'd easily be the hands down winner.

I really don't think that the BBWAA cares about HR allowed.

I keep reading all this stuff about how Roy won't deserve consideration for the Cy since he isn't on a contending team. Garbage. I'd accept that argument if this were the MVP award, because writers seem to vote only for players on playoff bound teams, but the Cy Young is an entirely different story.

In 2000, Johnson won the award when the DBacks finished 3rd.
In 1998, Clemens won the award when the Jays finished 3rd.
In 1997, Clemens, Jays were 5th.
In 1997, Pedro, Expos were 4th.
In 1995, Hentgen, Jays were 4th.
In 1994, Cone, Royals were 3rd.

More than any other award, the Cy Young still goes to the player who puts up good numbers in the most traditional categories, especially victories. Unless someone finishes with an ERA light years away from the pack, the Cy Young will likely go to the pitcher with the most wins, regardless of where that player's team finishes. That might well mean Roy earns his first. But if Mulder, Mussina or Wells has even one more win than Roy, it's likely that Halladay will take home no hardware. It's as if the team's result only comes in to play in case of a very close Cy Young race.
_Ken - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 05:04 AM EDT (#13869) #

Dustin McGowan last night

7IP 3H 0R 0BB 8K

now that is domination

this guy is hot right now, looking like the move up hasn't fazed him one bit.
Dave Till - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#13870) #
Three reasons why Doc probably won't win the Cy:

- Lots of Jays have won the Cy recently: Clemens twice, Hentgen once. I'm thinking that's got to be a factor.

- Do the writers vote on the Cy first, then the MVP? If Delgado is likely to be an MVP candidate, some writers might vote for him and then not vote for Halladay, since they don't want both awards going to the same team.

- Halladay is one of a bunch of pitchers having good years, and his ERA is significantly higher than the leader (Loaiza).

As I've said before, I will be most annoyed if Loaiza wins the Cy. During the last two years, the Jays paid him a total of $10,300,000, and he pitched crappily. Then, he leaves, and suddenly he looks like Pedro Jr. Arrrarrrarrgh.
Coach - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#13871) #
We're trying to guess what guys like Richard Griffin will be thinking months from now. You know, the ones who put the capital letters in "Magic Super Duper Category Of Wins." The same writers who preferred Tejada to A-Rod for that other award. My limited mind-reading skills are more effective when the pages aren't blank.

Agreed that Mulder has a better chance than Loiaza and is the frontrunner. I think Roy will have to go 25-4 to win the Cy (in a close vote, not "hands down") but don't underestimate the power of the Streak. Doc's already getting plenty of notice in the U.S., and as Jon Siegel points out this morning in the Washington Times, a W tonight would make him the second pitcher in 60 years to win 16 straight decisions. I love this quote:

"There's no panic, no overthrowing, no stress just conviction and strength," Toronto pitching coach Gil Patterson said. "Our job is simple: just go on the mound and throw a baseball. But everyone always sees the hitter in the box, the score of the game he doesn't. He says, 'My job is to make pitches. That's all I'm going to do.' Umpires, errors, runs, who the hitter is doesn't affect him."

I don't care what the writers decide, or for that matter what the stats say. I love to watch Halladay work, and wouldn't trade him straight up for anyone. Regardless of how much longer his MSDCOW streak continues, Doc is a Winner.
_Jordan - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#13872) #
Jonny, sorry for the chart misalignment -- something didn't translate when I copied-and-pasted your post. Just more confirmation that HTML is not spoken here.
_Jonny German - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#13873) #
Here are the charts again, avec formatting.

AL pitchers with more than 10 wins.

Roy 175 15 3.29 1.10 5.52
Ponson 148 14 3.77 1.28 2.33
Mulder 160.1 14 3.03 1.15 3.26
Moyer 138.2 14 3.50 1.24 1.96
Loaiza 143.2 13 2.19 1.06 3.48
Pettit. 138.2 13 4.41 1.33 3.70
Pineir. 144.2 12 3.17 1.20 1.88
Ortiz 127.2 12 4.44 1.45 1.53
Wells 139.2 12 3.80 1.20 6.55
Lidle 144 11 5.81 1.44 2.02
Meche 130.2 11 3.86 1.29 2.12
Lowe 134 11 4.84 1.48 1.61
Mussina 138.2 11 3.38 1.06 5.08

Top Cy Young candidates.

Roy 15 2 2 175 3.29 1.10 0.248 1.08 1.18 6.53 5.52
Ponson 14 6 4 148 3.77 1.28 0.258 0.61 2.61 6.08 2.33
Mulder 14 7 7 160.1 3.03 1.15 0.251 0.73 1.91 6.24 3.26
Moyer 14 5 0 138.2 3.50 1.24 0.243 0.85 2.93 5.73 1.96
Loaiza 13 5 1 143.2 2.19 1.06 0.226 0.69 2.07 7.23 3.48
Wells 12 3 3 139.2 3.80 1.20 0.284 1.16 0.71 4.66 6.55
Mussina 11 6 0 138.2 3.38 1.06 0.234 0.98 1.69 8.60 5.08

(Obviously I made these charts before the Ponson trade)

Gitz, I think you're stretching when you talk about how Mulder and Hudson would have had more starts if the A's went to four-man rotation. This is the BBWAA we're talking about, their track record is to be baffled by the numbers in front of them - Never mind considering how circumstances helped or hurt a particular pitcher. If anything they'll give Halladay credit for being a horse who can handle the short rest, and they won't necessarily be wrong in that.

Dave, interesting points, but I'm afraid I'm not buying any of them. Recent wins: They weren't recent enough to be fresh in the minds of non-Toronto fans (5, 6, and 9 years ago, by pitchers who have moved on), and I don't see the evidence of the voters caring about that. Wasn't it in the early 90s that the Dodgers had 4 or 5 ROYs in a row? MVP: If A-Rod didn't win the MVP in 2002, then Carlos in 2003 is nothing more than a fringe candidate, especially with Wells and Halladay also having great seasons. Both awards to the same team? How about Zito and Tejada 2002, both hugely undeserving? And our old pal Loaiza: He's the only one with a big ERA edge, and I won't believe he can hold it until he's pitched his last game of 2003. Subjective, yes, defensible, yes. Further, the writers have shown that they care about wins far above anything else, a full run of ERA is probably only worth 2 Wins to them.
_Mick - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#13874) #
Delgado is currently the leading MVP candidate, I would say, because the batter's award-statistic equivalent of "wins" is all his this year.

Carlos is leading the world in "Getting Base Hits or Hitting Fly Balls While Teammates Have Managed to Get on Base in Front of Him. (GBHHFBWTHMGBFH)"
_George - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#13875) #
I'm with Spicol in thinking that pitching for a non-contender won't hurt Doc. While reporters are quick to point out what the V in MVP stands for, my impression is that it's always been accepted that the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards go to the BEST pitcher and rookie. The majority of ROY winners seem to come from non-contenders, which does make sense, giving the greater likelihood that a rookie can play a major role on such a team. (The Gold Glove is another individual award for which the player's team's standing seems to have little, if any, influence)

In fact, I think that pitching for a non-contender may help a Cy Young candidate, in that voters will look at a guy who went, say, 21-6 for a sub-.500 team and say "He did that DESPITE pitching for a bad team, imagine how he'd do on a good team!"

We've all seen stat tidbits comparing a pitcher's record to his team's (IIRC, Carlton had an out-of-this-planet year in the '70s, in that respect), which are used to imply how good a pitcher is because he's so much than his team, when all it really says is how much better he is than his team's other starting pitchers...
_Jonny German - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#13876) #
Now you're just being difficult Mick. I may have been exaggerating with my "fringe candidate" comment, but leading on the strength of his RBIs? You do of course remember that A-Rod led the league in RBIs last year, 142 to Tejada's 131, but lost the MVP voting 254 - 356. Alfonso Soriano, with a piddly 102 RBI, finished just 20 points behind A-Rod. Magglio Ordonez's 135 RBIs, 2nd best in the league, got him a whopping 59 points in the MVP voting.
2002 RBIs and MVP voting:

Tejada 131 356
A-Rod 142 254
Soriano 102 234
Anderson 123 184
Giambi 122 162
Hunter 94 132
Thome 118 69
Ordonez 135 59

I'm seeing a much stronger correalation between Winning Team and MVP than RBIs and MVP. If RBIs ruled the way Wins do in the Cy, Tejada doesn't beat A-Rod (both shortstops), Soriano doesn't beat Giambi (teammates), Thome doesn't beat Ordonez (both play for losers), and Hunter doesn't even make the top 10.

Delgado will probably have a substantially bigger margin in the RBI lead this year than A-Rod did last year, but 120 to 130 from Giambi or Boone will be plenty to overcome Delgado's 140 to 150.
Gitz - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#13877) #
Jonny, I didn't think the writers would notice (or care) if Mulder and Hudson had 36 starts, but they would notice the one or two more Wins said extra starts would generate.
_Mick - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#13878) #
I guess I just don't see a strong, obvious MVP candidate yet, though of course at this point last year, Miggy hadn't started his string of leading SportsCenter with walkoff homers for 43 straight games yet.

I think last year's MVP was the first that was essentially awarded by ESPN. (The media has always played a role, but last year it was all Tejada, all the time on the WorldWideLeader.)

Someone will emerge. Of the contenders I mentioned above in the CY breakdown, I'd think Boone has the best chance based on current numbers. Giambi, as great as he has been over the past 6-8 weeks, had that first month-plus of the season where the dominant NY media question was "When did freaking Giambi turn into Jim Spencer? Should we trade for Delgado?"
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