With spring training still a month away, and nothing to occupy my time otherwise (what am I going to do? Go to sleep? Read a book? Exercise? I think not), I decided to spend my time searching through FanGraphs pitching stats. A few of the nuggets I came across:
- According to FanGraphs' Zone%, RA Dickey threw the second highest percentage of pitches in the strike zone last year, coming in behind only Cliff Lee. RA Dickey is a knuckleballer. This is crazy bones.
- Since 2011, among pitchers with at least 240 innings, Blake Beaven actually has the lowest BB/9 rate with 1.41. This is .01 lower than Cliff Lee. Of course, Beaven also has the lowest K/9 ratio in baseball in that time, so it's kind of necessary for him.
- Henderson Alvarez had the second highest HR/FB percentage in baseball last season despite the fourth best GB%. One of those should give next year. Should Miami's park play similarly to last year, that should help. Marlins Park ranked 26th in home run factors, Rogers Centre was 15th.
- Clayton Kershaw's fastball was 26.2 runs above average, nearly doubling the value of Justin Verlander's 13.8 mark. Kershaw's fastball value has topped 20 in three of the last four years.
- Justin Verlander lead the league in pitches last season with 3,768. It's the third time he's lead the league in pitches thrown since 2009 and he nearly captured the 2010 crown when Dan Haren threw three, count 'em, three more pitches.
- Jeff Karstens' pitch face. This has nothing to do with anything. I just think it's amazing.
- While there is no UZR for pitchers, Mark Buehrle lead the league in Defensive Runs Saved with 12. He was fourth in 2011 and first again in 2010 and 2009. He may be one of the rare men whose gold gloves actually match up with performance.
- Think Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera's infield defense didn't impact the Tigers? Why not ask Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello who posted the two highest BABIPs in 2012. Meanwhile, Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana posted the two lowest ones in the sport, though Santana was surely aided by giving up a home run on nearly a fifth of his flyballs allowed.
- In 171 innings between 2010-2011, Jonny Venters allowed three home runs. In 58 innings in 2012, he allowed six. Relievers are weird, is all.
- Livan Hernandez's ERA matched his K/9 at 6.42. Oddly enough, it was Hernandez's highest K/9 since 2004 when he was a member of a team that no longer exists, the Expos.
- Daniel McCutchen was the only pitcher to appear in a game last season and not record a single out. His line on the year: 0-1, infinity, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR, 2 ER. I'd imagine he'll skip checking out his baseball card next season.
So, when is baseball season again? Oh, yeah.