Friday, August 10, 2012

On Aces

A few days ago, I came across a series of comments on a fangraphs post whereupon a series of people disagreed on whether or not a particular pitcher qualified as an ace. The term 'Ace' is traditionally defined as the first name on a particular team's five man rotation, of which there are 30, as there are 30 teams. Some use it to describe a pitcher that can be dropped into any rotation and take over the top spot, of which there are very few.

A similar debate can be created surrounding the term "Number-One Pitcher", but I'm going to hang on to that nugget for another sleepless night.

An Ace, to me, is a starter who can give their team 230+ innings per season, a K/9 rate of around 8.5 or higher, a FIP below 3, and chocolate-vanilla-twist soft serve ice cream from their armpit - home AND away - and can do it on an annual basis. Well, everything except the ice cream. Basically, I don't call a lot of starting pitchers Ace, even if they are the team's top o' the rotation guy. Those guys, I call "Staff Aces",

To me, the waters are so muddy on this subject, I decided I should put together a visual aid to help the average baseball watching person (like myself) determine one type of Ace from another. To help the internetting folks among us, I have captioned them in the easy to recognize Image Macro/Meme font, Impact. Which I like to call "Meme-pact". I don't actually call it that, and neither should anyone.

The pictures!



I hope we all learned something.

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