The term “Three True Outcomes” is generally applied to hitters – patient sluggers who either walk, strikeout, or homer in a given at bat. Carlos Pena, Jack Cust,
Travis Snider, and Adam Dunn are the best examples in the game today.
Watching the Jays battle the Yankees this weekend, I noticed Yankees reliever David Robertson offered opposing batters one of two sure fates: walk or strikeout. Robertson is a known stud, striking out 13 hitters in just over 9 innings pitched this season. He also issues his share of free passes, walking five over the same span including three this weekend to the Jays.
Like any good nerd, I thought I’d look into it further, looking at which relievers drive their pitching coaches craziest. Who pitches to Two True Outcomes in 2011?
Before we make with the graphy goodness, a few things to consider – it is still early. One or two bad outings can swing these numbers wildly. Which is okay because they’re just for fun anyway.
That said, anyone who watched Sunday Night Baseball last night knows Antonio Bastardo is too crazy for boys town yet too much of a boy for crazy town. He put on the perfect TTO performance against the Mets.
Bastardo came on in the 8th inning against the Mets and promptly jumped ahead of Ike Davis 1-2, making the young star look downright foolish in the process. Bastardo seemed bound and determined to continue embarrassing Davis and walked him on three straight balls in the other batters box.
Bastardo gave up a single before striking out the next two Mets hitters swinging. Four batters faced, three were either Ks are walks. The is the TTO King of the bullpen during this young season.
The red bar displayed below represents the “net strikeouts” or percentage of batters struck out above their walks. Some pitchers like Aroldis Chapman and Tim Collins suffer badly here, walking so many batters as to render their flame-throwing ways nearly ineffective.
Not surprising to see some names on this list. We could probably call this the Carlos Marmol All Stars and nobody would bat an eye. David Robertson, Ryan Madson, Sergio Santos – all overpowering pitchers who battle control issues from time to time.
Unlike Jerry Blevins, who just plain sucks.
- Not featured on this chart as he fell under the 40% cutoff is Mike Adams, insane reliever for the San Diego Padres. Adams K+BB percentage is just under 30 but his walk rate is zero – meaning he ranks fourth behind Sanchez, Romo, and Veras in net Ks.
- Blight of the working class Jason Frasor is exactly as average as you expect. He is as close to the median in both numbers that I’m not quite comfortable. His walk rates are way up in 2011, if he can regain some control I expect to see him rise.
- Ask any Phillies fan who is their least favorite player and, nearly to a man, they’ll tell you Kyle Kendrick. Turns out they’re on to something as he’s TERRIBLE. The worst net K rate among qualified relievers and right at the bottom in my other made-up number.
As stated above, this group could be called the Carlos Marmol All Stars. He sits at just under 45% K+BB this year, a career low for the Cubs closer.
Over the past four years, Marmol posted full season TTO rates of 45.96%, 44.54%, 47.16% and an incredible 57.23% last year. He’s a beast, one you’re better off not swinging against.
Any surprises or thoughts? These are also the guys most likely to drive an entire fanbase insane. If the walks come before the strikeouts, it could make for some ugly innings. Anybody you’re surprised to see or wonder where they rank? Lay it on me.