Friday's post discussed how DIPS theory did not account for all of Josh Beckett's transformation from 2010 to 2011. Dan Haren of the Angels was also mentioned in the original FanGraphs article, and this is a look at why defense independent explains Haren's change in going from Arizona to Anaheim.
The big difference between Dan Haren with the Diamondbacks in 2010 and his time with the Angels since then lies in the effectiveness of his cut fastball. While in Arizona last season, batters hit .308/.344/.513 against his cutter. Since moving to the Angles, those cutter numbers dropped to .228/.271/.305.
What changed? First, look at his location:
If anything, he throwing more cutters higher in the strike zone, and his higher cutters tend to get hit.
What about the movement of the pitch?
Tough to tell the difference. In other words, Dan is throwing the same cutter with the Angels he threw with the Diamondbacks. His cutter results in 285 PA with the Angels, 211 with the Diamondbacks. Both are small sample sizes, where luck can go good (Angels) or bad (Diamondbacks). When we lack evidence that something is wrong or different, DIPS gives us a good idea of where the luck lies.