What to Do About Earned Run Averages, Part 5
By Carlos Bauer
A couple of years ago, I decided to update my database with ten or so new seasons contained in the Palmer Encyclopedia. But additionally, I decided to add 10 seasons’ worth of minor league data.
The first thing I found was that the more data points I added, the smoother the chart line became. I was able to get data from the lower minors which helped with the lower fielding percentages, which I always assumed to be less accurate because of the smaller number of data points.
What my plans for the future are is to add all the minor league data contained in the guides up until the present. I believe that will give sufficient data to
The above chart is the latest chart.
How I Use the Chart
Depending on what sources I am working with, I have various ways in which I employ the chart.
When working with pitchers right out of the guide, I use the team fielding percentage to get the percentage of Earned Runs. But sometimes the team fielding percentage is not available. In that case, I use combine all the individual fielding stats of the starter, plus the pitcher in question himself. Sometimes even the fielding records are not published, especially for lower leagues. (Recently, I had the case where all the fielding of all the teams but the club for the pitchers I was working on was published!) If neither team nor individual stats are published, then I try to find a similar league (Class D league for a pitcher in Class D, and if possible from nearby region), using the league fielding percentage to determine the Earned Run percentage.
When I am compiling stats from box scores, I keep a running tally of PO, A, and E when each pitcher is on the mound. This individualized each pitcher on the staff, and no doubt is more accurate than just using the team fielding average for all pitchers.
Originally, I started out giving all the pitchers in the same totals; i.e., if there were 27 PO, 14 A, and 3 E, I gave all the pitchers that. Recently, however, I decided to divvy up the putouts, assists and errors. What I did was base everything on the number of outs each pitcher got. For instance, say the first pitcher in a game pitched 6 innings of a nine-inning game. In the above example of 27 PO, 14 A, and 3 E, that would give the first pitcher: 18 PO; 9 A (9.333 rounded off); and 2 E. The rest to the following pitcher or pitchers.
Tomorrow, I will post the ERAs that Gary Fink came up with for the 1932 American Association for which he used the Estimated Earned Runs Chart.
Once I finish up a couple of projects, I hope to get back to this on going project, and hopefully by next year, I’ll be able publish a new updated chart. I don’t believe much will change as far as the higher fielding percentages, but do believe their might be changes at the lower end, primarily because of the dearth of data points for the lower fielding percentages.