Monday, January 5, 2009

Rox Talk - Types of Hits

Hot Stove League
Looks like Jason Marquis is signing the dotted line to be our 4th starter. The plus behind this move is that we get rid of Luis Vizcaino who ended up being a bust. O'Dowd has certainly stocked up on pitching. I believe his theory is that with enough 4th and 5th (6th?) starters that eventually the manager will find someone who will stick. Assuming Cook, Francis, and Jimenez are the top 3 starters, we suddenly have a glut with Marquis, de la Rosa, Hirsh, Morales, Reynolds, and newly acquired Smith. Well this strategy didn't work last year but perhaps we'll strike gold like we did in 2007 with the likes of Fogg. In the end I think having alot of options at pitching is key but I still shudder to think where we are going to find 23 win shares that left with Holliday (that is almost 8 wins and the difference between a 74 win season and a 66 win season!).

Oh yeah, Fuentes is going to be pitching in LA for the Angels next year at a slightly reduced amount then what I think he wanted...too bad....not!

Hit Types
Not for sure why but I have always been more fascinated with pitchers and their statistics. When I used to play fantasy baseball I was always good at picking pitchers but truly awful with hitters. Anyway it seems that I always play with more pitching stats than anything else! I believed I showed this graph two weeks (?) ago. Basically it shows the percentage of groundballs, flyballs, line drives, strike outs, walks, and other over the history of the Rox. Groundballs have ranged between 28 - 36% of the total outcomes with the batter, flyballs have ranged from 21 to 26%, and etc. What is fascinating to me is how similar year after year is. I mean pretty consistent over the years and one would expect that the Rox pitchers will throw an average of 33% GB, 23% FB, 16% LD, 2% Bunts, 15% strikeouts, 9% walks, and 2% other. If you look at the graph below there isn't a lot of difference between 2007 and 2008 between the types of hits and yet the Rox won 90 in '07 and 74 in '08.

So if you can expect 33% groundballs year after year then how many hits does this lead to and what sort of consistency exists with hits and groundballs. So from the chart below it shows that of the groundballs hit approximately 22% of these then become hits. Besides some funky data from 2000 - 2002 it appears that once again there is some consistency between the type of hit ball and the amount of hits. From the graph below it would seem that line drives lead to the most hits. So it would seem if a pitcher can reduce his line drives then that is a sure way of decreasing hits...

So the next question would be how many runs are generated from the type of hits? Well on average 45% of runs are generated from flyballs, 31% from line drives, and 23% from groundballs (average does not include 2000 - 2002 numbers). Again from the graph below there is not a lot of difference from year to year. Could the 2% difference in line drives (and decrease of 3% in flyballs) from '07 to '08 account for the difference in winning 90 or 74? 35 more runs were scored in '08 off of line drives then '07 and yet there were only 9 more line drive hits. Also there were almost 41 more flyball hits in '08 and yet only 2 more runs scored in '08 versus '07.

I guess what all this tells me is to reduce your number of line drives as they lead to the most hits and stay away from flyballs when runners are on because they lead to the most runs scored.

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