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. The TVerik of Lordly Might 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
Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogDiamondbacks GM Dave Stewart: Padres asked for Paul Goldschmidt in trade
(29 - 2:21am, Aug 03)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogRed Sox fan struggles with poncho, announcers can’t keep it together - Sports - The Boston Globe
(8 - 2:15am, Aug 03)
Last: bobm

NewsblogZack Wheeler: Why I made the call to Sandy Alderson asking to stay a Met | Newsday
(1 - 2:13am, Aug 03)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee

NewsblogHow August Trades Work - MLB Trade Rumors
(5 - 2:08am, Aug 03)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogWith money and cutting-edge brilliance, Dodgers playing a game others can’t - Yahoo Sports
(114 - 2:04am, Aug 03)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogREMEMBER WHEN METS WERE A JOKE? | FOX Sports
(22 - 1:43am, Aug 03)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(1044 - 1:43am, Aug 03)
Last: NJ in DC (Now with Wife!)

NewsblogOT: Soccer June 2015
(1459 - 12:52am, Aug 03)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogOTP - July 2015: Winning the Political Game: Politics is More Like Baseball Than Football
(6378 - 12:33am, Aug 03)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-2-15
(134 - 11:42pm, Aug 02)
Last: boteman asks Where's My Ring?

NewsblogBay Area Sports Guy – Madison Bumgarner isn’t racist, he’s a control freak
(39 - 11:24pm, Aug 02)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogThis Is The Refusal Roberto Clemente Got When He Asked For A Raise
(35 - 10:58pm, Aug 02)
Last: bobm

NewsblogMLB trade deadline losers | FOX Sports
(11 - 10:52pm, Aug 02)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogA.J. Burnett injured, might be done pitching | MLB.com
(5 - 10:51pm, Aug 02)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogOMNICHATTER FOR AUGUST 1, 2015
(183 - 9:56pm, Aug 02)
Last: JE (Jason)

Page rendered in 0.1580 seconds
48 querie(s) executed