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Proof Rueter
2005-08-15 20:04
by Mike Carminati

Kirk Rueter was designated for reassignment today by the Giants effectively ending a ten-year career with the team. Rueter is one of just 240 who have pitched for one team for at least ten years. Jamie Moyer and Rueter joined the list this year. John Smoltz, Brad Radke, Tim Wakefield, Kenny Rogers, Mariano Rivera, and Trevor Hoffman are the other current pitchers who have pitched at least ten seasons for their current teams.

Rueter has been awful this year and has not had an ERA below average (i.e., the park-adjusted league average) since 2002, his career year (14-8, 3.23 ERA) during which Tim McCarver barraged the baseball world with evocations of Rueter's colorful nickname, "Woody". It occurred to me that with exception of two or three years, his career in San Fran has been rather lackluster.

Could Rueter be the worst pitcher to ply his trade for one team for at least ten seasons? His record in ten Giant seasons is 105-80 with a 4.32 ERA.

To answer this I first removed the pitchers who were mainly relievers during those ten years (i.e., who started at least half their games or at least 100 games in total). Of those, here are first the ones with the most wins with one club:

PitcherTeamFirstLast# yrsWLPCTGGSIPERA
Walter JohnsonWashington Senators1907192721417279.5998026665914.7 2.17
Christy MathewsonNew York Giants1900191617372188.6646345504771.7 2.12
Warren SpahnBoston Braves1942196420356229.6097146355046.0 3.05
Kid NicholsBoston Beaneaters1890190112329183.6435565014538.0 3.00
Eddie PlankPhiladelphia Athletics1901191414284162.6375244583860.7 2.39
Phil NiekroAtlanta Braves1964198721268230.5387405954622.7 3.20
Jim PalmerBaltimore Orioles1965198419268152.6385585213948.0 2.86
Bob FellerCleveland Indians1936195618266162.6215704843827.0 3.25
Ted LyonsChicago White Sox1923194621260230.5315944844161.0 3.67
Red FaberChicago White Sox1914193320254213.5446694834086.7 3.15
Carl HubbellNew York Giants1928194316253154.6225354313590.3 2.98
Bob GibsonSt. Louis Cardinals1959197517251174.5915284823884.3 2.91
Tom GlavineAtlanta Braves1987200216242143.6295055053344.7 3.37
Steve CarltonPhiladelphia Phillies1972198615241161.6004994993697.3 3.09
Juan MarichalSan Francisco Giants1960197314238140.6304584463444.0 2.84
Mickey WelchNew York Giants1883189210238146.6204264123579.0 2.69
Whitey FordNew York Yankees1950196716236106.6904984383170.3 2.75
Robin RobertsPhiladelphia Phillies1948196114234199.5405294723739.3 3.46
Don SuttonLos Angeles Dodgers1966198816233181.5635505333816.3 3.09
Red RuffingNew York Yankees1930194615231124.6514263913168.7 3.47

OK, so who were the worst. First, I have to say that Rueter doesn't even make the list:

PitcherTeamFirstLast# yrsWLPCTGGSIPERA
Carl ScheibPhiladelphia Athletics19431954114564.4132641061066.0 4.85
Jerry AugustineMilwaukee Brewers19751984105559.482279104944.0 4.23
Mike NorrisOakland Athletics19751990105859.4962011571124.3 3.89
Craig SwanNew York Mets19731984125971.4542291841230.7 3.72
Clint BrownCleveland Indians19281942106065.4802371281104.7 4.36
Walt MastersonWashington Senators19391953116288.4132781621347.0 3.98
Orval GroveChicago White Sox19401949106373.4632071521176.7 3.78
Hank AguirreDetroit Tigers19581967106464.5003341381179.0 3.29
Curt YoungOakland Athletics19831993106551.5602281551039.3 4.33
Don RobinsonPittsburgh Pirates19781987106569.4853431261203.0 3.85
Dick FowlerPhiladelphia Athletics19411952106679.4552211701303.0 4.11
Tommy ByrneNew York Yankees19431957117240.643221118993.7 3.93
Rick LangfordOakland Athletics197719861073105.4102481951468.0 3.97
Bob MoosePittsburgh Pirates19671976107671.5172891601304.3 3.50
Ken ForschHouston Astros19701980117881.4914211531493.7 3.18
Steve GromekCleveland Indians19411953137867.5383091371340.7 3.22
Rick MahlerAtlanta Braves19791991117989.4703072181558.7 4.00

What no Bob Walk? I don't know what I was smokin' picking on Woody, so to speak, when the world is peopled with Jerry Augustines and Craig Swans.

2005-08-16 10:05:33
1.   geb4000
I think what thows Mike off about Reuter is his peripheral stats--They're horrible. Looking at his strikeout to walk ratio, you have to wonder how he could win all the games he did. Watching him pitch is incredible also. Every batter is a struggle for Reuter. Watching the radar gun register between the high 70's and low 80's as he throws slop pitch after slop pitch to the plate. I'm not suprised that his career is over. I'm suprised it lasted so long.
2005-08-16 10:26:36
2.   Mike Carminati
I hate to say "I told you so" (actually, I like it), but there's this

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