Roy Halladay More Than Just a Starter: Doc’s Case for NL MVP

October 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Roy Halladay is the presumptive favorite for National League Cy Young after leading the Philadelphia Phillies to an NL East title. But what about his candidacy for the MVP award?

Baseball pundits generally disqualify starting pitchers from MVP consideration because they only play in a fifth of the games. While this is true, it doesn’t mean that some pitchers aren’t just as valuable as the game’s best hitters.

MVP’s are typically offensive players, but there have been several pitchers to win the award. The last was Dennis Eckersley in 1992, a season in which the righty recorded 51 saves. The last NL pitcher to win the award was Bob Gibson way back in 1968. So can Halladay become the first pitcher in almost two decades to take home the award?

Let’s examine his case.

First, the numbers.

In 2010, Halladay is 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He has thrown 250.2 innings and struck out 219. He has nine complete games, four shutouts and a perfect game. His ERA+ is 166 and his WAR is 6.9.

He’s only made 33 starts so he’s averaging 7.6 innings per start. In other words he’s doing the jobs of both a No. 2 starter and a primary set-up man, at the same time.

To illustrate this let’s try to deconstruct Halladay’s stats using two players for comparison instead of just one. Here are two Atlanta Braves pitchers whose combined numbers closely resemble Halladay’s.

Tommy Hanson: 10-11, 3.33 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 202.1 IP, 182 H, 75 ER, 14 HR, 53 BB, 173 SO

Takashi Saito: 2-3, 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 54.0 IP, 41 H, 17 ER, 4 HR, 17 BB, 69 SO

Now, if we combine them, we get Tommy Saito. Let’s compare this fictional pitcher to Halladay

Tommy Saito: 12-14, 3.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 256.1 IP, 223 H, 92 ER, 18 HR, 70 BB, 242 SO

Roy Halladay: 21-10, 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 250.2 IP, 231 H, 68 ER, 24 HR, 30 BB, 219 SO

Tommy Saito registers a combine ERA+ of 157 to Halladay’s 166, and a WAR of 3.2 to Halladay’s 6.9.

Halladay generally has better numbers than this pitcher, but not by a significant margin. So the question becomes how actually valuable Halladay is to his team?

If both Hanson and Saito were taken off the Braves roster, it is more than likely that Atlanta would struggle to maintain a winning record let alone challenge for a playoff spot. If Halladay suffered an injury that kept him out for the entirety of the 2010 season, where would Philadelphia be now? That’s a question Phillies fans hope they never have to answer.

Of course the fact that Halladay alone does what it takes two good players to do is a testament in itself of his value. His 6.9 WAR trails only Joey Votto (7.3), Albert Pujols (7.3), and Ryan Zimmerman (7.1) in the National League. 

He may not be the MVP this year, but he doesn’t belong very far behind the company of Votto, Pujols and Carlos Gonzalez. Give Doc his due and put him on the ballot. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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