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  1. A quick note: Rally’s numbers for WAR and this site’s numbers for WAR are completely different. The last three years’ WAR for Pettitte (according to Rally’s) are .6, 2.9 and 1.7 (an average of ~1.7). Your post suggests that they are scaled the same and that Pettitte will gain 4.5 WAR a year on Koufax and catch him in two years, when in fact, he will take more than five to catch Koufax and eight to crack the top 25. Considering that Pettitte is 37, I doubt he’ll do either.

    Comment by KMils — May 6, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

  2. Whoops, I actually meant to edit the Rally part out once I got the total WAR from this site. Good catch.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — May 6, 2009 @ 7:50 pm

  3. Pettitte isn’t even the “typical” type of pitcher that gets put in the pen. He’s all about location and mixing in four pitches (FB CT CB CH), which is hardly the type of pitcher associated with bullpen work.

    Also, if the Yankees are still thinking postseason, and no reason they shouldn’t be (inability to beat the Red Sox aside), who else starts for them aside from Sabathia and Burnett (assuming the Yankees make the playoffs, I assume both are healthy at that point)? Chamberlain threw 100 Innings last year, and Hughes threw 70. Are these the guys who are going to be helping in September and October?

    Comment by aweb — May 6, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

  4. As a yankees fan I have been saying the same thing about him not getting enough love for a long time. I’m sure on a site like this the vast majority thought a short term deal like his was obviously the right move over another signing, but I was shocked by how many “lay” yankees fans and people in the media didn’t feel the same way.

    He has also had BABIPs of .331, .323, and .339 over the last 3 seasons… If he gets the other side of the coin, his ERA over those 3 years would be absolutely stellar instead of “just” in the low 4 region. He also pitched 200IP in each season. His longevity and consistency is ridiculous, I absolutely love the guy.

    In unrelated Yankees news, I can’t believe everyone is so down on this team right now. The fact that Angel Berroa and Ramiro Pena are about to be replaced by Arod should be reason for optimism enough. The team is in such better shape than it was 3-4 years ago it is shocking. In my opinion most people got way, way too down on Hughes and Kennedy, for one they are extremely young, and second having 2 young pitchers with upside in the 6 and 7 slots to replace whoever inevitably gets hurt, when was the last time we had that? Even if you take a pessimistic outlook for them (which I think is unfounded), that Hughes “hasn’t shown he can be healthy” or that Kennedy only has AAAA stuff (somewhat unreasonable and reactionary to say about a 24 y.o.), having them in the minors was an insane value (at least relative to the depth of the rotation in the past).

    Anyway I am obviously biased, but I genuinely feel my optimism about the future is warranted. Up until about a year ago, I had been very pessimistic about the future for a while, I think the turnaround they have managed has been very impressive. I think people underestimate how much of that should be credited to Cashman gaining free reign over the team’s operations, lots of people criticize him for deals that were not really his idea or first choice. IMHO.

    Comment by Lawrence — May 6, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

  5. While I do think that Pettite is a good and underrated pitcher (I would have been ecstatic if the Cards signed him), he is somewhat overrated by FIP. He has the ability to miss bats, but when he doesn’t, he allows a lot of hard contact. His tRA*s have only been slightly above average in each of the last 3 years. In fact his WAR totals by tRA* during that span are 2.9, 2.9 and 2.9 (although he was worth 5.9 WAR in 05. 2.9 WAR a season is still very good, however I don’t think that Pettite is as good as you describe him in this article. You’re right that he should never be moved to the pen though.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — May 6, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

  6. Is the strength of a team’s defense accounted for in FIP or WAR? Because he has played on NYY for 11 out of 14 of his complete seasons. I have no idea how good houstons defense was during his 3 years there.

    Comment by Lawrence — May 6, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  7. FIP is fielding independent, so is tRA*, so the quality of defense doesn’t really matter.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — May 6, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

  8. You guys all realize that h is Juicing again? or he would not be this good!

    Comment by Brian — May 7, 2009 @ 1:16 am

  9. I haven’t looked at the numbers, and I’ve only watched 4 Yankee games, but I get the feeling left-handers are going to be very useful in that park come summer.

    Comment by kris — May 7, 2009 @ 7:46 am

  10. Damn you beat me to it. Petite seems to be one of the rare cases where FIP really isn’t a good evaluation of his performance, given how different his FIP’s and tRA’s are over this same span. Not that being a 2.9 win pitcher really disproves your point, though…

    2.9 wins by tRA 3 years in a row, talk about consistency.

    Comment by B — May 7, 2009 @ 8:41 am

  11. No matter how you look at it, Pettitte has been undervalued throughout his career. +2.9 tRA for 3 yrs is tremendous, as are his win values here.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — May 7, 2009 @ 8:44 am

  12. I believe that people have an issue with Andy Pettite because of his age. Ditto for Jamie Moyer (who isn’t quite as good as Pettite). But maybe it’s because I’m older than either of them.

    Comment by Tom Au — May 7, 2009 @ 9:45 am

  13. I’ve never seen any evidence of that, but I can understand why an old guy under a constant barrage of Flowmax and Ciallis commercials might feel that way.

    Comment by joser — May 7, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  14. Oh yeah. Cancel this article. Maybe we need to put some steroidjuice adjustments on Sidney Ponson and I bet he’s better than this darn dirty cheater!

    Comment by Jesus — May 7, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

  15. Great post. I wasn’t aware that Pettitte was underrated. As a Yankees fan, I was very dismayed to see him leave after the 2003 season. Other than his second half last year, he has been one of the most productive, reliable pitchers for the Yankees.

    Comment by Doug — May 8, 2009 @ 8:46 am

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