Created an interactive spray chart tool, complete with data from the 2012-2013 seasons.
This past August I was a part of the Statistical Analysis panel at the 2013 SABR Conference in Philadephia, along with Dick Cramer, Steve Mann, Vince Gennaro, and Brian Kenny. Here’s video of the panel.
Generally speaking, umpires were less likely to call strikes on the Edge in pitcher-friendly counts and more likely to give those calls in hitter-friendly counts.
While we learned a bit from that analysis, it was really just the tip of the iceberg. There are a number of additional ways to cut the data, and that is the focus of this article. Count is just one dimension when we are thinking about what might influence the likelihood of close called strikes. There are a number of additional dimensions we can layer onto count, and that’s precisely what I show in the (admittedly large) table below.
Well friends, we are now approaching that time of year where a significant drop in a pitcher’s velocity passes the 50% threshold in terms of signaling that they will finish the season down a full mph.
Pitchers that were down at least 1 mph in April had an arm injury rate of 11%. Compared to 4% for non-velocity decliners, that’s an increased likelihood of 2.6. The amount of time missed is also quite similar. When an arm injury was sustained after an April velocity decline, pitchers lost about 22 days on average to the injury. When the arm injury was not preceded by a velocity loss? 20 days on average. The only difference was in the number of trips to the disabled list that lasted at least 30 days. For April velocity decliners, there were four trips to the DL longer than 30 days. For non-velocity decliners there was only one such trip.
"A while back, Jeff Zimmerman and I introduced the concept of Edge% — a metric that attempted to quantify the extent to which a pitcher worked the edges of the strike zone. Jeff initially looked at how this applied to Tim Lincecum and how his performance depended to some extent on his ability to pitch to the edges of the plate. I followed up with a high-level piece that compared the performance of pitchers at an aggregate level depending on how extreme their Edge% was in a given season.
While the findings were interesting, they were also a little inconsistent. That’s because Jeff and I independently created two distinct metrics. We decided to combine our efforts (as we have been known to do) and settle on a single, consistent formula. And that’s the focus of this article.”