2011- St Louis had Carpenter, Garcia, Lohse, and Jackson for a solid 1-4 rotation
2010- San Fran had Lincecum, Cain and an up and coming Bumgarner
2009- NY Yanks had CC, AJ, Pettitte
2008- Philly had Hamels, Blanton, and Moyer
2007- Boston had Beckett, Dice-K, Lester and Schilling
Along with those rotations, each team had a dominant bullpen and a manager that knew how to use it to his team’s best advantage. Pitching was huge for each of them. What we’re going to look at today are the best pitchers of all time. These are guys who are inducted into Cooperstown as starting pitchers and came out as either S or A ranking on my tier system. So these are the best of the best. Remember, there are 57 starters in the hall of fame and if I were to post the rankings for each player, it’d take up way too much space. So we’ll do this two tiers at a time. Here are the S and A ranks for Hall of Fame starters:
When I first did my calculations on this, I honestly wondered if I should leave out the guys from the Old Timers, like if the bulk of their careers were before 1900, I’d ignore their WAR numbers because they tend to be inflated slightly I think. Just due to more games being added at different points in history, it changed how pitchers were used. In fact, let's go through and recalculate just for them! This means that we’ll ignore: Kid Nichols, John Clarkson, Amos Rusie, Old Hoss Radbourne, Pud Galvin, Mickey Welch and Tim Keefe. That gives us this chart below:
I feel much more comfortable with this list. Those 7 guys had WAR so overrvalued that it was insane. I had to use BR’s WAR values which are scaled slightly differently than fangraphs (higher replacement level, different defensive metrics used), and I don’t much care for the high values they tend to give to older players, probably over scaling it to a 162 game schedule. It’s something that other sites have talked about. Fangraphs doesn’t have pitching WAR’s for older pitchers, so to encompass entire careers I decided to use BR’s value. Really, it doesn’t matter as long as I’m consistent within the position, since the scales should be similar.
As far as the players in this list, there isn’t much to say. I’m digging how some of the players that Reginald barked about have higher WAR+ values than he does. I still don’t get his bashing of Niekro. He had a 20+ year career and was worth over 4 wins a year, which is incredible. But that’s neither here nor there. This came out great and that means that the next set of players should be coming out decently too.
I’ll do upcoming ballots on the next post. There’s a lot of big names coming up, so it should be fun to find out.