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 "Anskeey" 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
Tuque
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogDavid Ortiz’s few remaining critics are needling killjoys who don’t deserve him | For The Win
(55 - 4:06am, Oct 01)
Last: Scott Ross

NewsblogFox Sports: Ken Rosenthal's 2016 MLB awards
(13 - 2:49am, Oct 01)
Last: Cooper Nielson

NewsblogOTP 2016 Sep 26: A single for Donald Trump - He doesn’t have to hit a home run to send Hillary to the showers
(1821 - 2:27am, Oct 01)
Last: Renegade JE (((Jason)))

NewsblogOT - September 2016 College Football thread
(380 - 2:08am, Oct 01)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogThe View is Much Better When You're the Lead Dog: Mike Trout Closes in on Another Second-Place MVP Finish
(4 - 1:39am, Oct 01)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogWhat's going on inside the Blue Jays clubhouse?
(8 - 1:31am, Oct 01)
Last: Bote Man makes baseball fun again

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-30-16
(128 - 1:20am, Oct 01)
Last: Bote Man makes baseball fun again

NewsblogHeyman: Twins’ hiring of Falvey raising eyebrows
(31 - 12:24am, Oct 01)
Last: Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™

NewsblogOT: NBA 2016-17 Preseason Thread
(48 - 12:09am, Oct 01)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogJesus Montero suspended 50 games for use of a stimulant
(10 - 11:25pm, Sep 30)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogOT: August 2016 Soccer Thread
(639 - 11:20pm, Sep 30)
Last: Baldrick

Hall of Merit2017 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(109 - 11:14pm, Sep 30)
Last: theorioleway

Sox TherapyA Fan Picks Papi's Ten Best (Red Sox) Moments
(16 - 10:25pm, Sep 30)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogWhy Bo Jackson chose baseball
(2 - 10:20pm, Sep 30)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Gonfalon CubsFear, Worry, and Overthinking
(15 - 7:40pm, Sep 30)
Last: Walt Davis

Page rendered in 0.2651 seconds
47 querie(s) executed