Pitcher – Mark Buehrle, Chicago
In The Fielding Bible—Volume II, we put some extra time into analyzing pitcher defense. It’s not only pitchers’ ability to field their position that counts defensively. It’s their ability to hold runners that matters in an important way as well. In Buehrle’s case, he has it all. His plus/minus figure of +9 was tops among pitchers in 2009, but his ability to hold runners is legendary. In the last four years he’s allowed a total of 15 stolen bases. His catchers have managed to catch five potential thieves in that time period. But even more importantly, when Mark throws over to first, the results are devastating for baserunners. Sixteen times in those same four years, he’s thrown over to first and the runner broke for second and was thrown out. That’s a Pitcher Caught Stealing (PCS) in our scorebook. Not only that, 14 more times Buehrle nabbed a baserunner at the base as he tried to get back. That’s a Pitcher Pickoff (PPO), for those of you scoring at home. In total, 15 stolen bases against him (an average of just under four per year) and 35 guys thrown out (an average of almost nine per year). Not too shabby.
November 2, 2009
Mark Buehrle wins Fielding Bible pitcher award
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