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David Wells

Posted by Andy on August 25, 2007

David Wells will shortly start his 12th tour of duty with a major league team. That's 2 each with Toronto, New York, and San Diego (putting him in the Jeff Conine club), and one with Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Chicago (AL), Boston, and now Los Angeles.

I think there is a lot to like about Wells, both as a pitcher and as a candid person who is not afraid to take responsibility or make justifiable accusations about existing problems with MLB. But I have to say, Wells looks quite classless in this article (link via MLBTradeRumors.com.) I don't care what kind of person you are. Replacing another player at his job and then making fun of him while he effectively cleans out his desk is one of the crassest things I have ever heard.

But anyway, this blog is about stats, so let's look at some data about David Wells:

I'm just going to focus on data we can find looking at Wells' pitcher vs batter page and his splits page.

Let's look at the guys Wells has faced the most (most PAs):

                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Edgar Martinez       85    77  24  2  0  4  11   7  11  .312  .365  .494  .859   0   1   1   0   1
 Bernie Williams      85    79  16  2  0  3   8   5  13  .203  .247  .342  .589   0   1   0   0   2
 Ken Griffey          83    78  22  4  1  8  15   4  13  .282  .325  .667  .992   0   0   0   1   1
 Chili Davis          79    74  26  6  0  7  19   5  16  .351  .392  .716 1.108   0   0   1   0   2
 Rafael Palmeiro      79    76  13  6  0  1  10   2   8  .171  .203  .289  .492   0   0   1   1   0
 Ruben Sierra         79    75  23  5  0  2  10   4  10  .307  .342  .453  .795   0   0   2   0   1
 Alex Rodriguez       77    74  25  5  0  8  18   3  15  .338  .364  .730 1.094   0   0   1   0   2
 Mo Vaughn            76    66  30  0  0  9  18   7  16  .455  .526  .864 1.390   0   0   0   3   1

80-some PAs against one batter is not too high of a total for a guy who has been around as long as Wells, but he's switched between leagues and teams so much that he couldn't really build up a lot of stats against particular other players. Just the fact the Bernie Williams is tied for most PAs against Wells but they were teammates for 4 years tells you all you need to know.

That being said, Mo Vaughn, Chili Davis, A-rod, and Griffey have some truly scary numbers against Wells. Those are some high OPS values (especially for Vaughn.)

Here are all the guys with at least a 1.000 OPS career vs. Wells, minimum 25 PAs:

                    PA  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   **OPS**   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+---------+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Luis Gonzalez      31  29  13  2  0  4   9   1   2  .448  .484  .931   1.415     0   0   0   1   0
 Mo Vaughn          76  66  30  0  0  9  18   7  16  .455  .526  .864   1.390     0   0   0   3   1
 Barry Bonds        25  22   8  2  0  3   6   3   2  .364  .440  .864   1.304     0   0   0   0   0
 Cecil Fielder      32  25   8  0  0  4  10   7   6  .320  .469  .800   1.269     0   0   1   0   0
 Frank Thomas       71  59  21  6  1  6  15  12  10  .356  .465  .797   1.262     0   0   4   0   0
 Albert Belle       63  56  21  6  0  6  11   5   9  .375  .429  .804   1.233     0   1   2   1   0
 Vernon Wells       31  30  13  4  0  2   5   1   2  .433  .452  .767   1.219     0   0   0   0   2
 Gary Gaetti        27  24   6  0  0  5   9   2   2  .250  .296  .875   1.171     0   1   1   0   0
 Shea Hillenbrand   45  45  21  5  0  1   4   0   4  .467  .467  .644   1.111     0   0   0   0   2
 Chili Davis        79  74  26  6  0  7  19   5  16  .351  .392  .716   1.108     0   0   1   0   2
 Marquis Grissom    26  25  11  2  0  1   5   1   2  .440  .462  .640   1.102     0   0   0   0   0
 Alex Rodriguez     77  74  25  5  0  8  18   3  15  .338  .364  .730   1.094     0   0   1   0   2
 Billy Ripken       25  22   8  3  0  1   1   3   0  .364  .440  .636   1.076     0   0   1   0   0
 Ron Karkovice      26  22   7  0  0  3   6   1   5  .318  .333  .727   1.060     2   1   0   0   0
 Gerald Williams    45  40  13  2  1  3   5   4   5  .325  .400  .650   1.050     0   0   0   1   1
 Russ Davis         32  30   9  1  1  3   6   2   7  .300  .344  .700   1.044     0   0   0   0   0
 Mark McGwire       39  32  10  1  0  3  12   6   6  .313  .410  .625   1.035     0   1   0   0   0
 Miguel Tejada      49  48  16  2  0  5  10   1   6  .333  .347  .688   1.035     0   0   0   0   2
 Chad Curtis        47  39  14  3  1  1   6   7   7  .359  .468  .564   1.032     0   0   0   1   1
 Danny Tartabull    41  38  11  3  0  4   8   3   9  .289  .341  .684   1.025     0   0   0   0   0
 Sandy Alomar       30  29  12  2  0  1   3   1   5  .414  .433  .586   1.019     0   0   1   0   0
 Robin Yount        28  22   8  2  1  0   6   5   4  .364  .464  .545   1.009     0   1   2   0   0
 Ivan Rodriguez     65  60  21  4  0  4  10   4  12  .350  .385  .617   1.002     0   1   2   0   2

This is a real trip down memory lane, huh? So many of these names are unsurprising, but then you see fellows like Billy Ripken, Ron Karkovice, and Chad Curtis. I guess all pitchers have certain batters like this who hit was over their career averages against them.

Most homers off Wells, also an unsurprising list:

+-----------------+---+---+---+--+--+------+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Mo Vaughn          76  66  30  0  0    9    18   7  16  .455  .526  .864 1.390   0   0   0   3   1
 Ken Griffey        83  78  22  4  1    8    15   4  13  .282  .325  .667  .992   0   0   0   1   1
 Alex Rodriguez     77  74  25  5  0    8    18   3  15  .338  .364  .730 1.094   0   0   1   0   2
 Chili Davis        79  74  26  6  0    7    19   5  16  .351  .392  .716 1.108   0   0   1   0   2
 Albert Belle       63  56  21  6  0    6    11   5   9  .375  .429  .804 1.233   0   1   2   1   0
 Frank Thomas       71  59  21  6  1    6    15  12  10  .356  .465  .797 1.262   0   0   4   0   0
 Gary Gaetti        27  24   6  0  0    5     9   2   2  .250  .296  .875 1.171   0   1   1   0   0
 Juan Gonzalez      68  63  18  3  0    5    13   5  11  .286  .338  .571  .909   0   0   2   0   0
 Miguel Tejada      49  48  16  2  0    5    10   1   6  .333  .347  .688 1.035   0   0   0   0   2

And against current HOFers:

                    PA  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   **OPS**   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+---------+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+ Robin Yount        28  22   8  2  1  0   6   5   4  .364  .464  .545   1.009     0   1   2   0   0
 Dave Winfield      39  36  11  1  0  3   6   3   3  .306  .359  .583    .942     0   0   0   0   3
 Paul Molitor       51  47  16  6  0  1   5   4   5  .340  .392  .532    .924     0   0   0   0   1
 Eddie Murray       22  20   5  1  0  2   5   2   3  .250  .318  .600    .918     0   0   0   0   0
 George Brett       21  20   7  1  1  0   4   1   1  .350  .381  .500    .881     0   0   1   0   0
 Wade Boggs         38  34   7  1  0  2   5   4   5  .206  .289  .412    .701     0   0   0   0   0
 Tony Gwynn          3   3   1  0  0  0   0   0   0  .333  .333  .333    .666     0   0   0   0   1
 Cal Ripken         59  57  13  2  0  3   9   1   4  .228  .254  .421    .675     0   0   1   1   2
 Kirby Puckett      33  29   6  1  0  1   3   4   6  .207  .303  .345    .648     0   0   0   0   1
 Ozzie Smith         8   7   2  0  0  0   0   0   0  .286  .286  .286    .572     1   0   0   0   0
 Carlton Fisk        9   9   1  0  0  0   0   0   3  .111  .111  .111    .222     0   0   0   0   0

And yes, you sticklers, I manually added in Gwynn and Ripken since they don't yet show up as HOFers in the database.

Career players with a sub-.500 OPS versus Wells, minimum 25 PAs:

                    PA  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   **OPS**   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+---------+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Benji Gil          25  22   2  0  0  0   1   1   3  .091  .167  .091    .258     1   0   0   1   0
 Omar Vizquel       67  61   7  0  0  1   3   3   9  .115  .154  .164    .318     2   1   0   0   0
 Harold Reynolds    29  27   4  0  0  0   1   1   5  .148  .172  .148    .320     0   1   0   0   0
 Toby Hall          26  24   4  0  0  0   2   0   0  .167  .154  .167    .321     0   2   0   0   2
 Tino Martinez      37  35   6  1  0  0   2   0   8  .171  .189  .200    .389     0   1   0   1   2
 Greg Gagne         25  22   3  1  0  0   1   2   5  .136  .208  .182    .390     1   0   0   0   0
 Damon Buford       25  21   2  0  0  1   3   2   5  .095  .167  .238    .405     1   1   0   0   0
 Marty Cordova      37  36   6  2  0  0   1   1   7  .167  .189  .222    .411     0   0   0   0   1
 Jody Reed          30  27   4  1  0  0   1   3   1  .148  .233  .185    .418     0   0   0   0   1
 Henry Cotto        29  27   5  1  0  0   1   1   6  .185  .207  .222    .429     0   1   0   0   0
 Matt Lawton        36  34   6  2  0  0   7   2   1  .176  .222  .235    .457     0   0   0   0   0
 Lance Johnson      30  30   6  0  1  0   2   0   3  .200  .200  .267    .467     0   0   0   0   0
 Pat Meares         28  27   6  1  0  0   2   0   5  .222  .214  .259    .473     0   1   0   0   1
 Rich Amaral        47  41   7  3  0  0   2   4   6  .171  .239  .244    .483     1   1   0   0   0
 Jeff Cirillo       28  26   6  0  0  0   2   1   1  .231  .259  .231    .490     1   0   0   0   0
 Rafael Palmeiro    79  76  13  6  0  1  10   2   8  .171  .203  .289    .492     0   0   1   1   0

Rafael Palmerio? Really? Wow. I also see a bunch of Mariners on that list. Let's see about his career performance against specific teams:

   Split          G   GS  GF  W   L   S   CG SHO   IP     ERA    H    R   ER   HR  BB  IBB  SO  HBP
+-+------------+----+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+------+------+----+----+----+---+----+---+----+---+
   Inter-League   31  31   0  15   7   0   3   2  212.2   2.79  205   76   66  18   27   1  147   9
   ANA            51  31   8  16  11   1   3   0  226.1   5.25  237  136  132  36   62   7  152   8
   ARI            11  11   0   4   2   0   0   0   65.2   4.93   77   37   36   8   13   1   36   1
   BAL            46  34   5  17  13   1   5   0  246.1   3.87  256  112  106  28   40   2  132   8
   BOS            50  37   2  14  20   0   2   0  261.1   4.86  306  146  141  38   68   2  165   8
   CHW            34  23   6   8   8   1   3   0  157.1   4.58  184   94   80  27   49  11   95   2
   CLE            41  30   6  20   4   1   2   0  216.2   3.78  237  102   91  26   37   5  138   3
   DET            43  25   4  14   8   1   2   0  201.1   4.60  228  109  103  21   43   2  144   4
   KCR            32  23   3  16   3   1   3   0  168     3.11  148   60   58   8   28   3  108   3
   MIL            26  14   6   9   5   1   2   2  111     4.14  109   54   51   6   29   5   62   4
   MIN            38  25   7  19   6   0   8   3  200.1   2.34  172   58   52  14   31   1  132   2
   NYY            45  32   5  19  11   2   5   0  244.2   3.09  222   96   84  26   49   2  175   7
   OAK            36  24   4  10   8   2   4   2  161.1   4.69  176   87   84  23   45   3  128   8
   SEA            44  29   4  11  11   1   3   0  207.1   4.47  210  112  103  34   49   3  132   2
   TBD            18  18   0  10   2   0   4   1  115.2   2.80  120   41   36  11   14   0   71   4
   TEX            41  29   5  10  10   1   2   2  202.2   4.75  229  124  107  33   45   6  127   4
   TOR            20  20   0   5  10   0   0   0  130     5.82  157   86   84  10   27   2   90   4

These are the teams he appeared in at least 11 games against. From a W-L perspective, he's done best vs Cleveland (20-4), Kansas City (16-3), and Tampa Bay (10-2.) Against Seattle he's just 11-11 with a 4.47 ERA. He's also got some nice numbers vs Minnesota (2.34 ERA over 200.1 innings with 31 BB and 132 Ks.)

Interestingly, he also has much better numbers against the Yankees than he does against the Red Sox. Maybe that's the real reason why Steinbrenner always wanted him on the Yankees. Or maybe it was because of this:
How about Wells' overall postseason record:

W-L  G   GS   ERA   W  L  SV CG IP   H   ER  BB  SO
  8-9  27  17   3.17 10  5  0  1  125 116  44  25  83 

Just to clarify, his teams went 8-9 in the series, while he himself went 10-5. Those are some mighty impressive numbers for the playoffs. He was a member of two World Series winners: the 1992 Blue Jays and the 1998 Yankees.

And finally, we would be remiss if we didn't mention that Wells has had an extremely low walk rate in his career. How low? Let's throw in one PI Pitching Season Finder here. Lowest BB/9 rates, minimum 3000 IP:

  Cnt Player             **BB/9**   IP   From  To   Ages   G   GS  CG SHO  GF  W   L   W-L%  SV   H    R   ER   BB   SO    ERA  ERA+  HR   BF  IBB HBP  BK  WP Teams
+----+-----------------+---------+------+----+----+-----+----+---+---+---+---+---+---+-----+---+----+----+----+----+----+------+----+---+-----+---+---+---+---+-----------+
    1 Cy Young             1.12   3313   1901 1911 34-44  401 369 331  44  28 225 146  .606   9 2900 1119  779  413 1563   2.12  137  44 13009      77   1  54 BOS-CLE-TOT 
    2 Christy Mathewson    1.56   4747   1901 1916 20-35  629 550 433  79  70 373 185  .668  28 4181 1584 1114  824 2487   2.11  136  90 18978      55   6 113 NYG-TOT     
    3 Pete Alexander       1.65   5190   1911 1930 24-43  696 599 437  90  80 373 208  .642  32 4868 1851 1476  951 2198   2.56  135 164 20928      70   1  39 PHI-CHC-TOT-STL-PHI 
    4 Robin Roberts        1.73   4688.2 1948 1966 21-39  676 609 305  45  49 286 245  .539  25 4582 1962 1774  902 2357   3.41  113 505 19174  69  54   3  33 PHI-BAL-TOT 
    5 Greg Maddux          1.82   4771   1986 2007 20-41  703 699 109  35   3 342 212  .617   0 4467 1852 1641  965 3252   3.10  135 329 19430 172 130  26  66 CHC-ATL-TOT-SDP 
    6 Juan Marichal        1.82   3507.1 1960 1975 22-37  471 457 244  52  11 243 142  .631   2 3153 1329 1126  709 2303   2.89  122 320 14236  82  40  20  51 SFG-BOS-LAD 
    7 Carl Hubbell         1.82   3590.1 1928 1943 25-40  535 431 260  36  82 253 154  .622  33 3461 1380 1188  725 1677   2.98  130 227 14805      53   1  53 NYG         
    8 Lew Burdette         1.84   3067.1 1950 1967 23-40  626 373 158  33 128 203 144  .585  31 3186 1400 1246  628 1074   3.66   98 289 12745  63  56   7  23 NYY-BSN-MLN-TOT-CAL 
    9 David Wells          1.88   3400.1 1987 2007 24-44  653 482  54  12  65 235 156  .601  13 3590 1679 1556  710 2182   4.12  108 402 14251  64  83  17 101 TOR-DET-TOT-BAL-NYY-TOR-CHW-NYY-SDP-BOS-TOT-SDP 
   10 Paul Derringer       1.88   3645   1931 1945 24-38  579 445 251  32  98 223 212  .513  29 3912 1652 1401  761 1507   3.46  108 158 15391      32   2  50 STL-TOT-CIN-CHC 

That's a very impressive list. The only contemporary who beats him is Maddux, and if they both pitched 200 innings, Maddux would have just 12 fewer walks than Wells.

Also, I wrote this whole article in past tense as if his career is over, but it's not. Let's eee how long he keeps on keepin' on.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 25th, 2007 at 8:13 am and is filed under Pitcher vs. Batter, Season Finders, Splits. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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