percent of strikeouts coming from pitchers is interesting but I’m not so sure about that sample. It’s a matter of size… I’d rather look at the HORSES who pile up the strikeouts. Maybe limit it to a minimum of ~440 PA or something.
Pitcher is the position with the most obvious and consistent lack of hitting prowess historically, but there are other positions that are historically “defense first” positions: catcher and SS spring to mind.
Should we sub in hitters for them as well?
Comment by MrKnowNothing — April 23, 2012 @ 11:10 am
I like pitchers throwing to baseball players. In my humble opinion, if your job doesn’t require you to show up to the park with a glove, you aren’t a baseball player.
This is… ok, but it didn’t examine the pool of pitchers that seemed most obvious.
Why not look at all of the national league starters over the past few years and see who is benefiting the most from K-ing pitchers? Then normalize all those pitchers’ K rates according to how many pitchers they faced.
No one cares that Milo Candini struck out 11 pitchers in 1948.
Comment by Slartibartfast — April 23, 2012 @ 11:51 am
This is an introductory type article and there will be several more to come on the topic, including what you mentioned, as well as how it affects league changes.
I agree with almost all of the comments here.
A) This is worth exploring.
B) It probably makes sense to look at career patterns. Is there a “skill” to striking out pitchers? Or is it just that in a single season a guy manages to randomly happen to strike out a few more pitchers than you’d expect?
I suspect that long-term patterns would probably show that it was essentially luck or randomness that caused pitchers to have seasons where they struck out disproportionally too many opposing pitchers. However, I’m open to the idea suggested here that certain pitchers may in fact be better at getting out opposing pitchers with strikeouts if you present the evidence.
The difference for me is that I’d consider that a positive skill rather than a negative reflection of ability. Striking out any opposing batter in my mind is good. Is it as good as striking out an Adam Dunn? No (well maybe that’s a bad example), but it is still good.
Some pitchers can hit, some were even position players at one time, I wouldn’t lump all pitchers into the no-hit catagory.
Comment by Hurtlockertwo — April 23, 2012 @ 12:27 pm
I imagine effects are minimal, but thoughts run to 2 issues with PHing.
Do Kirk Rueters face a greater % of pitchers because pitchers seem to a manager to be perfectly capable of hitting his junk balling ways?
Are you including PH appearances by Those who usually pitch in pitcher ABs?
Comment by Cuban X Senators — April 23, 2012 @ 12:52 pm
I love it how someone here works hard to do all this research to find out something that’s really very interesting and then someone else feels the need to chime in with some snarky remark about how they didn’t research the thing that THEY most wanted to find out about.
If you want to find out the answer to your question, research it.
The last two charts are very obvious. They are all pitchers with low k ratios, so they struckout around two batters per outing, very likely one of those strikeouts against the opposing pitcher. Pitchers with a high k ratio that can strikeout 10 in a game will likely face the opposing pitcher only twice and therefore it is impossible for them to have a high rate.
Sure, and maybe I’m wrong, but those 10 K guys aren’t of interest here. At least for me, I’m more interested in the guys who strikeout 4-5 over 7 innings when 2 of the Ks are pitchers. Because suddenly their 6 K/9 drops to 3.5. The high strikeout guys are high strikeout guys… but guys who have average to above average rates more heavily reliant on pitcher whiffs are worthy of investigation.
Good thought on Rueter being perceived as more hittable so the managers leave him in, but according to my database that doesn’t really seem to be the case. From 1995-2011, the pitchers pooled together faced opposing pitchers 7.2% of the time.. for Rueter it was 7.4%.
As for the pitchers pinch-hitting, yes, all pitcher PAs are included.