If you live under a rock (or don't care too much about sabermetrics) then you probably missed yesterday's announcement that FanGraphs and The Hardball Times were joining forces. I'm not exactly sure what this merger entails, but seeing as both sites are awesome, my guess is this combination will continue to be awesome. Here's FanGraphs' post: The Hardball Times Joins FanGraphs | FanGraphs Baseball on the merger, and THT's version of the story:It’s the Hardball Times and FanGraphs. So for Friday's edition of Saber-Links I decided to link to my two favorite articles that were published at the end of this week, by these two sites.
Bill Petti at FG wrote about the historical context of Stephen Strasburg's strikeout rate: Stephen Strasburg, Dazzy Vance and Context | FanGraphs Baseball
Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg has thrown 182 innings in the big leagues and has struck out 32.5% of the batters he’s faced. No starting pitcher who lasted any significant amount of time ever finished his career with a strikeout rate higher than 30%. The closest is Randy Johnson and his 28.5% strikeout rate. This season, Strasburg has a 33% strikeout rate. If he were to maintain that pace, he’d be the 10th starting pitcher in history to achieve the feat and would have the 23rd such season since 1916. But take a look at that list and you’ll note that the oldest instance came back in 1984.
This, instead, is more of a contrast in eras. Stealing bases in the 1980s was easier, but the average player was slower. In today’s game stealing bases is more difficult, but since more teams are realizing the value of defense, more and more speedy players are earning more at-bats at the expense of the more cumbersome power hitter who loses as much value on defense he produces on offense—or something close to that effect.
Saber-Links will return on Monday, as usual enjoy the weekend folks!