Tweet about Brandon Phillips’ low on-base percentage and he flips out and calls you names. Talk to Mark Trumbo for a little while and he brings up his low OBP and says that it’s a weakness in his game he’s working to improve:
“I understand it,” Trumbo said of getting a bad rap for his on-base percentage. “When I’m hitting well, I take a lot of walks. And when I struggle, I don’t. Pitchers are going to come at me … the new-age fans are probably not going to be too terribly thrilled with a player like me … I don’t think it’s been a tremendous year. But when you break certain things down, as much as a struggle as in my mind it’s been at times, I still have quite a bit to show for it.”
Self-awareness is the new inefficiency.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”