Well, FOX and the MEDIA have annointed John Lackey “the ace of the Angels”. “Ace” also has other connotations, such as being a #1 starter on any team and someone you want starting in elimination games. Let’s take a QUICK look at John Lackey’s career stats:
8 seasons- 102 wins, 71 losses, 3.81 ERA (17% better than his peers during 2002-2009). He has a 59% winning percentage.
Came onto the scene in 2002 and was part of the Angels first World Championship, going 2-0 in the postseason including winning Game 7 of the World Series as a rookie.
Best year was 2007, where he was 19-8, 3.01, 224 innings- all career highs. It was also his only All-Star year, and only year he lead the league in ERA.
Worst year was his sophomore year in 2003: 10-16, 4.63, 204 innings
Never won 20 games, Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year, or lead the league in wins or winning percentage. He only won over 15 games once. He has a World Series ring.
Career postseason stats: 4-4, around 3.00 ERA, 78 innings
According to Bill James’ similarity scores (which is a toy that looks at raw totals and is not weighed by era, ballpark, or advanced metrics), John Lackey’s career is similiar to Josh Beckett, El Duque, and Teddy Higuera. However, a more accurate similiary score is his career through his age. Here we can see that John Lackey is similiar to Brad Penny, Kevin Millwood, and Pat Hentgen.
John Lackey deserves a healthy new contract this offseason. He needs to get a better contract than A.J. Burnett, that’s for sure- he’s more durable and consistent. However, he is not an “ace” in my book. He’s a solid #2. The Angels have been a great franchise since 2002 so you’d he’d be a little more successful, you know like CC Sabathia [ACE], who pitched for good and bad Indians teams, yet still managed to have better numbers and wins than Lackey.
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