Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chicago Deep Dish Pitchers

Ron Kaplan's piece about promising White Sox pitching prospect, Aaron Poreda, got me to thinking that you could put together a pretty decent staff with the Jewish pitchers who've played here in Chicago. Observe.

1. Ken Holtzman (Chicago Cubs, 1965-1971, 1978-1979)
80-81 with 3 saves and a 3.76 ERA in 1447 innings

2. Saul Rogovin (Chicago White Sox, 1951-1953)
32-28 with 2 saves and a 3.70 ERA in 555 innings

3. Steve Stone (Chicago White Sox, 1973, 1977-1978/Chicago Cubs, 1974-1976)
56-55 with 1 save and a 4.23 ERA in 1054 innings.

4. Ross Baumgarten (Chicago White Sox, 1978-1981)
22-31 with a 3.75 ERA in 451 innings

5. Jason Marquis (Chicago Cubs, 2007-2008)
23-18 with a 4.57 ERA in 358 innings

Scott Schoeneweis (Chicago White Sox, 2003-2004)
8-10 with a 5.39 ERA in 138 innings

Dave Roberts (Chicago Cubs, 1977-1978)
7-9 with 2 saves and a 4.70 ERA in 195 innings

Marv Rotblatt (Chicago White Sox, 1948, 1950-1951)
4-3 with 2 saves and a 4.82 ERA in 74 innings

Barry Latman (Chicago White Sox, 1957-1959)
12-7 with a 3.33 ERA and 1 save in 216 innings

Jose Bautista (Chicago Cubs, 1993-1994)
14-8 with 3 saves and a 3.23 ERA in 181 innings

Scott Radinsky (Chicago White Sox, 1990-1995)
24-16 with 32 saves and a 3.62 ERA in 275 innings


William said...

Holtzman was another of those pitchers that would have been great in these times because medical procedures are so much better now. He was very good before arm problems sideswiped him.

Josh Borenstein said...

Obviously, I never got to see him pitch, but I watched the Fidrych-Yankees game the other day on MLB Network. Fidrych was a blast. I loved his intensity and his eccentricity.

Two things stuck out to me:

1. Holtzman worked really fast, changed speeds well, kept the hitters off balance, and his curve ball was a nice out pitch.

2. The Tigers blew out Fidrych's arm. No doubt about it. 24 complete games as a rookie? Ridiculous. I know they didn't baby pitchers back then, but that's just irresponsible. Koufax had back-to-back seasons with 27 complete games. Didn't work out so well for him either.

William said...

I don't know, Josh. This is a debate that's been going on for a long time. Obviously, no one ever told Cy Young to slow it down a little or took him out after 100 pitches. The old school of thought was that the more you threw, the stronger your arm got. I don't know where the source is, probably Bill James, but there is statistical analysis that a pitcher's effectiveness decreases after a certain amount of pitches. All of baseball seems to go by this (unless you are a certain former Cubs manager now managing the Reds) and that's why you see 100 pitch limits all over the place. The thing about Fidrych and Koufax is that with today's medical knowledge, their careers probably could have been prolonged. I certainly don't know the answers. But I've been around a long time and have watched many pitchers overused and die before their time: Jim Bouton, Koufax, Frank Tanana and so many others come to mind.