Thursday, March 24, 2011

What If...Curt Schilling Had Remained an Oriole?

"No, Mr. Schilling. Thank YOU for YOUR service!"
It's a pretty slow day for Oriole news. Cuts are coming but really we are just waiting for Opening Day and spinning our wheels watching what now seem to be meaningless Spring Training contests. And the mind starts to wander...

So...what would've happened if, magically, the Orioles would have kept Curt Schilling instead of trading him to the Astros in 1990?

I used Baseball Refererce's "Neutralized Pitching" Tool. You can learn the particulars here but it allows me to go through, year by year, and adjust Schilling's numbers as he has to pitch in the American League with Memorial Stadium/Camden Yards as his home ballpark. How would that have looked?

It could have looked something like this. The years highlighted in yellow are his post-Oriole years adjusted by the Neutralized Pitching tool for a fictional Oriole career:


A few observations...

First, Schilling would have won much more than he shows here from 1996-1999 when the Oriole offenses were well above average (The tool provides for league average run support...) but that would be evened out by the mediocre offenses of the early 90's and early 2000's so the career win totals would not be affected that much.

Second, who would've liked Baltimore's chances in the playoffs in '96 with Mike Mussina and Schilling at the top of the rotation? Better yet, how about a rotation of Schilling, Mussina, Jimmy Key and Scott Erickson in 1997? It would have been a thing of beauty.

Curt's career numbers in real life and Oriole life:

               W     L     ERA   K   BB   HR   
Reality Curt  216   146   3.46 3116 711  347   
Oriole Curt   205   135   3.65 3024 724  350


Pitching the bulk of his career in the AL would have diminished his overall stats a little but they are still pretty close. And there is a chance that (gasp!) he could have won back to back World Series titles with the Orioles in '96 and '97.

It's fun to dream...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to add Steve Finley and Pete Harnish if we never made that Glenn Davis trade.

Heath said...

Well, the premise wasn't "what would have happened if the O's hadn't traded for Glenn Davis." It was just, what if Schilling had, through the years, had managed to hold on to him. If they hadn't traded him, he was signed through free agency, they never traded him later in his career, etc.

Crawdaddy said...

May have missed it, but did you use these equations?

Projected Winning % = 0.112(Run Support)-0.105(ERA)+0.446

Projected Wins = 0.7 * Games Started * Projected Winning %

Those are from Jeff Zimmerman.

Heath said...

Nope, didn't put nearly that much work into it. Whatever Baseball Reference calculated it as was what I used and I don't think thye went that deep. Interesting to try those calculation at a future time though. You have a link?