Comments on: Taking A Regular Turn These Days This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: tomepp Wed, 30 Dec 2009 20:15:12 +0000 Pete Ridges: I'm not sure how to interpret your chart. I understand that there were two teams that had one pitcher start 75 games in a season, and that there was one team that had 24 different pitchers start at least one game each, but what does a line like the following mean?

7 17 2 teams (1935 Browns, 1999 Expos)

These two teams, as I understand it, had seven starters who started at least 17 games each. But does this mean that no teams had more than seven starters who started at least 17 games each, or that that no teams had seven starters who started more than 17 games each? (I.e. which is the record, the number of pitchers at a set number of starts, or the number of starts for a set number of pitchers?)

JohnnyTwisto’s point is right; the number of starters that had n starts each does not really define a five- (or four-) man rotation. I could have a five-man rotation of A-B-C-X-Y where A, B, and C are fixed for all or most of the season, but X and Y vary. I might use as many as 10 pitchers in the ‘X’ and ‘Y’ spots over the season. Does this make it not a five-man rotation? The real key to a rotation is the number of days rest between starts. If a team’s top starters usually have 4 days rest between starts, then they have a five-man rotation. Of course, there will be some digressions due to days off, double-headers, injuries, etc. I think a reasonable way to determine this is to examine a team’s top 3 starters in terms of number of starts and check their days rest between starts. If, say, more than 50% (or pick some reasonable value) of their starts come on 4 days rest, then that team can be said to have a five-man rotation.

By: JohnnyTwisto Wed, 30 Dec 2009 19:37:56 +0000 Pete Ridges, I don't think that is evidence the 4-man rotation did not exist. You could also argue the 5-man rotation didn't/doesn't exist, since only one team had 32 starts from 5 pitchers. Pitchers are often replaced due to injury or incompetence, and just because the same four guys didn't make every start over the course of a season doesn't mean there wasn't a rotation. These days, it's uncommon for a team to have 5 pitchers make even just 20 starts, but we know teams are using 5-man rotations. It's just not the same 5 guys all the time.

By: SJBlonger Sat, 26 Dec 2009 19:27:21 +0000 Well, I submit that the only reason that no team accomplished a true season-long four-man rotation is because doubleheaders, both of the makeup variety and the scheduled variety, were much more common before 1980, as were the accompanying off days. It was only after teams started using charter flights for all travel that scheduled doubleheaders could be eliminated. That opened the possibility, however remote, of going through an entire season without needing an occasional spot starter.

By: Pete Ridges Sat, 26 Dec 2009 12:58:51 +0000 The 2003 Mariners (FIVE starters with at least 32 games each) were one of eight "unique" teams in this way. For instance, the 1892 Giants were the only team to have THREE pitchers start at least 43 games each; the 1915 A's were the only team to have *24* pitchers start at least one game. The full list of these records:

Number of pitchers Starts Team

1 75 2 teams (1879 Reds, Will White; 1883 Bisons, Pud Galvin)
2 59 1886 Giants (Tim Keefe 64, Mickey Welch 59)
3 43 1892 Giants (Amos Rusie, Silver King, Ed Crane)
4 35 4 teams (last was 1993 Braves: Avery/Glavine/Maddux/Smoltz)
5 32 2003 Mariners
6 22 4 teams (last was 1964 Reds)
7 17 2 teams (1935 Browns, 1999 Expos)
8 14 1964 Indians
9 11 3 teams (last was 2001 White Sox)
10 9 1916 Indians
11 8 1966 A's
13 6 2 teams (1993 Indians, 2006 Royals)
14 5 2 teams (1955 Orioles, 1993 Indians again)
15 4 1890 Pittsburg (sic) Alleghenys
16 3 2 teams (1890 Pittsburg, 1996 Pittsburgh)
19 2 1890 Pittsburg
24 1 1915 A's

This list suggests that the four-man rotation never really existed, at least not for a whole season: no team ever had 4 pitchers start 36 games each.

By: Raphy Thu, 24 Dec 2009 22:01:52 +0000 Other than the 03 Mariners, the only other teams of the 20th/21st century to use only 5 starting pitchers were the '66 Dodgers (162 games), the 1904 Boston Americans (157) , the 1901 Boston Beaneaters (140) and the 1901 Washington Senators (138).

By: SJBlonger Thu, 24 Dec 2009 20:21:03 +0000 Not only do you need healthy arms to do that, you need luck with rainouts.

By: damthesehigheels Thu, 24 Dec 2009 19:48:02 +0000 KingRyan's comment blew my mind. 162 games with only 5 starters. Holy crap, I can't do that in a video game...

By: TheGoofyOne Thu, 24 Dec 2009 17:31:21 +0000 BigSteve, Rico, I was noticing how a ridiculous percentage of these teams went on to make the playoffs the next year, or had the year before--without counting, I'd say it seemed many more so than that year.
It makes some sense. There are various fluke teams, but most really good teams build up to that point, or they try to copy their success a year or two too long. Of the years Rico mentioned, the 75 O's were coming off a division title; the 77 Dodgers won the pennant and the O's were two years from a title; the 80 O's were coming off a pennant and 80 A's were a year from a playoff spot; the 82 O's and Phils would meet the next year in the Series; the 84 White Sox were coming off a division title and Jays were heading for one; the 93 Braves were in the middle of their run, and off two pennants; the 03 Sox were two years from a title; the 06 Sox were a year off their title and Rox a year from a pennant.

By: rico petrocelli Thu, 24 Dec 2009 15:08:14 +0000 Not much of a predictor.

Winners of WS were Tigers (68), Royals (85), A's (89) , White Sox (05) and Yanks (09)

Pennants went to LA (66 + 77) A's (90), Brave (91-92) , and Cards (04)

Meanwhile 71,75,77,80,82,84,93,03, and 06 has multiple squads hit the stat and come up flagless.

Atlanta did it three years in a row 90 - 92

By: BigSteve Thu, 24 Dec 2009 14:14:28 +0000 Not to turn this into a slippery slope, because I'd be willing to bet there are a lot of teams that were close to the requirements, but the 04 Red Sox ( almost did it, too. It would be interesting to see what % of the teams listed above went on to win the World Series.