Clarifying some things

I got a comment yesterday that I felt needed some extra clarification:
“Great idea. Let me just get one thing straight – the number next to Santana’s means what, exactly? How many runs below average he has saved?”
First of all, those are dashes, not negative signs. Sorry if there was any confusion over that. Secondly, what I literally did was converted Santana’s (and every other pitcher’s) numbers into runs created, like you would have for hitters. So if Santana has 54 runs created, his performance has been equivalent to that of Luis Gonzales. There is one more step, converting the numbers into Win Shares, that will balance out some things between hitters and pitchers, but when you’re comparing pitchers to pitchers, all you really need are their runs created.
Just to clarify a little more, what I’m doing here is putting pitching numbers on an absolute scale. This is not above/below average, replacement, or any kind of baseline, it is performance above zero (which is why RC should always be positive, though there are some cases in which they might be slightly negative due to a small sample size, which I will later discuss). There is no baseline, and that’s the beauty of it.


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