Monday, April 24, 2017

Can Quintaña win when losing? Will White Sox benefit despite all the “L’s?”

There are those baseball fans who like to follow the game through the use of various statistics that supposedly tell us more about a ballplayer’s true worth than the traditional ones about batting average or wins.

An 0-4 ace pitcher?!?
For the Chicago White Sox’ sake, they had better hope such logic is applied. Because this is the team supposedly in a building mode that has made it clear their Number One pitcher these days is up for trade.

THEY’RE HOPING EVENTUALLY to find someone eager enough to acquire Jose Quintaña that they’ll give up a lot of talent. Perhaps a team that thinks one more quality pitcher will help them win a championship in 2017 – while the White Sox focus on what could take place in 2019 or 2020.

Until then, Quintaña pitches for the White Sox, taking the ball every fifth game and tries to do his best to pitch the White Sox to V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.

But while the White Sox as a team have managed thus far to win about half of their ballgames (making them mediocre rather than lousy), Quintaña has statistically been a flop. Unless you factor statistics other than “games won” into the equation.

For Quintaña in 2017 has a record of 0-4. In four starts (including the first game of the season against the Detroit Tigers), he has managed to be the losing pitcher of record. Not usually the kind of guy who’d get featured on Jimmy Fallon’s late night TV talk show (the two spoke in Spanish about who would pay for a thong)!

BUT IT’S GETTING to the point where some White Sox fans may start dreading the appearance of their alleged top pitcher because they’re figuring there will be enough losses in ’17 – we don’t need to give up on ballgames before they even start.
Jose will face pitchers like Kluber all season

Of course, it should be noted that Quintaña is facing a decades-old phenomenon of being a ball club’s top pitcher – he pitches in the rotation against the other ball club’s “ace.” How much better would one-time Chicago Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins’ record be if he hadn’t always had to pitch against Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal or Bob Gibson – Hall of Famers all!

In Quintaña’s most recent ballgame on Friday, he pitched and lost to the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians, who had their own ace Corey Kluber pitching.

Quintana gave up three runs, and under different circumstances that might not have been so bad.
Too bad Fergie couldn't pitch against Cubs

BUT ON FRIDAY, it stunk because Kluber used the night game as an occasion to pitch shutout ball. 3-0 was the final score. But the CBS Sports account of the ballgame made a point of calling the game Quintaña’s second quality start of the season.

Even though the other two ballgames he pitched are to blame for that earned run average of over 6. Better for people to focus on the BABIP for this season of .293 – which is the batting average of balls hit in play while Quintaña pitches.

It actually is better than the .304 figure he has during the length of his professional ballplaying career.

He also has managed to strike out 20 batters during his four starts, where he lasted 23 1/3 innings in all.

THE SPORTING NEWS recently published a commentary arguing that “pitcher wins and losses are stupid stats” and that baseball fans should “banish” them from their discussions about the game.

As one who’d like to see Quintaña be turned over for something of quality to wear a White Sox uniform in coming seasons, I can only hope others take that line of logic seriously.
Some of the strangest stats ever seen!

Because the bottom line of "wins" and "losses can be deceptive. I still remember the Wilbur Wood of the early-to-mid 1970s White Sox, who had a three-season stretch where he lost 17, 20 and 19 games. But he also won 22, 24 and 24 and in one season also had the earned run average of 2.51. He was doing something right in order to keep being used to pitch despite so many losses.

Which likely is to be Quintaña’s fate for 2017 – he’ll keep throwing until he’s traded. But wouldn’t it be nice if he could get at least one “W” on his record before that moment. Perhaps his next start Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals before the Sox begin a road trip to Detroit, Kansas City and Baltimore?


No comments: