Today, The Hardball Times has published my latest project, Another Look at DIPS. This represents my take on DIPS theory, and it reports on my findings from a study involving over 500 pitchers and more than 2000 pitcher seasons from 1980-2004.
And what did I conclude?
The effect that pitchers have over hits on balls in play is small compared to the effects of the other DIPS metrics; however, it is large enough to tell us that pitchers do have the ability to prevent hits on balls in play. So where does this leave us? Well, it turns out that though pitchers do seem to have the ability to prevent hits on balls in play, it does not alter the predictive element DIPS theory one bit. Why not? Because that ability is captured in DIPS statistics. Those who are comfortable evaluating pitchers using DIPS can continue to feel comfortable doing so. …
In summary, DIPS is right. Knowing DIPS can tell you more about a pitcher’s future performance than his previous ERA. While pitchers may have some ability to prevent hits on balls in play, the effect is small. And any effect a pitcher does have is reflected within DIPS metrics.
I can’t thank Studes and Greg Tamer enough for their suggestions and patience. They both put quite a bit of effort into helping me get the final product ready for presentation. And as with any thank you I make, they deserve credit for the good things and none of the blame for any mistakes.