Quiet Nats Blog
One of the reasons Nats Blog went dark yesterday is that DM's comment on my post about free agent pitchers got both me and DM thinking about a way to put a pitcher's strikeout, walk and home runs allowed totals into one simple statistic (which I have have been calling OneStat).
Both DM and I have been noodling the idea and we've come up with a rough version of it, which we need to back-test against data. But it looks something like this:
K/9 * K/BB
1 + HR/9
The resulting number shows that (no shocker here) that Ben Sheets and Randy Johnson were the best starters in the National League in 2004. But it also reveals some non-obvious comparisons. Odalis Perez had a 3.25 ERA and an ERA+ of 127 in 2004. At the same time, Kris Benson had a 4.31 ERA and a 97 ERA+.
But the value of Perez vs. Benson is not so easy. Here are some key stats from both of them last year:
ERA and ERA+ wise, it looks like Perez was a much better pitcher. But dive into the peripherals, and you'll see that Perez gave up 11 more homers (pitching at Dodger Stadium, nonetheless), and struck out 6 fewer folks. Benson had 17 more walks, but that simply doesn't explain the 1 run difference in ERA and 30 point difference in ERA+ (one would think the 11 fewer home runs would more than compensate for the extra 17 walks).
Anyway, DM and I continue to noodle this, but it is something worth further thought, and we would appreciate any input you have.