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« Friendly Pitches to Casper Wells | Main | Jose Tabata: Better Eye, Bigger Bank Account »

Fister Chasing a Dream

Doug Fister of the Detroit Tigers ranks as one of the best pitchers in 2011 at getting batters to chase pitches outside the strike zone.  This should be a good thing; batters swinging at pitches out of the strike zone should result in better outcomes for the pitcher.  Take a look at the batting averages allowed by the top ten pitchers in chase percentage.


PitcherTeamPlate AppearancesAVG AgainstStrikeout %Chase %
Ricky Nolasco FLA 712 0.291 0.167 0.367
Doug Fister DET 670 0.265 0.140 0.360
Dan Haren LAA 753 0.227 0.207 0.341
Carl Pavano MIN 718 0.294 0.102 0.340
Cole Hamels PHI 677 0.215 0.229 0.338
Jeff Karstens PIT 573 0.255 0.148 0.336
Jon Niese NYM 670 0.278 0.197 0.336
Roy Halladay PHI 735 0.245 0.241 0.334
Justin Verlander DET 778 0.187 0.262 0.333
Cory Luebke SD 385 0.198 0.270 0.333


Note that the batting averages allowed correlate much better with strike out rate than with chase percentage.  Chasing pitches without inducing misses doesn't really seem to lead to better outcomes.  Balls in play tend to find holes with some regularity.

Note that Fister posted a .252 BA against with the Mariners, a good fielding team.  With the poor fielding Detroit Tigers, that's up to .369.  He doesn't miss bats, so even though he's good at getting hitters to fish outside the strike zone, those balls in play still depend on his fielders catching them.  So far, the Tigers haven't.


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