Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pitching and the DEFENSIVE factor

Don't get too offended by this comment, because it's not meant to be derogatory to the entire pitching profession, but nobody really cares how well a pitcher fields his position when they're giving out contracts. That does not, however, mean that a pitcher does not have a DEFENSIVE component within his PEVA Pitching Rating Grade, it's just not the traditional kind. When we're talking about DEFENSIVE factors for a Pitcher Grade, it's not about Errors, Putouts, and Assists. It's about Strikeouts, Walks, and Home Runs Allowed.

Those are three stats in the pitcher's line where he has the most control, where he can defend the outcome, and where his defenders and team don't play much of a part. So in the pitcher venacular for PEVA DEFENSIVE components, it is an average of those two component factors (Strikeout to Walk Ratio and HR Allowed per 9 Innings Pitcher), along the same MAX/AVE/MIN scale, that counts.

But isn't that unfairly giving credit to a strikeout pitcher?

No. It gives credit to a pitcher who has control compared to how many he strikes out. One example, Greg Maddux. Most years Maddux would lead the league in SO/W Ratio despite not being a pure strikeout pitcher. (He did strikeout his fair share, BTW, even though his fastball didn't sit in the 90s)

Why should you give so much credit to a pitcher with a low HR/9IP ratio?

Look at Curt Schilling, he'd often give up solo homer or two, but that would be about it. That's true, but since Schilling often was near the top in SO/W ratio (thus being the reason they were only solo homers), his lower HR/9IP factor did not injure the overall PEVA Pitching Rating.

Does this or any other pitching factor play a moderating factor like Run Production does to a position player or even Field Value for that matter?

No. But it all works out in the wash. And that wash is how a pitcher, whether relief or starting, whether playing for a good team or a bad one, is valued when comparing his PEVA to contract terms. And that's where RAVE and EXPEQ comes in, ... but we won't bore you with those Explaining RAVE blog series right now. We'll clue you in on those at a later date. Pennant races are starting to heat up and the All-Star game is coming soon.

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