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How do you define "ace" and is Jose Berríos one?


Vanimal46
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14 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

Can you be an ace if you’re not allowed to throw more than 85 pitches?

Dunno. Can you? Probably depends on where 85 pitches gets you, but mostly I'm not a believer in how 'ace' is thrown around to define pitchers because it's so subjective and not specific. Which is more my point ... it's become a useless term, but for people referring to Berrios as the team's ace, well, there you go. He's not an ace, imo, and I've stated that before. And I've also stated that Berrios is a very good solid pitcher and one any team would love to have. But the term ace? meh.

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27 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

Dunno. Can you? Probably depends on where 85 pitches gets you, but mostly I'm not a believer in how 'ace' is thrown around to define pitchers because it's so subjective and not specific. Which is more my point ... it's become a useless term, but for people referring to Berrios as the team's ace, well, there you go. He's not an ace, imo, and I've stated that before. And I've also stated that Berrios is a very good solid pitcher and one any team would love to have. But the term ace? meh.

Well, Ober has completed 6 innings in 2 of his 20 starts, so 85 pitches and below doesn’t get him too far. 

We won’t agree on the view of Berrios, and that’s fine. 

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12 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

Well, Ober has completed 6 innings in 2 of his 20 starts, so 85 pitches and below doesn’t get him too far. 

We won’t agree on the view of Berrios, and that’s fine. 

I think I've been pretty clear that I don't think Berrios is an ace pitcher and why, which is the subject of this thread. I think I've also been pretty clear that I think Berrios is a very solid good pitcher, one that any/all teams would love to have on their roster. And while a huge loss for us, I think we made a very good trade and I think it was the right trade to make given the circumstances. That's the sucky end of this business, saying goodbye to a beloved player, but that's the business, and all professionals know it. But I think the 'ace' moniker gets thrown about pretty inconsistently and in service to an agenda for some. My comment was more to that than anything else. To call a pitcher the 'team's ace' is nothing more than creating a false value, imo, because saying he's the best pitcher on a team whose pitching has really sucked this year says very little to me. 

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I'm too lazy to search for statistics to back this up, but it seems like Berrios very often pitches well, just not quite as well as he needs to in important situations. It makes me wonder if he has an underlying fear of success. I know that's kind of pop-culture psychology but it seems to apply. Last night was a prime example. His team is in a must-win situation in every game it plays, he knows it is his job to shut the opposition down, and he knows he has the stuff to do it, but he still had that lapse in the third inning that did him in.

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28 minutes ago, Nine of twelve said:

I'm too lazy to search for statistics to back this up, but it seems like Berrios very often pitches well, just not quite as well as he needs to in important situations. It makes me wonder if he has an underlying fear of success. I know that's kind of pop-culture psychology but it seems to apply. Last night was a prime example. His team is in a must-win situation in every game it plays, he knows it is his job to shut the opposition down, and he knows he has the stuff to do it, but he still had that lapse in the third inning that did him in.

While I agree in some part (maybe not the pop psychology part), that he has occasional 'lapses.' I think all pitchers do, but you are right, this is a must win situation for the Jay's and Berrios needs to come through. But so does the offense. Ober has the makings of a solid, back of the rotation guy, maybe mid-rotation guy, in his rookie year ... if it's must win, shouldn't the Jay's hitters also be making an impact? The loss isn't completely on Berrios, but yes, part of the reason I think of Berrios as a very good, solid pitcher, but not an ace.

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1 hour ago, Squirrel said:

I think I've been pretty clear that I don't think Berrios is an ace pitcher and why, which is the subject of this thread. I think I've also been pretty clear that I think Berrios is a very solid good pitcher, one that any/all teams would love to have on their roster. And while a huge loss for us, I think we made a very good trade and I think it was the right trade to make given the circumstances. That's the sucky end of this business, saying goodbye to a beloved player, but that's the business, and all professionals know it. But I think the 'ace' moniker gets thrown about pretty inconsistently and in service to an agenda for some. My comment was more to that than anything else. To call a pitcher the 'team's ace' is nothing more than creating a false value, imo, because saying he's the best pitcher on a team whose pitching has really sucked this year says very little to me. 

There’s actually several stats that show he’s a top 20 pitcher in baseball. 15th in fWAR, 5th in IP, 20th in ERA, 20th in FIP. What boggles my mind is people continuing to downplay his performance by bringing up an occasional bad inning in one of his starts, or the false narrative that he hasn’t done well in the playoffs. 

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7 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

There’s actually several stats that show he’s a top 20 pitcher in baseball. 15th in fWAR, 5th in IP, 20th in ERA, 20th in FIP. What boggles my mind is people continuing to downplay his performance by bringing up an occasional bad inning in one of his starts, or the false narrative that he hasn’t done well in the playoffs. 

Fine. We will just has to agree to disagree at this point. I'm just giving an opinion, not fighting to win a debate. This isn't an all or nothing that I'm stating here, and I've acknowledged the good, but I still don't think of Berrios as an ace. You do. And ne'er the two should meet. :) 

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22 hours ago, Squirrel said:

While I agree in some part (maybe not the pop psychology part), that he has occasional 'lapses.' I think all pitchers do, but you are right, this is a must win situation for the Jay's and Berrios needs to come through. But so does the offense. Ober has the makings of a solid, back of the rotation guy, maybe mid-rotation guy, in his rookie year ... if it's must win, shouldn't the Jay's hitters also be making an impact? The loss isn't completely on Berrios, but yes, part of the reason I think of Berrios as a very good, solid pitcher, but not an ace.

Occasional may or may not be the right word. Again, I don't have specific stats to cite, but it seems to me that his lapses were far more likely to occur in the most critical situations. Where an ace would drive a stake through the heart of the opposition he tended to revive the opposition.

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23 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

There’s actually several stats that show he’s a top 20 pitcher in baseball. 15th in fWAR, 5th in IP, 20th in ERA, 20th in FIP. What boggles my mind is people continuing to downplay his performance by bringing up an occasional bad inning in one of his starts, or the false narrative that he hasn’t done well in the playoffs. 

Haven't weighed in on this so far, but IMO there's a lot of room between Very Good Pitcher and Real Ace. Realistically, do we think there are 20 aces in the game? I don't. There are probably fewer than 10, and maybe some years there are a half-dozen. If someone wants to claim there are 20 aces (and that the Dodgers might have 2 or 3), then sure, he's an ace.

He's very good, and most of the pitchers in the league would love to have his success. He's also been extremely durable, which makes him even more valuable, but it doesn't make him an ace. It does help him in stats like fWAR and IP.

To me, facing an ace means you think "well, if he's on his game we'll have no chance tonight". I didn't feel that way facing Jose the last couple of weeks- I felt like if we could stay in the game, there was a good chance he'd give us something. On the flip side, when he was with the Twins I always felt like we had a good chance, but I never felt like the game was in the bag. With Prime Johan? Those games were ours, and we expected to win them. With Bert in the 70s, same thing (as long as we could score 2 or more runs, that was the big wild card).

Saying he's not an ace doesn't demean him as much as it just places a higher standard on the term. Again, IMO.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ace is such an impossible choice of terminology. If a pitcher is among the top ten to twenty starting pitchers in multiple categories, such as innings, strikeouts, batting average against, walks and hits per inning, earned run average, etc., then I think we can see that pitcher as some type of ace. The best pitcher on the team can also get that designation too, but that is certainly much looser. Bailey Ober is our current ace, for example, but I not sure anyone wants to paste the label of "Ace" on Ober. It is pretty neat the way that Tampa Bay has three rookies filling starting roles in the post season and the Dodgers have Buehler, Urias, and Scherzer. Only Mad Max gets universal acclaim as an ace in these examples. Meanwhile Kershaw is out with an injury, an ace on the injured list. We can only hope that the Twins pick up three pitchers this offseason whose stats put them among the elite (top 20) starting pitchers in baseball.

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