Analyzing the Umpires: ALDS Edition

After examining the National League division round umpires yesterday, I will look at the American ones today. I will look to see if they have any unique strike calling patterns and post their 2013 K/9 and BB/9 scaled to the league average strikeout and walk rates. Again I have included images of their called strike zones compared to the league average called zone.


Notes: For the scaled values, a 100 value is league average and a 110 value would be a value 10% higher than the average.

The strike zone is from the catcher/umpire’s perspective. The square is the rule book strike zone and the circle is added for visual reference. The scale is the percent difference a umpires call a pitch a strike in that part of the strike zone. The umpire is being compared to the league average, so the values are the difference in percentage points between him and the overall league.

Red Sox vs Rays

Dana DeMuth – He squeezes the zone a bit on the sides, but then calls strikes more at the zone’s top and bottom.
K/9: 7.6 (100)
BB/9: 2.9 (96)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Eric Cooper – He is a pitcher’s friend by calling a huge zone, especially at the top and bottom.

K/9: 8.1 (107)
BB/9: 2.7 (89)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Paul Emmel – His zone is squeezed in except on the bottom.
K/9: 7.3 (96)
BB/9: 3 (99)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Chris Guccione – He calls a larger than normal zone and likes to call the low pitch a strike more than others.
K/9: 7.6 (100)
BB/9: 2.6 (86)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Larry Vanover – Fairly good zone, but calls the low and outside pitch to LHH more than normal
K/9: 7.7 (102)
BB/9: 2.9 (96)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Mike Winters – He calls pitches on the first base side of the plate more than the average umpire.
K/9: 8.1 (107)
BB/9: 3.3 (109)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Tigers-Athletics

Gary Darling – He is inclined to call the low strike. With left-handed hitters, he shifts the zone to the third base side.
K/9: 7.5 (99)
BB/9: 2.8 (93)

vs LHH

vs RHH

CB Bucknor – CB’s a pitcher’s dream. He expands the strike zone in all directions, except to the third base side which he shrinks.

K/9: 8.0 (106)
BB/9: 2.5 (83)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Mike DiMuro – His entire zone is shifted down and will call the low inside strike more than other umpires.

K/9: 7.0 (92)
BB/9: 3.1 (103)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Tom Hallion – His zone is dropped down and shifted out for left handed-hitters.
K/9: 7.9 (104)
BB/9: 3.2 (106)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Jim Reynolds – He calls a low strike zone. Also he calls the inside strike for RHH.
K/9: 8.2 (108)
BB/9: 3.3 (109)

vs LHH

vs RHH

Mark Wegner – He squeezes the zone in on the edges and then extends it to the top and bottom.
K/9: 7.8 (103)
BB/9: 3.0 (99)

vs LHH

vs RHH




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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

One Response to “Analyzing the Umpires: ALDS Edition”

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  1. N8*K says:

    Where are the umpires who don’t call the low strike? It seems like almost all of these guys call the low strike more than the average umpire.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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