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Scott Kazmir Used to Rule the World

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Between the preview piece and a few others, Scott Kazmir has been my most written about player this spring. Let's continue that, eh?

These comparisons are based using FanGraphs' Win Values for starting pitchers. What I did was take the last three years of data, sort it by pitchers with at least 500 innings - right around Scott Kazmir's total - and then divided their starting pitcher runs by their starting pitcher innings. Making it a per inning rate state rather than a counting stat. The innings limit was placed to filter out pitchers who did not pitch in each of the three years

That left us with a decent amount (53) of starters ranging from CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay to Jason Marquis and Scott Olsen. That suggests we have a nice spread in talent, both in numerical and perceptional senses. Before I present the data allow me to give you a set of baseline numbers to which you should compare these. Remember again that these are pitchers with at least 500 innings over the last three seasons, so there's a sufficient sample size.

The average runs saved per inning pitched of this collection is ~0.17. That would mean that every starting inning that pitcher has thrown over the last three years has averaged a result of 0.17 runs better than replacement. Over 100 innings that's 17 runs - or 1.7 wins - and over 200 innings that's 3.4 wins. Here's a graphical look:

Winningscale_medium

Okay, now let's get to the Kazmir part.

Kazmirbars_medium

Kazmir is the red bar and James Shields is the yellow bar. This is a rate stat, which means on a rate basis over the last three years, Kazmir has been a better pitcher per inning than Shields. It's worth noting that Shields has thrown about 50 additional innings than Kazmir and that's the flaw here. Being healthy, enough to pitch is an important characteristic. Unfortunately, some people take health to an extreme and assume Kazmir needs to throw 200 innings to be effective. That is simply untrue, 170 innings of 2006-2008 Kazmir is better than 200 of an average pitcher. Kaz again in red:

Kazvavg_medium

Kazmir has been extremely good over the past three seasons, people should stop thinking otherwise.

[H/T: PriceMultiCyYoungs for the inspirational quotes]

Table with all the chart data after the jump.

Name Starting Start-IP RUNS/IP Value Wins Dollars
CC Sabathia 193 686.2 0.281259108 20.3 $84.20
Roy Halladay 182.7 689 0.265166909 19.1 $79.10
Brandon Webb 184.1 698 0.263753582 19.7 $80.50
Mike Mussina 132.2 546 0.242124542 13.4 $55.10
Javier Vazquez 147.6 626 0.235782748 14.9 $61.00
Johan Santana 161.4 687 0.234934498 16.6 $67.00
Josh Beckett 132.8 579.2 0.229281768 13.7 $57.30
Dan Haren 149.6 661.2 0.226255293 15.4 $64.10
John Lackey 134.5 605 0.22231405 13.6 $53.90
Scott Kazmir 111.1 503.2 0.220786963 11.1 $44.90
A.J. Burnett 114.9 521.2 0.220452801 11.6 $48.70
Chien-Ming Wang 111.2 511.2 0.217527387 11.1 $44.50
Roy Oswalt 135.6 640 0.211875 13.9 $56.30
Jake Peavy 125.3 599.1 0.209147054 13 $52.90
Kevin Millwood 113.7 556.1 0.20445963 11.3 $45.50
Felix Hernandez 116.5 582 0.200171821 11.5 $47.30
Derek Lowe 122.7 624.1 0.196603108 12.9 $52.90
Andy Pettitte 123.7 630.2 0.196286893 12.4 $51.40
Cole Hamels 105.8 543 0.194843462 10.9 $45.50
Aaron Cook 113.6 590 0.192542373 11.7 $48.20
James Shields 105.8 554.2 0.19090581 10.5 $43.90
Cliff Lee 96.1 515.2 0.186529503 10 $42.90
Gil Meche 113 613 0.184339315 11.2 $46.90
Matt Cain 110.9 606.1 0.182973107 11.4 $46.60
Joe Blanton 112.5 619 0.18174475 11.3 $45.80
Justin Verlander 105.9 588.2 0.180040802 10.4 $42.70
Ervin Santana 100.7 569 0.176977153 10.3 $43.00
Aaron Harang 113.3 645.1 0.175631685 12.1 $48.20
Tim Hudson 101.4 583.2 0.173868313 10.4 $42.50
Jeff Francis 94.3 558 0.168996416 9.5 $38.30
Greg Maddux 100.5 602 0.166943522 10.2 $40.80
Mark Buehrle 103.8 623.2 0.166559692 10.2 $43.10
Jon Garland 97.8 616 0.158766234 9.5 $38.20
Carlos Zambrano 95.5 619 0.154281099 9.6 $38.90
Ted Lilly 86.8 593.1 0.146349688 8.6 $35.50
Bronson Arroyo 90.3 651.1 0.138688374 9 $36.20
Doug Davis 74.7 542 0.137822878 7.5 $30.40
Tim Wakefield 67.2 510 0.131764706 6.4 $26.50
David Bush 69.7 571.2 0.12202381 6.8 $26.60
Ian Snell 67.5 558.1 0.120946067 6.7 $27.20
Nate Robertson 65.6 547.1 0.119904953 6.2 $24.80
Zach Duke 59.6 504.2 0.118207061 5.8 $23.30
Paul Byrd 58.1 551.1 0.105425513 5.5 $22.20
Paul Maholm 58.9 560 0.105178571 5.8 $24.40
Jamie Moyer 62.7 607 0.103294893 6.1 $25.40
Jarrod Washburn 53.6 532.1 0.100732945 5 $20.20
Daniel Cabrera 52.4 532.1 0.09847773 5 $19.60
Carlos Silva 49.1 528.2 0.092957213 4.8 $20.30
Barry Zito 55.4 596.2 0.092921838 5.3 $21.60
Jeff Suppan 43.6 574.1 0.075944957 4.3 $16.80
Livan Hernandez 36.2 600.1 0.060323279 3.5 $14.10
Scott Olsen 33.6 559 0.060107335 3.3 $12.70
Jason Marquis 29.4 552 0.05326087 2.9 $12.80