As part of the updating process each year when adding new historical players to the database I also have to update certain yearly historical statistics. In doing so this year, I am sorry to announce the official demise of the Starting Pitcher. Yes, we've all seen it coming for a long time now. But, in 2018, MLB finished its first season ever with less than 1% of completed games by starting pitchers.
For perspective: In 1900, starting pitchers completed 82% of games that season. In 1915, 55%. In 1930, 44%. In 1947, 38%. In 1958, 30%. In 1967, 24%. In 1971-1976, a mild rebound for several years to 27%. In 1980, 20%. In 1982, the deathbed watch began in earnest at 17%. By 1991, 8% (below 10% for 1st time). By 2001, 4%. By 2012, 2%. In 2018, 0.86%
For all practical purposes there is no such thing as a Starting Pitcher anymore. They are all Relief Pitchers. Sad.
You've heard me and Beatles yell about this. I play Digital Diamond Baseball and I have named the 2018 Baseball Season the Girly Manly league in honor of lack of starting pitchers, watch me in Youtube when I play.