YOU Make The Call

How well do you think you know the Pirates? For that matter, how well do you think you know baseball?

Pretty decent, you say?

Ok.. the stats below belong to three pitchers and they cover their production since 2000. The only oddball graph I used is the ERA one and I used ERA by age instead of the season ERA graph, not that it really matters of course.

The blue lines represent the median line for the three players. The "Good" and "Poor" areas are based on historical data from all MLB pitchers.

Look at the graphs below and rank the three pitchers 1-2-3 in the order of your preference as if you are a GM looking at the stats of three free agents and you *had* to pick one of these three.

Then, decide how much you would pay your first pick if he was available. You don’t have to figure dollars.. using a percentage system would be ok too.

As an example, you could say your first pick would be worth $12m per year, your second pick $11m, and your third pick $10m. Or, you could say you would pay your first selection 10% more than your second pick and your third pick 20% less.

Get the idea?

Do this without researching anything but what you see here as the graphs represent actual pitchers.

Those that have baseball guts can post their answers in a comment below. I’ll post the pitcher’s names tomorrow evening about 10 pm Eastern.

For those wanting just a tad more, all three pitcher’s had a DIPS ERA within 4% of each other.

A big thanks to Fan Graphs for the use of their outstanding visual work.

Still reading? Ok.. JR House signed with the Orioles today.


  1. Javier

    Since the graph dates back to 2000, I assume we are talking about pitchers who were active during these years. Hmmm, very interesting and yes very tempting to type up baseball, but I accept your challenge and our possible humiliation. Give me Roger Clemens with 50% of team earnings, Greg Maddux with 25%, and Curt Shilling with the other 25%. Beyond these statistics, who would the top 3 winningest pitchers be?

  2. Pirate

    no humiliation in trying to figure it out. When you see the answer, you’ll know why.
    “Beyond these statistics, who would the top 3 winningest pitchers be?”

    Active players? I’d guess Clemens, Johnson, and Glavine.


    Purple: High Whip, Low K/BB, High average = (name deleted).
    Yellow: (name deleted) (Top Pick @ $8-9 Million)

    Green: (name deleted) (2nd pick)

  4. Javier

    Pirate: Thanks, I forgot about Glavine. I wonder how pitchers with mucho run support fare on a new team. Do they continue receiving a strange amount of run support? Was Clemens awesome year in 2005, one which he didn’t receive any run support, typical of his career? If yes, it makes me wonder if the win column for pitchers has become an under rated stat.


    hopefully you are sticking with pirates pitching
    Purple: (name deleted) 2nd pick
    Yellow: I cant think of anyone that good on the pirates so we will go with some middle reliever , 1st pick
    Green: (name deleted) 3rd pick


    Orange is clearly the best and probably worth around 11M assuming he’s a starter. Purple and green are both ****.


    I would take Green

    Green’s higher ERA and WHIP is obviously due to the spike in BABIP. His HR/9, which can be controlled moreso than BABIP which cannot, is still lower than the other two. Also, green is younger and has much more room to improve.


    orange is better but how much better is the issue. Orange walks a lot, gives up some home runs, but has kept his whip down nicely.
    Mussina got 22.5/2 so I would guess orange at 12 mil, green at 8 mil, purple at 6 mil


    I would rank them in order of Orange, Green and Purple. That being said I would probably pay them $12M, $10M and $8M. Not sure if we are allowed to post are guesses for the names, but I am thinking that Green is Zach Duke, since this is a buccoblog after all, while the other 2 are lefty free agents. Zito, considered by many to be in the top 2 of the free agent class, is actually the purple line, while supposed 2nd tier starter Ted Lilly would be the Orange. That is just personal opinion after viewing the graphs, not sure if I’m correct or no.


    Ooops, realized I mixed up the people I though were for the orange and purple lines. I think Orange is Zito and Purple is Ted Lilly.


    8-10M for a guy (green) with 2 years experience and last year had an ERA of about 4.80 and a WHIP of 1.6? Remind me not to hire you guys as my GM.


    First of all, how many games did each of them start each of those years? This certainly wouldn’t be enough information to properly make a decision, but I’ll say:
    Purple: No thanks
    Green: Sample size is too small to see what kind of a pitcher he really is. Who knows which way he’ll go. And you wouldn’t want to put any large amount of money behind that.
    Orange: $8 million, imo he’s the only one you could put that much money behind judging on just these stats.


    Orange: If it wasn’t who I think it is, I’d say $8-9 million per year for him. But given who he is, he’ll get closer to $13-5 million. The stats don’t match the reputation.
    Green: Isn’t he irrelevant financially, given that he’s not arbitration-eligible for another year? I bet he makes ~$350,000 next year, and I’d reserve judgement (if he’s who I think he is – a hot Pirate prospect).

    Purple: Consistently below average in ERA, WHIP, and K/BB. I’d avoid him, even though I can’t figure out who he is. Looks like he only pitched one game in 2001. Even in this market, I’d given him at best a $3-4 million deal.


    Orange: 5 @ $60M = Barry ZitoNo way I want purple = Josh Fogg (Rockies)
    Green is not enough of a sample size to determine what kind of pitcher he is and what salary he is worth. Especially because he only pitched 41.2 innings in 2005. = Paul Maholm (Pirates)

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