What can we learn about hitting from a pitcher with five career hits?
As you know, pitchers seem to demonstrate a small amount of control over their BABIPs, and hitters seem to demonstrate a larger amount of control over their BABIPs. Within reason, at least. No active player has a career BABIP below .244, and no active player has a career BABIP higher than .368, unless you lower the plate appearance threshold to something too low to be significant.
But if you lower the plate appearance threshold to something too low to be significant, then you get to include everybody, including pitchers. Your BABIP if you played baseball would likely be null, because you wouldn’t put any BIP. But if you did put some BIP, your BABIP would be something ridiculously low, like .098 or something absurd.
If an extra two wins or an extra two dozen strikeouts will make a big difference in your standings, here's where to look.
Over the past week, I’ve discussed the importance of prioritizing categorical impact over raw value with the season nearing an end. At this point I think I’ve given the concept more press than Psy is getting, and while "Gangnam Style" becomes no less brilliant play after play, I fear me talking anymore about this would have the opposite effect. So, I’ll simply point you towards my one-category contributor articles for saves and homers and steals and invisible horse dance my way onto the meat of today’s article...
The best strategy when chasing wins is to play the match-ups, if you have the luxury of doing so in leagues with daily transactions and/or deep-ish free agent pools. Ideally, you’ll target pitchers with good skills and potent offenses who are facing weak offenses. Mixing and matching is almost certain to be better than rolling with a single starter come hell or high water. Still, if you need to for whatever reason, here are a few to consider.
Starting Pitching VP returns with Niemann, Burnett, Doubront, and Parker
Readers, today I am proud to introduce you to the newest member of the Baseball Prospectus Fantasy team, Paul Sporer. You may recognize Paul from Roto Hardball or from his own blog, Baseball by Paul. Paul will be writing the Starting Pitching edition of Value Picks as well as resurrecting the Weekly Planner. Welcome aboard, Paul! —Derek Carty, Fantasy Manager
The Nationals rotation throws harder than any staff in baseball has over the past few seasons, and that just might win them the NL East.
The Washington Nationals haven’t hit very well this season: their .252 TAv ranks ninth in the National League. They haven’t run very well, either: they rank third from last in the big leagues in Baserunning Runs (-2.2). Nonetheless, the Nats have an 11-4 record, good for first place in the National League East and the third-best record in baseball, behind only the 11-2 Rangers and the 11-3 Dodgers. In a tight division like the NL East, a quick start can improve a team’s playoff odds significantly. The Nats’ chances of making the playoffs have risen from 7.9 percent before their first game to 19.2 percent today.
How have the Nats succeeded, if not by outslugging their opponents or regularly taking the extra base? The source of the team’s success has been defense and pitching—starting pitching, in particular. Before Edwin Jackson allowed five runs in five innings against the Astros on Thursday night, no Nats starter had allowed more than four runs in an outing. Through the team’s first 13 games, the starting rotation produced nine quality starts with a 1.65 ERA and a 2.20 RA, by far the best marks in baseball.
The National's top pick from the 2007 draft discusses bonuses, the grind of the minor leagues, and the idea of playing for his hometown team.
Ross Detwiler's resume remains one of untapped potential, but for the 23-year-old lefty, a spot in the Nationals rotation lurks enticingly around the corner. The third-ranked prospect in the system going into the 2009 season, Detwiler went just 1-6. 5.00 in 15 big league appearances last year, but his power arm promises much, much more. Taken as the sixth-overall pick of the 2007 draft, the Missouri State product is capable of dominating hitters, as evidenced by his having closed the season by allowing just one run over his last two starts. Detwiler sat down with BP in early September, days before rejoining the big league club from a stint in Triple-A Syracuse.