Saturday, October 31, 2009

Arnsberg's track record

So let's take us a look on this Saturday morning at how Mr. Arnsberg's teams have performed whilst employing him as their Pitching Coach, shall we?

We'll begin with the 1994 Charleston River Dogs, as this was the year preceding Arnsberg's first Pitching Coach gig.

1994 Charleston River Dogs: 4.20 ERA/1.44 WHIP, 926K:548BB, 0.7 HR/9, 1.69 K:BB
1995 Charleston River Dogs: 4.11 ERA/1.41 WHIP, 1032K:509BB, 0.6 HR/9, 2.03 K:BB
1996 Charleston River Dogs: 3.89 ERA/1.34 WHIP, 958K:501BB, 0.6 HR/9, 1.91 K:BB

The 1996 River Dogs had Ryan Dempster on the roster.

And again, we'll begin with the 1996 Tulsa Drillers, the year before Arnsberg arrived:
1996 Tulsa Drillers: 4.38 ERA/1.40 WHIP, 721K:403BB, 0.9 HR/9, 1.79 K:BB
1997 Drillers: 4.64 ERA/1.44 WHIP, 850K:445BB, 0.8 HR/9, 1.91 K:BB
1998 Drillers: 4.15 ERA/1.36 WHIP, 963K:540BB, 0.7 HR/9, 1.78 K:BB

Again, beginning with 1998, the year prior to Arnsberg's arrival...

1998 Oklahoma City Redhawks: 4.45 ERA/1.39 WHIP, 938K:419BB, 1.0 HR/9, 2.24 K:BB
1999 Oklahoma City Redhawks: 4.65 ERA/1.46 WHIP, 900K:456BB, 1.0 HR/9, 1.97 K:BB

In 2000, Arnsberg joined the staff of the Montreal Expos as the bullpen coach and was later promoted to pitching coach. So let's begin with the 2000 Expos:

2000 Expos:
For the 2000 Expos, who went 67-95, the rotation was anchored by a 23-year old Javier Vazquez and 24-year old Carl Pavano, who combined for 19 wins.

This team also was the youngest pitching staff in the NL, at 26.1 years old, and gave up the third-most runs/game at 5.57. (who was the worst? That's right, your Houston Astros), with the fourth-worst ERA and fourth-worst WHIP in the league.

5.14 ERA/1.51 WHIP, 1011K:579BB, 1.1 HR/9, 1.75 K:BB

2001 Expos:
Vazquez again anchrored the rotation, going 16-11 with a 3.42 ERA, and a pre-murderous Ugueth Urbina got 15 saves as the Expos went 68-94, but the pitching staff did see some improvement as the runs/game plummeted to 5.01. The ERA was again fourth-worst, but at a more respectable 4.69 and a 1.42 WHIP.

4.69 ERA/1.42 WHIP, 1103K:549BB, 1.2 HR/9, 2.10 K:BB

Now let's skip ahead to Arnsberg's work with the Blue Jays (yes, we're completely going to gloss over the fact that Arnsberg was dismissed with Jeff Torborg - who was the manager in Montreal - the season that the Marlins won the World Series.)

Arnsberg joined the Blue Jays (penchant for Canadian baseball much?) in 2005. So let's take a look with a chart at the 2005-2009 Toronto Blue Jays, and we'll lead off with 2004, the year prior to Arnsberg's arrival (ranks are out of 14 AL teams):

YearERA (Rk)WHIP (Rk)K:BB (Rk)HR/9 (Rk)Runs/gm (Rk)
20044.94 (13)1.49 (12)956:608 (14)1.15.11 (8)
20054.06 (6)1.33 (6)958:444 (6)1.24.35 (6)
20064.37 (5)1.37 (6)1076:504 (5)1.24.65 (5)
20074.00 (2)1.29 (2)1067:479 (5)1.04.31 (2)
20083.49 (1)1.24 (1)1184:467 (1)0.83.77 (1)
20094.47 (10)1.42 (11)1181:551 (7)1.14.76 (11)

It's pretty well-documented that the 2009 Toronto Blue Jays were decimated by injuries to their pitching staff, and the four years of pitching dominance in the AL can be directly attributed to Roy Halladay - who will make any pitching coach look like a genius. So how much of this can be attributed to Arnsberg? The effectiveness of a pitching coach can't very often be quantified, but it looks like we can look at better K:BB ratios and less HR/9 rates, as well.

What do you think?