Effective Wildness : Part 4

Effective Wildness : Part 4

After bouncing EF around in my head for awhile, I’m interested too see if the ratio can be used in a constructive manner. I’d like to see if control pitchers are using the hits batsman as a way to effectively control the plate.

To do this, I took the lowest 4th in K/9 in 2005 over 100 IP, which works out to about 36 pitchers. This was used to eliminate the strikeout pitchers and showcase control pitchers. Within this select group, I ran the following;

(EF)  / (SO/IP)

High scores (high EF’s) within this group didn’t hit too many batters, and lower scores in turn were some of the lowest EF (hit many hitters per walk).  This basically translates to the high players are control pitchers that don’t attempt to hit batters and the low score attempts to clear out the inside corner.

I took the top 10 in each. Here are the results;

Type” Wins Losses ERA
High 78 103 5.15
Low 98 107 4.05

Pretty big difference here! Let’s try the same formula as used above, for the past five seasons.


Type” Wins Losses ERA
High 92 93 4.55
Low 100 99 4.28


Type” Wins Losses ERA
High 77 95 4.55
Low 88 107 4.61


Type” Wins Losses ERA
High 98 94 4.88
Low 76 94 4.75


Type” Wins Losses ERA
High 78 103 5.15
Low 98 107 4.05


Type Wins Losses ERA
High 112 88 4.58
Low 119 106 5.00


Advantages”””””””””’ High Low
Winning Percentage 2 3
ERA 2 3

Well, that proved a whole lot of nothing. Or maybe it did. It proved€”to me at least€”that there is no overall correlation between control pitchers hitting batters and having statistical success.

I may venture onto the case of Wild Pitches and EF at a later time, (although I find little data over the past five years that supports an effective wild pitch scenario) but that about wraps it up for now. Success cannot be linked to a high or low EF. What does the EF prove or show? Probably what it was intended to do, which is showcase pitchers that have good overall control (as evidenced by low walk totals) yet have high hit batsmen totals. These pitchers are hitting these batters on purpose, there is little doubt of this.

Let’s look at one final stat. The most effective EF pitcher’s in 2006 were looked at briefly in article 1. These are pitchers that hit a high ratio of HBP vs walks. Here are the names of the top 10 in 2006; David Bush, Ramon Ortiz, Elizardo Ramirez, Javier Vazquez, Pedro Martinez, Jon Lieber, Ricky Nolasco, Vicente Padilla, Chris Carpenter, & Dontrelle Willis.

Below is (yet) another table, this time showing the ratio of Hits Batsmen to Wild Pitches for the top 10 and the rest of the league (over 100IP)

Group”””””””””””” HBP”’ WP”’ HBP/WP Ratio
Top 10 131 42 3.12
Rest of Baseball 729 601 1.21

As you can see, the top EF group hit waaaay more batters than wild pitches (3.12 times), and the rest of the league was a more respectable 1.21.

The EF is an interesting way to look at baseball dirtiest pitchers. During the 2007 season, we’ll update you frequently on who’s leading the league in EF. My prediction is two-time defending champion David Bush holding onto his title. Share your thoughts, questions, or anything else with us in the comments section. Thanks!

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4 replies on “Effective Wildness : Part 4”
  1. says: Callum

    Having seen David Bush pitch, I am not so sure he is the “dirtiest” man in the league. Bush’s bread and butter pitch is his loopy curveball that he uses as his out pitch. Often times he has trouble controlling it and since it is not a traditional 12-6 curve, I could see him hitting a lot of right handed hitters with it. When it isn’t working for him, he will resort to the other pitches in his arsenal that he is able to locate better so as to not walk many batters. I am just going on his time in Toronto however and can’t speak for how he has been pitching in Milwaukee. And as we all know, Pedro is a head hunter. I wonder if his approach will stay the same as he comes back from a shredded shoulder?

  2. says: Kman

    Gotta disagree there. If his control is that bad, he’d walk far more than 38 in 210IP, even with resorting to other pitches. His 1.63 BB/9IP was the 8th lowest total in the majors, yet his 18 HBP tied for 2nd and his EF was 4th all-time single season mark. He only threw 6 wild pitches, a low total if he has trouble controlling his curve. The 18 HBP vs 6 WP is a 3 – 1 ratio, and the rest of the MLB (outside the top 10 EF) has a 1.21 ratio. So his ratio is way above the average. In-fact, he owns 2 of the all-time 6 “dirtiest” EF ratios. I think he’s aware of what he’s doing, and he put together his best season in 2006. I expect more of the same in 2007.

  3. says: Early

    Maddux a dirty pitcher? Kman, I like how you are trying to identify dirty pitchers. Another pitcher, like Dave Bush, who depended on his loopy curveball as an out was Sandy Koufax, in his 12 year career he had an astonishing 0.09:1 HB/WP ratio and almost a 3:1 walk ratio. His control got better as he went along but he always had a disproprotinate amount of WP as would expect from a curveballer. While Koufax was the control genius of our father’s time, Greg Maddoux is the control genius of our time. With a better K/BB ratio he has an almost 2:1 HB/WP ratio. He has thrown 20% less WP in 21 yrs than Koufax in 12 while hitting 100% more batters!!!!!

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