April 17, 2019

STOP THE MADNESS:

The State of Pitchers Hitting (Howard Megdal, April 17, 2019, Hardball Times)

In 1968, The Year of the Pitcher (but, you know, on the mound), pitchers in major league baseball posted a slash line of .132/.167/.171, good for a wRC+ of 1, in 9,024 plate appearances. A decade later? Just 5,185 plate appearances, but the slash line improved a bit, to .148/.183/.188, though the wRC+ dipped to -1. By 1988, as more and more pitchers spent less and less time hitting, it dropped to .133/.163/.168 and a -9 wRC+. It rallied to .146/.187/.183 and a wRC+ of -6 in 1998. And even as overall offense remained pretty static in 2008, major league pitchers slashed just .139/.177/.176 that season. And by 2018? Pitchers overall hit .115/.144/.148 in the major leagues in 2018 in 5,135 plate appearances. That's a -25 wRC+

Just as teams can now simply tell the umps they want to intentionally walk a guy, pitchers should be able to tell them they want to take an automatic strikeout.



Posted by at April 17, 2019 4:01 AM

  

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