Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BtBS: The Rise of the Called Strike

Using the retrosheet files dating back to 1988 (when pitch count data first becomes prevelent [sic]), I found that the amount of Balls per plate appearance has remained relatively stable since 1988, but the amount of strikes per PA has risen considerably.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise—walk rates in the majors have returned to normal, while strikeout rates continue to inflate exponentially.

But what I did find surprising is that despite all the flame-throwing 7’ tall relievers with 100 mph four-seamers and untouchable, ‘filthy’ breaking pitches, it’s not the Swing-and-Miss Strike that has become more popular over the last two decades. It’s actually the Called Strike that has become more frequent in the modern day pitcher-batter face off

bobm Posted: March 27, 2013 at 08:22 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: umpiring

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. TomH Posted: March 27, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4397496)
a fine article!

I suspect breaking up the "called strikes per PA" trend line into groupings like
a) players who hit home runs in >4% of PA
b) players who hit home runs in <1.5% of PA
c) the middle group in between
....... such that the 3 groups are about equal

and see what corrleation there is, as well as how the increase in HR/PA over time work swith this, might show if batter selectivity in pitches to emphasize power is an important variable.

   2. Walt Davis Posted: March 27, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4397882)
It's probably my crappy connection but the article won't load for me. This is probably addressed in the article but in case not ...

(Not having seen the actual numbers) this is surprising to me. If balls/PA is remaining the same while strikes/PA is going up, then it's not strike zone expansion, it's an even greater reliance on rake and take. Which is consistent with more called strikes.
   3. dr. scott Posted: March 27, 2013 at 06:53 PM (#4397971)
One theory I read about the rise of strikeouts was the analytics available now on every batter. (for instance I have an app on my iphone that tells me every hole in hittters swing given counts, pitcher handedness etc). the theory is its easier for the pitchers, whose job is to be able to throw the ball at any location, to exploit this data than it is for the batter to correct the hole in the swing. I guess this would jibe with this data if one assumes the hitters also know the holes in thier swings and just dont swing at those balls... seems more likely that all strike outs would be up though.. too bad. I liked that theory.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: March 27, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4398105)
I possibly take it back a bit. Obviously pitches per PA is going up (if the number of balls are the same and the number of strikes are up) which means the denominator is bigger so the rate of ball/pitch is lower which is consistent with an expanded zone. Per PA rather than per pitch seems a somewhat odd way to measure it to me.

Or is he not counting BIP as "strikes"?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
greenback is not cosmopolitan
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 14 August 2014: The American Pastimes of Rock ’n’ Roll, Baseball and Poetry
(2012 - 8:31am, Aug 18)
Last: SBB, Live from the Alt-Center

NewsblogRed Sox want to do away with 'racist' legacy of famed Yawkey Way
(2 - 8:24am, Aug 18)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogOlney: Baseball must end its beanball legacy
(8 - 8:18am, Aug 18)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogJered Weaver Announces Retirement | MLB.com
(28 - 7:22am, Aug 18)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogFirst pitch astray at Fenway | Red Sox
(21 - 6:37am, Aug 18)
Last: Leroy Kincaid

NewsblogArthur: Buster Posey Has Quietly Become A Lock For Cooperstown
(15 - 4:20am, Aug 18)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogTravis d’Arnaud’s position in Wednesday’s box score read “3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B”
(42 - 3:50am, Aug 18)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogMets' Gsellman irritates GM Sandy Alderson with 'I don't care' comment
(10 - 3:41am, Aug 18)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogWhen I was 17, it was a very good OMNICHATTER, for August 17, 2017
(105 - 12:42am, Aug 18)
Last: Bote Man

Gonfalon CubsNow or Never
(75 - 12:24am, Aug 18)
Last: Brian C

NewsblogSkunk in the Outfield
(5 - 11:30pm, Aug 17)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogJoey Votto on base twice for 20th game in row | MLB.com
(33 - 7:09pm, Aug 17)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogPearlman: The Fallout From Sportswriting's Filthiest Fuck-Up
(16 - 6:00pm, Aug 17)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2007 Discussion
(14 - 5:35pm, Aug 17)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogOn the risks of categorizing a continuous variable (with an application to baseball data)
(17 - 5:30pm, Aug 17)
Last: Mike Emeigh

Page rendered in 0.1359 seconds
47 querie(s) executed