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, the gum-snappin' hairdresser 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

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
aleskel
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(4075 - 12:00am, Oct 01)
Last: GregD

NewsblogAL WILD CARD GAME 2014 OMNICHATTER
(777 - 11:59pm, Sep 30)
Last: Jose Can Still Seabiscuit

NewsblogWSJ: Playoff Hateability Index
(12 - 11:35pm, Sep 30)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogBrown: Winners And Losers: MLB Attendance In 2014, Nearly 74 Million Through The Gate
(33 - 11:27pm, Sep 30)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogMLB’s Biggest Star Is 40 (And He Just Retired). That Could Be A Problem.
(76 - 11:27pm, Sep 30)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8172 - 11:26pm, Sep 30)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogSpector: Stats incredible! Numbers from the 2014 MLB season will amaze you
(31 - 11:04pm, Sep 30)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogESPN: Ron Gardenhire out after 13 Seasons with Twins
(42 - 10:49pm, Sep 30)
Last: The District Attorney

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1959 Discussion
(6 - 10:35pm, Sep 30)
Last: MrC

NewsblogThe Calm-Before-The-Storm and Postseason Prediction OMNICHATTER, 2014
(110 - 10:25pm, Sep 30)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(455 - 10:08pm, Sep 30)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogThe Economist: The new market inefficiencies
(16 - 9:20pm, Sep 30)
Last: DKDC

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2014
(19 - 7:51pm, Sep 30)
Last: Leroy Kincaid

NewsblogFangraphs/Cistulli: Post-trade WAR for deadline trades
(16 - 7:15pm, Sep 30)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogMadden: How dare the sabermetrics crowd and others try to diminish Derek Jeter’s greatness
(180 - 6:23pm, Sep 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

Page rendered in 0.1913 seconds
52 querie(s) executed