Mets Have 4 or 5 Guys Above The Line In Rotation?
“We’ve got four or five guys that I would call ‘above the line,’ that we could go into the season with, in the rotation…We have far fewer than that in the bullpen right now.”
~ Sandy Alderson
You’re squinting your eyes, scratching your heads, and wondering what the heck that means aren’t you?
A new sabermetric principle perhaps? What is it? Where is it?
Have no fear…
Last night, while most of you chomped on popcorn and watched scary movies all Halloween long, I decided to go on a quest instead to discover the mystery behind the “Alderson Line.”
You are all familiar with the Mendoza Line I take it? It’s a concept named after feeble-hitting shortstop Mario Mendoza and used to define the threshold of absolute suckitude in hitting – a sub .200 batting average.
What is the Alderson Line?
It’s sort of the same thing except it’s only for pitchers…
It took me a while to try and compute what the Suck Zone was for pitchers, but after taking down a few cold ones, the light bulb went off in my head. I had finally realized that the answer was right there in front of me all along. Yes, Sandy Alderson provided me with all the clues I needed to figure out this riddle wrapped in an enigma.
What we do know is that the Mets currently have five pitchers above the Alderson Line. I decided to start looking at the 2011 statistical rankings for pitchers and came up with this chart.
Boom! There it is…
I’ve calculated that the Alderson Line in the National League is a 4.79 ERA or worse.
Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Chris Capuano and Mike Pelfrey are all above that line… Whew… Just barely… (Do I have to explain that by being above the Alderson Line means having an ERA better than 4.79, or did you get that?)
And as an added bonus, Chris Schwinden barely sneaks in under the wire as well.
Now remember, this doesn’t mean that their performances last year didn’t suck, only that they didn’t quite reach the ultimate in Suckitude.
Yes, there were over 80 starting pitchers better than these Mets starters in the National League in 2011, but hey at least they weren’t as bad as Sam LeCure, Esmil Rogers or Casey Coleman.
Thankfully, they were able to avoid that distinction by pitching half of their games in the greatest pitchers park in North America.
But how will they manage to stay above the Alderson Line in 2012 especially with the new trimmed down dimensions in Citi Field?
Ahhh, now that’s the $64 thousand dollar question…
But hey, at least now you know what the Alderson Line is?
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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