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April 28, 2014 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: Martin Perez Turns Two, 12 Times


Sam Miller

Has the Rangers starter uncovered the secret of erasing his mistakes?

Back in the 2013 Annual, we wrote that Martin Perez’s “strikeout rate dropped off significantly last season, along with his ceiling. Once thought to be a potential front-end rotation arm, he’s now considered more of a third starter.” But he heads into his start tomorrow with the best ERA in the American League, while his strikeout rate hovers around the 15th percentile. There’s a contradiction there—those two statements aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but they are certainly opposed to each other. Perez has the career-low BABIP of an early-season fluke, and he has the pristine HR/FB rate of an early-season fluke. But what about the most magical part of his game thus far? Is it possible that Perez’s exceptional ability to induce double plays is a skill that he can carry forward?

To appreciate just how significant the 6-4-3 has been to Perez’s 1.42 ERA this year, consider: 31 times so far he has had a runner on first base (at least) and fewer than two outs. Those 31 at-bats have produced 12 double plays and three fielder’s choices, along with three caught stealings, six strikeouts, and just three singles. In those 31 chances he has turned about nine more double plays than an average pitcher should have, according to our NetDP stat, putting him more than four net double plays ahead of the next-best doubleplayer. A double play with a runner on first and nobody out is worth about three-quarters of a run, according to our 2014 run-expectancy matrix. In Perez’s 31 matchups with a runner on first (at least) and fewer than two outs, he has around 13 runs off his expected runs allowed. He has allowed six runs all year. The double plays alone have been roughly as valuable as Mike Trout's sixth-in-the-AL home run total.

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November 26, 2012 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The 2012 Silly Awards


Russell A. Carleton

The strangest double plays, groundouts for the cycle, and more from the weird side of the season.

Let's get a little silly. The Gold Gloves, Cy Youngs, MVPs, Managers of the Year, Hank Aaron Awards, and the Greg Spira Internet Baseball Awards (may Greg's memory remain eternally) have all been given out. It's time to appreciate the befuddling side of baseball. The awards that should be given out, but aren't.

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