Monday, April 7, 2008

Hit By Pitch And The MoQuo

After the O's victory today, I took a look at some hit batsmen statistics. I wanted to see if there was another stat that went along with HBP, as I have heard that pitcher with good control, such as Greg Maddux, actually hit more batters than wild pitchers (defined by their walk rates). I took all of the active pitchers with about 1,000 career innings pitched or more (so that there was a good sample size of data. There where 70 pitchers) and ran a regression of their HBP per Batter Faced (BF) against their HR / BF, BB / BF, K / BF, and Wild Pitches (WP) / BF. [Interestingly, the list of pitchers was riddled with guys that aren't very good such as Jamey Wright, Ron Villone, and Glendon Rusch.]

The results:

HR / BF - There was no relationship. Some guys hit a lot of batters but gave up few HR (Julian Tavarez); some hit few but give up a lot of HR (Brett Tomko); some have few of either (Tom's Gordon & Glavine). No one gave up a lot of both. I assume that is because a guy who hits a lot of batters and gives up the long ball wouldn't stick around long enough to get 1,000 IP.

BB / BF - A weak positive relationship (R-squared = 0.18). There was a small group of pitchers that hit a lot of guys, but didn't walk many. It included Bronson Arroyo and Pedro Martinez. On the flip side is Tom Gordon who hit few but walked many. In general though, the more guys a pitcher walked, the more guys he hit.

K / BF - There's actually a very slight negative relationship. Kerry Wood strikes out a ton of guys, but also hits a lot of batters. Trevor Hoffman had a very good K rate, but he almost never hit anybody. Jamey Wright hit batters more frequently than any other pitcher, but he also had the lowest K rate.

WP / BF - No relationship, and the data points are all over the chart. I was surprised by this, as I thought that a HBP would often by a WP but higher and inside.

The conlusion is that walk rate works, but not all that well. Since I already had the data up, I decided to look at how often the pitchers would put batters on base (BB + HBP / BF).

Everyone guess who had the lowest number there?

Did you guess Greg Maddux? It makes sense - he made a career out of great control. He's not #1 on the list though. (He's actually #2).

How about Tom Glavine? He pitched to the outside corner - that should limit HBP. Plus he had great control. Not even close; it turns out he had a slightly below average walk rate for this group and ended up #34.

The answer is (surprise!) Jon Lieber. Yeah, that Jon Lieber. Over his career, he has actually walked guys less frequently than Greg Maddux (or anyone else on here). #3 was Ben Sheets - I've talked about how awesome Sheets is before. In th #4 spot is the Moose, Mike Mussina. Trevor Hoffman is going to the Hall of Fame, but he's a spot behind Odalis Perez. Mariano Rivera is a couple spots back of Brian Mohler, and Glendon Rusch is ahead of Pedro Martinez.

I decided to do some more stuff here. I calculated each pitcher's MoQuo (Made-up name - I just called it that because it rhymes). It is equal to 100 * [1.5 * (K / BF) - 5 * (HR / BF) - 2 * (H + HBP / BF) - 0.2 * (WP * BF)]. There's very little reason for the weights, but I think it works OK. It's pretty similar to component ERA.

#1 was Pedro Martinez at 16.6. Aaron Harang is #19, and is the last pitcher above 0. Jamey Wright is last at -20.2, which is more than 5 worse than the next closest pitcher. Only five pitchers were above 10, and two were relievers - Mo Rivera and Hoffman. Glendon Rusch was ahead of Tom Glavine. It doesn't mean anything; it's just something to look at..

[For the record, Daniel Cabrera is at -11.9 - between Kent Mercker and Jason Jennings. Former O's Ace Erik Bedard is at 3.9 - between Mike Mussina and Josh Beckett. Keep in mind, these are career marks.]

The full list:
16.6 - Pedro Martinez [Man, Pedro is awesome.]
14.3 - Trevor Hoffman
13.0 - Mariano Rivera
11.7 - Randy Johnson
10.6 - Johan Santana
7.6 - Roy Oswalt
7.1 - John Smoltz
6.8 - Jake Peavy
5.3 - Ben Sheets
5.2 - Greg Maddux
4.1 - Mike Mussina
3.5 - Josh Beckett
2.5 - Brandon Webb
1.6 - Roy Halliday
1.3 - Javier Vazquez
1.2 - Kerry Wood
0.6 - Kevin Millwood
0.4 - Andy Pettitte
0.3 - CC Sabathia
0.1 - Aaron Harang
-0.2 - John Lieber
-0.3 - Tom Gordon
-0.5 - Aj Burnett
-1.5 - Tim Huson
-1.6 - Brad Penny
-1.6 - Jeremy Bonderman
-1.9 - Derek Lowe
-1.9 - Todd Jones
-2.6 - Matt Morris
-3.0 - Carlos Zambrano
-3.3 - Dontrelle Willis
-4.5 - Odalis Perez
-5.1 - Glendon Rusch
-5.1 - Tom Glavine
-5.4 - Mark Buehrle
-5.5 - Randy Wolf
-5.9 - Brett Myers
-6.3 - Esteban Loaiza
-6.7 - Barry Zito
-6.9 - Bronson Arroyo
-7.2 - Ted Lilly
-7.3 - Jake Westbrook
-8.0 - Livan Hernandez
-8.2 - Doug Davis
-8.2 - Vincente Padilla
-8.3 - Dave Weathers
-8.6 - Jamie Moyer
-8.6 - Mark Redman
-8.8 - Brett Tomko
-9.0 - Kenny Rogers
-9.5 - Adam Eaton
-9.9 - Brian Mohler
-10.2 - Ryan Dempster
-10.2 - Paul Byrd
-10.3 - Jarrod Washburn
-10.4 - Gil Meche
-10.4 - Kyle Lohse
-10.4 - Julian Tavarez
-10.7 - Miguel Batista
-11.3 - Kip Wells
-11.8 - Kent Mercker
-12.3 - Jason Jennings
-12.4 - Jeff Suppan
-13.3 - Jon Garland
-13.6 - Ron Villone
-13.8 - Darren Oliver
-14.7 - Ryan Franklin
-15.0 - Jason Marquis
-15.1 - Josh Fogg
-20.2 - Jamey Wright

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