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Article: Is Ervin Santana An Ace?

ervin santana johan santana rick porcello kyle gibson scott baker
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#41 DocBauer

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 06:16 PM

The problem is trying to define what an ACE pitcher really is. Just reading all the well thought out comments here is proff of that. There is a difference, IMO, between a #1 starter and an ACE, though an ACE is obviously a #1 starter. A true ACE is that #1 starter who does his job...being a dominant SP overall...consistently. He doesn't have to win 20 every year for goodness sake, but you know he's capable of it. Along with 30+ starts and 200IP, etc. You get the idea. Transport of the old adage where you know it/him when you see it/him.

Santana is, and has been, a largely successful and reliable pitcher for his career. You could argue, for whatever reason(s), he's never been better in his career, overall, than since he joined the Twins. He's a high quality #3 who has often pitched like a quality #2. I think you could make the argument he's been a true #2 since joining the Twins. Right now, and even for a 100 loss team last season, an argument could be made he's pitched like a #1. Not an ACE, but a real #1.

What matters most is this is a FA move that paid off for us. And I love the way the Twins have been using him, putting him out there, but also not riding him too hard.
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#42 DaveW

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 10:03 PM

Results are what matter and what ultimately win games.

I don't care with his FIP xFIP etc are

The reality is that every game Santana has pitched this year, he has given the Twins a damn good chance to win every single one, and they have won every one (I think) with the exception of the Chris Sale game (which the bullpen blew anyways)

Ervin Santana is our ace, until he is not.

Edited by DaveW, 16 May 2017 - 10:16 PM.

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#43 goulik

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 11:27 PM

I'd argue 30 aces total and go with top 30 pitchers... just me.Probably still a bit higher there, as number 30 on the list may not be a shut down pitcher in the mold that we want..
 
that said, I'd call Santana a #2 at worst, as 2s can have ace seasons (which Santana is having thus far).No question so far though that he's an ace. If we are out of contention at the deadline, there's a real question as to whether to trade the 1.5 years of Santana for a prospect haul (and I'd have to think he'd get a nice return) or keep him.


I've been thinking a lot about this in the past 24 hours so let's use logic. 30 Teams, 30 #1, 30 #2, 30 #3, 30 #4, 30 #5...it's what you have...a rotation. If you have only 10 Aces, then you have to have pitchers you call #1 but not an Ace...no one thinks that way.

Logic part dos: An Ace is a card from a deck of cards. Ace in a deck is a number 1.

#44 The Wise One

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 11:53 PM

 

Is joe flacco elite?

I heard from an inside source that he does not have good control of his off speed pitches

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#45 Tomj14

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:37 AM

 

BTW, this year Ervin Santana's FIP is 4.17, his xFIP is 4.49, he has 6.83 K/9 and has a BB/9 of 3.50.

 

And, well, he has a ridiculous 98.4% LOB% along with an incredible .128 BABIP.

 

If people want to think he's an ace because of his ERA, well, he's got a great one.

Using those stats are very good at predicting what may be to come or even that a pitcher was a bit lucky or unlucky, but after the game has been played, what matters is the outcome. Those numbers suggest his ERA is going to go up (which I agree with). But as of today he has started 8 games, pitched 54 innings, given up 23 hits, and walked 21 with an ERA of 1.5 (and hasn't given up an unearned run).

Edited by Tomj14, 17 May 2017 - 10:38 AM.

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#46 Mike Sixel

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:40 AM

 

I've been thinking a lot about this in the past 24 hours so let's use logic. 30 Teams, 30 #1, 30 #2, 30 #3, 30 #4, 30 #5...it's what you have...a rotation. If you have only 10 Aces, then you have to have pitchers you call #1 but not an Ace...no one thinks that way.

Logic part dos: An Ace is a card from a deck of cards. Ace in a deck is a number 1.

 

Actually, nearly everyone thinks that way.

 

Do you think that Mike Pelfrey was an ace, because he was the Twins' best pitcher one year? A team's number 1 starter is not necessarily even a good pitcher, let alone an ace.

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I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#47 Doomtints

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:51 AM

Someone named Bill James defined #1 and #2 pitchers over a generation ago, when discussing the 1987 Twins championship season in fact. 

 

His data lead to the following conclusions:

 

Essentially, #4 and #5 pitchers have abysmal W-L records, almost never anywhere near .500.

 

#1 and #2 pitchers tend to have W-L records well over .500 and are where the bulk of team wins credited to the SP come from.

 

#3 pitchers are around .500.  (Bill James went on to say that the Twins pitching staff was typical in 1987 -- the only thing missing was a #3 pitcher. The other pitching roles were normal for WS champion teams).

 

Of course, in this era we are told by some very loud people that W-L for pitchers is irrelevant. Bear in mind that I am just putting this definition out there for everyone to digest and not defending it. Nevertheless, using this definition, yes, Ervin Santana is a #1 or #2 pitcher. Probably a #2 but this year, so far, a #1.

I prefer using my own stat to determine the worthiness of a starting pitcher -- the "meltdown ratio" which is the opposite of a quality start -- lasting less than 6 innings or allowing 3+ runs. Most of you will be surprised to learn that the best pitchers in the game still have "meltdowns" 40% of the time, with the worst having them 60% of the time. When the Twins picked up Santana, I ran this for him and he was at the top -- right around 40%. Take this as you will.

Edited by Doomtints, 17 May 2017 - 10:52 AM.


#48 ashburyjohn

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:57 AM

I prefer using my own stat to determine the worthiness of a starting pitcher -- the "meltdown ratio" which is the opposite of a quality start -- lasting less than 6 innings or allowing 3+ runs.

Unless there is more to this, won't a ranked list of pitchers be in the same order under either metric, except reversed? Isn't every start either quality or meltdown?

 

Ted Williams led the league in outs-not-made with a .594 average in 1941. :)

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#49 Doomtints

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 12:29 PM

 

Unless there is more to this, won't a ranked list of pitchers be in the same order under either metric, except reversed? Isn't every start either quality or meltdown?

 

Ted Williams led the league in outs-not-made with a .594 average in 1941. :)

 

Not exactly, but close.


#50 goulik

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:55 PM

Actually, nearly everyone thinks that way.
 
Do you think that Mike Pelfrey was an ace, because he was the Twins' best pitcher one year? A team's number 1 starter is not necessarily even a good pitcher, let alone an ace.


No people do not talk about prospects and pitchers coming up and say they are a #1 but not a potential "Ace". They are "Aces" or they are #2, #3 or whatever when we talk about them on here and in other media.

And, No, I don't think Pelfrey when he was on our team was considered a number one nor an "Ace" And, That is not what I was saying. The best guy on a team isn't necessarily good. But what I'm saying is that maybe we need to expand our thinking. Maybe we should even ditch using a subjective term like "Ace"

There should be more guys we consider #1s and recognize that some teams have a couple number ones pitching for them. To say there are only 5-10 number one pitchers isn't realistic or logical but there are maybe only 5-10 SuperStars doing it year in and year out. The term "Ace" therefore is a deceptive and, always will be, a subjective unmeasurable term used in a game known for its numbers and statistics.

#51 Doomtints

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:35 PM

 

No people do not talk about prospects and pitchers coming up and say they are a #1 but not a potential "Ace". They are "Aces" or they are #2, #3 or whatever when we talk about them on here and in other media.

And, No, I don't think Pelfrey when he was on our team was considered a number one nor an "Ace" And, That is not what I was saying. The best guy on a team isn't necessarily good. But what I'm saying is that maybe we need to expand our thinking. Maybe we should even ditch using a subjective term like "Ace"

There should be more guys we consider #1s and recognize that some teams have a couple number ones pitching for them. To say there are only 5-10 number one pitchers isn't realistic or logical but there are maybe only 5-10 SuperStars doing it year in and year out. The term "Ace" therefore is a deceptive and, always will be, a subjective unmeasurable term used in a game known for its numbers and statistics.

 

Ace comment.

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#52 h2oface

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:48 PM

Hey! Is Berrios an ace? He's had 2 ace games!
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#53 Loosey

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:55 PM

I think defining an Ace is more of an Art than Science. You can argue about the true meaning and we will never agree. You know an Ace when you see one but can't really explain the reasons why. If it was a science we would never have this argument. Unless you dont believe in science...

#54 Willihammer

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 10:08 PM

One thing we can all agree I think is an ace needs to be able to log big IP totals. Santana has 70 IP in 10 starts. That's ace-level innings eating I'd say. Oh and the last pitch of his CGSO tonight was a fastball at 95 mph.

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Well, there's that.

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#55 drjim

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 05:39 AM

One thing we can all agree I think is an ace needs to be able to log big IP totals. Santana has 70 IP in 10 starts. That's ace-level innings eating I'd say. Oh and the last pitch of his CGSO tonight was a fastball at 95 mph.


He's also pitched as part of a 4 man rotation for a while. He might pull off 35 starts, 230-235 ip. Might not be an ace, but that's a horse.
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#56 laloesch

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 06:12 AM

 

He's also pitched as part of a 4 man rotation for a while. He might pull off 35 starts, 230-235 ip. Might not be an ace, but that's a horse.

 

I would take two or three more of these in a heart beat.  Doesn't have to be an official "ace" to make this team a world series winner (although it does help).




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