This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Mound Musings is all about interaction. I appreciate the questions, and discussing whether this guy or that guy is the best pitcher to have on a roster is what it's all about. That said, over the past couple of years, Life, the Universe and Everything, has gradually become a semiregular part of Mound Musings. As we try to answer the ultimate question, I'll occasionally dedicate this space to elaborating on questions from you, the readers. As we get up to speed for the 2021 season, I thought it might be useful to outline some of the things I focus on when ranking, comparing pitchers or just deciding whether I would like a specific pitcher taking the mound for my teams. There are several things to look at, so let's go.
Please rank the following four pitchers: Let's kick things off with some explanation regarding the question I probably see most often – "Please rank Pitcher A, Pitcher B, Pitcher C and Pitcher D." It's certainly a very fair question, and I do my best to offer my most educated opinions, but there is a factor that often impacts the response. I call it, "Do I have to take one, or is a beating with a rubber hose an option?"
Don't get me wrong, even though ranking questions can be very challenging, I truly enjoy them because those types of questions are an excellent exercise to assess the pros and cons of several arms. There is almost a little of both.