Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.
The Pitching Stats for the Pitching Coaches
In yesterday’s edition of the Notes, for reasons that remain somewhat unclear, we considered how well the league’s hitting coaches performed as major leaguers themselves. In today’s edition, we turn our attention to the pitching coaches — and to their corresponding major-league pitching careers.
As noted yesterday, there’s nothing to suggest — or, at least, not so far as the author is aware — that a player’s own personal pitching ability is a determinative factor in his ability to coach others well in that same art. Stated differently: this is a mostly trivial exercise the author is conducting.
In any case, there’s no doubting that what follows are the career stats for the 23 current pitching coaches with major-league experience, sorted by park-adjusted ERA relative to league average (ERA-), where 100 is average and a lower figure is better:
|Pete Walker||Blue Jays||339.1||5.07||3.53||1.27||.287||110||97||1.8||4.1|
|Juan Nieves||Red Sox||491.0||6.45||4.16||0.99||.298||99||110||6.7||3.5|
|Don Cooper||White Sox||85.1||4.96||4.85||1.48||.291||134||132||-0.9||-0.8|
• Absent from this list are the seven coaches who never played in the majors. They are as follows, presented in no discernible order: Rick Adair (Orioles), Jim Hickey (Rays), Bryan Price (Reds), Chuck Hernandez (Marlins), Rick Kranitz (Brewers), Rich Dubee (Phillies), and Darren Balsley (Padres).
• As noted, players are sorted by career ERA-. RA9-Wins is essentially Wins Above Replacement, except with ERA (and not FIP) as the input. All averages are simple averages — that is, not weighted by innings pitched.
• By this method, it appears as though 10 present pitching coaches were above-average (although very slightly, in some cases) major-league pitchers. One more (Carl Willis) was exactly league average. Twelve more were below average. Finally, as noted above, seven didn’t play at the major-league level.
• There doesn’t appear to be any, among the league’s present-day pitching coaches, who was definitively superior to his peers. Dave Righetti certainly deserves some recognition for his success on a per-inning basis. Charles Nagy posted the highest WAR and RA9-Win totals as major leaguer.
Video: Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter, 1983
Here’s video coverage, courtesy MLB.com, of Dave Righetti’s no-hitter against Boston from July 4th of 1983. The reader will likely derive some joy from the sliders at ca. 2:11 and 2:31 (with a replay of the latter at ca. 2:51).