Note: Bring your own roller skates to roll bounce night. Seriously.

Ever since it was created by Tom Tango, FIP (fielding independent pitching) has been the most conclusive way to judge pitchers. As most if not all of you know, FIP is a statistic that only counts what the pitcher is most responsible for. Using ERA, you don’t know if fielder A was eating a donut when the ball was hit in the air resulting in a double for batter X.

BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is also a fantastic statistic. It’s most often used as a means of determining how lucky or unlucky a pitcher is. If the pitcher has a high BABIP, it means that more than an average number of balls that get put into play by a batter are counting for hits. As we see above, there are more ways to judge a pitcher than merely looking at his ERA.

In this graph, I listed the top 10 FIP leaders with an ERA over 3.90. Matt Garza, for example, leads Major League Baseball in FIP (wow), but has an ERA that’s close to four. If you watch the MLB Network, you’ll hear analysts discuss how lousy pitchers such as Daniel Hudson or Travis Wood may be doing, when in fact their fielding independent numbers reveal that they’ve just been tortured by horrible defense and/or bad luck.

Dave Gershman is a contributor to Getting Blanked. He’s also an editor for Beyond the Box Score and authors his own site, Penn League Report

Comments (9)

  1. JoJo Reyes is terrible and makes me want to do terrible things to myself and those around me every 5th day. I won’t let you take that away from me!

  2. Hey Dave,

    I just wanted to say that I like your posts a lot, and I appreciate your efforts to try and use graphics to simplify/explain stats.

    My suggestion would be though that you need to simplify the appearance and format of your graphs. I’ve found on more than one of your posts that I actually find the graph less informative or more confusing than just looking at a simple table of the statistics.

    I get that you want things to look cool/funny/trendy/modern but it sort of defeats the purpose of using the graphs in the first place sometimes.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Hope I’m not being too critical.


  3. Definitely understand.

    Thanks for the feedback, ryth.

  4. The only problem I have with the graph is that the columns are out of alignment. The font choice and colour scheme are pretty sweet.

  5. Also, not sure what the rules are, but pretty much every graph, chart, etc. that you guys have put the Getting Blanked logo on has made the thing look worse. Which is testament to the good-looking graphs and/or the ugliness of the logo.

  6. Sorry, while I agree with Matt Garza and understand it, I can’t help but feel this is too simplistic again. If you’ve watched Jo-Jo pitch you’d know he hasn’t been good. You don’t need ANY statistics to tell you that. And let’s not forget his ERA was LOWERED in his previous (before Tampa) start where he gave up 6 runs, but fortunately for him Encarrncion had an error in the same inning.

    Dave, your graphs have been simply take X and Y and draw conclusion. They need a little more depth. Remember the BABIP graph had the same issue.

  7. The other Luck Dragon, left on base percentage, should also be accounted for, but other than that, well done.

  8. Well, I kinda love this “graph”.

  9. How in the fuck does Jo-Jo Reyes have the same stats as Ervin Santana? Is Ervin really that bad?

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