January 26, 2017
New Year's Resolutions: Command
As I discussed in my last post, one of the reasons we’re excited about our pitching metrics is that they allow us to answer new questions. On Monday, I looked at the pitchers who improved their control (using our CS Prob measure of Called Strike Probability) the most from 2015 to 2016 (minimum 60 innings in both years). This time I’m going to look at command.
As you’ve learned if you’ve been reading the articles this week, we measure command via Called Strikes Above Average, or CSAA. CSAA evaluates pitchers’ ability to locate their pitches in a way that results in more strikes getting called. It takes into account the umpire’s propensity to call strikes on certain pitches and the catcher’s ability to frame the pitch. The CSAA leaderboard includes stars, like Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs, and also guys with fringe-y stuff who succeed by locating their pitches on the periphery of the zone where they’re more likely to be called strikes but not hit, like Zach Davies of the Brewers.
Here are the pitchers whose command, measured by CSAA, improved the most in 2016 compared to 2015. With our minimum of 60 innings in each season, Davies, who had only 34 innings for the Brewers in 2015 (he pitched 128.1 at Triple-A) falls off the list.