Hey, Hoynsie: Given the way starting and relief pitchers are used now, how about getting rid of the rule that says pitchers must go at least five innings to be credited with a win. Also, how about calculating ERA on a per inning basis, adding an ‘IRS’ (inherited runners scoring/inning) and creating a slash line for pitchers of ERA/IRS/strikeouts per inning. It seems like that would be much more informative to the average fan. — David Frederick, St. Augustine, Fla.
Hey, David: Joe Noga, my colleague on the Tribe beat, and I discussed the first part of your question on our most recent Indians podcast. He was in favor of it, while I found it interesting, but was hesitant to make such a radical change in the statistical history of the game.
My worry is that the use of openers and bullpenning is a fad. That five to 10 years from now teams will suddenly go back to trying to find four pitchers who can make between 25 and 33 starts a year and get close to 200 innings and 200 strikeouts. Would MLB, being a copycat league just like most pro sports, have to go back to the five-inning rule for a pitcher to earn a win? It seems like a lot of unnecessary confusion.
As for your slash line of ERA/IRS/strikeouts per inning, I’m willing to bet that each team’s analytical department has its own version of that at this very moment.