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, August 08, 2012

NL Cy Young Award conversation starts with closers Chapman, Kimbrel

“Below the surface of that number are other numbers”, and it’s turtles all the way down.

I asked four baseball writers at CBSSports.com and one at Yahoo Sports for their top-three Cy Young ballot if the season ended today. None of them named [Aroldis] Chapman or [Craig] Kimbrel…

Chapman is allowing four hits per nine innings. That level of stinginess has never happened over the course of a full season, not for a pitcher with at least 50 innings thrown (Chapman is at 53 2/3). Aroldis Chapman is the most unhittable pitcher in baseball—or he would be, if Craig Kimbrel weren’t having the season he’s having. Kimbrel is allowing only 3.6 hits per nine innings, which is patently absurd.

Chapman is striking out 16.8 batters per nine innings, which means he has turned the National League into Little League. That’s never been done either, by the way. No pitcher with at least 50 innings—hell, no pitcher with even 25 innings—has ever matched Chapman’s strikeout rate.

Not even Kimbrel, who’s at 15.6 strikeouts per nine innings. That, of course, has been done—three times. In 100-plus years of Major League Baseball.

So what we have here are two closers who are (A) allowing less hits per nine innings than anyone ever has while (B) striking out more batters per nine innings than anyone has…

[R.A.] Dickey, [Johnny] Cueto, [Matt] Cain, [Clayton] Kershaw—lots of starters having great seasons are on pace to throw 200-plus innings, potentially tripling Chapman or Kimbrel.

But below the surface of that number are other numbers. Kimbrel’s ERA is 1.29. Chapman’s is slightly behind that at 1.34, but against National League foes, his ERA is 0.19.

Read that again, please.

Chapman’s ERA in 48 1/3 innings against National League opposition is zero point one-nine. Again, that’s Little League stuff.

Chapman had a bad stretch in June during interleague play, which counts and matters, but still. If we’re talking about the National League’s best pitcher, well, here’s a closer who has held NL foes to 3.3 hits per nine innings while striking out nearly 20 batters per nine…

You can see who would get my vote Cy Young [sic], if the season ended today: Aroldis Chapman. But I would settle for Craig Kimbrel.

Anyone else? There isn’t anyone else.

The District Attorney Posted: August 08, 2012 at 12:23 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: aroldis chapman, awards, braves, craig kimbrel, cy young award, reds

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. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: August 08, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4203405)
So what we have here are two closers who are (A) allowing less hits per nine innings than anyone ever has while (B) striking out more batters per nine innings than anyone has…

You can see who would get my vote Cy Young [sic], if the season ended today: Aroldis Chapman. But I would settle for Craig Kimbrel.


If sportswriters cared about these records as much as they cared about home run records, Chapman and Kimbrel wouldn't even be on their sanctimonious ballots due to the taint of steroids.
   2. madvillain Posted: August 08, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4203421)
MLB K rates are at an all time high, so it takes a little sparkle off what Chapman and Kimbrel are doing. Hitters just aren't afraid to strike out anymore and don't "shorten up" when in a 2 strike count. That said, their performances are extraordinary, but giving the Cy Young to someone who is going to throw around 60 innings is absurd. By bWAR, Chapman is 13th in the NL for pitchers and Kimbrel is 24th.
   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: August 08, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4203425)
I can see why this guy is looking at relievers, since these two are having historically great seasons in the metrics he cites. The starters -- Johnny Cueto and RA Dickey aren't that exciting and Clayton Kershaw is no better than he was last year, or if he is it's not obvious. A guy looking for a new story will look at Chapman and Kimbrel.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: August 08, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4203427)
   5. John DiFool2 Posted: August 08, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4203781)
The dupe thread is getting a lot more responses, but at the risk of killing this one I will say that hitters today aren't any better w/ 2 strikes than they were say 24 years ago: .184/.248/.266 in 1988, and .177/.244/.269. K rate with 2 strikes was about 33% then, 40% now. If they are gaining an edge by not "cutting down their swings", I don't see it-works both ways tho I don't see an advantage in the 1988 numbers either.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Kiko Sakata
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP - July 2015: Winning the Political Game: Politics is More Like Baseball Than Football
(1114 - 11:39am, Jul 07)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - July 2015
(654 - 11:39am, Jul 07)
Last: Into the Void

NewsblogSale fans 6 in complete-game win over Jays | MLB.com
(3 - 11:38am, Jul 07)
Last: zonk

NewsblogFull All Star Team Rosters
(57 - 11:38am, Jul 07)
Last: escabeche

NewsblogNotes: Rangers will need to get creative to move Choo | FOX Sports
(5 - 11:38am, Jul 07)
Last: AROM

NewsblogAngels tried convincing Red Sox to help them trade for Josh Reddick
(5 - 11:36am, Jul 07)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogOT: Soccer June 2015
(1039 - 11:26am, Jul 07)
Last: Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine

NewsblogPerhaps the Phillies just got bad and have stayed bad
(13 - 11:24am, Jul 07)
Last: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad)

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-7-2015
(3 - 11:16am, Jul 07)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogFewer walks and bunts, more shifts among midseason trends - MLB
(15 - 11:07am, Jul 07)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-7-2015
(7 - 10:46am, Jul 07)
Last: Batman

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1906 Ballot
(8 - 10:26am, Jul 07)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogFinal Vote underway for last AL, NL spots | MLB.com
(4 - 10:15am, Jul 07)
Last: rconn23

NewsblogNeyer: Where There's Smoak, There's Fire
(24 - 9:57am, Jul 07)
Last: Ithaca2323

NewsblogRecreating Memorable Trading Cards
(3 - 8:06am, Jul 07)
Last: Jeltzandini

Page rendered in 0.1888 seconds
48 querie(s) executed