This article is part of our Rounding Third series.
Because of the long layoff during the COVID-19 shutdown (and infinity labor war) and also because of the upcoming short-term "summer training," there's a legitimate concern starting pitchers won't be fully up to speed by the time the season starts. If that's the case, a number of teams will have starting pitchers going only three to four innings in their first couple of starts, perhaps even longer. In a season that only lasts 60 games (roughly nine weeks), every opportunity to earn a win will be precious. But it's impossible for a starting pitcher to earn a win if he doesn't go at least five innings.
As a result, some analysts in our community have contemplated whether we still should use wins as a category this season:
I'm a member of the ToutWars executive board, and we considered that question before deciding to leave the category in. In our case, the teams have already been drafted, so unless we were willing to redraft every league, some teams would potentially be compromised by how they already structured their teams. But there are other objections to changing, on the merits. The big one is that these pitchers eventually will get up to speed, though some will take longer than others. The problem will eventually resolve itself. Another objection — what category would you propose changing to from wins?