Paxton career ERA: 3.43 Kershaw career ERA: 3.45
... after 50 starts, that is

.

Luke Arkins at Prospect Insider with a great set of tables comparing Paxton's first 50 starts to every other lefty's.  Plot spoiler:  Paxton's were better.

...

By "every other lefty" we mean, like, 2 Kershaw 3 Price 4 Hamels 5 Lester 6 CC 7 Cliff Lee, with Paxton coming first.  That's the ERA chart.  The next chart in, we hit Fielding-Independent Pitching (FIP) for 2016, and find Paxton first in the American League.

But the chart after that strews out the HOF'ers by age at 50 starts, and Paxton was the only 27-year-old among them.  Kershaw and C.C., for example, were 21.

...

(1) Which raises the talking point, what about Paxton's injuries.  My personal attitude -- call me a schlep -- is that pitcher injuries matter less when they don't involve hands, elbows, or shoulders.  If Pitcher X is having rotator cuff surgery, while Pitcher Y had a gallbladder taken out, I'm going with Pitcher Y.  

There could be people who are "injury-prone" but Dr. D would not want to become an actuary PREDICTING who these people were going to be NEXT time around...  what he might like to be, is a major league GM owning a pitcher who hits 98 MPH on his 110th pitch...

...

(2) If you scan down the 12 names on Arkin's list, about half of them were good early (Langston, Price, Hamels, Pettitte etc) and about half weren't (Moyer, Johnson etc.)  Which kind was Paxton?  Was he "good" before this big plateau leap in 2016?  In either case, he ran ahead of all the other horses for ERA.

...

(3) Kershaw was gasp-inducing his first 50 starts, but since has cut his ERA in half.  Such are the blessings of command and pitch sequencing.  By the time Sabathia learned a changeup, by the time he could paint and sequence, his velo was down from 96 to 92.  What we wouldn't give to see it from a kid who hadn't lost the hair on his fastball.

Here's to $2.7M apiece for Taijuan and K-Pax next y'ar.

BABVA,

Dr D

Comments

1

The weirdness is that lots of folks think that Paxton somehow underproduces.

The guy was 21 before he threw a pitch that he was paid to throw.  Unless the U of Kentucky pays their baseball players like they do the basketball team.

:)

Randy Johnson was also 21 before he got paid to play.  Took him 400 innings to get to the bigs.  Paston did it in a very similar 377.  

Just noodling, you understand....

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