Weinberg: The hidden cost of the sinker

From Neil Weinberg at Beyond the Box Score on August 12, 2013:

Doug Fister is working on a peculiar kind of history. He’s not working on a strikeout record or a scoreless innings streak, but something that’s actually probably more impressive for its rarity. Fister is hitting a ton of batters. A historic number of batters, in fact, for someone who walks as few as he does.

Entering today’s start, Fister has walked only 11 more batters than he has hit during the 2013 season (26 BB to 15 HBP), which is just five behind Carlos Silva’s all time record from 2005 when he walked nine (!) and hit three. It’s an impressive record that he’s chasing, but a raw differential can be misleading. Walking 40 and hitting 35 is different from walking five and hitting zero.

So while Fister’s chase at the HBP to BB record is of note, it’s also better practice to consider rate statistics. Just for reference, let’s take a look at HBP% and BB% for every qualifying season by a starter from 1916 up through August 7, 2013 (the day of Fister’s most recent start).

Read the full article here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/8/12/4609000/hidden-cost-of-the-sinker-doug-fister

Originally published: August 12, 2013. Last Updated: August 12, 2013.