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. Asian Sorority Sleepover Party TVerik 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
BFFB
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2016 July 25: Card Shark - Bikini trading-card king Brian Wallos expands his empire to politics
(217 - 12:33am, Jul 26)
Last: Chicago Joe

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-25-16
(109 - 12:23am, Jul 26)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogWill Hall of Fame’s new election rules help former Tigers?
(40 - 12:18am, Jul 26)
Last: There's a bustle in Misirlou's hedgerow

NewsblogYankees' Aroldis Chapman could be traded | MLB.com
(162 - 11:58pm, Jul 25)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogSABR 46 Convention in Miami
(41 - 11:17pm, Jul 25)
Last: Mike Webber

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(1641 - 11:14pm, Jul 25)
Last: Chokeland Bill

NewsblogYankees deep in trade talks: Aroldis Chapman for Cubs stud | New York Post
(92 - 10:34pm, Jul 25)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame: Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza are Cooperstown odd couple
(1 - 9:57pm, Jul 25)
Last: Cblau

NewsblogWhite Sox problems always more interesting than other teams' problems - Chicago Tribune
(10 - 9:56pm, Jul 25)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogOT: NBA Offseason Thread, July 2016
(821 - 9:19pm, Jul 25)
Last: PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth)

NewsblogTed Berg: I badly wanted MLB to adopt replay before 2014. Now I find it boring and dumb
(67 - 6:52pm, Jul 25)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogKen Griffey, Mike Piazza set for Hall of Fame | MLB.com
(45 - 6:44pm, Jul 25)
Last: Batman

NewsblogRockies will promote prospect David Dahl | MLB.com
(6 - 6:21pm, Jul 25)
Last: Perry

NewsblogReport: Yankees say Aroldis Chapman trade near | MLB.com
(89 - 4:44pm, Jul 25)
Last: Lars6788

NewsblogYounger breed of techies replacing baseball lifers in GM roles - StarTribune.com
(33 - 4:40pm, Jul 25)
Last: All Sleepy knows is what's on the internet

Page rendered in 0.2181 seconds
47 querie(s) executed