Wasted Pitches and the Pitchers Who Make the Most of Them

Title: Wasted Pitches and the Pitchers Who Make the Most of Them
Date: May 9, 2014
Original Source: Fangraphs
Synopsis: This article looked at pitchers who throw the most pitches outside of a reasonable zone for possible strikes and examined which make the most of said offerings.

You’ll often hear of a pitcher “wasting” a pitch. Up 0-2 in a count, for example, the pitcher fires off something well out of the zone, hoping the defensive hitter will hack at it, missing or putting the ball in play weakly. The cost here is minimal – the cost of that pitcher having thrown an extra pitch and the change in count from 0-2 to 1-2.

After 0-2 0.167 0.196 0.250
After 1-2 0.179 0.227 0.271
0-2 0.151 0.159 0.216
*Since 2012

The value there is pretty clear. Enticing a batter to swing 0-2 means little chance of damage being done, while the cost of the count shifting more favorably towards the batter is small.

But do pitchers only waste pitches in these unique situations where the cost-benefit trade-off is so obvious? And how effective are they in actually coaxing swings?

Continue reading at Fangraphs.

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