Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dickey Dependent Pitching

Nerd alert! Fangraphs released some new pitching stats this week and I could not be more excited. Obviously my first idea was to look at how my favorite Met R.A. Dickey fared in these pitching stats. All of the stats fall under the category, Defense Dependent Pitching. They are essentially the opposite of my beloved Fielding Independent Pitching stats which measure solely how a pitcher performs on strike outs, walks and home runs allowed. These new stats paint the picture of how a pitcher outside of those three components. You can read the Fangraphs explanation here.

The first new stat we will look at is RA9-WINS. This stat assigns a number of wins to a pitcher based on all runs allowed while he was pitching adjusted for league and park factors. This basically shows you what happened on the field when the pitcher was on the mound regardless of whether or not he had anything to do with it. In this category Dickey comes on with an impressive 5.1 wins. Good to put him a three way tie for third place along with such aces as Matt Cain and Clayton Kershaw. No Mets even come close, Jon Niese is in second with a 2.8. So what does this mean? Do the Mets play better with Dickey on the mound? My guess would be no, despite the fact this stat credits all runs to Dickey I think he is just so good he makes up for poor defense, errors etc.

A second stat I found very interesting was LOB-Wins. Left on Base Wins is pretty much what it sounds like. It assigns a number of wins to a pitcher based solely on how they strand base runners. This is a stat that I assumed Dickey would excel in, he is known for his crackerjack management of base runners and has not allowed a steal all year. Surprisingly Dickey was solidly in the middle of the pack here with a paltry 0.1 LOB WIN. Frankly I am at a loss at the moment to offer an explanation , any readers have a good solution to what has led to Dickey's poor showing?

Ultimately we get to FDP which is essentially the opposite of FIP, it is calculated by using the above two stats and another I won't go into here today. Here again, Dickey falls a bit short with an FDP of 1. Which means that he added 1 win to the Mets through his pitching not related to K's, homers or walks. The league leader is Kyle Lohse with 2.8 wins added. I know what your saying, who cares? Dickey excels in pitching categories that he actually has control over. This is true but the fun of new stats is that helps paint a picture of what is happening in each game in different ways. We know Dickey is a great pitcher but now we can examine him through a new prism and learn even more about the game.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, these are some confusing stats and it will probably take more than the 5 mintues i took to read the post to actually fully understand them.
    That being said, stats are great and all, but there are certain things players do that can't be quantified, aka, the intangibles. They are hard to measure in any situation, and baseball is included in one of them. I guess that's why there are people such as scouts.

    Anyways, i'm not sure yet what the low scores for these stats mean for Dickey. Looks like RA9 is a good indciator of who is an ace and who isn't. But RA was pretty good last year and had a losing record, i wonder what his RA9 stat was then?
    As for LOB-Wins, who are the leaders of this stat. Does having less baserunneres to strand in the first place prevent one from scoring high on this metric?
    And i haven't the slightest idea what FDP is trying to convey(again, i haven't fully read it yet), so i can't really comment here.