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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Aging Curves Revisited: Damn Strikeouts | The Hardball Times

It used to be that once a pitcher could no longer get anyone out with his fastball, he went breaking-ball heavy. Pitchers now understand the advantages of breaking balls and are moving away from their injury-inducing fastballs earlier in their careers. And hitters are paying for this transition.

Hitters are struggling to keep up with both changes. The two changes are the reasons why the major league-wide strikeout rate (K%) has jumped from 16.4% to 23% in the past 14 seasons. Simply, as hitters age and lose their edge, the pitchers are attacking them with pitches they can’t hit..

Several factors (e.g., the juiced ball) are changing the meta-game with trends like more strikeouts and home runs. On the individual pitcher level, the shift away from the fastball has extended the effectiveness of pitchers, especially in relation to an improved strikeout rate. Meanwhile, veteran hitters are struggling against these better arsenals and are being forced into retirement more quickly than they were less than a decade ago.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2020 at 07:00 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: aging

 

 

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