Roegele: Analyzing the 2015 strike zone

From SABR member Jon Roegele at The Hardball Times on October 7, 2015:

The strike zone is regularly the most contentious part of a baseball game. Batters complain. Managers complain. Pitchers and umpires have stare downs. On top of the pitch-by-pitch attention that the strike zone draws, it also receives scrutiny at the macro level. Last offseason, it was reported that given the downward scoring trend across the league, the MLB Playing Rules Committee would monitor the strike zone during the 2015 season with a potential to recommend a change in its definition by as early as 2016.

Throughout the season, I have been checking in on the state of the strike zone and related aspects of the game on a monthly basis. If you wish you can review the status for April, May, June, July, and August. With the regular season coming to a close, it’s time to take a final look at how the 2015 season stacks up against its recent predecessors.

Before the season began, a number of Hardball Times writers collaborated on a season preview in strikeouts. In it I attempted to frame a strike zone outlook for the 2015 season, and concluded with this paragraph:

If I were made to take a guess as to what will unfold in 2015, I would say this is the season the falling bottom of the strike zone finally levels off, given the increased attention. There are other aspects of the game affecting strikeout rate aside from the strike zone itself, but I will predict a strikeout rate that is flat with the 2014 numbers in the upcoming season.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 7, 2015. Last Updated: October 7, 2015.