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
Dock Ellis on Acid
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1148 - 1:11pm, Nov 27)
Last: Paul D(uda)

Newsblog[Cricketer NOT baseball player] Phil Hughes dies after “pitch” to the head
(6 - 1:09pm, Nov 27)
Last: Astroenteritis

NewsblogNotable Players Available In The Rule 5 Draft - BaseballAmerica.com
(9 - 1:08pm, Nov 27)
Last: boteman

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(5022 - 1:04pm, Nov 27)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogDave Cameron: A proposed three-way swap for Red Sox, Mariners, Nationals
(35 - 12:57pm, Nov 27)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogSandy Alderson says Mets can move quickly if a shortstop becomes available - NY Daily News
(24 - 12:45pm, Nov 27)
Last: Arbitol Dijaler

NewsblogWhat's cooking? MLB shares Turkey Day recipes | MLB.com
(2 - 12:39pm, Nov 27)
Last: Win Big Stein's Money

NewsblogBoston Red Sox prove (once again) that competitive balance in baseball will never exist | cleveland.com
(34 - 12:32pm, Nov 27)
Last: Tom Nawrocki

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(56 - 11:56am, Nov 27)
Last: Patrick W

NewsblogSource: Tomas agrees to six-year deal with D-backs | MLB.com
(14 - 11:39am, Nov 27)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogJon Lester has plenty of options in addition to Red Sox - Sports - The Boston Globe
(6 - 11:28am, Nov 27)
Last: Darren

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8709 - 9:43am, Nov 27)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2014
(1140 - 7:27am, Nov 27)
Last: GregD

Newsblog2015 Potential Hall of Fame Ballot | Baseball-Reference.com
(32 - 5:30am, Nov 27)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogDarvish cleared to throw « Postcards From Elysian Fields
(9 - 2:30am, Nov 27)
Last: Jim (jimmuscomp)

Page rendered in 0.0973 seconds
52 querie(s) executed