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When pitching stats stabilize.

Of course. He's a pitcher.

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July 24, 2012 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: It Happens Every May


Russell A. Carleton

When we say that certain stats "stabilize" after a certain point, we don't mean that they'll stay stable.

It happens every May. Someone on your favorite team is having an uncharacteristically good (or bad) year. This year, David Wright got his groove back, while his former teammate Jose Reyes lost his way. Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Ruiz started hitting home runs for no apparent reason. For a while, Albert Pujols (!) was stuck in a very public home run drought. Early in the season, analysts and fans have learned to (properly) dismiss these runs as small sample size flukes. They’re something to keep an eye on, but... he'll be back to normal soon.

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Russell reruns the numbers to determine when hitter stats stabilize.

Who said sabermetrics hasn't gone mainstream? We've now reached the point where even mainstream analysts are yelling "small sample size!" at one another. There's always been some understanding that a player who goes 4-for-5 in a game is not really an .800 hitter, but now, people are being more explicit in talking about sample size. I consider that a victory. Hooray for sabermetrics!

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