Deane: The declining influence of good pitchers

From SABR member Bill Deane at WordPress on October 17, 2017:

Over the past quarter-century, there have been a lot of theories – some provably false – on why there is more offense in today’s game than in yesteryear’s.  One I don’t hear mentioned very often is the fact that more and more innings are shifted from a team’s best pitchers to its worst ones.

To illustrate this, about a dozen years ago I went through Neft & Cohen’s Sports Encyclopedia Baseball.  I compared the seasons of 1962 and 1999 – the former because it was the first year that all teams played 162 games, and the latter simply because it was the latest in my edition of the book.

For each team in each year, I ranked pitchers by innings pitched.  Then, I averaged the number of frames tossed by the #1 pitcher on each team, by the #2 pitcher, and so on.

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Originally published: October 17, 2017. Last Updated: October 17, 2017.