FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Good stuff!

    Comment by CaptWBligh — April 23, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  2. Really good stuff. True sabrmetric insight as to question.

    Comment by BDF — April 23, 2012 @ 10:16 am

  3. 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.

    Comment by Uli440 — April 23, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  4. Pitchers throwing to pitchers? That is not baseball. Pitchers should be throwing to hitters. Screw this whole National League version of baseball. Give me some hitters and then we’ll be cool.

    Comment by Cito Gaston — April 23, 2012 @ 10:37 am

  5. Why only mention single seasons and not career rates?

    Comment by lexomatic — April 23, 2012 @ 10:37 am

  6. What about the reverse case? Are there any notable pitcher seasons where the player in question actually fares worse against opposition pitchers?

    Comment by NatsFan73 — April 23, 2012 @ 10:58 am

  7. 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

  8. 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.

    Comment by Ken — April 23, 2012 @ 11:37 am

  9. 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

  10. 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.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — April 23, 2012 @ 11:54 am

  11. 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.

    Comment by Gabriel — April 23, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  12. 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

  13. Interesting.

    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

  14. 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.

    Comment by chuckb — April 23, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  15. Can we also depreciate the value of strikeouts against mark reynolds and adam dunn?

    Comment by Joe — April 23, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  16. One followup on the horizon is measuring the consistency, or lack thereof, to see if it’s skill- or luck-laden.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — April 23, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

  17. I’d like to see javier vasquez on here…

    Comment by chipjosh — April 23, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  18. Koufax struck out 52.7% of the pitchers he faced and faced the pitcher about 7% of the time.

    Comment by Eric R — April 23, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  19. Maddux struck out the pitcher 28.9% of the time and struck out non-pitchers 15.6% of the time. The latter for Koufax was 23.2%

    Comment by Eric R — April 23, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  20. Koufax 52.7% vs 23.2%
    Ryan 45.4% vs 24.6%
    Carlton 45.0% vs 17.2%
    Gooden 39.7% vs 18.4%
    Seaver 37.8% vs 17.6%
    Sutton 36.8% vs 15.3%
    Rueter 31.1% vs 8.6%
    Maddux 28.9% vs 15.6%
    PNiekro 24.1% vs 14.1%

    Comment by Eric R — April 23, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  21. 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.

    Comment by eliasll — April 23, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

  22. 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.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — April 23, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

  23. 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.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — April 23, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

  24. In your hypothesis you use David Ortiz as an example. Well, in 2010 he struck out once a game. Or DH’s such as Dave Kingman? How much more do P’s strike out than DH’s?

    Comment by wagon — April 23, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

  25. Sounds great.

    Comment by Derp — April 24, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

  26. According to our leaderboards, pitchers struck out 32.9% of the time in 2011 while DHs whiffed 18.2% of the time.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — April 24, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

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