Hit with power
Those are the traditional skills by which baseball players have been and continue to be judged. Pitchers are judged only by the one obvious skill and as such are not baseball players in any real sense.
Hall of Fame: why elect ANY pitchers? Friday, January 22, 2010
I have long held that relief pitchers not be elected to the Hall of Fame because they are part time players, like pinch hitters...
The five tools are: hit, hit with power, run, field, throw. Willie Mays is the quintessential five tool player. Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, you get the idea...
But what of pitchers? How many tools were possessed by Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax? Some pitchers could field well: Whitey Ford. Some could also run well: Bob Gibson. But other than Babe Ruth, who was not elected to the Hall of Fame as a pitcher, who could hit well? No, not hit well for a pitcher, hit well for a ball player? More to my original point, almost all pitchers are part time players. Charley "Old Hoss" Radbourn pitched (1881-1891) in most of his team games in several seasons but that is extremely rare.
Why should any pitchers be considered for eligibility to the Hall of Fame? Starters pitch in less than 25% of their team games. 162 games multiplied by 9 innings equals 1,458 innings. A player should appear in at least 80% to be considered full time. If a pitcher throws in 200 innings he appears in about 14% of his team's innings. A modern iron man throwing about 300 innings would be in about 20%. You may think that the pitcher is doing much more than players at other positions. If the pitcher is striking out most of the batters that he faces, I might agree. However, those other players are retiring the batters who hit the ball. Why should the pitcher get credit for retiring all those batters who do not strike out? ...
In 2009 Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter had 206 put outs and 340 assists. Jeter was involved in about 37% of the outs recorded by the Yankees. Plus, he created 123 runs with his batting. The Yankee's ace starter CC Sabathia struck out 230 batters, 5.25% of the outs recorded by the Yankees. Sabathia had 3 put outs and 28 assists. Sabathia created zero runs batting. Jeter plays full time. Sabathia plays part time. Part time players should not be considered for the Hall of Fame.
Pitchers are part timers who need only be able to throw. Have you even seen a pitcher brought in because he was a better fielder? If so, it was very rare.
50-60 years ago a pitcher might be used as a pinch runner. Now, teams don't even want pitchers to run the bases on the rare occasions when they need to. June 15, 2008 Yankee starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang (safe on a failed sac bunt) was injured scoring an unearned run in a 13-0 Yankee win in Houston, which was then in the National Conference. Wang missed the rest of the season and was never the same again. In 2006 Wang had led the American Conference with 19 wins.
This season Cardinal starter Adam Wainwright was injured on April 25 in a 5-3 win over the Brewers in Milwaukee trying to run out of the batters box when he popped out to first base in the top of the 5th. He has not pitched since.
http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/4RLoO Click to view 2015 hitting stats for pitchers.