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

Monday, July 02, 2012

Thoma: Taking a swing at a subtle change

Or to parmaphrase Michael the Kay…“Andy Pettitte now has *8* strikeouts in the game!! He must have discovered a strikeout pitch while he was retired!!” Uhh, no.

Strikeouts up. Walks steady. What in the name of Jim Thome is going on here?

I think it’s sabermetrics. Specifically, it’s rooted in the knowledge that strikeouts are not a zero-sum game.

The work of Bill James and others have determined that

  - Strikeouts are no worse than other outs for hitters. What is lost to the offense is often more than gained in increased power.
  - Strikeouts are a major positive for pitchers. Pitchers with better than league strikeout rates tend to be more successful and have longer careers.

These two facts have naturally led the statistically informed general managers to emphasize strikeouts for pitchers and ignore them for hitters.

And when enough teams do that, the strikeout rate is bound to rise.

...At that time, five strikeouts per nine innings was respectable. A pitcher could have, and maintain, success that way.

But the standards have changed. The new normal requires more strikeouts from pitchers.

Repoz Posted: July 02, 2012 at 06:10 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics, twins

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. John DiFool2 Posted: July 02, 2012 at 07:43 AM (#4171090)
Strikeouts are no worse than other outs for hitters.


But they are worse than balls in play. My fear is that we are currently headed towards an era with depressed batting averages with few balls in play; home runs are exciting of course, but most of the action in the game occurs when the ball is put in play.
   2. Srul Itza Posted: July 02, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4171518)
But they are worse than balls in play


After watching Robbie bounce weakly into a 1-2-3 double play in the first inning, effectively destroying a bases-loaded, nobody out situation, I have to say, not always.

Of course, Robbie redeemed himself later in the game, but still I was thinking at the time, God Dammit, why couldn't you just strike out there?

   3. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: July 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4171556)
That was kind of the worst AB in the world, Srul. I told the wife during it that he was going to hit into a triple play, which I guess would have been worse than that. But Robby couldn't even hit it hard enough for that to happen.

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
Sebastian
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogLike real OMNICHATTER, but only half the sugar! April 25, 2017
(65 - 10:15pm, Apr 25)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogThe Five New Pitches Making a Difference in 2017 – The Ringer
(2 - 10:15pm, Apr 25)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogHunter Greene is the star baseball needs. First he has to finish high school.
(50 - 10:14pm, Apr 25)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogCut4: The Pirates called up Dovydas Neverauskas, the first born-and-raised Lithuanian in MLB history
(18 - 10:13pm, Apr 25)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogWatch Matt Barnes Get Ejected For Throwing At Manny Machado Despite Foul Ball
(172 - 10:13pm, Apr 25)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogOT - March 2017 NBA thread
(2387 - 10:07pm, Apr 25)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogOTP 24 April 2017: Talking politics (and baseball) with the mayor
(405 - 9:58pm, Apr 25)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogMarlins expecting to finalize $1.3B deal to sell team to Jeb Bush, Derek Jeter group
(30 - 9:55pm, Apr 25)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogWhen will Mets call up Amed Rosario | MLB.com
(6 - 9:49pm, Apr 25)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogCleveland Indians pitcher Steve Delabar suspended 80 games for positive PEDs test
(88 - 9:45pm, Apr 25)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogAre the Rockies and Diamondbacks about to take over the NL West? | FOX Sports
(20 - 9:20pm, Apr 25)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogDodgers to call up top prospect Cody Bellinger to aid outfield
(5 - 9:15pm, Apr 25)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-25-2017
(28 - 8:47pm, Apr 25)
Last: Steve N

NewsblogOMNICHATTER is as OMNICHATTER does, April 24, 2017
(43 - 8:35pm, Apr 25)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogAging Patterns | Articles | Bill James Online
(6 - 7:58pm, Apr 25)
Last: Russ

Page rendered in 0.2198 seconds
47 querie(s) executed