Teeter: The pluses and minuses of all those strikeouts

From Chris Teeter at Beyond the Box Score on May 21, 2014:

You have probably heard of the rise in strikeouts in Major League Baseball. Strikeouts have been going up for the last decade. Hitters seem to have realized that a strikeout is not more costly than any other type of out, and can be less costly in certain situations (e.g., avoiding a double play). Trying to hit the ball to the moon will come with strikeouts but it will also come with home runs and teams can live with that exchange. Yet, some have suggested that the strikeout rate is too high.

Here is a look at the trend in league strikeout rate for starters and relievers for the last twelve years:


The trend is evident. I am not the first person to show this, nor will I be the last. Thus far in 2014, starters are striking out 19.6% of the batters they face, and relievers are at 22.2%. So, when watching a game, about 1 in 5 batters will be retired via strikeout. Interestingly, this issue is not entirely a plate discipline issue, as walk rate (BB%) has remained pretty consistent over the same time frame.

Read the full article here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2014/5/21/5731954/plus-minus-strikeouts-winning-baseball

Originally published: May 21, 2014. Last Updated: May 21, 2014.