Pitcher Categorization

There was a very good article over on Baseball Analysts a couple days ago:

It links to a story in the Hardball Times by Dave Studenmund which lists a redux of batted balls effects on runs.  According to him, strikeouts had a run impact of -0.113, infield flies -0.088, groundballs 0.045, outfield flies 0.192, and line drives 0.391 per incident last year.  That would mean, if everything else was completely equal, strikeouts are better then grounders by .158 runs per occurance.

The article goes on to categorize pitchers on a grid.  Clockwise starting on the top-left: Above-Avg GB% & Below-Avg K/BF, Above-Avg GB% & Above-Avg K/BF, Below-Avg GB% & Above-Avg K/BF, and Below-Avg GB% & Below-Avg K/BF.  Average GB% was set at 43.8% and the K/BF average was set at 15.88%.

It wasn't surprising to me to see Webb in the top-right quadrant with the likes of Santana, Carlos Zambrano, Carpenter, and just about every other good pitcher today.  

What did surprise me is that Doug Davis was over there too.  Davis had a GB% of 44.08% last year and a K/BR ratio of 17.59%.  He's not as far into the quadrant as Webb or Carpenter, but it's worth considering that perhaps all of his problems last year were his walk rate?  If he can cut off just 20 walks this year... I predict good things.

Randy landed in the bottom-right quadrant with a GB% of 41.71% and K/BF ratio of 20%.  Numbers pretty much equal to Boof Bonser and very close to John Lackey.  I'd take either of those two guys' lines from last year, so all may not be lost... depending on the back.

Livan Hernandez... well he landed in the bottom-left.  GB% of 36.58%  and K/BF ratio of 13.35%.  Both are significantly low.  Though not stated, my guess is that they are combined from both of his stops last year.  Those quick to point out that he had better numbers with AZ.. all I'll say is that his K/BF ratio here was 13.08% and the GB% was 33.5%.  It's worth considering that those better numbers he posted here were 100% thanks to Hudson, Drew, and Counsell.  A trend that can continue?  It'll be interesting to find out.

The whole article is an interesting read, if nothing else.

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