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Friday, November 12, 2004

Greinke and Fergie

               BFP  K  BB  GB  OF IF  LD

Average 17% 10% 32% 22% 4% 13%

Anderson B. KC 745 9% 7% 28% 30% 4% 19%
Bautista D. KC 127 14% 10% 35% 24% 2% 14%
Greinke Z. KC 599 17% 6% 26% 29% 5% 16%
Gobble J. KC 638 8% 7% 31% 32% 6% 15%
May D. KC 832 14% 7% 27% 32% 4% 14%

I thought this was an interesting set of statistics I found in The Hardball Times 2004 Baseball Annual. It breaks down the outcomes by pitcher. Notice that all of them can be considered fly ball pitchers and Gobble and May particularly so. What doesn't bode well for Greinke is his line drive % sitting above average. I would think a pitcher's ability to suppress line drives would be directly related to his "stuff". One of the knocks against Greinke brought up by Bill James as I discussed in a previous post is that he doesn't have that pitch that can fool hitters. With that he still maintained an average strikeout rate because he locates so well.

In order to be successful a pitcher needs to adopt one of a few winning strategies. In the past I've speculated that these are:

1. Strikeout alot of batters in order to minimize the number of balls put into play and therefore balls that will be hits (Nolan Ryan)
2. Walk very few batters and give up very few homeruns to minimize the effect of the hits you do give up (Greg Maddux)
3. Walk fewer batters than average but strikeout more than average to minimize base runners and balls hit into play (Fergie Jenkins)
4. Rely on deception to decrease the number of hard hit balls thereby decreasing the pct of balls put into play that turn into hits (Charlie Hough)
5. Walk very few batters but rely on keeping hitters off balance to minimize base runners and minimize the number of line drives (Jamie Moyer)

To me Greinke fits into the mold of number 3 while Anderson, May and Gobble don't fit into any of the above. It's too early to tell for Bautista obviously.

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