Friday, May 4, 2007

Thank You Sean Forman

The other day I wrote about Daniel Cabrera and investigated whether really good pitchers become really good by 25, or if we should still be patient with a talent like that. For those who didn’t read it then, or click the link just now, I came up with a composite number two starter on a playoff team based on the 88 number two starters on playoff teams from 1996-2006. That pitcher, I discovered, throws 206 innings with an adjusted ERA+ of 119. Then, using, I looked for active pitchers who’ve had at least one season at that level. I did this research the old-new-fashioned way, by clicking around baseball-reference.

Today, after reading Patrick Sullivan’s engaging article on the year of the shortstop over at Baseball Analysts, and noticing the ease with which he put together his research, I took the plunge and signed up for the Baseball-Reference Play Index. Naturally, the first thing I did was check my list of pitchers who fit the 206-inning and 119 ERA+ line. Lo and behold, I missed a few. Joining my original lists are Esteban Loaiza and Chan Ho Park on the right side (each one-hit wonders) and Mike Hampton on the left side (three times, beginning at age 25). And if they reemerge, Joe Mays joins the left side as a righty complement to Odalis Perez, and Ryan Drese joins the right side as a potential buddy for Ryan Franklin. The conclusion of the original piece is unchanged, if not bolstered, by these additions.

Coincidentally, I was planning to go to the Mets game on Monday, after I finished the Cabrera piece. I decided against it because I didn’t want to waste my time or money watching Park get bombed. Never would it have occurred to me that he was once on this list, especially adjusting for Dodger Stadium.

Well, today I used that saved ticket money to subscribe to Play Index, and I couldn’t be happier.

Thank you Sean Forman.

P.S. Thanks to Will Carroll for the mention in Under The Knife .

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