Durability as a starting pitcher or reliever
These ratings (which take values from Excellent to Poor) are used to determine how quickly a pitcher gets tired.
There are three ways to determine how durable a pitcher was. The best way, which can only be used for recent seasons, is to look at the average number of pitches thrown per appearance. These days, only the most durable and effective starting pitchers throw an average of 110 pitches or more. Most are in the 90s.
The second way is to compute the average number of batters faced per start. As you can see from the following table, which shows the average number of batters faced per appearance, pitchers are being used very differently today than they were 100 years ago. Back then, relief pitchers were used only in emergencies. Today, a complete game from a starting pitcher is unusual.
The third way is to look at a pitcher's complete game percentage compared to the norms for his era.
We consider all three of these pieces of information (when we have them all) when assigning durability ratings to starting pitchers. But keep in mind that there are some other factors that you may also want to consider:
- bad pitchers don't last long, but it's not necessarily because they tire out. For a pitcher like this, you may want to assign a better durability rating than would normally be assigned based on batters faced per game. On those rare occasions when he's pitching well, this pitcher might indeed be able to go deep into the late innings or even throw a complete game.
- it follows from the previous point that starter durability rating is most important for good pitchers. It doesn't matter much if a bad pitcher is allowed to stay in your games too long, but if a pitcher was very effective but didn't consistently pitch into the late innings, his starter durability rating is the only thing that will stop him from completing too many games.
- a pitcher on a bad team may also be more durable than his batters faced numbers indicate if he's frequently removed from games for a pinch hitter
- today's pitchers throw an average of 3.8 pitches per batter. Historical data of this type is not available, but we estimate that pitches per batter have risen over the past 100 years from the a low of 3.0-3-2 to today's much higher levels.
- the values in the above table are averages, not maximums. In any given game, a pitcher can usually face 5-6 more batters than these tables indicate without getting tired. The values in the table reflect an average of the pitcher's short outings (the ones where he got pounded and he left the game before he could get tired) and his longer ones.
In DMB, as in real life, there is no magic indicator to tell you when a pitcher is tired.
The following tables may help you decide (Ed: The Computer Manager makes these decisions) when to remove a pitcher. Keep in mind that these tables are based on how pitchers are used today, so you'll need to make adjustments if you're playing older seasons. And remember that fatigue sets in gradually, so you may occasionally get away with pushing a pitcher beyond the normal limits.
For starting pitchers (pitch counts):
Rating One game Five days
Ex 115-125 195-215
Vg 105-115 175-195
Av 95-105 165-185
Fr 90-100 155-175
Pr 85-95 145-165
This rating indicates a pitcher's ability to hold runners close on steal attempts. An Excellent rating indicates a pitcher against whom opposing runners attempt to steal with the next base open less than 5% of the time. Poor pitchers allow attempts almost 30% of the time.
When we assign hold ratings for modern seasons, we use detailed studies of play-by-play data to see how often opposing runners challenged each pitcher and what percentage of those runners were thrown out. Our studies take pickoffs into account, along with any steals that were credited to trailing runners on double steals. Most importantly, we look at the performance of each pitcher-catcher pair, an approach that helps us determine whether it's the pitcher or catcher who deserves the credit or blame for the results.
Unfortunately, there is very little information available for past seasons. It's only in recent years that stolen bases against pitchers and catchers were routinely published.
Wild pitch rating
This number indicates how often a pitcher throws a wild pitch when there are runners on base. The wild pitch rating tends to range from 0 to 60 with an average of 15. Use the formula:
rating = (wild pitches * 1000) / (batters faced * .43)
For example, if a pitcher threw four wild pitches in a season in which he faced 1000 batters, his rating is 9. Why .43? Because about 43% percentage of batters faced occur with runners on base, though this number rises and falls over time and will vary for individual pitchers.
This number indicates how frequently a pitcher commits a balk. It is expressed as a percentage, with 100 indicating a pitcher who's at the average rate for his league. For example, if a pitcher faced 952 batters and balked once in a league where balks occurred at a rate of 8 per 10,000 batters faced, his balk rating would be:
player: 1 / 952 = .0011
league: 8 / 10000 = .0008
rating: 100 * .0011 / .0008 = 138
Ground ball percentage
This rating is NOT used to determine the result of any play, so you do not need to fill it in for new players. If you do fill it in, use a value of 50.
GB pct is similar to a batter's power rating in that it is not directly used by the game but acts as a window into the event table for modern season disks.
For modern season disks, DMB uses ground ball percentage when creating pitching event tables internally. In these cases, the number accurately reflects the pitcher's ability to cause ground balls. Together with the number of ground ball double plays made while this pitcher was in the game, you can use this rating to assess your chances of getting out of a tough situation with a ground ball double play.