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Superficially, Tom Glavine seemed to have a ho-hum age 39 season in 2005, 13-13 with a 3.53 ERA in Shea, but 12 homers, 61 walks and 105 strikeouts in 211 innings for a crafty lefty suggests that he might have a surprise season or two left for his forties, as Warren Spahn and Tommy John did.

Tom Glavine was drafted out of high school by the Braves in the 2nd round of the 1984 draft, and pitched well in rookie league, striking out more than a batter per inning, that summer. He dominated A ball in 1985, again striking out more than a batter per inning. In 1986, he started in double A and pitched well enough, but did not overpower the league (70 walks and 114 strikeouts in 145 innings). Nonetheless, he was promoted to triple A late in the season where he struggled mightily. In 1987, he started in triple A again, did better than in 1986 but again was not overpowering (56 walks and 91 strikeouts in 150 innings). Still, the Braves promoted him to the Show late in the season. He was battered about in 9 starts, continuing his pattern of late season promotion struggles.

Undeterred, the Braves kept him in the rotation for 1988 in his age 22 season. He struggled that year and for the next 2. There were signs of gradual improvement as his strikeout rate inched up. Most importantly, he stayed healthy. In 1991, he and the Braves exploded on the league. Glavine threw 246 innings, still his career high, and struck out a career high 192 batters, won 20 games and won the Cy Young award. The Braves improved by 29 games in the standings and began their string of division titles.

From 1991 to 2002, Glavine was consistently very good and occasionally great. His modus operandi was simple. He threw strikes and kept the ball down. He got his share of strikeouts courtesy of an effective change, even though his fastball is ordinary. The Braves had a good defence for most of his time there, particularly after Andruw Jones arrived in 1997, and Glavine had the ability to take advantage of Jones' defensive brilliance.

After 2002, Glavine signed with the Mets as a free agent, and has delivered one sub-par season and two good ones. He turns 40 in March, and we now turn to his Hall of Fame chances. Our comparison points will be Warren Spahn, Jim Palmer, Ted Lyons, Red Ruffing, and Jack Morris.

Here's how they did through age 39 (Ruffing missed his age 38 and 39 seasons due to the Second World War):

Pitcher     IP(seasons)   ERA+   K/9IP(Lg)   W/9IP(Lg)  HR/9IP(Lg)  Team DER(Lg)  W-L

Glavine     3951.7(16.7)  120    5.4(6.5)    3.0(3.4)   0.7(1.0)    689(693)      275-184
Morris      3824.0(14.8)  105    5.8(5.1)    3.3(3.3)   0.9(0.9)    708(700)      254-186
Palmer      3948.0(14.0)  125    5.0(5.3)    3.0(3.4)   0.7(0.8)    722(707)      268-152
Spahn       4080.0(15.8)  121    4.6(4.3)    2.6(3.4)   0.7(0.8)    709(708)      288-182
Lyons       3750.7(14.6)  116    2.9(3.3)    2.5(3.4)   0.5(0.6)    691(684)      233-210
Ruffing     4152.7(16.2)  110    4.2(3.3)    3.2(3.4)   0.5(0.6)    690(684)      258-216 

The shocking comparison for me in this list was the Glavine-Palmer one. I had thought that Jim Palmer was a significantly better pitcher than Tom Glavine, but on sober second thought, it doesn't seem so obvious. Palmer played on great teams throughout his career, and great defensive teams. The names Brooks Robinson, Belanger, Grich, Blair and Murray spring to mind in a flash. The Braves of Glavine's first 3 years were a butt-ugly ballclub. Don't believe me? Check out the 1989 club. You might say that they were the 1989 version of last year's Kansas City Royals. I also think of Palmer as exceptionally durable because he threw 300 innings four times in his career. But, that was not an exceptional number for a starter in the American League in the seventies. I still do think that Palmer was better, but the distance between Glavine and Palmer is a lot smaller than say Morris and Glavine.

So, should Glavine go into the Hall of Fame? Will he? The answer to the first question to my mind is a clear yes, even if he never pitches again. He's been a significantly better pitcher than Ted Lyons or Red Ruffing. He is not quite in the Spahn/Palmer class, but might get close with a late career push. Whether he will go is an entirely different matter. The difference in value between Glavine and Sutter is huge, but Glavine lacks the profile of Sutter or the 300 wins that would probably make a difference to the writers. I say that the writers vote him in if he makes 300, and otherwise he will have to wait for the Veteran's Committee, but eventually his accomplishments will be recognized.

Next up is Mike Mussina.
Hall Watch 2005-Tom Glavine | 17 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
eeleye - Friday, January 27 2006 @ 09:33 AM EST (#140290) #
With the Mets revamped new line-up and bullpen, Glavine could do really well this year (15 wins), but his stuff is definitely declining and his best days are behind him. He is easily a hall of famer....

Off topic, but, it seems that Piazza will sign with the Padres.,0,3604614.story?coll=ny-sports-print

I think this will push Molina and the Jays closer, and somehow I think MOlina will sign with the Blue Jays very soon. Does Zaun become back-up then? I still say we need a back-up 2B/ss, anyone of decent status.
Paul - Friday, January 27 2006 @ 09:56 AM EST (#140294) #
Glavine needs 25 (?)wins to reach 300.
Doubt he'll get it though.

Pistol - Friday, January 27 2006 @ 12:45 PM EST (#140298) #
Please remain on topic. Off topic posts can go in 'Notes from Nowhere' threads.

Glavine's durability has been remarkable. The fewest innings that he's pitched has been 183 (excluding the 94 shortened season). Not a bad run.
Geoff - Friday, January 27 2006 @ 06:05 PM EST (#140310) #
Mussina has been durable also, but I don't think he'll see more than 20% of support to get in.

In my mind you don't get much consideration for the Hall unless you have done two of: be a dominant player (one who changes game's outcomes almost single-handedly), made a number of career achievements few others have, and/or been a key leader of a championship team, or in other words, be a winner, or heroic, hopefully more often than once.

Glavine can make a case for these criteria for membership to the elite, but I think he'll have a hard time getting in. While there is certainly value to a player showing up every day, we'd have very different views of the special status of the Hall if durability becomes a factor. I think the Hall is for the heroic, not the dependable.

My apologies for bringing up Mussina here, if anyone is miffed that we haven't gotten to that analysis yet.
dp - Friday, January 27 2006 @ 08:25 PM EST (#140316) #
Glavine could win 15 games again this year- the Mets will have a much better offense, and that should offset his decline (he can pitch worse and still win b/c of improved run support). If wright continues to improve, Delagdo and Beltran post their career-average numbers, and Cliff Floyd stays healthy (this last one is the most unlikely), that's a scary lineup. A lot of how well Glavine oes depends on the defense, and that's stilla question mark- Wright and Beltran are plus defenders, but Reyes is still shaky and they don't know who their 2B will be. Floyd is actually a suprisingly good LF, and in RF Diaz looks like Manny sometimes.

So if Glavine wins 15 this year, I'd think someone would give him a chance to win the nezt 10 needed for 300. He was a part of the Braves amazing dynasty, which should count for something in voters' minds.
DavidC - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 01:13 AM EST (#140325) #
Mussina will be an intesting case and the next five years will determine if he gets in or not - Glavine on the other hand has certainly passed the bus test already.

Five 20 win seasons - two Cy Young awards - unlike Moose he doesn't need 300 wins (although he seems likely to get that too)
Magpie - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 10:01 AM EST (#140327) #
Hitters used to (maybe they still do) have a phrase they used when they faced someone like Glavine. They'd take a "comfortable collar." They'd go 0-4, but they wouldn't feel bad about it. They weren't overpowered or humiliated. They just... kept making outs.

Besides Roger Clemens, does anyone else who was active in the last 25 years have five 20 win seasons? Anyone? It's not the Unit, not Pedro, not Maddux. Unless I'm mistaken, I think we have to go back to Perry and Jenkins.

Chuck - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 11:32 AM EST (#140329) #
From an entertainment factor, I always found myself never really enjoying watching Glavine pitch. His approach was always monotonous: away, away, away, away, away, inside, away, away, away, away. Ugh. And watching him get calls on outside pitches, pitch after pitch, was tiresome. He's a very smart guy and deserves full credit for taking advantage of the umpires' lattitude, but his success just seemed so tainted.

I know that Maddux often gets painted with the same brush, and while I concede that he often seemed to be the benefactor of a broad strike zone as well, I always found him much more enjoyable to watch. His game plan was more varied than Glavine's and his success seemed so much more legitimate.

I am fully aware that they are both still pitching ;). I find myself using the past tense since they are now both post-TBS.
smcs - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 11:39 AM EST (#140330) #
Besides Roger Clemens, does anyone else who was active in the last 25 years have five 20 win seasons? Anyone? It's not the Unit, not Pedro, not Maddux. Unless I'm mistaken, I think we have to go back to Perry and Jenkins.

Steve Carlton had 6, the last was in 1982, Tom Seaver had 5, the last was in 1977, Jim Palmer had 8, the last was in 1978, Gaylord Perry had 5, the last was in 1978 Catfish Hunter had 5 straight from 1971-1975, and then you have Fergie Jenkins, who had 7, the last was in 1974.

All of these guys, except for Catfish Hunter, were active in the last 25 years.
Phil - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 01:57 PM EST (#140333) #
Not to speak for Chuck, but it's fairly obvious the reference is to pitchers who have been active _during_ the (give or take) last 25 years.

Always been a fan of soft-tossing lefties (says a soft-tossing leftie). Unfashionable as pitcher wins are these days, you have to be doing something right to consistently to produce those 20-win seasons.
Magpie - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 07:15 PM EST (#140337) #
Carlton would be the last of that group who was actually active (even if he hadn't been Steve Carlton for a while by then.) Curious that all of those guys started their careers in the 1960s. Clemens and Glavine are the only guys since.
melondough - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 08:12 PM EST (#140338) #
I am sitting here watching the Leaf game and I am bored. I thought I would pass some time by doing an analysis comparing the Jays bullpen to that of the RedSox. Does anyone know where I can find stats on unsucessfull holds and inherited runners versus inherited runners scored? On I see a column for IR and IS. Is this inherited runners and inherited runners scored?

I wanted to include ERA, WHIP, IP, K, BB, W-L, SV's, Holds, Unsuccessful Holds (if there is such a thing), Inherited runners, and Inherited runners scores. Are there any other stats that should be included when analyzing bullpen quality?
melondough - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 08:23 PM EST (#140339) #
Further to my last e-mail, would you agree the bullpen depth (in order is):


Minors Depth
Chuck - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 09:04 PM EST (#140342) #
Are there any other stats that should be included when analyzing bullpen quality?

Are you trying to analyze how the relievers all did last season, or forecast how they're likely to do in 2006?

melondough - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 09:23 PM EST (#140344) #
Trying to compare Toronto's bullpen to Boston's based on last seasons stats. I know that this may be a bit difficult due to injuries and what not. That being said, is there forcast analysis already available?
Mike Green - Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 10:50 PM EST (#140346) #
Melondough, this really doesn't belong in a Hall Watch thread. You may want to check out these statistics prepared by Scott Lucas. Try the "Notes from Nowhere" thread for this.
melondough - Sunday, January 29 2006 @ 12:17 AM EST (#140347) #
Mike, I didn't realize that there was a "notes from nowhere" thread until now (though many of those threads are old).

Thanks for the link.
Hall Watch 2005-Tom Glavine | 17 comments | Create New Account
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