Sarris: The knuckleball is more conventional than it seems

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on June 15, 2016:

We often treat knuckleball pitchers as if they were members of some long-forgotten sect, practicing their secret ninjutsu on the rest of the league with a pitch that defies gravity and cannot be classified. That’s fine, the knuckler is the rarest pitch in baseball, and it has its iconic moments. Let’s not begrudge anyone a little fun.

But once you peal back the layers on the pitch, you start to see that each truism about the knuckler isn’t necessarily true. In fact, there are probably more ways in which the art of throwing a knuckleball is similar to the art of throwing other pitches than it is different. At least, that is, in terms of strategy and outcomes. Mechanics are obviously a different story.

Let’s unpack some of the things we might hear about knuckleballs, and then us the data and the words of R.A. Dickey and Steven Wright to guide our analysis.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 15, 2016. Last Updated: June 15, 2016.