The 'new' Stephen Strasburg
Pitching to contact is not making the flamethrower more efficient
Stephen Strasburg had his workload managed for him last season, and he wasn't particularly thrilled about it. This year, Strasburg is attempting to manage his own workload, adopting a pitch-to-contact approach to get batters out, keep his pitch counts down and help him stay fresh for September and October. The only problem is that it might not actually make things any better.
In the 251 innings Strasburg pitched from 2010 to 2012, opposing batters made contact just 74 percent of the time they swung the bat, the third-lowest rate in the majors for a starting pitcher. The lack of contact translated into a 31 percent strikeout rate, easily the highest of any starter. Clayton Kershaw, the pitcher with the next highest strikeout rate, checked in at 25.9 percent. The gap between Strasburg and Kershaw was as large as the gap between Kershaw and Anibal Sanchez.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Rangers take Seahawks QB Wilson in draft
- Cano thanks NY, finalizes big Mariners deal
- Source: Yanks nix Gardner-for-Phillips deal
- MLB plans to ban home plate collisions by '15
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Logo Washington Nationals Team-Colored Canvas Chair