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Joe Posnanski
13

#ironyjerseys Living great* starting pitchers with 162 innings or fewer for a franchise (Age at the time):

*5+ seasons of 4+ pitching WAR and 1+ pitching WAR per 40 innings per baseball-reference.com. Without using both criteria, era and workload plays a huge role in who makes the list since even though you can have negative WAR for a game it is mainly a counting stat and more innings generally results in more WAR.

^appeared in playoffs for that team

Angels: Fernando Valenzuela (30), Luis Tiant (41), Jim Maloney (31)

Orioles: Curt Schilling (21–23)

Red Sox: Bartolo Colon (35), John Smoltz (42), Juan Marichal (36), Wilbur Wood (19–22), Tom Seaver (41), David Cone (38), Frank Tanana (27)

White Sox: Dave Stieb (35), Steve Carlton (41), David Wells (38)

Indians: Camilo Pascual (37), Mark Langston (38), Steve Carlton (42), Tommy John (20–21), Jack Morris (39)

Tigers: none

Astros: Curt Schilling (24), Randy Johnson (34)

Royals: Gaylord Perry (44)

Twins: Steve Carlton (42–43), ^Luis Tiant (29)

Yankees: Frank Tanana (39), Bob Friend (35), Gaylord Perry (41), Jim Kaat (40–41), ^Rick Reuschel (32), Sam McDowell (30–31)

Athletics: Tommy John (42), ^Jon Lester (30)

Mariners: Dennis Martinez (43), Cliff Lee (31)

Rays: none

Rangers: Roy Oswalt (34), Cliff Lee (31)

Blue Jays: Phil Niekro (48), Frank Viola (36), ^Tom Candiotti (33)

Diamondbacks: none

Braves: Bartolo Colon (44), ^Dennis Martinez (44), Gaylord Perry (42)

Cubs: none

Reds: Camilo Pascual (35), Frank Viola (35), ^David Wells (32)

Rockies: Roy Oswalt (35), ^Bret Saberhagen (31)

Marlins: Carlos Zambrano (31)

Dodgers: Juan Marichal (37), Camilo Pascual (36), David Wells (44), ^Greg Maddux (40 & 42), Pedro Martinez (20–21)

Brewers: Tom Candiotti (25–26), ^CC Sabathia (27)

Mets: ^Kenny Rogers (34), Bob Friend (35)

Phillies: Fergie Jenkins (22–23), ^Pedro Martinez (37), Fernando Valenzuela (33)

Pirates: Sam McDowell (32), Luis Tiant (40), Wilbur Wood (22–23)

Padres: ^Mark Langston (37), Mickey Lolich (37–38)

Giants: Steve Carlton (41), Randy Johnson (45)

Cardinals: Fernando Valenzuela (36), ^John Smoltz (42), ^Chuck Finley (39), ^Dennis Eckersley (41–42)

Nationals: Ted Lilly (23), Randy Johnson (24–25), Bartolo Colon (29)

25 of the 75 pitchers pitched for the Yankees, 3 of the 9 retired pitchers who only pitched for one franchise played for the Yankees: Whitey Ford, Mel Stottlemyre and Ron Guidry along with Sandy Koufax (Dodgers), Bob Gibson (Cardinals), Jim Palmer (Orioles), Steve Rogers (Expos), Brad Radke (Twins) and Brandon Webb (D’Backs). Justin Verlander (Tigers), Felix Hernandez (Mariners) and Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) haven’t played for another franchise yet.

The 1992 Blue Jays had 6 of the 75 pitchers: David Cone, Jimmy Key, Al Leiter, Jack Morris, Dave Stieb and David Wells and won the World Series. The 1991 Blue Jays had 5: Tom Candiotti but no Cone or Morris and lost in the ALCS to the Twins. The 1980 Yankees had 5: Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Gaylord Perry and Luis Tiant and lost in the ALCS to the Royals.

Tim Lincecum starts Game #68 for the Angels in 2016, he misses the list because only 2 of his seasons qualify for great* but he might well be a great pitcher just because of those 2 seasons. The Angels are 29–38 and the playoffs seem unlikely even with nearly 100 games to play so there is no real downside to having Tim start, he was the 21st of 30 pitchers to take the mound for the Angels that year. This quite possibly has things in common with many pitchers listed above.

David Price currently has 4 seasons that qualify as great* and will most likely get his 5th at some point which would add him to the Blue Jays list assuming he doesn’t return to the team. Looking back at his entire career those 74.1 innings on the Jays might look out of place but a deadline acquisition that pitched great and helped the team reached the playoffs for the first time in 23 years isn’t something Jays fans would ever likely consider an #ironyjersey which is why I included easily searchable playoff appearances and obviously some teams fall short of the playoffs even if the “rental” pitcher pitches well.

Information provided by Baseball-Reference.com Play Index

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