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Too many pitchers, that's all, there are just too many pitchers. Ten or twelve on a team. Don't see how any of them get enough work.
-- Cy Young

Our topic for today is the AL Cy Young Award. This is a tough one.

The best pitcher in the AL this year has been Roy Halladay. No doubt about that. But Halladay has already missed more than a month and will be out a little longer. This complicates things.

Arguably, the second most impressive performance by an AL starter has been the job turned in by Kenny Rogers. The Gambler has also done this work in one of the best hitter's parks in the league. But, like Halladay, Rogers has missed a number of starts - partially because of injury and partially because he's a jerk. He's actually pitched fewer innings than Halladay

The AL pitchers with the most impressive W-L records - Jon Garland and Bartolo Colon - both have ERAs a full run higher than Halladay's, and to date haven't extended their fine performance over a significantly greater number of innings.

The AL pitchers leading the league in strikeouts - Johan Santana, John Lackey and Randy Johnson - not only have ERAs more than a run higher than Halladay: they've actually won fewer games. This is also true of the one AL pitcher who is holding opposition hitters to a lower batting average than Halladay. That's Barry Zito of Oakland, and he too has fewer wins than Halladay and ERA that is more than a run higher.

Which leaves Mark Buehrle of the White Sox. Buehrle hasn't missed a turn - he's one of just three pitchers in the league with an ERA below 3.00 (barely - he's at 2.99). He leads the league in innings pitched, which is a big deal for me. He's won "only" 13 games, but I think he's clearly been better than Garland and Colon, who are the only pitchers with more wins.

But... Buehrle's ERA is helped enormously by the fact that fully 13 of the runs he's allowed are unearned. Only Randy Johnson has given up as many unearned runs. All but one of the runs Halladay has allowed have counted against his ERA. Buehrle has pitched 33 more innings than Halladay, and he's allowed 32 more runs, and 20 more earned runs. His extra innings are replacement level, at best.

So, somewhat to my surprise, the award is still Halladay's to win. Someone else is going to have to step up over the next six weeks to take it away. Someone probably will - Johan Santana is the guy I would bet on, if I bet on things - and if no one does, the voters will probably just give it to the guy with the most wins.

But not me.

1. Roy Halladay, Toronto
2. Mark Buehrle, Chicago
3. Johan Santana, Minnesota
4. Kenny Rogers, Texas
5. Barry Zito, Oakland

Tomorrow - the NL MVP.

The schedule:

Boston (Wells 9-5, 4.43) at Detroit (Bonderman 13-9, 3.96) 1:05
Baltimore (Cabrera 8-11, 5.00) at Oakland (Haren 10-8, 3.90) 3:35
Kansas City (Carrasco 5-6, 4.37) at Seattle (Moyer 9-4, 4.34) 4:35
Texas (Young 9-7, 4.91) at Cleveland (Millwood 6-9, 3.09) 7:05
New York (Leiter 6-10, 6.14) at Tampa Bay (Hendrickson 7-7, 6.77) 7:15
Minnesota (Santana 11-6, 3.48) at Chicago (Buehrle 13-5, 2.99) 8:05
Toronto (Towers 9-9, 4.25) at Los Angeles (Washburn 6-6, 3.33) 10:05

Chicago (Zambrano 9-5, 3.17) at Houston (Oswalt 14-9, 2.57) 7:05
Washington (Loaiza 7-8, 3.54) at Philadelphia (Lieber 11-10, 4.92) 7:05
San Diego (Williams 6-8, 4.92) at Florida (Willis 15-8, 2.79) 7:05
Los Angeles (Perez 7-6, 4.38) at Atlanta (Hudson 8-7, 3.53) 7:05
San Francisco (Lowry 8-11, 4.13) at Cincinnati (Hudson 4-5, 7.49) 7:10
Pittsburgh (Fogg 6-7, 4.94) at New York (Glavine 8-10, 4.41) 7:10
Arizona (Webb 10-8, 3.78) at St.Louis (Mulder 13-6, 4.10) 8:10
Milwaukee (Capuano 12-8, 3.77) at Colorado (Wright 6-13, 5.85) 9:05

This Day In Baseball: 17 August 2005 | 18 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#125885) #
I'd just like to point out some interesting information under Press Releases on

-Attendance is up 24%
-Merchandise is at its highest sales since 1995
-Traffic on has doubled
- Sportsnet and TSN's ratings have gone through the roof after a lull during the "season from hell" 2004.

I forgot some stuff Bauxites, so check er out.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#125892) #
I think Buehrle clearly is the winner here. Major US market, division winner, 20 wins.

Unless Buehrle goes 1-8 down the stretch or someone else goes all Doyle Alexander c. 1987 on the league, it's a no-brainer.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#125894) #
I was just scanning the 1987 AL Cy Young results refreshing my memory about how Alexander only managed to finish fourth when the list struck me ... of the nine men to get votes, six (including the first four of Clemens, Key, Stewart and Alexander, plus Morris and Viola) were, had been or would eventually become Blue Jays.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#125903) #
Right now, I think Doc is more deserving. But if he makes 5 more starts and Buehrle makes 9 or 10, and both pitch as well as they have so far, I think in that case Buehrle would get my vote.

I don't know that it'll get Buehrle the award, though. Buehrle's a long shot to make it to 20 wins - he needs to win 7 of his 9 or 10 remaining starts. (He's won 13 of his first 24.)

And if Buehrle ends up, say 19-7, and Garland is 21-7, a lot of voters will vote for Bob Welch instead of Dave Stewart (or even Dennis Eckersley). Especially when Roger Clemens, the best starter in the AL, missed a fair bit of time down the stretch.

Oh wait, it's not 1990?

Blue in SK - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#125910) #
Since you're talking post season awards, and I wasn't sure where else to post this - has a top ten list of rookies (AL & NL).

The Jays have 3 listed, #2 Chacin, #7 Adams and #10 Hill. The A's also have 3 listed; Johnson, Street and Swisher at #3, #4 and #5 respectively. Wonder if JP and Beane have a side bet going.
Pistol - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#125912) #
Major US market

Do you think that matters anymore in this day and age of information and games at everyone's fingertips?

Going through the MVPs and Cy Youngs I don't see any players from major markets winning that shouldn't have. If the market mattered Loaiza would have won over Halladay in 03.

And for all the east coast bias talk the last 9 AL MVPs have come from the AL West. The NL West streak is at 5 (which will surely end this year).

smcs - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#125917) #
In an attempt to figure out who deserves the Cy Young, I tried to compare the five candidates mentioned earlier, Halladay, Buehrle, Santana, Rogers and Zito. I added together their current placings in American League Stats. I took Wins, IP, ERA, K's, WPCT, WHIP, AVG, OBA, SLG, K/9, K/BB, BB/9, H/9 and added the placements up.
The Final Standings were:
Santana 66
Halladay 75
Buehrle 125
Zito 168
Rogers 250

Based on this, Santana is the best pitcher, however, I believe this to be fflawed because Halladay has made a full 7 starts less than Zito, 5 starts less than Buerhle and Santana with those two scheduled to face off against each other tonight and 3 starts less than Rogers. Thus, in the interest of fairness, I dropped, W, IP and K's from the equation. The revised standings are as follows:

Halladay 29
Santana 50
Buerhle 99
Zito 148
Rogers 168

According to this, Halladay is the best pitcher.
I also compared Halladay '05 to Halladoy '03 and Santana '05 to Santana '04 and Zito '05 to Zito '02. I compared ERA, WPCT, WHIP, SLG, OBA, AVG, K/9, BB/9, K/BB, H/9.
Halladay '05 has been better in ERA, WHIP, SLG, OBA, AVG and H/9. Halladay '03 was better in WPCT, BB/9, K/9 and K/BB. According to these stats, Halladay '05 has pitched better.

Santana '05 was better in only BB/9 and K/BB. Santana '04 was better in ERA, WPCT, WHIP, SLG, OBA, AVG, K/9 and H/9

Zito '05 was better in AVG and H/9. Zito '02 was better in ERA, WPCT, WHIP, SLG, OBA, K/9, BB/9, K/BB but not much better.
So, in conclusion, Halladay appears to have pitched better this year than in his Cy Young year whereas Santana and Zito are pitching worse than in their Cy Young years.
I think the stats I used are best reflections of the pitcher and not of the team.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#125918) #
Yesterday, Jon Papelbon got his second start for the Sox. He's a fine, fine prospect in a system that is now very good. The Sox look to me to be the team to beat for the next 5 years.
Jim - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#125931) #
'He's a fine, fine prospect in a system that is now very good.'

That is probably the Jays biggest problem. Sure they have some interesting pitchers in the system, but Boston has pitchers that are even more interesting in the upper levels and they have a huge payroll and position prospect advantage.

Jonny German - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#125942) #
Who are the Sox top 5 prospects, Jim? I'd like to check them out to see how they compare.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#125944) #
The top 3 Sox pitching prospects are Jon Papelbon, Jon Lester and Anibal Sanchez. The top 3 hitting prospects are Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and (probably) Brandon Moss. There might be someone in the lower minors who I am missing, but the top 5 are real good.
Jim - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#125949) #
I'd say those are the top 6 guys. If you looked at say
Papelbon, Lester, Sanchez and Delcarmen versus (well my top 4 Jays - I'm sure others think differently) Purcey, Jackson, Janssen and League I think that you'll find most of the 'experts' would favor the Sox in that exchange. I don't think there is an argument on the position players. I'm sure the argument will be that they just graduated Hill and Adams and they will improve, but they are probably already going to finish 8-10 games back against a Red Sox team that looks to me like it has a good chance of improving itself in 2006.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#125969) #
Incidentally, I don't think the Sox have the depth of pitching prospects that the Jays do. That is important. It is sometimes assumed that a Grade A pitching prospect has much, more value than a Grade B pitching prospect, and that is not true to the extent that it is for hitting prospects.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#125973) #
I think you would have to include McGowan in that list. Both McGowan and Papelbon have now pitched a relatively small number of innings in the bigs.

On this basis, I would rank the Jays' top four pitching prospects as McGowan, League, Purcey, and Janssen/Banks (I think these two are pretty close, and I'm not sure who comes out ahead, although Janssen has had a terrific season and Dick Scott said he had better secondary stuff. Banks, on the other hand, just had a great start and is quietly improving his overall numbers. 8:130 BB/K in 142.1 innings? That is just unreal.)

Is this quartet better or worse than the Sox' top 4? I have no idea, but I'd be interested to see a bauxite do a comparison.
VBF - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#125974) #
According to the press release, 52% of all MLB merchandise in Canada is Blue Jays.

Now, when you consider how fashionable and 'in' MLB merchandise is, and that half of all stuff sold is Jays, there should be more people with jerseys and caps floating around. Yet, I don't see a whole lot around other than around the Dome.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#125979) #
Yet, I don't see a whole lot around other than around the Dome.

I see a lot in my neighborhood.
Christopher - Wednesday, August 17 2005 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#125981) #
Yet, I don't see a whole lot around other than around the Dome.

I also see a tonne of stuff around. And it seems to be men and women of different age ranges, as well as kids.
Jim - Thursday, August 18 2005 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#126010) #
Certainly the Jays are deeper, even if you tack on Hansen for the Sox, Romero is a better prospect in my mind then he is.

Greenfrog makes a good point, McGowan should have been in my top 4, probably over League in my mind at this point.

I think the top pitching prospects are close to a wash, and the Jays would have an advantage on the second tier of pitchers, they just have a huge hole to climb out of with position players.

This Day In Baseball: 17 August 2005 | 18 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.