2010 AL Pitches Per Out

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With pitch count being a legitimate concern (and some would say offensive strategy) I wanted to see how some of the Jays starters stacked up in the stat category pitches per out.

Of course pitches per out isn’t the worlds greatest stat. It doesn’t factor in type of out (flyball, linedrive, gb, etc), what’s happening to the non-out pitches (giving up a HR, etc). However, young pitchers are typically on a tight leash and at that point pitches per out can become a concern.

Criteria: Pitched at least 100 IP in the AL

Assumption: Heading in I assumed Cliff Lee would be #1 by a large margin, CC would be in the top three and that the Jays would have at least one, if not two, SP in the top 10 in AL Pitches per Out.

Top 10 Results

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And Mr. Lee is in-fact #1 by a large margin. Surprisingly at #2 is Carl Pavano. #3 Jeff Niemann has thrown 3 more innings than teammate David Price in over 125 fewer pitches.

CC clocks in at #5.

Ricky Romero checks in at #9. When he’s on he can throw nearly 8 IP at around the 100 pitch mark.

Typically low BB/9 stats lead to greater pitch per out efficiency.

Qualifying Jays

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Surprisingly Marcum is in the middle of the pack (for AL standings). His semi-recent string of rough outings has wrecked havoc on his overall pitch per out stat. Morrow is near the bottom of the league. If (hopefully when) he controls his fastball & slider a bit better he’ll become more of an innings eater.

Fantasy Baseball Consideration

Jered Weaver is right near the bottom of the AL standings, averaging 5.73 pitches per out.Will he tire as the season continues?

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has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

  • Early

    This looks the AL WHIP leaderboard. What does this stat tell me that I don’t get in WHIP?

    • 4 of the top 10 pitches per inning are in the top 10 in WHIP.

      Jered Weaver is 4th in WHIP but is 45th out of 52 in pitches per inning.

      There is some overlap (as I alluded to with low BB/9 ratios) but it is in a sense a “how hard does the starter have to work to get outs”. Then again, it doesn’t take into account ‘leverage’, although I wonder if all starters subscribe to the higher physical effort in leverage situation theory.

      Optimally a team would like to earn maximum outs vs fewer pitchers from a young starter. IE the Jays would love to see Morrow throw fewer pitches per out.

      The Rays have to like Jeff Niemman’s pitch stat numbers. A few year back Scott Kazmir was in the top 3 in pitches thrown (AL) for 3 seasons in a row. He’s now basically on the scrap heap.

      I’d also imagine working the pitch count vs a youngster… a good example would be Strasburg, has it’s advantages.

  • Early

    Ok, so what is this tell me? What is a leverage situation?

    It is interesting that Weaver is such a blip? Why? His WHIP is low but throws a lot of pitches. Is he prone to foul balls? Is he pitching around players more?

    Or has he been unlucky and hand less “low pitch outs” like sacrifices, CS, DPs or runners thrown out on the bases?

    I like this stat, and I was thinking about it watching Verlander vs Romero the other day. How vulnerable is it to anomolies, ie) Morrow’s terrible start vs Red Sox earlier this year (80 pitches in 1 2/3 innings).

    • You can do a quick Google on leverage. It has to do with situations, runners on base, pitches in the inning, game score, etc. In a nut shell pitches in a tie game, 2-2 in the sixth with a runner on 2nd and 1 out are considered higher leverage than pitching with a 5- 0 lead to start off the fourth inning.

      Good Q on Weaver. He has an impressive 147 K to 30 BB ratio. From what I gather he dicks around and gets into too many deep counts.

      Weaver (134) & Cliff Lee (130) have both pitched close to to the same IP this season.

      2-1 counts: Lee 55, Weaver 104
      2-2 counts: Lee 78, Weaver 188

      Weaver’s clearly having a career year, so I can’t see him changing anything.

      Weaver’s game plan includes getting batters to chase junk in the dirt with two strikes. It’s been effective but it doesn’t help out his pitch count.

      Re: Anomalies

      As with any baseball stat, larger samples help to smooth things out. Most front liner starters are around 20 starts in 2010.

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