A’s left-hander Sean Doolittle has posted excellent numbers since moving from first base to the mound in the minors, including a 3.09 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 116 innings through his first two seasons as a big leaguer.
This season he moved into the closer role when Jim Johnson struggled, converting eight saves so far, and Doolittle’s numbers now include an absolutely ridiculous 46-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 33 innings.
Seriously. He’s thrown 33 innings this season and has 46 strikeouts compared to one walk.
To get a sense of how absurd that is, here are the best K/BB ratios in the history of baseball among all pitchers with at least 30 innings in a season:
SEAN DOOLITTLE 2014 46.00 Dennis Eckersley 1989 18.33 Dennis Eckersley 1990 18.25 Koji Uehara 2013 14.33 Sergio Romo 2011 14.00 Mariano Rivera 2008 12.83
I mean, really.
In the entire history of baseball there are only 17 instances of a pitcher throwing at least 30 innings in a season with more than 10 strikeouts per walk. Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley has the two best strikeout-to-walk ratios in baseball history at 18.33-to-1 in 1989 and 18.25-to-1 in 1990. That’s amazing, as were the seasons listed above from Koji Uehara last year, Sergio Romo in 2011, and Mariano Rivera in 2008. Yet what Doolittle is doing right now for the A’s makes those look like nothing special.
Oh, and Doolittle now has the second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio of all time among pitchers with 100 or more career innings at 6.64, behind only Uehara at 8.90. Five years ago he was a Triple-A first baseman hitting .267 with an .811 OPS for the A’s affiliate in Sacramento. Baseball is crazy, man.