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New Pitchers’ Statistic: DIPP

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I was on vacation from August 5-12, so I left the blog with an idea for a new statistic for discussion: DIPP = K / (K + BB + HB + HR) DIP2 = K / (K + BB + HB + HR*4) DIPP (Defense Independent Percentage for Pitchers) is the percentage of outs a pitcher records on plays that do not involve the defense. I came up with it August 3. DIP2 is a variation that weights the home run as more damaging than a walk or hit batter. Other discussions on this topic: 6-4-2: An Angels/Dodgers Double Play Blog (posted by Rob) Baseball Primer @ Baseball Think Factory (posted by Repoz) I came up with DIPP in the hopes that it would function as a reasonably accurate yet simple formula for determining a pitcher's potential value independent of the defense behind him. The number may be an oversimplification, but by inputting the numbers given enough innings pitched, the leaders are invariably among the best pitchers. A more thorough explanation is below: * * * Voros McCracken's Defense Independent Pitching Statistics On January 23, 2001, Voros McCracken got statheads' attention by introducing his idea for "Defense Independent Pitcher's Statistcs", or DIPS. The idea is that the pitcher is only 100% responsible for walks, hit batters, strikeouts, and home runs, while every other statistic relies on the defense. Through some complicated calculations that I can't find anywhere, this leads to the DIRA (Defense Independent Run Average; elsewhere called dERA or DIPS ERA. I know that they take the Balls-In-Play Average (percentage of times the ball is put in play, ignoring all plate appearances that result in walks, hit batters, strikeouts, or home runs), normalize it because that average should be the same for everyone (since we're looking for a defense-independent number), and then adjust ERA accordingly. But how? ESPN actually allows you to sort pitchers by DIRA (also here, showing traditional pitching stats while players still sorted by DIRA), and by that list you can gather that it is quite a useful number. But after careful consideration of the story behind DIPS, I have concluded that the DIRA is simply a power-and-control rating, but for all I know it could be horribly flawed. My Simplification Creation: DIPP However, I have derived a very simple statistic based on the principle behind DIPS that I believe is much more useful. I call it the Defense Independent Percentage for Pitchers, or DIPP. The formulation is very simple: DIPP = K / (K + BB + HB + HR) Explained: The only defense independent plate appearances against a pitcher result in walks, hit batters, strikeouts, and home runs, so adding those four statistics together gives the total statistical population for the calculation. Then dividing strikeouts into that sum yields the percentage of those defense independent situations in which the pitcher successfully earned an out instead of allowing a baserunner. It's Not Perfect: Naturally, this places a high premium on strikeouts and excellent control. This could be a valuable statistic just for measuring a pitcher's control, but pitchers who throw strikes also allow hitters to put the ball in play, so maybe not. Also, good pitchers who strikeout few and/or walk many (like Russ Ortiz) and rely on forcing weak outs to their defense will be disadvantaged by this number. Or maybe this number is the proof that such pitchers aren't really as good as they appear to be on paper!
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