Rick Reuschel

Rick ReuschelRick Reuschel

Birthday:  May 16

Chicago Cubs (1972-1981, 1983-1984)

3-time All-Star (1977, 1987, 1989)

2-time Gold Glove Award Winner (1985, 1987)

Top Ten in various pitching categories

     8-Times WAR for Pitchers (1973, 1977-1980, 1985, 1987-1988)

     3-Times ERA (1977, 1985, 1987)

     5-Times Wins (1977, 1979, 1987-1989)

     5-Times Strikeouts (1973, 1975-1977, 1980)

     3-Times Complete Games (1977, 1985, 1987)

     5-Times Shoutouts (1972-1973, 1977, 1986-1987)


At Fangraphs, I did a search for all Cubs pitchers to get an idea of the greatest Cubs pitchers of all time (during their time pitching for the Cubs).

Here is the top ten.  Granted, Rick Reuschel pitched a lot longer for the Cubs than other guys on this list (like Greg Maddux), however it was quite a surprise to see him in 2nd place all-time and very close to Fergie Jenkins (51.9 to 47.4) in a similar time pitched with the Cubs (Fergie 337 games to Reuschel's 346).

Name                           W           L             WAR
Fergie Jenkins      160      124           51.9
Rick Reuschel       132       127           47.4
Bill Hutchison       181      158           43.2
Mordecai Brown 188         86           41.0
Bob Rush                 110      140            39.5
Greg Maddux        133      111           36.3
Charley Root         188      139           36.1
Hippo Vaughn       151      105           35.0
Pete Alexander    128        83            33.7
Clark Griffith         152        96            33.4

An amazing example of how the advanced metrics can show a pitcher's true value to a team was Rick Reuschel's first year with the team (1972).  Reuschel was able to join a very good, veteran Cubs rotation that included Fergie Jenkins, Burt Hooton, Bill Hands & Milt Pappas.  In just 129 innings, Reuschel was able to produce more value than these other veteran pitchers with the exception of Jenkins, who won 20 games and pitched 289 innings in 1972.  And Reuschel's 4.2 WAR was still very close to Fergie's 4.8 WAR.

Looking at the statistics a little closer, his spectacular .21 HR rate (3 HR's allowed in 129 innings) certainly contributed to Reuschel's value to the team. 


Name                          W/ L         G GS     IP           HR/9     ERA      FIP        WAR 
Fergie Jenkins       20/12      36 36   289.1     1             3.20     3.28         4.8 
Rick Reuschel        10/8         21 18   129      0.21         2.93    2.07          4.2 
Burt Hooton           11/14      33 31   218.1  0.54         2.80   3.09          4.1 
Bill Hands                 11/8         32 28   189      0.57         3 .00  2.99          3.8 
Milt Pappas             17/7         29 28   195      0.83         2.77   3.35          3.1 

From 1973 to 1980 as a full time Cubs rotation member, Reuschel led the team in WAR each year with the exception of 1974.  Here are his rankings in the NL in this timeframe as well.  He was a top ten pitcher each year as well.

Year        WAR               Cubs Rank                                         NL Rank

1973     6.1 WAR best on Cubs                                         2nd in NL
1974     4.7 WAR 2nd best on Cubs (Bonham)       10th in NL
1975     4.7 WAR best on Cubs                                          7th in NL
1976     4.8 WAR best on Cubs                                           5th in NL
1977     6.5 WAR best on Cubs                                           2nd in NL
1978     4.5 WAR best on Cubs                                           8th in NL
1979     3.9 WAR best on Cubs                                           8th in NL
1980     4.7 WAR best on Cub                                             2nd in NL

And how does Reuschel's performance stack up among other NL pitcher's of this time?   It stands up very well.   His 2083 innings pitched, 123 wins and cumulative WAR of 44.2 ranks only behind Hall of Famer's Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Phil Niekro & Don Sutton.





Fan Duel Fantasy Sports