Jackson: The Lyons share of strikeouts

From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on April 26, 2018:

Ted Lyons is an unusual figure in baseball history. Pitching in relative obscurity with the White Sox during the post-Black Sox years, he never appeared in a postseason game in 21 seasons. During his lengthy tenure with the franchise, the team never finished higher than third place. Since the All-Star Game was not instituted till halfway through his career, he had just one appearance (1939) to his credit.

Lyons went 260-230 for his career and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1955. Had he pitched for a better team, had he not given up three seasons to the military, and had he not agreed to quit pitching in favor of managing the Sox at age 45, he could have won 300 games – and that is a conservative estimate. “If he’d pitched for the Yankees, he would have won over 400 games,” opined Joe McCarthy, who managed the Yankees from 1931 to 1946.

Having established Lyons’ bona fides, we are now free to explore the most intriguing aspect of his career. As stellar as his stamina and stats appear, it is questionable if he could find a spot on a major league roster today. If scouts were keeping tabs on a contemporary prospect in the Lyons mold, they would likely recommend not drafting him. In his day, Lyons was an underachiever in the realm of strikeouts; in today’s K-crazy environment, he appears downright derelict.

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/the-lyons-share-of-strikeouts/

Originally published: April 27, 2018. Last Updated: April 27, 2018.