Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Highest WHIP in Season, 40+ Appearances in Relief

A stat that helps tell the story of a pitcher's effectiveness is WHIP, or Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched. This is kind of like on base percentage for a pitcher, since it tells you how many baserunners he allows in an average inning. Obviously, it's advantageous to have as low a WHIP as possible, since no baserunners means less opportunity to allow runs.

Below is the list of the twenty highest WHIP's put up by relievers appearing in 40+ games, since 1901. I'm defining a reliever as a pitcher making 80% or more of his appearances in relief so a few swingmen may show up on the list.

Highest WHIP in a Season by a Reliever in 40+ Appearances

1Mike Flanagan199234.72.1068.055.77
2Franklyn German200344.72.0606.045.98
3Mike Holtz200235.02.0575.406.31
4Dick Welteroth194995.32.0567.366.07
5Rob Murphy199057.02.0536.325.32
6Vic Darensbourg199934.72.0488.835.65
7Danny Graves200538.72.0436.526.98
8Paul Assenmacher199933.02.0308.185.44
9Tony Fossas199822.72.0295.963.86
10Kevin Wickander199334.02.0296.097.02
11Frank Biscan194898.72.0276.115.12
12Shawn Camp200740.02.0257.205.25
13Ron Davis198658.72.0119.205.89
14Bryan Hickerson199548.32.0078.575.50
15Pedro Borbon200041.71.9926.486.46
16Jim Poole199749.31.9867.115.49
17Joe Grahe199443.31.9856.655.16
18Brian Bruney200546.01.9787.435.29
19Kevin Gryboski200531.01.9685.525.20
20Jim Todd197981.01.9636.566.45

The only pitcher with a decent FIP is Tony Fossas, but I'm almost positive that's because he was a LOOGY (Lefty One-Out GuY) by that time, although the fact he only gave up one home run didn't hurt. Dick Welteroth has one of the worst K:BB ratios I've seen, striking out 37 strikeouts while walking 89 batters. It may not entirely be his fault; the American League as a whole put up one of the worst K:BB ratios as a league in their history in 1949.

To wit, here's a chart I quickly put together using the total bases on balls and strikeouts for each season available on (click to enlarge the image in a new tab/window):

Not only is it evident the AL in 1949 saw more walks relative to strikeouts, you can also see the pitching-dominant year of 1968 in the chart as well, in climax of the upswing following 1949. Pretty crazy stuff going on in the junior circuit.

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