Lindholm: Analyzing throws to first base

From Scott Lindholm at Beyond the Box Score on February 3, 2014:

Today, we enter a cruel time in the sports world with the Super Bowl over and baseball another two months away. The NBA and NHL are hitting the heart of their seasons, but for baseball fans, it’s a tough slog to the end of another offseason. Just think, poor Harry Pavlidis of Baseball Prospectus was reduced to tweeting about the Caribbean World Series being shown on ESPN Deportes last night. It’s been three months since the end of the World Series, spring training opens in a couple of weeks but even that is a cruel taunt for what’s to come. We need baseball, and we need it now. Into that breach I step.

When I started amassing play-by-play data from Baseball-Reference a couple of years ago I noticed that in addition to typical inning and out information there was also pitch data, including two categories I’ve never seen presented before–throws to first (and second and third as well) and times a runner broke to steal a base. As I figured out ways to tease out this data, I became curious if there were any trends.

I’ll begin with pitcher throws to first–this table shows data from the 2009-2013 regular seasons and pitchers with the most throws to first during that time.

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Originally published: February 4, 2014. Last Updated: February 4, 2014.