Originally Posted by jojo
Arroyo really only outperforms his peripherals in front of Walt's defenses. This has been shown before.
You're talking about elite. WAR is a great tool for this discussion because while he's logged a lot of innings, they haven't been especially stellar ones. Guys who could legitimately be in an argument about elite like Smoltz and Mussina, only require roughly a third of the innings to post the same WAR as Arroyo has as a Red.
Knuckleball pitchers consistently outperform their peripherals, as do some pitchers with strong off-speed pitches. This is because they have shown the ability to maintain a lower than average BABIP. They are able to enduce weak contact.
They're aren't a lot of these out there, but there is plenty of evidence to argue that Arroyo is one of them.
The defense argument doesn't hold much water, since the would mean that every Reds pitcher during that time frame would outperform their peripherals the same way Arroyo did. The fact that Arroyo has when others haven't tells me that at the very leastthere is something special about Arroyo that enables him to take advantage of his defense.
Like I said before, Arroyo has done what I consider to be the most important thing a pitcher can do. He has pitched a lot of innigs in which he has limited the other team from scoring. Really everything else is noise.