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Degenerate39
07-09-2012, 04:39 PM
I would absolutely say so. Remember, Cueto pitched the best in 2010 of any of the Reds starters against Philadelphia. Even though he only went 5 innings, he only gave up 1 ER to a high powered Phillies offense. Only 1 BB as well.

Travis Wood would disagree

Bumstead
07-09-2012, 04:45 PM
Problem is, it doesn't account for defense. Ballpark factors mean nothing with these two guys because they were in the same parks for the most part, but were playing with incredibly different defenses behind them. It isn't all that useful to me in a situation like this because Harangs defense was so bad that his hits and runs were dramatically changed. That counts WHIP as well.

And I am not docking him as much as I am saying Harang should be given uber bonus points for what was behind him.

Harang was also logging 230+ innings for his best 2 seasons as a Red. He was really good those 2 seasons and the Reds could count on him being really good deep into ballgames.

fearofpopvol1
07-09-2012, 05:43 PM
Travis Wood would disagree

You apparently missed this part that I was replying to.


Originally Posted by BuckeyeRedleg
He's got everything but K's.

He's an ace. Especially on this staff.

Is he the #1/main guy/hammer/ace/stopper you want in the playoffs (if you want to win it all?).

Ehhhh. Kinda lukewarm on that.

Was referring to the playoffs, not the regular season.

RedlegJake
07-09-2012, 05:51 PM
No he's not an ace. Aces make the all star team! :eek:

757690
07-09-2012, 06:47 PM
The problem I have with devaluatingwhat a pitcher does who has a good defense behind him is the same one I have with devaluating what a player does with a friendly home ballpark.

Sure their numbers are affected by their defense and ballpark, but the good pitchers and hitters are able to take advantage of that. I am confident that if Cueto had the 2003-2006 Reds defense behind him, he would find another way to be just as productive. Just like Wade Boggs took advantage of the Big Green Monster, and later the short RF fence at Yankee Stadium. Good players adjust.

RedEye
07-10-2012, 06:17 PM
I am confident that if Cueto had the 2003-2006 Reds defense behind him, he would find another way to be just as productive.

I am glad you are confident, but there is really no way of knowing, is there? All we can know is how dependent a pitcher is on the rest of his team to perform his ace-like dominance. Hi-K pitchers tend to be more able to dominate in any situation -- which is part of why many folks hesitate to label Cueto with the term. Others hesitate because Cueto hasn't been pitching at this level all that long (sample size) and because he hasn't yet attained the 200-inning level, let alone done so consistently.

Of course, the word "ace" is a critical term just like "All-Star" and "Hall of Famer" and should be taken with a grain of salt. At the same time, I think we can fruitfully debate what it means -- just as we have on this thread.

membengal
07-11-2012, 06:46 AM
Did PiratesZone spend years arguing over whether Doug Drabek was an ace?

He was, by the way.

dougdirt
07-11-2012, 11:58 AM
From 1988-1993 Doug Drabek averaged 237 innings. That is 50 more than Cueto has ever pitched in a season.

cincrazy
07-11-2012, 12:59 PM
Why do we have to attach labels to players all the time? The definition of an "ace" is purely subjective. Your definition is probably different than mine, and mine probably different from others. Who cares? He's pitching his a$$ off, and despite what anyone's criteria for an "ace" may be, he's proving to be one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Can't we just enjoy that?

RedlegJake
07-11-2012, 06:47 PM
From 1988-1993 Doug Drabek averaged 237 innings. That is 50 more than Cueto has ever pitched in a season.

different era - no one does that today

RedEye
07-11-2012, 07:39 PM
Why do we have to attach labels to players all the time? The definition of an "ace" is purely subjective. Your definition is probably different than mine, and mine probably different from others. Who cares? He's pitching his a$$ off, and despite what anyone's criteria for an "ace" may be, he's proving to be one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Can't we just enjoy that?

We don't have to do anything. But language is all we've got. Sometimes it is valuable to figure out what we're talking about when we throw it around.

jojo
07-11-2012, 07:53 PM
different era - no one does that today

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=404&position=P

hebroncougar
07-11-2012, 08:04 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=404&position=P

Haren, Verlander, Cain, Halladay, heck even Arroyo comes close.

dougdirt
07-11-2012, 09:15 PM
different era - no one does that today

Most guys don't, but Cueto has never thrown 190 innings in a season, much less multiple seasons.

757690
07-11-2012, 10:44 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=404&position=P

Funny thing, CC's stamina was always his critics biggest concern.

VR
07-11-2012, 10:49 PM
From 1988-1993 Doug Drabek averaged 237 innings. That is 50 more than Cueto has ever pitched in a season.

20 years earlier......Bob Gibson averaged 287 innings, thus negating any possible talk that Drabek be considered an ace 2 decades later.

Stiff.

Nathan
07-12-2012, 08:22 PM
"How to Succeed in Baseball With Crappy K/9 rates" By: Greg Maddux. It can be done, right? My point is, you don't have to have certain stat thresholds to be considered "Ace." (Granted, Maddux did a lot of other things at an elite level for a long, long time), but when did people start considering him an "Ace"? Was he?

Why isn't Cueto considered an "Ace"? Saying it is because he relies on his defense too much, or doesn't get enough strike outs, doesn't really jive.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 08:25 PM
"How to Succeed in Baseball With Crappy K/9 rates" By: Greg Maddux. It can be done, right? My point is, you don't have to have certain stat thresholds to be considered "Ace." (Granted, Maddux did a lot of other things at an elite level for a long, long time), but when did people start considering him an "Ace"? Was he?

Why isn't Cueto considered an "Ace"? Saying it is because he relies on his defense too much, or doesn't get enough strike outs, doesn't really jive.

Before this year, Cueto had an ok, but not good walk rate and an average at best strikeout rate. This year is different though. This year his walk rate is elite. That makes a rather big difference.

But I still think most people hesitate to consider him an Ace because he has never topped 185 innings in a season. When you think Ace, you think of a guy who carries your staff and while Cueto hasn't given up the runs the last two years, he has never come close to being a guy who can carry the staff in the regard that he eats innings that other guys can't.

BCubb2003
07-12-2012, 08:39 PM
Before this year, Cueto had an ok, but not good walk rate and an average at best strikeout rate. This year is different though. This year his walk rate is elite. That makes a rather big difference.

But I still think most people hesitate to consider him an Ace because he has never topped 185 innings in a season. When you think Ace, you think of a guy who carries your staff and while Cueto hasn't given up the runs the last two years, he has never come close to being a guy who can carry the staff in the regard that he eats innings that other guys can't.

They have to be elite innings, though. Bronson Arroyo's not an ace.

What Cueto is, is a stopper. If you can be a stopper for several years, people start calling you an ace.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 08:48 PM
They have to be elite innings, though. Bronson Arroyo's not an ace.

What Cueto is, is a stopper. If you can be a stopper for several years, people start calling you an ace.

They do need to be elite innings. But that is the thing, Cueto has never given the Reds anything close to a full seasons worth of elite innings.

traderumor
07-12-2012, 09:40 PM
Seriously, when it gets down to it, everyone knows that "ace" is reserved for the top 10 or so starters in the majors. The Cueto debate reminds me somewhat of the role Gullett played as the Reds best starter for the BRM, but injuries limited his innings, so his status as "ace" was debatable. Nevertheless, he went toe to toe with the "aces" of his day when push came to shove. There just seems to be a lot of arbitrariness with this subject, and in the end, it becomes, "so what?"

cincrazy
07-13-2012, 01:15 AM
They do need to be elite innings. But that is the thing, Cueto has never given the Reds anything close to a full seasons worth of elite innings.

He's also very young, and is piling on the innings this year.

dougdirt
07-13-2012, 11:37 AM
He's also very young, and is piling on the innings this year.

He isn't that young. He threw 174 innings in 2008. It isn't like the Reds have been babying his arm and that is why he hasn't thrown a bunch of innings. This year, he is on pace to throw a whole lot. Let's see if he can handle it without an injury.

membengal
07-22-2012, 02:52 PM
One way he feels acey to me is when he gives up a run at this point, it is almost surprising...

dougdirt
07-22-2012, 03:03 PM
One way he feels acey to me is when he gives up a run at this point, it is almost surprising...

When I began reading your sentence I thought it would go like this: One way he feels acey to me is when he gives up a run, how he just goes into some other mode and just shuts it down after that.

_Sir_Charles_
07-22-2012, 04:23 PM
IMO the only answer to this question is yes. He's been dominant...for a long while now.

757690
07-22-2012, 04:36 PM
Might have to change the thread title to "Is Cueto Really A Cy Young Candidate?"

Seriously, right now, how many NL pitchers would you rather have pitching a one game playoff for you?

Superdude
07-22-2012, 05:29 PM
When I began reading your sentence I thought it would go like this: One way he feels acey to me is when he gives up a run, how he just goes into some other mode and just shuts it down after that.

A contact pitcher that recognizes the limits of contact pitching? It's like his stuff plays up to game situations whenever he needs it. It could just be the bleached tips...what do I know.

RedEye
07-22-2012, 08:47 PM
I've heard him now widely referred to as "the Reds' ace." That much is clear at this point, though if he keeps on striking out 9-10 batters a game and logs 200 innings, he could lose the team qualifier.

Revering4Blue
07-22-2012, 09:32 PM
Seriously, when it gets down to it, everyone knows that "ace" is reserved for the top 10 or so starters in the majors. The Cueto debate reminds me somewhat of the role Gullett played as the Reds best starter for the BRM, but injuries limited his innings, so his status as "ace" was debatable. Nevertheless, he went toe to toe with the "aces" of his day when push came to shove. There just seems to be a lot of arbitrariness with this subject, and in the end, it becomes, "so what?"

Spot-on.

When Cueto pitches, as a fan, I feel that this team is going to win the game, no matter the opposition.

*Captain Obvious moment* I haven't felt this way was since Rijo circa '94.

That should be enough of a qualifier right there.

DGullett35
07-22-2012, 10:22 PM
Spot-on.

When Cueto pitches, as a fan, I feel that this team is going to win the game, no matter the opposition.

*Captain Obvious moment* I haven't felt this way was since Rijo circa '94.

That should be enough of a qualifier right there.

I feel the same way. When Cueto starts I have the upmost confidence we will have a great chance to win the game. His bad starts are when he goes 6 and gives up 3 or less.

Griffey012
08-30-2012, 09:06 PM
Is this still up for debate?

Tom Servo
08-30-2012, 09:14 PM
Is this still up for debate?
Unless Cueto absolutely falls off a cliff in September, no.

dougdirt
08-30-2012, 09:45 PM
Is this still up for debate?

200 innings. So yes. It is. Aces are workhorses. Cueto has never thrown 190 innings in a season.

Brutus
08-30-2012, 09:48 PM
200 innings. So yes. It is. Aces are workhorses. Cueto has never thrown 190 innings in a season.

You're really biting off quite a bit with this comment, Doug. Single-handedly, I think you've extended this thread's life by at least 50 posts.

In any event, Cueto is well on his way to pitch over 200 this year and he pitched 185 just two years ago. Are you really going to split hairs that he amassed 15 fewer innings over the course of 6 months than the perceived definition of an ace? Besides, the question wasn't "was Cueto an ace" but rather "is Cueto an ace." If 200 innings is the magical threshold to be considered an ace, than I guess he should be considered an ace now because he's going to reach that mark barring injury.

dougdirt
08-30-2012, 09:59 PM
You're really biting off quite a bit with this comment, Doug. Single-handedly, I think you've extended this thread's life by at least 50 posts.

In any event, Cueto is well on his way to pitch over 200 this year and he pitched 185 just two years ago. Are you really going to split hairs that he amassed 15 fewer innings over the course of 6 months than the perceived definition of an ace? Besides, the question wasn't "was Cueto an ace" but rather "is Cueto an ace." If 200 innings is the magical threshold to be considered an ace, than I guess he should be considered an ace now because he's going to reach that mark barring injury.


Well that is the thing though, there is still a chance he could have an injury. Until he does it, he hasn't done it. Ace's throw 200+ innings. I really don't think I am biting off much of anything by suggesting that an Ace throws 200+ innings.

cincrazy
08-30-2012, 10:01 PM
As of this moment in time, Cueto is an ace. That's pretty clear. I don't care what he's done the last five years. I don't care what the numbers say he's "likely" to do going forward. He's an ace. Period. He's one of the top 5 starters in all of the NL, if not THE top starter. How could that possibly not be considered an ace?

Doug, by your logic, Dwight Gooden wasn't an ace in 1984 because he had never pitched 200 innings in a ML season before.

Brutus
08-30-2012, 10:02 PM
Well that is the thing though, there is still a chance he could have an injury. Until he does it, he hasn't done it. Ace's throw 200+ innings. I really don't think I am biting off much of anything by suggesting that an Ace throws 200+ innings.

Where did this idea come from that aces throw 200 innings? And again, why is it that 15 innings over the course of 6 months is the difference between an ace and not being an ace?

Your definition is haggling over 2-4 innings a month.

If a pitcher can give you 25-30 great starts a year, he's an ace. The extra inning a start he might go further into a game doesn't change the quality of his pitching. It's certainly better when you can get a guy to average 7 innings instead of 6 innings, but I don't think that changes one's characterization.

cincrazy
08-30-2012, 10:04 PM
Doug this is all a subjective opinion on your part. If Cueto throws 190 IP at his current level, to me, that's an ACE. I don't care if he misses a few starts and doesn't hit some magical number. If Bruce doesn't reach 35 homers, is he not a slugger?

Plus Plus
08-30-2012, 10:25 PM
Well that is the thing though, there is still a chance he could have an injury. Until he does it, he hasn't done it. Ace's throw 200+ innings. I really don't think I am biting off much of anything by suggesting that an Ace throws 200+ innings.

Steven Strasburg: Not an ace.

:confused:

Nathan
08-30-2012, 10:31 PM
200 innings. So yes. It is. Aces are workhorses. Cueto has never thrown 190 innings in a season.

Contrarian.

Brutus
08-30-2012, 10:32 PM
Steven Strasburg: Not an ace.

:confused:

Josh Beckett only averaged 160 innings from 2003-2005, too. And I didn't hear anyone saying he wasn't an ace (nor would the Marlins argue that).

What's weird about this, though, is that if Cueto pitches 18 more innings then gets hurt, he won't be an ace because he only made it to 199.

Superdude
08-30-2012, 10:49 PM
200 innings. So yes. It is. Aces are workhorses. Cueto has never thrown 190 innings in a season.

But he's going to reach 200 innings at least this year. What is there to debate?

WebScorpion
08-31-2012, 03:09 AM
Is this still up for debate?No. IMHO, If a guy is considered the front-runner for the Cy Young award, he's an ace no matter what his previous record shows. Ok, quick when was the last time a Cincinnati Red won the Cy Young award? NEVER!!! :eek: Cueto could be our first ever. Do you know how long I've been watching Reds baseball?!?! And he may be the first ever?!?! My man-love meter is pegged. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-love063.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

RedsBaron
08-31-2012, 06:41 AM
Is this still up for debate?

No.
Cueto is an ace.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 06:44 AM
But he's going to reach 200 innings at least this year. What is there to debate?

Is he? What if his back tightens up again like it did last year? What if his hammy does?

And no, this isn't just me. Go ask a scout what an ACE brings to the table. A bunch of innings is on that list.

There is a difference between being an ACE and pitching like one. Cueto is not universally viewed as an ACE. Heck, even yesterday on MLB Network, someone, I don't recall who, was talking about the Reds not having a front line pitcher like an Adam Wainwright, but guys like Cueto and Latos are getting close to being that type of guy and could lead to a long run in the playoffs. Wainwright has never had an ERA like Cueto has this year. But he has topped 200 innings three times, including two times where he topped 230 innings. Say what you will, 200 innings means something. Right now, Cueto has never done that.

edabbs44
08-31-2012, 07:03 AM
Is he? What if his back tightens up again like it did last year? What if his hammy does?

And no, this isn't just me. Go ask a scout what an ACE brings to the table. A bunch of innings is on that list.

There is a difference between being an ACE and pitching like one. Cueto is not universally viewed as an ACE. Heck, even yesterday on MLB Network, someone, I don't recall who, was talking about the Reds not having a front line pitcher like an Adam Wainwright, but guys like Cueto and Latos are getting close to being that type of guy and could lead to a long run in the playoffs. Wainwright has never had an ERA like Cueto has this year. But he has topped 200 innings three times, including two times where he topped 230 innings. Say what you will, 200 innings means something. Right now, Cueto has never done that.

He also tore up his elbow after that third 200 inning year and missed an entire season. Related? Maybe.

I'd love to see Cueto turn into a 200+ inning workhorse year after year, but if he gives me this production and 185ish innings, I won't fret over that. Sub 2.50 ERAs are pretty cool.

Griffey012
08-31-2012, 07:23 AM
Is he? What if his back tightens up again like it did last year? What if his hammy does?

And no, this isn't just me. Go ask a scout what an ACE brings to the table. A bunch of innings is on that list.

There is a difference between being an ACE and pitching like one. Cueto is not universally viewed as an ACE. Heck, even yesterday on MLB Network, someone, I don't recall who, was talking about the Reds not having a front line pitcher like an Adam Wainwright, but guys like Cueto and Latos are getting close to being that type of guy and could lead to a long run in the playoffs. Wainwright has never had an ERA like Cueto has this year. But he has topped 200 innings three times, including two times where he topped 230 innings. Say what you will, 200 innings means something. Right now, Cueto has never done that.

If a batter hits 50 hr's/150rbi's with a slash line of .295/.395/.625 should he not an MVP caliber player because he didn't hit .300 or didnt obp .400? 200 IP is just a number, there are various reasons a player could accrue 180 IP vs 200 IP.

Just to name a few:
-rainouts: a start gets cut short after 2 or 3 innings, he has thrown too many pitches to go the next day
-all-star game: a player throws 2 inning in the AS game and the team wants to rest him so he may miss a start sandwiched around the AS game.
-bullpen: The Reds have a dominant bullpen, there is no reason to stretch Cueto to 8 or 9 innings and a high pitch count when you have our bullpen slamming the door.
-Youth: Just because Cueto is younger doesn't mean he can't handle the workload, but the team may be being conservative with the long term in mind (ala Strasburg)
-Team Success: Due to the best record in baseball they may take it easy on Cueto late in the year to get him geared and fresh for the post-season...Cueto's own dominance could help keep him from being an "Ace"

It's kind of like the difference between hitting .290 and .300 is a bloop single once a week or whatever the old saying is.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 07:36 AM
No, it is like hitting .300/.400/.550 in 550 at bats, or doing it in 650 at bats.

edabbs44
08-31-2012, 07:46 AM
No, it is like hitting .300/.400/.550 in 550 at bats, or doing it in 650 at bats.

If your numbers are stud level, you should get flexibility on the innings/PAs.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 08:01 AM
If your numbers are stud level, you should get flexibility on the innings/PAs.

Certainly, but the extra time you play while being that stud is what seems to separate the very good and the elite.

Plus Plus
08-31-2012, 08:03 AM
No, it is like hitting .300/.400/.550 in 550 at bats, or doing it in 650 at bats.

Mike Trout- not elite.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 08:05 AM
This is one of those times that I will, again, trust what I am seeing.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 08:18 AM
This is one of those times that I will, again, trust what I am seeing.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that he isn't pitching like an Ace. Just that he is going to need to throw 200 innings in a season before some are going to consider him one.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 08:32 AM
I don't think anyone is suggesting that he isn't pitching like an Ace. Just that he is going to need to throw 200 innings in a season before some are going to consider him one.

"Some" is the very key word.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 08:34 AM
Sounds like an "old time" contract negotiation. We're not going to give you a raise. You had an ok year and won a lot of games but you didn't reach 200 innings. We can't pay you that kind of "ace" money when you only pitched 190 innings. Aces pitch 200 innings.

RedEye
08-31-2012, 08:42 AM
BTW, this is exactly the kind of conversation I was hoping this thread would generate. Ultimately, I think, the definition of an "ace" is a multiple one. But to me, what it takes to go from "pitching like an ace" to "being an ace" is consensus. Clearly we are quite far from that now, although we are getting closer. If Cueto wins the Cy Young, he'll take another huge step in the direction of consensus, no doubt. But he's not yet to the level of the Halladays and the Lincecums and the King Felixes of the world -- all of whom, I think, would provoke far less controversy when labeled with the word.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 08:44 AM
BTW, this is exactly the kind of conversation I was hoping this thread would generate. Ultimately, I think, the definition of an "ace" is a multiple one. But to me, what it takes to go from "pitching like an ace" to "being an ace" is consensus. Clearly we are quite far from that now, although we are getting closer. If Cueto wins the Cy Young, he'll take another huge step in the direction of consensus, no doubt. But he's not yet to the level of the Halladays and the Lincecums and the King Felixes of the world -- all of whom, I think, would provoke far less controversy when labeled with the word.

And other than King Felix, I would rather have Cueto right now than Halladay or Lincecum.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 08:47 AM
Sounds like an "old time" contract negotiation. We're not going to give you a raise. You had an ok year and won a lot of games but you didn't reach 200 innings. We can't pay you that kind of "ace" money when you only pitched 190 innings. Aces pitch 200 innings.

Using wins in your argument makes it sound old time.

Lets say an Ace is expected to throw 200-220 innings.

We are talking roughly 10-30 appearances your bullpen does not have to make in the season. Not to mention the difference of probably 4-10 extra runs he would save over the bullpen in that frame versus the bullpen (depends on the bullpen of course).

RedEye
08-31-2012, 08:57 AM
And other than King Felix, I would rather have Cueto right now than Halladay or Lincecum.

Okay, but that's not the point. I think even Doug has conceded that Cueto is pitching at an "ace-like" level -- just not that he belongs in the same category of pitcher as I just listed quite yet. He's on his way, to be sure.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 09:00 AM
Okay, but that's not the point. I think even Doug has conceded that Cueto is pitching at an "ace-like" level -- just not that he belongs in the same category of pitcher as I just listed quite yet. He's on his way, to be sure.

Fair enough. I like the side of Cueto that the Reds are on. While it seems like he has been around forever, he's still only 26.

RedEye
08-31-2012, 09:01 AM
And other than King Felix, I would rather have Cueto right now than Halladay or Lincecum.

Lincecum, incidentally, would qualify, I think, as "being an ace" but not pitching like one at the moment. Sometimes -- as in the case of a Barry Zito or a Dwight Gooden or maybe even a a Dontrelle Willis -- a pitcher falls out of the category altogether for any number of reasons.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 09:01 AM
Using wins in your argument makes it sound old time.

Lets say an Ace is expected to throw 200-220 innings.

We are talking roughly 10-30 appearances your bullpen does not have to make in the season. Not to mention the difference of probably 4-10 extra runs he would save over the bullpen in that frame versus the bullpen (depends on the bullpen of course).

Yeah, I know, wins aren't an important stat.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 09:02 AM
Yeah, I know, wins aren't an important stat.

For an individual player, no. For the team, yes.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 09:03 AM
Lincecum, incidentally, would qualify, I think, as "being an ace" but not pitching like one at the moment. Sometimes -- as in the case of a Barry Zito or a Dwight Gooden or maybe even a a Dontrelle Willis -- a pitcher falls out of the category altogether for any number of reasons.

So "ace" only is fitting if a pitcher does it for a long time, or is it?

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 09:03 AM
For an individual player, no. For the team, yes.

OK, I'm clear on that now.

Or maybe I'm not. Winning 20 games is not an important stat for a pitcher anymore?

Caveat Emperor
08-31-2012, 09:06 AM
Contrarian.

You should see his responses to any positive thought about Billy Hamilton on the minor league forum.

:D

RedEye
08-31-2012, 09:07 AM
So "ace" only is fitting if a pitcher does it for a long time, or is it?

I think to qualify for the moniker, yes, a pitcher needs to have a certain amount of longevity. There is some slippage here though -- certainly someone like Strasburg or Dwight Gooden or Fernando Valenzuela can speed up the labeling process with an unexpected level of dominance. But it seems to me that this only happens maybe a few times a decade.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 09:08 AM
Sounds like it depends on who is setting the criteria and is a moving target. Definitely not an absolute.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 09:09 AM
So "ace" only is fitting if a pitcher does it for a long time, or does it?

Generally speaking, more than 1 season is needed because you don't know who wants to go all flash in the pan on you.

But again, the whole thing comes back to there not really being a true definition for an ACE. We all have our own, sometimes quite differing opinions on what defines an ACE.

Me? My definition of an ACE would need to meet all of these things:
3.00 or better K/BB
200+ innings pitched
Top 20 ERA+ in all of baseball (I know there are flaws with ERA and thus the same goes for ERA+ because of defenses behind you).
Preferably having done all of those things in the same season more than once.

RedEye
08-31-2012, 09:09 AM
OK, I'm clear on that now.

Or maybe I'm not. Winning 20 games is not an important stat for a pitcher anymore?

I think it is still important. Chances are that a pitcher who has 20 wins has had a pretty good season by some measure. The problem is there's just no guarantee about how he got there. Other stats tell you what a pitcher actually did in a more accurate way.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 09:10 AM
OK, I'm clear on that now.

Or maybe I'm not. Winning 20 games is not an important stat for a pitcher anymore?

It doesn't tell us how good that pitcher is. Never really did, people just didn't know any other way at the time to figure it out.

RedEye
08-31-2012, 09:11 AM
Generally speaking, more than 1 season is needed because you don't know who wants to go all flash in the pan on you.

But again, the whole thing comes back to there not really being a true definition for an ACE. We all have our own, sometimes quite differing opinions on what defines an ACE.

Me? My definition of an ACE would need to meet all of these things:
3.00 or better K/BB
200+ innings pitched
Top 20 ERA+ in all of baseball (I know there are flaws with ERA and thus the same goes for ERA+ because of defenses behind you).
Preferably having done all of those things in the same season more than once.

For me, as I mentioned, it's about pleasing both the dougdirts and the RANDY's of the world. Being an "ace" is about people agreeing to call you one with no caveats. The interesting thing is that you get cases like Bert Blyleven, where the former group basically finally won the argument after several decades.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 09:14 AM
I think it is still important. Chances are that a pitcher who has 20 wins has had a pretty good season by some measure. The problem is there's just no guarantee about how he got there. Other stats tell you what a pitcher actually did in a more accurate way.

So it isn't an absolute that wins are not important for a pitcher, right? I think it is very important to the individual pitcher and maybe not as important to the people who are tied up in the stats only. Winning games is really what pitching is all about.

As far as Cueto goes, I really like the ongoing development that I have seen over his young career. Steady improvement. Hard worker. Developing a much better mental demeanor on the mound. Great arm. Great stuff. I like his chances of being an ace on this team going forward.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 09:16 AM
It doesn't tell us how good that pitcher is. Never really did, people just didn't know any other way at the time to figure it out.

The guys that matter, usually know how good a pitcher really is. Always have.

Strikes Out Looking
08-31-2012, 09:16 AM
If he's not an ace, I'm not sure if this team has ever had one.

nate
08-31-2012, 09:19 AM
I'm not much of an "Ace" or ordinal starting pitching guy. To me, the most remarkable thing about Cueto is his HR rate over the past two years (0.45-ish) while pitching in GABP. His only real peers with similar BB/9 and peripherals this year would be Gio Gonzales and Felix Hernandez. Of those two, I think I'd only take Felix over Cueto.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 09:20 AM
I'm not much of an "Ace" or ordinal starting pitching guy. To me, the most remarkable thing about Cueto is his HR rate over the past two years (0.45-ish) while pitching in GABP. His only real peers this year would be Gio Gonzales and Felix Hernandez.

That's a very good point, nate. It is remarkable. :beerme:

gonelong
08-31-2012, 09:20 AM
If you are a young kid with talent the hype is off the charts ... you are the next Willie Mays, Johnny Bench, or Roger Clemons. Then you do it once, and that's great, do it again or it doesn't count. If you've done it for a few years, that's nice, but you've got a long way to go to be a great. Then you are a great but haven't won the big one. Then you win the big one. Are you a HOFer? Are you a first ballot HOFer? Did you get 95% of the vote? Are you a legend? Comical.

All I know is that when Cueto is on the hill I feel pretty good about the Reds chances.

GL

cincrazy
08-31-2012, 09:21 AM
To me, although some of us may disagree, I find much more pleasure in discussing whether Johnny Cueto is an ace as opposed to when we used to discuss if Paul Wilson was an ace.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 09:23 AM
The guys that matter, usually know how good a pitcher really is. Always have.

No they haven't. That is why the Reds signed Eric Milton. That is why teams get tricked by ERA mirages all the time despite poor peripherals.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 09:28 AM
So it isn't an absolute that wins are not important for a pitcher, right? I think it is very important to the individual pitcher and maybe not as important to the people who are tied up in the stats only. Winning games is really what pitching is all about.


Sure, the individual pitcher probably cares about the wins next to his name. Winning games is what it is about, for the team. The pitcher getting credit for what the team does has always confused me though. A starter can go 8 innings and give up no earned runs and get touched with the loss. A starter can also go 5 innings and give up 20 runs and be given the win as long as his team has 21 when he leaves and never loses their lead. A reliever can give up the teams lead, but complete the inning and then his offense goes out and takes the lead and never gives it up, but that guy gets the win. It is a weird stat. Josh Beckett won 16 games with an ERA over 5.00. Felix Hernandez took home a Cy Young Award with 13 wins and an ERA more than cut in half of what Josh Beckett had when he won 16 games. It is very easy for wins to deceive the quality of a pitcher.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 09:29 AM
No they haven't. That is why the Reds signed Eric Milton. That is why teams get tricked by ERA mirages all the time despite poor peripherals.

So, if that is the case, who never gets tricked? Sometimes teams take chances on guys and it doesn't work out. There are very few sure things out there, particularly for teams that have limited payroll. There are always going to be bad front office decisions. I bet there was more than one person in the organization who was saying, I wouldn't have signed that guy when it happened.

RedsManRick
08-31-2012, 09:32 AM
It doesn't tell us how good that pitcher is. Never really did, people just didn't know any other way at the time to figure it out.

As always, the problem wins is that they while they are generally highly correlated with being a good pitcher, there's simply too much of the stat which is driven by performances belonging to the pitcher's teammates.

Just for the sake of illustration:

What amount of the following stat is the result of the performance of:

K & BB rate: 100% the pitcher
HR: 90% pitcher, 10% park
BABIP: 70% pitcher, 30% defense
ERA: 55% pitcher, 30% defense, 10% park, 5% bullpen
Wins: 40% pitcher, 40% offense, 10% defense, 10% bullpen

Obviously the percents are completely made up. But the problem with wins is that while they are still driven by the pitcher's performance more than anything else, they are hugely influenced by his offense and defense.

And once you've account for how many runs a guy has allowed and how many innings he's pitched, what's life to account for? One might hypothesize that it's his ability to "keep him team in the game" or "pitch to the score". The only problem with that is that researchers have gone looking for pitchers who have actually done that and they simply cannot find it. Jack Morris didn't do it.

So what is wins telling us? What does it add to our assessment of the guy's ability to pitch? Yes. It's basically impossible be a bad pitcher and win a ton of games. But it's completely possible to be a great one and not win a ton of games. So if we dismiss wins, it's not to say that they have no relation to the quality of a pitcher. It's to say they add nothing unique to the conversation and can occasionally serve as a red herring.

As for the Cueto being an ace question, I'm slowly coming around. I find what he's doing fascinating. I have a growing appreciation for what he does to control the running game and warming to the idea that he may very well be one of those outliers who does have the ability to induce "weak contact", which for him results primarily in a lower HR rate. Time will tell just how real this is, but if he can give me 190 IP and a 2.50 ERA, I'll call that an ace.

Sure, I'd rather have a Verlander or Kershaw who can give me 230 innings and rely less on his defense. They are the difference been a mere "ace" and a future HOFer. But if I have to call you one of top 10-15 starters, I can't not call you an ace.

RedsBaron
08-31-2012, 09:33 AM
Abraham Lincoln supposedly once asked: "How many legs does a horse have if you call a tail a leg?" Lincoln then replied: "Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." We can debate terminology all we want but Johnny Cueto absolutely has met every reasonable definition of an "ace" this season and this season is what counts.
My goodness, Cliff Lee would, for his career, certainly meet the definition of "ace" but I wouldn't want Lee in the Reds rotation in place of Cueto in 2012.
The 200 inning criteria set forth by some is arbitrary. By that standard, Pedro Martinez was not an "ace" in 2002 and 2003. Yes, in 2002 he went 20-4 with an AL leading 2.26 ERA, .833% and 239 strikeouts, but he only pitched 199 innings. In 2003 he went 14-4 and lead the AL with a 2.22 ERA and .778%, but only pitched 186 innings. I'm sure Boston faced the post season with gloom, knowing that Pedro was not an "ace." ;)
Pedro barely met the "ace" criteria in 1999, as he tossed 213 innings. Yeah his other stats were decent I guess, a 23-4 record with AL leading 2.07 ERA, .852% and 313 K's, but had he missed a couple of starts he wouldn't have qualified as an "ace." ;)

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 09:35 AM
So, if that is the case, who never gets tricked? Sometimes teams take chances on guys and it doesn't work out. There are very few sure things out there, particularly for teams that have limited payroll. There are always going to be bad front office decisions. I bet there was more than one person in the organization who was saying, I wouldn't have signed that guy when it happened.

Some things you can't predict. But there are generally easy ways to figure out who has an ERA that isn't as good as it suggests the pitcher is. Guys with good ERA's but poor K/BB rates is a very quick example. But teams fall for that trap all of the time, or at least used to. Like when the Reds traded for Rheal Cormier, who had a 1.59 ERA in 34 innings, but had 13 walks and 13 strikeouts. Comes to the Reds and posts an ERA of 4.50 in 14 innings. Yes, small sample size, but everyone should have seen that he was working with smoke and mirrors. He threw 3 more innings in his pro career after that season.

It isn't about the Eric Milton signing, it is just about guys like him.

buckeyenut
08-31-2012, 09:35 AM
I'm not much of an "Ace" or ordinal starting pitching guy. To me, the most remarkable thing about Cueto is his HR rate over the past two years (0.45-ish) while pitching in GABP. His only real peers with similar BB/9 and peripherals this year would be Gio Gonzales and Felix Hernandez. Of those two, I think I'd only take Felix over Cueto.
For me, I look at it and say how many guys in MLB might I take over Cueto for next five years.

Strasburg
King Felix
Verlander

Those three are definites to me. But beyond that, I am not sure there is anyone.

redsfandan
08-31-2012, 09:54 AM
The 200 inning criteria set forth by some is arbitrary. By that standard, Pedro Martinez was not an "ace" in 2002 and 2003. Yes, in 2002 he went 20-4 with an AL leading 2.26 ERA, .833% and 239 strikeouts, but he only pitched 199 innings. In 2003 he went 14-4 and lead the AL with a 2.22 ERA and .778%, but only pitched 186 innings. I'm sure Boston faced the post season with gloom, knowing that Pedro was not an "ace." ;)

Pedro barely met the "ace" criteria in 1999, as he tossed 213 innings. Yeah his other stats were decent I guess, a 23-4 record with AL leading 2.07 ERA, .852% and 313 K's, but had he missed a couple of starts he wouldn't have qualified as an "ace." ;)

Pedro already had 5 seasons with 200+ ip by 2002. That includes 3 years where he won the cy young. So, I think he had earned the 'ace' reputation by then. And Pedro didn't miss the 200 ip mark in 1999. If you want to say he 'barely' met the criteria that's up to you. But, to me, an ace should be able to carry a team. Part of that is innings pitched.

nate
08-31-2012, 09:55 AM
To me, although some of us may disagree, I find much more pleasure in discussing whether Johnny Cueto is an ace as opposed to when we used to discuss if Paul Wilson was an ace.

Those were pretty short discussions as I recall!

:cool:

Patrick Bateman
08-31-2012, 10:18 AM
Consideting Cueto leads NL pitchers in WAR, hard to imagine he's not an "ace" this year regardless of the arbitrary limits that are bound to the definition of ace.

All I know is, that the non-ace Cueto has pretty severly outpitched a lot of "aces" this year.

RedsManRick
08-31-2012, 10:28 AM
For me, I look at it and say how many guys in MLB might I take over Cueto for next five years.

Strasburg
King Felix
Verlander

Those three are definites to me. But beyond that, I am not sure there is anyone.

I would add Kershaw and Matt Cain to the list of definites. But after that, yeah, there's a group of guys like Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgardner, Jered Weaver, Adam Wainwright, Josh Johnson and so forth -- maybe 10 in all who I'd put in his category.

Cueto's combination of effectiveness, youth and health is awfully hard to find.

RedsBaron
08-31-2012, 10:42 AM
Pedro already had 5 seasons with 200+ ip by 2002. That includes 3 years where he won the cy young. So, I think he had earned the 'ace' reputation by then. And Pedro didn't miss the 200 ip mark in 1999. If you want to say he 'barely' met the criteria that's up to you. But, to me, an ace should be able to carry a team. Part of that is innings pitched.

200 innings is still arbitrary. Why not make the "ace" standard 220 innings, which is only about three starts beyond a 200 inning season? If you do then Pedro was not an "ace" in either of his two Cy Young seasons with the Red Sox, as he fell short of that arbitrary standard each year.
Perdo Martinez was an ace.
In 2012 Johnny Cueto is an ace. He may not be an ace next year, but right now he is as good as any starting pitcher in the NL.

_Sir_Charles_
08-31-2012, 10:46 AM
Can't we just call Cueto a great pitcher having a cy young caliber season and be done with it?

23 pages debating the definition of an "ace". Redszone at it's finest. LOL.

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 10:49 AM
Can't we just call Cueto a great pitcher having a cy young caliber season and be done with it?

23 pages debating the definition of an "ace". Redszone at it's finest. LOL.

Never. I want this thread to be shut down for 1000 posts.

_Sir_Charles_
08-31-2012, 10:50 AM
Never. I want this thread to be shut down for 1000 posts.

LOL. Okay, no problem. Carry on. :laugh:

RedEye
08-31-2012, 11:32 AM
Language is arbitrary -- but it's all we've got. At some point this season, Cueto crossed the line in the sand, and most commentators in media outlets are referring to him as "Reds ace Johnny Cueto." I suppose the question is when the majority of folks will start calling him just "ace Johnny Cueto."

Brutus
08-31-2012, 12:20 PM
BTW, this is exactly the kind of conversation I was hoping this thread would generate. Ultimately, I think, the definition of an "ace" is a multiple one. But to me, what it takes to go from "pitching like an ace" to "being an ace" is consensus. Clearly we are quite far from that now, although we are getting closer. If Cueto wins the Cy Young, he'll take another huge step in the direction of consensus, no doubt. But he's not yet to the level of the Halladays and the Lincecums and the King Felixes of the world -- all of whom, I think, would provoke far less controversy when labeled with the word.

It seems it's pretty much a consensus. Unless I've missed someone, only one person in this thread is now arguing he's not an ace (and that person is only doing so based on an arbitrary, black/white cut-off of innings pitched).

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 02:30 PM
It seems it's pretty much a consensus. Unless I've missed someone, only one person in this thread is now arguing he's not an ace (and that person is only doing so based on an arbitrary, black/white cut-off of innings pitched).

Someone on MLB Network said he wasn't earlier this week.

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 02:36 PM
Someone on MLB network said he was earlier this week.:laugh:

dougdirt
08-31-2012, 02:39 PM
Someone on MLB network said he was earlier this week.:laugh:

Sure, but I was simply pointing out to Brutus that it is not a consensus.

RedEye
08-31-2012, 03:12 PM
I think longevity has something to do with being an ace, too. It's not only about 200 IP in a season. If a guy does what Cueto does for three, four years, then he moves to consensus "ace" territory no problem. The only way to move faster up the ladder of consensus, I think, is if you miss bats, like Strasburg. I'm not saying this is correct, but it's generally how things work.

It might be useful to think of pitchers who came close to ascending to ace heights but then fell back. Or maybe those who have put up good numbers but just not gotten there yet. Fausto Carmona, for example, had a pretty ace-like season a few years back -- but no one was really caught dead using the word with him. Kyle Lohse, too, has put up some pretty good numbers -- but I don't think he's even on the ace radar, so to speak. Ryan Dempster might fall into that category as well. Would anyone claim the contrary?

jojo
08-31-2012, 03:54 PM
Was Eric Bedard an ace?

A good case could be made that he was one of the best lefty starters in baseball at one time. But was Eric Bedard an ace?

RANDY IN INDY
08-31-2012, 04:04 PM
Was Eric Bedard an ace?

A good case could be made that he was one of the best lefty starters in baseball at one time. But was Eric Bedard an ace?

I think you can be an ace any year that you dominate. You may not be a perennial All- Star. You may not be a Hall of Famer. You may be a flash in the pan, but for one year, a couple of years, or for part of a decade, you may just be considered an ace.

cincrazy
08-31-2012, 07:27 PM
Was Eric Bedard an ace?

A good case could be made that he was one of the best lefty starters in baseball at one time. But was Eric Bedard an ace?

At one time, yes he was. And so was Mark "The Bird" Fidrych IMO. Saying someone is an ace doesn't imply anything about the future as far as I believe. In this moment in time, Cueto is an ace. Next year? Who knows.

757690
08-31-2012, 07:29 PM
Someone on MLB Network said he wasn't earlier this week.

It was Plesac. Just for the record.

RedEye
09-01-2012, 07:01 PM
Was Eric Bedard an ace?

A good case could be made that he was one of the best lefty starters in baseball at one time. But was Eric Bedard an ace?

I would say no. He has shown the ability, but never on a consistent, durable basis.

Wonderful Monds
09-01-2012, 08:26 PM
Was Eric Bedard an ace?

A good case could be made that he was one of the best lefty starters in baseball at one time. But was Eric Bedard an ace?

Yeah I think he was

757690
09-01-2012, 08:42 PM
Was Eric Bedard an ace?

A good case could be made that he was one of the best lefty starters in baseball at one time. But was Eric Bedard an ace?

Anyone worth Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto has to be an ace :cool:

Wonderful Monds
09-01-2012, 08:45 PM
Anyone worth Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto has to be an ace :cool:

That's why I call Joe Blanton an ace. :beerme:

edabbs44
09-01-2012, 10:59 PM
Was Eric Bedard an ace?

A good case could be made that he was one of the best lefty starters in baseball at one time. But was Eric Bedard an ace?

Bedard was an odd case. I do believe that there is some validity to Doug's IP criteria, however Bedard threw over 142 innings twice in his career. Cueto is over 170 in all 5 seasons.

Bedard was on the fringe of ace status, he needed to prove his durability after getting the success. It just never happened.

RedEye
09-02-2012, 09:00 AM
Bedard was an odd case. I do believe that there is some validity to Doug's IP criteria, however Bedard threw over 142 innings twice in his career. Cueto is over 170 in all 5 seasons.

Bedard was on the fringe of ace status, he needed to prove his durability after getting the success. It just never happened.

I think he falls into a similar category as Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, actually. Would have, could have, should have. Brandon Webb, OTOH, may make the cut.

RedsBaron
09-02-2012, 10:03 PM
Anyone worth Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto has to be an ace :cool:

Man that got me to read some threads of a few years ago, with posters advocating trading Votto, Cueto and Bailey for Bedard and hoping the Reds could retain Bruce.
Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make.

REDREAD
09-04-2012, 12:48 PM
I think it is still important. Chances are that a pitcher who has 20 wins has had a pretty good season by some measure. The problem is there's just no guarantee about how he got there. Other stats tell you what a pitcher actually did in a more accurate way.

Yep, I agree. Wins are important.

Are wins the best way to compare Pitcher X and Pitcher Y? No.

However, let's say that the Reds score 8 runs in the first inning. Arroyo is pitching.. Do I care if the Reds end up winning 10-6 instead of 10-0? Nope.
Most pitchers will not pitch max effort if they have a huge lead. Their K rate will go down. That's one example where some metrics stats miss the point.
Sure, it's a small subset, but in the long run.. the goal is to win as many games as possible, not maximize K/9 and some other metrics.

A pitcher that has won 15 games or more has made a big contribution to the team.. Even if they were aided by a good run support,etc.. Now, I'm not sayin that wins should be the primary input in evaluating a pitcher, but they are important.

dougdirt
09-04-2012, 01:49 PM
Yep, I agree. Wins are important.

Are wins the best way to compare Pitcher X and Pitcher Y? No.

However, let's say that the Reds score 8 runs in the first inning. Arroyo is pitching.. Do I care if the Reds end up winning 10-6 instead of 10-0? Nope.
Most pitchers will not pitch max effort if they have a huge lead. Their K rate will go down. That's one example where some metrics stats miss the point.
Sure, it's a small subset, but in the long run.. the goal is to win as many games as possible, not maximize K/9 and some other metrics.

A pitcher that has won 15 games or more has made a big contribution to the team.. Even if they were aided by a good run support,etc.. Now, I'm not sayin that wins should be the primary input in evaluating a pitcher, but they are important.
Josh Beckett won 16 games with an ERA over 5.00. He didn't make big contributions to his team. He was insanely lucky to have incredible run support.

Always Red
09-04-2012, 02:31 PM
Josh Beckett won 16 games with an ERA over 5.00. He didn't make big contributions to his team. He was insanely lucky to have incredible run support.

In 2006, Beckett was 16-11 with a 5.01 ERA.

Looking at his splits, in the games where he got the win, he was 16-0 with a 2.22 ERA, WHIP 0.948. That's a pretty big contribution.

In his losses or no decisions, he was abysmal (0-11, 8.24 ERA, WHIP 1.70)

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=beckejo02&year=2006&t=p

I'd say he was pretty darn good for 16 games, and abysmal for 17 games; thus terribly inconsistent overall. I don't think run support had anything to do with it.

Wins can often correlate with good pitching performance, but not always. The rub is finding a stat which will describe it better; I'm not sure it exists.

Even Jimmy Haynes, in 2002, was pretty good (though not as good as Beckett in 2006) in those 15 games he won (15-0, 2.79, but his WHIP was 1.43- lucky!)

dougdirt
09-04-2012, 02:45 PM
In 2006, Beckett was 16-11 with a 5.01 ERA.

Looking at his splits, in the games where he got the win, he was 16-0 with a 2.22 ERA, WHIP 0.948. That's a pretty big contribution.

In his losses or no decisions, he was abysmal (0-11, 8.24 ERA, WHIP 1.70)

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=beckejo02&year=2006&t=p

I'd say he was pretty darn good for 16 games, and abysmal for 17 games; thus terribly inconsistent overall. I don't think run support had anything to do with it.

Wins can often correlate with good pitching performance, but not always. The rub is finding a stat which will describe it better; I'm not sure it exists.

Even Jimmy Haynes, in 2002, was pretty good (though not as good as Beckett in 2006) in those 15 games he won (15-0, 2.79, but his WHIP was 1.43- lucky!)

Just about every pitcher's win/loss splits look like that.

When you post an ERA of 5.01, you are not helping your team.

Reds/Flyers Fan
09-04-2012, 02:55 PM
Man that got me to read some threads of a few years ago, with posters advocating trading Votto, Cueto and Bailey for Bedard and hoping the Reds could retain Bruce.
Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make.

On the flip side, weren't some O's fans not thrilled about that potential return for Bedard. I remember visiting their boards back in those days and seeing a lot of "meh" opinions toward getting Votto as the centerpiece in return.

Always Red
09-04-2012, 03:04 PM
Just about every pitcher's win/loss splits look like that.

When you post an ERA of 5.01, you are not helping your team.

You're skirting the main point though- you said he was insanely lucky to have 16 wins and that ERA, and had incredible run support.

He wasn't lucky at all. He pitched to a WHIP of under 1.0 for those games.

He was terribly inconsistent, and I'd agree that on the whole he didn't help his team, but that wasn't the point.

The point was whether or not Wins are a good measure of effectiveness for a pitcher.

Wonderful Monds
09-04-2012, 03:07 PM
Just about every pitcher's win/loss splits look like that.

When you post an ERA of 5.01, you are not helping your team.

How about when you post an ERA near 2 for half your games?

He pretty much objectively helped his team. How could you possibly argue otherwise? Maybe other players helped more, but you can't say that a pitcher who posted an ERA near 2 in half his games allowing his team to win those did not help his team.

Brutus
09-04-2012, 03:23 PM
Just about every pitcher's win/loss splits look like that.

When you post an ERA of 5.01, you are not helping your team.

Doesn't it kind of depend on the distribution?

In an extreme case like Beckett, you could have a terrible ERA and help your team if you are lights out in even a few more games over the course of the year than you're poor. After all, if you had 18 of 32 starts like Beckett's good days, that's giving your team a good shot of winning roughly 56-60% of your games. I think that is indeed helping your team.

defender
09-04-2012, 06:22 PM
Sure, the individual pitcher probably cares about the wins next to his name. Winning games is what it is about, for the team. The pitcher getting credit for what the team does has always confused me though. A starter can go 8 innings and give up no earned runs and get touched with the loss. A starter can also go 5 innings and give up 20 runs and be given the win as long as his team has 21 when he leaves and never loses their lead. A reliever can give up the teams lead, but complete the inning and then his offense goes out and takes the lead and never gives it up, but that guy gets the win. It is a weird stat. Josh Beckett won 16 games with an ERA over 5.00. Felix Hernandez took home a Cy Young Award with 13 wins and an ERA more than cut in half of what Josh Beckett had when he won 16 games. It is very easy for wins to deceive the quality of a pitcher.

It is not that easy for win totals to deceive. I do not think that many people were fooled by Beckett or Felix Hernandez. What can be deceptive is only looking at one stat. Even k/9 and FIP, as in the case of 2011 Cueto, can be deceiving.

Cueto's 2012 K/9 is now 7.0, and the difference between FIP and ERA is back at career norms. His 2012 BABIP is not extreme. His extreme .249 BABIP in 2011 did happen. Regardless if it is 0 to 100% skill, it will effect the rest of his stats. If you are getting more outs on batted balls, that means fewer KOs. Fewer base runners mean you "need" a KO less often.

Vottomatic
09-09-2012, 07:21 PM
Cueto lost his bid for the Cy Young today. Two bad outings in a row will pretty much do any candidate in.

I'm not convinced he wins 20 now.

Superdude
09-09-2012, 07:30 PM
Cueto lost his bid for the Cy Young today. Two bad outings in a row will pretty much do any candidate in.

I'm not convinced he wins 20 now.

Today was a shame. Back to back losses to no name starters in September has definitely pushed the pendulum Dickey's way. I'd like to see him get some rest if he has another clunker next time out.

mbgrayson
09-09-2012, 09:05 PM
Today was a shame. Back to back losses to no name starters in September has definitely pushed the pendulum Dickey's way. I'd like to see him get some rest if he has another clunker next time out.

With the off day last Thursday, he had one extra day of rest. He will again get an extra day this Thursday.

Cueto is at 192 and 2/3 innings, a new career high. Last year, he was shut down after his September 14th outing, when he strained a latissimus dorsi muscle in his back and had to be removed from that start.

The Reds need to go carefully from here on out. Cueto is in uncharted waters for him, and we need to keep him fresh for October. Cueto is indeed an ace, and a legit Cy Young candidate. However, winning playoff games is far more important that the Cy Young award. I don't if he wins the Cy Young, as long as he wins 4 or 5 games in October.

redsfandan
09-10-2012, 05:37 AM
I think he falls into a similar category as Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, actually. Would have, could have, should have. Brandon Webb, OTOH, may make the cut.

Brandon Webb was definitely an ace. It's a shame that it looks like he's done.

REDREAD
09-10-2012, 04:00 PM
In 2006, Beckett was 16-11 with a 5.01 ERA.

Looking at his splits, in the games where he got the win, he was 16-0 with a 2.22 ERA, WHIP 0.948. That's a pretty big contribution.

In his losses or no decisions, he was abysmal (0-11, 8.24 ERA, WHIP 1.70)


Yes, and Beckett also pitched 204 IP that year.
That seems like a solid season to me.
Is it Cy Young worthy? No. Have there been better 16 games winners? Yes.
Still not a horrible season.
You make a good case.

RedsManRick
09-10-2012, 05:36 PM
Cueto lost his bid for the Cy Young today. Two bad outings in a row will pretty much do any candidate in.

I'm not convinced he wins 20 now.

He's still right there with the crowd. He's got what, 4 starts left? He's still got the 2nd most wins and 2nd lowest ERA.

I agree, it's R.A. Dickey's to lose. He's #1 in wins, ERA and #3 in strikeouts behind a guy who is done for the season and one who just missed a start. But if Cueto gets to 20 and Dickey doesn't and Cueto passes him in ERA, all bets are off.

Vottomatic
09-10-2012, 11:34 PM
He's still right there with the crowd. He's got what, 4 starts left? He's still got the 2nd most wins and 2nd lowest ERA.

I agree, it's R.A. Dickey's to lose. He's #1 in wins, ERA and #3 in strikeouts behind a guy who is done for the season and one who just missed a start. But if Cueto gets to 20 and Dickey doesn't and Cueto passes him in ERA, all bets are off.

Meh. Dickey has that "playing for New York" advantage, IMHO.

M2
09-11-2012, 10:50 PM
He's still right there with the crowd. He's got what, 4 starts left? He's still got the 2nd most wins and 2nd lowest ERA.

I agree, it's R.A. Dickey's to lose. He's #1 in wins, ERA and #3 in strikeouts behind a guy who is done for the season and one who just missed a start. But if Cueto gets to 20 and Dickey doesn't and Cueto passes him in ERA, all bets are off.

Cueto's still got a healthy ERA+ and WAR lead. I wouldn't be surprised if voters take the ballpark environments into consideration, if for no other reason that they don't want to be accused of voting for a ballpark instead of a pitcher.

RedEye
09-15-2012, 10:16 PM
Well, he got tagged for 6 runs in 4 1/3 tonight in Miami. I think his Cy Young bid is officially over now, and I'm starting to get a tad nervous about slotting him in as the #1 in the playoffs. Latos has been much more reliable lately. Perhaps Cueto is what we thought he was -- a solid 2/3 starter who was pitching above his head for most of this season.

WVRedsFan
09-15-2012, 10:26 PM
Well, he got tagged for 6 runs in 4 1/3 tonight in Miami. I think his Cy Young bid is officially over now, and I'm starting to get a tad nervous about slotting him in as the #1 in the playoffs. Latos has been much more reliable lately. Perhaps Cueto is what we thought he was -- a solid 2/3 starter who was pitching above his head for most of this season.

Done. Stick a fork in him as far as the CYA is concerned. The NY pitcher gets the trophy, but like you, I'm a tad worried. Give him rest.

SirFelixCat
09-15-2012, 10:32 PM
Done. Stick a fork in him as far as the CYA is concerned. The NY pitcher gets the trophy, but lie you, I'm a tad worried. Give him rest.

PLEASE!

Tony Cloninger
09-16-2012, 08:44 AM
I agree with people who say he had been pitching like an ace. I also agree with Doug in that a pitcher has to throw 200 innings at least a few times to also be considered one as well. Right now....Cueto is barely able to get through 4-5 innings. It's not like he is losing close, tight games here. If you are going to run out of gas when you barely hit the 200 innings mark like he has...it's disturbing. Reminds me of Billingham in 1973-74.... who had chance after chance for 20 wins and could barely go 3-4 innings while getting bombed so badly that in a few starts, he could barely go 1 inning.... and when it happened again in 1975....he lost his spot on the rotation for the playoffs.

lollipopcurve
09-16-2012, 08:46 AM
I'm a tad worried. Give him rest.

Seemed to me pretty obvious last night that he does not have his good slider right now. He's got something slurvier -- not the hard late bite we're used to seeing. The fastball was up a lot, and his command in general is off. The guy is worn down and battling as hard as he can. I can't believe they'd continue to ride him on a normal schedule/workload going forward. Individual accolades mean nothing in the context of a playoff push.

Vottomatic
09-16-2012, 09:16 AM
It's time to give Redmond, or Cingrani, or even Hoover, or all of them spot starts to give our normal regulars or atleast the ones dragging (Cueto, Leake, maybe Bailey) some rest.

757690
09-26-2012, 04:05 PM
Nice piece by Fay on Cueto's Cy Young chances:

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2012/09/26/a-case-for-cueto/

mdccclxix
09-26-2012, 04:11 PM
Nice piece by Fay on Cueto's Cy Young chances:

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2012/09/26/a-case-for-cueto/

Fans need to speak up somehow and start bellowing for Cueto. It helped Greinke and Felix in their bids. Seems whoever talks the loudest about their guy can often help out.

VR
09-26-2012, 05:10 PM
I scoured the numbers last night for the top performers, and quite honestly, can't justify Cueto as the top pitcher this year. The best argument might be that he really is 4th on that list.

His next start will certainly be a huge one. A 20-win season jumps him past Lohse, and in the conversation w/ Dickey and Gio. A 2-hitter with 10 k's would also be very well timed.

Other than that....don't see it happening. Still love the guy, but the comparisons just aren't favorable at this point.

fearofpopvol1
09-26-2012, 05:15 PM
I scoured the numbers last night for the top performers, and quite honestly, can't justify Cueto as the top pitcher this year. The best argument might be that he really is 4th on that list.

His next start will certainly be a huge one. A 20-win season jumps him past Lohse, and in the conversation w/ Dickey and Gio. A 2-hitter with 10 k's would also be very well timed.

Other than that....don't see it happening. Still love the guy, but the comparisons just aren't favorable at this point.

Lohse won't be in the conversation. Cueto has actually been better than Dickey so far this year, but the 3 fewer losses for Dickey probably help him. But I agree with your larger point, Cueto is probably 4, but maybe 3rd best this year. It's Gio's to lose in my opinion. Still, 1 of the 5 best pitchers in the NL? I'll take that every year.

jojo
09-26-2012, 06:22 PM
Fans need to speak up somehow and start bellowing for Cueto. It helped Greinke and Felix in their bids. Seems whoever talks the loudest about their guy can often help out.

What? People listen to Seattle fans?

dougdirt
09-26-2012, 06:26 PM
Cueto has 210 innings with a league best 149 ERA+. The next closest NL pitcher is Kershaw with a 143 ERA+.

Cueto is certainly in the running. I don't know where I would vote for him just yet because I would like to line up a whole bunch of numbers first, but if you have 210 innings and easily the best ERA+ in the league, I would lean toward you should be near the top of the voting.

Brutus
09-26-2012, 06:56 PM
I honestly think, and have felt for most of the year, it would wind up being Cueto or Gio. I just don't think Dickey is the obvious winner some do.

fearofpopvol1
09-26-2012, 11:55 PM
Cueto has 210 innings with a league best 149 ERA+. The next closest NL pitcher is Kershaw with a 143 ERA+.

Cueto is certainly in the running. I don't know where I would vote for him just yet because I would like to line up a whole bunch of numbers first, but if you have 210 innings and easily the best ERA+ in the league, I would lean toward you should be near the top of the voting.

Not sure how Gio doesn't have the upperhand. He's been more than half a win better than Cueto in fewer innings. More strikeouts and fewer home runs too. Cueto has surrendered fewer walks though, but Gio's xFIP is better as well.

westofyou
09-26-2012, 11:57 PM
The Reds have not had a RH pitcher win 20 or more since Maloney and Ellis did it in 1965

dougdirt
09-27-2012, 12:14 AM
Not sure how Gio doesn't have the upperhand. He's been more than half a win better than Cueto in fewer innings. More strikeouts and fewer home runs too. Cueto has surrendered fewer walks though, but Gio's xFIP is better as well.

To be fair, fewer home runs doesn't do much for me given that Cueto pitches in GABP and Gio doesn't.

M2
09-27-2012, 12:15 AM
If Cueto pitched in New York or L.A. (extreme pitcher's parks and major media markets), he'd win the Cy Young by acclaim. What he's doing in the GAB is pretty outrageous.

fearofpopvol1
09-27-2012, 12:27 AM
To be fair, fewer home runs doesn't do much for me given that Cueto pitches in GABP and Gio doesn't.

But do you think the voters look at ERA+ when making a decision? I don't think they do. I'm not even sure they look at home runs surrendered.

Strikeouts on the other hand...

dougdirt
09-27-2012, 12:36 AM
But do you think the voters look at ERA+ when making a decision? I don't think they do. I'm not even sure they look at home runs surrendered.

Strikeouts on the other hand...

You are probably right. But I do think they do some sort of ERA adjustment in their head for the park the guy plays in. How accurate that adjustment is though, well, that is up in the air.

RedEye
09-27-2012, 10:27 AM
I think Cueto needs to win one more game to have a good shot at the award. I have the sense that voters are willing to give him credit for the fact that he pitches in a bandbox, and to acknowledge "those stat guys" who argue his ERA+ is strong, but having a nice round number like "20" on his resume will help push him over the top IMO. He needs it for consensus.