New Starting Pitcher Endurance Ratings For 2018 Season


By Glenn Guzzo

As Major League Baseball evolves, so does Strat-O-Matic Baseball, which long has been committed to remaining the most realistic simulation available. That has been true for decades and it is true this year, with pitchers used as “openers” and other short-term starters.

For the first time, starting pitchers will have Advanced-game endurance ratings below 5. “Openers,” who did not pitch more than an inning or two when they started games, will have endurance ratings of 1.

Nine pitchers, four of them with Tampa Bay – the team that innovated with the opener strategy – will have starter endurance ratings of 1.

The 100 starting pitchers with endurance ratings of 4 were spot starters and others too untested or too ineffective to be trusted to get through the opposing lineup one more time. None of these pitchers had more than 14 starts and only five had at least 10.

(For the 2018 season, no pitchers will have starter endurance ratings of 2 or 3.)

Strat-O-Matic also has adjusted the prior rule on starting-pitcher endurance:

  • 27.53 If a pitcher who does not have a rating as a starter must start a game, give him a POW inning of 1. (Previously the rating would have been “4”).
  • 27.54 For the year 2000 onward: The maximum number of innings a starter can pitch without fatigue is his POW inning, plus 2. For the years prior to 2000: The maximum number of innings a starter can pitch without fatigue is his POW inning, plus 3.

Major League strategy has made complete games a dying art, never more so than this year, when no pitchers will have starter endurance of 8 or 9 and only four pitches will have starter endurance of 7. They are Jacob deGrom, Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer and – you guessed it, right? – Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright. (While the others were Cy Young finalists, Wright seems destined to become the answer to a Strat-O-Matic trivia question.)

That meant almost all starting pitchers were destined to be rated 6 or 5 and Strat-O-Matic creator Hal Richman knew his game would benefit from more variety, both for statistical accuracy and realistic game strategy.

“Now the 5 starters have more value,” he said, noting that those pitchers also tended to be more effective than the men rated 4.

The new ratings will produce a fascinating variation: Tampa Bay rookie left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, used most often as the second pitcher following a right-handed “opener,” will have endurance ratings of 5 both as a starter and a reliever.

Since endurance ratings are not present in the Basic game, the pitchers with a 1 endurance rating in the Advanced game will be shown only as relief pitchers on the Basic side of their cards. So even Tampa Bay’s Ryne Stanek, who started 29 games (but never for more than two innings) will not be shown as a starting pitcher.

26 Replies to “New Starting Pitcher Endurance Ratings For 2018 Season”

  1. Gilbert Boucher says:

    Strat-O-Matic, with years, has become a game of numbers and for a player with memory problems it’s getting harder to play…but the hell with that it’s still the best and the friends you play with can help…keep going guys.

  2. Judy Kamilhor says:

    Happy New Year, Glenn! Great to see your name again.

  3. Marc hoover says:

    Happy New Year Glenn. Cant wait till opening day. Any hint

  4. Cameron Shallow says:

    Fascinating concept to be sure, both in real baseball and now in SoM. It should make things interesting in draft leagues, to say the least.

  5. Brett Carow says:

    Great rule change guys. Very necessary.

  6. Terrence Payne says:

    Awesome keep this game going!! More then just. Game I’m 63 buy every season

  7. Crossar says:

    Thank you for the explanation!

  8. Ninersphan says:

    So how will this affect * rated starters? Will there still be guys able to pitch on 3 days rest? Is the 4 man rotation now a thing of the past in Strat ( it should be, it’s been gone in M:B for years)

  9. Always appreciate your insights and writing Glenn

  10. Adam Goldberg says:

    How many days rest is needed for an “opener” who pitches 1 or 2 innings?

  11. Robert King says:

    I was wondering how you would handle the situation of relief pitchers starting games. You appear to have handled it well. I eagerly await my 45th year of playing strat-o-matic baseball.

  12. Gilbert Boucher says:

    Inside a warm camp, sitting in front of a fireplace, with your friends playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball…drinking a cold beer…… -25 outside with a major snowstorm…and the wife shoveling the driveway…that’s life.

  13. Earl Christensen says:

    How will the pitch count used in the computer game work with the endurance rating?

  14. Brian Killen says:

    When I put the right guy in at the right moment, and win the game….nothing can compare. Thanks Hal for the game that gets me through Valentine’s day with barely a scratch!!!

  15. Nicholas Varveris says:

    Before this rule change, if you replay a team through an entire season, I run out of pitchers, if the intent is to limit their innings to actual innings pitched through the season. I hope this rule change will produce SOM making additional marginal pitchers available with the cards or additional players sets.

  16. Todd m. Smith says:

    It is good that Strat-O us staying up on the new trends. I am fan of picher strategy . It is becoming an art . It will also adds new dynamic to drafting .

  17. Mastro says:

    when generating a CM, you can specify Max 6 or 7 IP for Start. with the advent of the “opener” will an extra option such as Max 2 or 3 IP for Start be added?

  18. Brad West says:

    I like how you handled ‘OPENERS’ and also are lowering the endurance ratings. Next great move – clutch pitching. Jack Morris gave up 1 run or 6 runs depending on how many he could allow and still win. The ultimate clutch pitcher.

    1. Earl Christensen says:

      Yes I do agree. A must feature

  19. James Miller says:

    This is proof that S-O-M is very well designed. A major strategic change in MLB is incorporated organically using stat-based ratings which are already within the structure of the game. MLB changes, the ratings change, strategy changes, but the game remains the same. There are many examples of this in all five games. I literally could go on for hours about all five games (and the original deck based College Football game – awesome). Unparalleled set of sports games – been a Fanatic since 1979.

  20. Go Ear says:

    Strat-O-Matic, with years, has become a game of numbers and for a player with memory problems it’s getting harder to play…but the hell with that it’s still the best and the friends you play with can help…keep going guys.

  21. Reed VanderSlik says:

    Has anyone run into it where a SP with an endurance of 1 IP was automatically changed out even though it was being managed manually? I have pitch count on if that matters? I assume it is a setting but I can’t find out how to make it stop.

    1. Steve Beren says:

      This was corrected by patch 2019G

  22. Steve Cadwell says:

    One of our manager’s employed the opener, 2x, and both times, despite the controller being on HUMAN, the computer automatically changed his opener at the beginning of the 3rd inning. We are confused. Are pitchers not allowed to go two innings over their rateing anymore, or is it because we are employing the pitch count fatigue system this season, that the computer takes over, against our wishes?

    1. Steve Beren says:

      This was corrected via the latest patch, 2019G.

  23. Steve Beren says:

    Are rules 27.53 and 27.54 the only rules that are not included in the printed copy of the rules?

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