+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 26
02-15-2011 01:27 PM #1
Is it better to buy the bats vs buying the arms?
Last year, there were 28 AL pitchers that pitched 180+ innings and had an ERA of under.(Millwood and James Shields just missed out on this with ERAs just over 5)
The year before that, there were 22 pitchers, with Guthrie and Pavano just barely missing out.
In 2010, there were 24 batters that had at least 500PA and an OPS of 800 or better.(with a few guys just missing out)
In 2009, there were 43 hitters who did that with several guys just missing out.
The game is changing it appears...Going to more of a pitching and defense and less big thumpers like we saw with all the PEDs.
So, my question is this....What is harder to find? Your average-ish hitter or your average-ish starter?
Is it going to be easy to find 180ish IP starters that will give you a 4.5-5 ERA vs finding the 800ish OPS guys?
In this thread, I am not talking about the top level players, whether it be positional guys or pitchers.
I am talking about the second and third tier guys...Your 3-5 starters. Your 800ish OPS CI and CO.
Should we really have a philosophy of pouring all of our resources into one but not the other?
I am not trying to downgrade the significance of pitching at all. I am just saying that I think that back of the rotation type guys are always going to be available and cheap.
02-15-2011 01:34 PM #2
If you consider the post by Stoner in the MLB forum on the success of the top 100 prospects from an 8 year span to 2003 I believe showed that 1 in 10 pitchers in the top 100 made it to MLB and 1 in 4 position players made it. So in that vein, sounds like you should buy the pitching doesn't it?
02-15-2011 01:39 PM #3
I don't think any philosophy should be inflexible and all-encompassing. I've never bought into the grow the arms and buy the bats thing as anything more than a general guding philosophy.
02-15-2011 01:43 PM #4All-Star
- Join Date
- Jul 2005
I think the main reason for AM's belief is that pitchers are more prone to injury and tend to be less consistent than hitters. That really hasn't changed. What you are pointing out is that what we think of statistically as good for a pitcher and hitter has changed in the past few years.
02-15-2011 01:56 PM #5Plus Member since 12/08 Major League Starter
- Join Date
- Nov 2003
Philosophically, I find it hard to disagree with the mantra. From a risk management perspective, growing the arms makes the most sense. From a budgetary standpoint, buying the hitters makes the most sense as there is always affordable and available FA hitting.
The list of FA pitchers who ultimately are "worth" their contracts is far shorter than positional talent. Part of that is a supply/demand issue and injuries mid-contract. Throwing a baseball is not a natural motion and it is the true exception who can pitch effectively at peak levels for more than a few years.
I know SG limited the original question to non-elite players, but the disparity between pitching and hitting becomes even greater when looking at the elite talent. In the post-season, few teams win without an elite starter or two. Of the non-NYY or BOS teams, the others have done it with home-grown starters (Lincecum, Cain, Hamels, Verlander, Buerhle, Beckett, Willis, etc.)
Last edited by Say O!; 02-15-2011 at 01:59 PM.
02-15-2011 02:07 PM #6
Pitchers need to be taught to pitch in a given ballpark or league...hitters can pretty much mash anywhere. I really don't think Jake Peavy can win another Cy Young as a White Sock and it has nothing to do with his recent injuries...take a pretty solid pitcher out of Petco and make him throw to DH's and you're messing with a completely different animal. Couple this uncertainty with a higher injury rate and it starts to become more clear.
For those who think the Rays will be contenders this year (SG *cough*)...it won't be because they are top 5 in any hitting category...They have a nice stockpile of young pitching and a completely homegrown rotation. Why people want to deviate from a proven plan for success in the AL East is beyond me.
02-15-2011 02:24 PM #7
02-15-2011 02:25 PM #8
02-15-2011 02:37 PM #9
But let's assume that top batters do tend to make it to the MLB at a much higher success rate than top pitchers. This still does not necessarily mean that we should then buy the pitching. With top pitchers being a rare commodity, their price tag goes way up. Also, the loss of failing to develop top batters is minimized b/c there will be more top batters available in FA as opposed to top pitchers.
02-15-2011 03:25 PM #10
I think part of MacPhail's thinking also is the higher bust rate of FA pitchers vs. batters. Sure, there are some Mo Vaughn's and Albert Belle's, but way more:
Chan Ho Parks
and Barry Zitos
out there that break down and leave you with nothing. IMO. Pitching is more volatile than batting, too.
02-15-2011 03:39 PM #11
02-15-2011 03:54 PM #12
Good points. However, if only 1 in 10 pitchers are making it, I presume that was the MLB average during that span. Our organization has been below average generally. Regardless, if you emphasize pitching in your draft selections, you need to select well else you'll have wasted draft picks AND still be buying FA pitching. (not top pitching necessarily)
02-15-2011 04:25 PM #13
If we were closer to contending, I don't know that he wouldn't have gone after a Pavano or someone like that.
It seems to me his mantra is more to do with the Sabathias and Lees of the world.
02-15-2011 04:34 PM #14
And really, AM has never said what he means by that either. Its the same as buying the bats...We don't really know how he is defining "buying".
Does buying mean he will spend 100million? Or does buying mean Aubrey Huff contracts?
02-15-2011 04:35 PM #15Plus Member Since 5/10 All-Star
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- Severna Park, MD
I don't believe in grow the arms buy the bats.