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  1. Is a .259 BABIP really unsubstaniable? League-wide BABIP is down this season, hovering around the .290 range, so a BABIP of .259 is less of a radical departure from average than in previous years. Tomlin is fly-ball pitcher – with fly balls having a lower average BABIP than ground balls, it shouldn’t be surprising that his BABIP remains lower than a heavy groundball pitcher (see Carmona or Masterson on his own team). Lastly, the Indians run out an above average defensive outfield (DRS has the outfield at a collectively +8), which should help Tomlin quite a bit.

    Obviously this doesn’t make Tomlin a star or anything, but it at least suggests that, given the circumstances, he may be able to sustain at least a below average BABIP.

    Comment by Jeff — June 23, 2011 @ 9:17 am

  2. just for the record, something can’t be “exceptionally unique.” Unique means one-of-a-kind so technically it shouldn’t have any modifiers.

    Other than that, interesting article

    Comment by self — June 23, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  3. Never has a more perfect comment been made

    Comment by Dave — June 23, 2011 @ 9:56 am

  4. And might Tomlin actually get better? Even though his Swinging Strike % is exactly league average (8.4) and his O- and Z-Contact rates are slightly above league average, his K/9 is nearly 2K/9 below league average. if Swinging Strike % is actually a better future predictor of K/9 rate than previous K/9 rate, shouldn’t we expect Tomlin’s strikeout rate to move closer to league average?

    Comment by tribe — June 23, 2011 @ 10:10 am

  5. His low k/9 probably has a lot to do with his low fastball velocity and early in the count approaches by hitters compared to 2 their strike approaches, ie trying to destroy his college fastball early in the count and mellowing down to trying to just hit the ball hard late in the count, huge hacks vs a tempered approach

    Comment by David — June 23, 2011 @ 11:18 am

  6. I see what you did there.

    Comment by Dan — June 23, 2011 @ 11:42 am

  7. oh Jesus, not this silly comment. I always see this “don’t modify unique” in the internet grammar police. Unique is clearly used in places where its meaning is not “one of a kind”, and the meaning of a word is derived from how it’s commonly used. Here’s what has to say on the subject:

    The earliest meanings of unique when it entered English around the beginning of the 17th century were “single, sole” and “having no equal.” By the mid-19th century unique had developed a wider meaning, “not typical, unusual,” and it is in this wider sense that it is compared: The foliage on the late-blooming plants is more unique than that on the earlier varieties. The comparison of so-called absolutes in senses that are not absolute is standard in all varieties of speech and writing.

    So, you can choose to not use modifiers for unique in your own writing if you like, but, yeah, don’t go tell someone else they “can’t” modify unique, or, actually what you’re telling them is they can’t use “unique” with this particular meaning, even though it’s a perfectly acceptable meaning for unique

    Comment by isavage30 — June 23, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  8. Yes, and on a site like fangraphs that’s not especially formal, it doesn’t REALLY matter, although the principle still bugs me.

    However, in formal writing, “what’s in the dictionary” and “what’s considered acceptable” are two different things. Contractions and slang can both be found in the dictionary, but are not generally acceptable in formal writing.

    Comment by self — June 23, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  9. There’s Bronson Arroyo. And John Lannan.

    Comment by woodman — June 24, 2011 @ 5:36 am

  10. Tomlin’s minor league numbers suggest that he can strike batters out, so he should improve upon his 5.1 K/9 rate. He can probably get it up to 6.5 in the next year or so. Also, he tries to get batters out early in the count, and he’s very successful at it, so he really doesn’t need to K batters all the time. Why strikeout the leadoff batter with 5 pitches when you can get him out in 2?

    Comment by All American Home Run Derby — July 5, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  11. A main reason for the low BABIP is that the indians play their best defensive OF when Tomlin is pitching due to his high FB rate. Right now that’s Brantley/Sizemore/Kearns (it was Brantley/Sizemore/Choo before Choo got hurt). Another thing the indians announcers mention is that Tomlin has gone at 5 IP in every start of his career thus far – pretty impressive.

    Comment by Bascinator — July 5, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

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