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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Friday, March 8, 2013

WHIP Is For Wimps

MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2009 Who invented WHIP and why?
WHIP = Walks + Hits per IP (innings pitched)
The variables are the same as those for on base percentage (OBP) for batters, which is something that is familiar. Why not use OBP? Why dream up something else and put it into a pitcher’s context that requires translation to have meaning?
If I say that a batter has an OBP of .375 you know that is good but not great. If I say that a pitcher allows an OBP of .375 you can infer the same thing in reverse: bad but not terrible.
But what if say that a pitcher has a WHIP of 1.4506? What the heck is that? …
Except for ERA (earned run average) we should use the same equations for pitchers that we use for batters.
I have been critical of pitcher specific stats like: WHIP: Walks + Hits per Innings Pitched (IP). I had thought that this is On Base Average. It is not because innings include credit for outs on base: DP, CS, etc. Same for Hits / 9 Innings Pitched, which is not the same as BA.
For pitchers for whom there is play by play data, WHIP can be replaced with On Base Average and H/IP with Batting Average. It works for Bob Gibson but not for Christy Mathewson because there is not yet play by play data for Mathewson.
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For me WHIP has become one of those annoying items that people toss around to show off how much they know.  If someone wakes you up in the middle of the night do you really know what a good WHIP is?  I’m wide awake and I can’t tell you.  Even when groggy I’m likely to know a good BA or OBP.  What’s the deal with WHIP?
The one I really can’t stand is “pitchers and catchers”.  In January watch the twits get into their three point stances and spring forward to display their baseball chops by yapping the phrase ”pitchers and catchers”.
“pitchers and catchers”
“pitchers and catchers”
“pitchers and catchers”
Yes, OK, enough already!  We know that they report early and that it signifies the approaching start of the meaningless exhibition games.  Button it up or get WHIPPED.

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