Looking back further, however, the story changes. In 2016, Pineda gave up 20 homers at Home, and only 7 on the road. In 2016, his split was 16:5.
All told, for his career, Pineda has given up homers at home at a rate of 1.48 per 9 innings, whereas on the road, his rate is 1.10. My theory is back - Pineda gives up 34% more home runs at home than on the road.
Then I remembered that Lance Lynn had lousy FIP last year, a warning sign when he signed. Looking at his homer stats, though, and something interesting jumped out. Last year, Lynn gave up homers at a rate of 1.3 per 9 innings. His career rate was 0.7 taters per nine. Last year was nearly double his career norms.
How about the other new rotation arm, Jake Odorizzi? Last year he had an ugly 1.9HR/9 rate. His career rates are 1.3/9. About a 50% increase over his career numbers. Of course, his 2016 was 1.4/9...but then look at his two previous years in Tampa, though, which were 1.0 and 1.1.
Out of curiosity, let’s look at the recently departed Anibal Sanchez. Last year, his home run rates ballooned to a career high of 2.2 homers per nine innings. Over his career he’s given up an excellent 1.0/9. Of course, he now has three consecutive years of giving up 1.7 HR/9...so maybe Anibal is simply cooked.
How about Addison Reed? Well, over his career he’s given up a stingy 0.9 homers per nine innings, but last year, down the stretch (small sample size alert), Reed gave up 1.7 homers per nine innings after landing in Boston.
For years BABIP has been used as a means of looking for regression candidates; look for a player who gave up BABIP over .350 last year (and had lousier than usual overall numbers, because of it) and expect his stats to revert back to career norms next year. Or, another way of thinking about it - look at a good hitter whose BABIP suddenly spikes over .350 in a given year, and then see how many MVP votes he gets that year.
Is the Twins Front Office particularly focused on fluctuations in home run rates? Is it a coincidence that many of their pitching acquisitions this year had flukily high home runs given up last year (or in Pineda’s case, a clear home/away split driven by Yankee Stadium?)
Just a theory, but that’s what it seems like to me.
Edited by AlwaysinModeration, 13 March 2018 - 03:11 AM.