Thursday, September 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday: the Candy Man can

John Candelaria was a force in the late 70s that never got the recognition he deserved.  He never put up huge strikeout numbers because that's not the kind of pitcher he was.  He was however, a finesse pitcher that painted around the strikezone and got lots of outs.

Prior to his age 35 season (last year of being a primary starting pitcher), the Candy Man had an ERA over 4 only once when it was 4.01 in 1980.  The reason I didn't include his last 5 years as part of that was because as a relief pitcher, one bad outing can drastically cause your ERA to skyrocket.

As a starting pitcher for 14 seasons, Candy was an All-Star once and received the 5th most votes for the 1977 Cy Young.  How good was he in 1977?  Well he finished the year with a 20-5 record, a 2.34 ERA, and 2.66 strikeout to walk rate.  The four guys that finished above Candy in voting that year all had higher win totals, but worse ERA, strikeout/walk ratios, and WHIP.  As we all know, the voters looked at stats a little bit different back in those days.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking anything away from Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, or Tommy John, but I think Candelaria could have been ahead most of those guys for the 1977 season.

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