Mark Buehrle Compares Favorably To Hall Of Famers
Mark Buehrle is one of those Hall of Fame candidates some immediate dismiss only to keep returning to the name. One of the reasons why is he had a long career where he was at least a good pitcher for 15 years.
It’s amazing to think he had a 15 year career with just two of those years being under a 100 ERA+. One of those years was a 95 and the other a 99. In both of those seasons, he surpassed 200 innings.
For 14 straight years, Buehrle surpassed 200 innings, and he fell just 1.1 innings of hitting that mark in his final season. That 14 year stretch was one short of tying the all-time record jointly held by Cy Young, Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, and Warren Spahn.
There’s some more impressive feats and company. Buehrle is tied for third all-time with 15 consecutive 30 start seasons. He’s tied with Perry and behind just Spahn and Young. Notably, in all 15 of those seasons Buehrle won 10+ games.
Buehrle was thrown two hitters with one of those two being a perfect game. That is a feat which has been accomplished only by NUMBER of other pitchers – Sandy Koufax, Young, Roy Halladay, Randy Johnson, Jim Bunning, and Addie Joss. Those are all Hall of Famers.
When you see that group, it gives you some pause and makes you realize Buehrle does merit a closer look. In that closer look, you see he’s been better than some Hall of Fame pitchers.
Both Buehrle and Whitey Ford pitched 16 years with Buehrle having the higher WAR. However, it should be noted Ford had lost two years to military service and had postseason success.
Bunning pitched one more year than Buehrle. Buehrle had a higher ERA+ than Bunning. In fact, Buehrle also had a higher ERA+ than several Hall of Famers. That includes Niekro and Sutton.
That also includes Jack Morris who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee. Looking at these two, Buehrle had the better WAR, ERA, ERA*, and K/BB among other stats.
That’s what so interesting about Buehrle. When you dig deep into the numbers you see a pitcher who compares quite well to pitchers inducted into the Hall of Fame. That includes those inducted fairly recently.
Yes, Buehrle does fall short in a number of areas. For example, the average Hall of Fame starter has a 73.3 WAR, 50.0 WAR7, and a 61.6 JAWS. Buehrle is at a 59.1/35.8/47.4.
Still, Buehrle accomplished things in his career only Hall of Famers have accomplished. He’s consistently in Hall of Fame company when you examine his career.
Ultimately, what this should tell us is Buehrle has a career which merits further consideration. Hopefully, he passes the five percent mark to permit us to do that instead of letting the Veterans Committee take an ad hoc look at him in the future.