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Importance of K rate to long term pitching success

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  • digglahhh
    replied
    What makes Wang so curious is that the defense behind him is brutal. The Yanks would be the last team on which one would think a contact pitcher would thrive.

    He's an interesting case, and will only become more so if he's able to keep beating the odds over an ever-growing sample size.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by STLCards2 View Post
    Elhalo is a different breed
    Yes...he is a lawyer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bothrops Atrox
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Ah, the "ElHalo theory" that Greg Maddux sucks because he doesn't have a 9.0 K/9 career k rate.
    Elhalo is a different breed - he is not even close to a McCracken supporter, but also relies on K rate substantialy. He might be closer to a McCracken supporter than he thinks. With Elhalo, it has a lot to do with appearence and entertainment as well. To him, a big reason that a Randy Johnson is better than a Maddux is because his ability to K everybody is more entertaining. Johnson also hits birds with fastballs, shoves New York reporters, and looks like a giant mixed with Big Bird. Maddux looks like Randy Johnson's agent. To Elhalo, entertaining=quality. I think he also overates how good the Braves defense were. They were good, but I only see about 35 runs or so being "saved" by that defense. In the grand scheme of Maddux' RSAA, that is only about 2 ERA+ points. Not that big of a deal, honestly. Most of us disagree with him, but he certainly puts an interesting outlook on everything. I hope I am depicting him correctly, and would encourage him to correct me if I am not.

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by STLCards2 View Post
    Yes. It is definatley true that velocity and a high K rate make your life much easier, and cause you to be much less reliant on the quality of defense. Unfortunatley, many took the next step by saying that a pitcher couldn't be truly very good unless they have a high K rate. That is not the case with everybody. This is why many went through a phase whre all they looked at was FIP and such, ignoring all the other ways runs can be prevented. Tiger himself and others who created such stats would be the first to admit that more needs to be considered than DIPS stats alone.
    Ah, the "ElHalo theory" that Greg Maddux sucks because he doesn't have a 9.0 K/9 career k rate.

    Leave a comment:


  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
    I would agree that high velocity enables you to get away with more mistakes, however I think that mainly applies to guys who throw 96+mph. If you're down around 92-95, you can still get lit up if you don't hit your spots. CC Sabathia is a prime example. He attributes his woes so far this season, solely on not locating properly.
    That and being a fat pig? But you are right. I've heard many pitchers say that they rather have their location going good than their stuff going good if they could only have one or the other.

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  • Bothrops Atrox
    replied
    Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
    I would agree that high velocity enables you to get away with more mistakes, however I think that mainly applies to guys who throw 96+mph. If you're down around 92-95, you can still get lit up if you don't hit your spots. CC Sabathia is a prime example. He attributes his woes so far this season, solely on not locating properly.
    Yes. It is definatley true that velocity and a high K rate make your life much easier, and cause you to be much less reliant on the quality of defense. Unfortunatley, many took the next step by saying that a pitcher couldn't be truly very good unless they have a high K rate. That is not the case with everybody. This is why many went through a phase whre all they looked at was FIP and such, ignoring all the other ways runs can be prevented. Tiger himself and others who created such stats would be the first to admit that more needs to be considered than DIPS stats alone.
    Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 04-17-2008, 01:49 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by THE OX View Post
    In my opinion, the higher K / 9 rate indicates that the pitcher has enough velocity and "stuff" that he need NOT rely entirely on pinpoint control.
    I would agree that high velocity enables you to get away with more mistakes, however I think that mainly applies to guys who throw 96+mph. If you're down around 92-95, you can still get lit up if you don't hit your spots. CC Sabathia is a prime example. He attributes his woes so far this season, solely on not locating properly.

    Leave a comment:


  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Wang's K rates.

    2005: 3.64 K/9
    2006: 3.14 K/9
    2007: 4.70 K/9
    2008: 4.50 K/9

    Leave a comment:


  • Bothrops Atrox
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    One of the "axioms" I have come to accept over the years (from Bill James) was that if a pitcher's K rate falls below ~4.5 K/9 that pitcher will most likely not have long term success. Does this still hold today? From a sabermetric perspective how much research has been done in this area? One of the great "what if's" is Mark Fidrych. In his great 1976 season he struck out 97 hitters in 250.3 IP. That comes out to 3.49 K/9. And how does one explain the success of Chien-Ming Wang?
    The idea is, 4.5 K/9 is the lowest a guy can go and still be a very good pitcher, but he has to do everything else very well.

    The poster child for the axiom is Tom Glavine. He has had seasons with K rates in that neighborhood which would spell doom for many, but had low BABIP% (even compared to teamates), low HR/9 rates, threw a higher than normal % of groundballs leading to fewer Xbase hits and more double plays, didn't walk too many batters, had a high LOB%, didn't hit any batters or throw passed balls, held runners in check, and rarely gave up dingers with runners on base- and poof- you have seasons with ERA+s of 110-125. When Glavine's K rate was at or above league average through most of the 1990's, his ERA+ was in the 130's-150's. In fact, if Glavine had a league average K rate his whole career, his career ERA+ would be around 126, instead of the 119 it is now.

    The problem is - how many guys can be above average in all of those areas and withstand the problem of allowing constant contact? Not many at all. Glavine is indeed an anomoly.


    Wang could be on eof those guys. Never walks people, throws a zillion ground balls to induce double plays, rarely allows home runs or other extra base hits, has a better than average BABIP. Can he sustain this year after year? Time will tell. A couple of years breaking the "4.5" axiom could be luck or great defense. I personaly think that Wang will not fold like many experts feel. He is legitamately very good at a lot of run prevention tools.

    Leave a comment:


  • THE OX
    replied
    In my opinion, the higher K / 9 rate indicates that the pitcher has enough velocity and "stuff" that he need NOT rely entirely on pinpoint control.

    And let's face it, not every "control" pitcher has his best pinpoint control in every appearance. So if he gets "lit up" every time his best pinpoint control isn't with him, his value (and therefore his career length) won't be as great.

    Leave a comment:


  • Importance of K rate to long term pitching success

    One of the "axioms" I have come to accept over the years (from Bill James) was that if a pitcher's K rate falls below ~4.5 K/9 that pitcher will most likely not have long term success. Does this still hold today? From a sabermetric perspective how much research has been done in this area? One of the great "what if's" is Mark Fidrych. In his great 1976 season he struck out 97 hitters in 250.3 IP. That comes out to 3.49 K/9. And how does one explain the success of Chien-Ming Wang?
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 04-07-2008, 09:59 AM.

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