Michael Salfino

  • Pitching by the Numbers: A calendar year in review

    Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports1 mth ago

    We think of the all-star game separating the first and second half of the season but that line was basically drawn this past Sunday. So what better time to look at full calendar year stats to see which players have been consistent, one way or another, but just not over a time frame we typically measure.

    Here are the June 29, 2013 to June 29, 2014 leaders in (K-BB)/IP with the ERA noted, too:

    Here is the entire chart.

    This is out of 87 pitchers who threw at least 162 innings in the period. All of these pitchers should, by their performance in strikeouts and walks, sport winning ERAs. But you can see the wide variance that seems to have no rhyme or reason.

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  • Pitching by the Numbers: First impressions

    Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports2 mths ago

    It’s been said that the most important pitch in baseball is the first pitch. This year, if you get ahead 0-1, hitters subsequently manage a .598 OPS. But if you fall behind 1-0, that rises to .797.

    A proxy for this is the frequency with which pitchers throw first-pitch strikes. The higher, the better -- unless, of course, they are just tossing pitches over the plate that get hammered mercilessly. We sure don’t want that.

    This is the rub with first-pitch strike percentage. It includes pitches put in play as strikes. So let’s combine two stats this week in Pitching by the Numbers: first pitch strike percentage and batting average allowed when hitters swing at the first pitch. Who is finding the sweet spot most often by either starting off 0-1, which is good, or – even better -- actually getting hitters to unsuccessfully put the ball in play on the first pitch by limiting batting average (or perhaps just getting really lucky on BABIP, a distinction for another day).

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