We already know that new Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has been looking to upgrade the team’s on-base percentage when making moves this season.
And when Duquette explained Monday’s trade of starter Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado for starter Jason Hammel and reliever Matt Lindstrom, he pointed to another key stat he’s tried to focus his moves on: strikeout-to-walk ratio.
In acquiring Hammel and Lindstrom, Duquette said, he was continuing to acquire pitchers with a strikeout-to-walk ratio close to 3-to-1.
“You will see that we’re adding to the pitching staff with pitchers that good command and quality stuff, as evidenced by the low walks and high strikeouts,” Duquette told reporters Monday when discussing the Guthrie trade.
What does a stat like this mean? It's mainly an indicator of a pitcher with good control who can also miss bats.
Doing a little research, we found the strikeout-to-walk ratio of the five pitchers Duquette added to the 40-man roster this offseason:
Pitcher 2011 K/BB Past three seasons K/BB
Dana Eveland 1.75* 1.90*
Jason Hammel 1.38 2.34
Matt Lindstrom 2.57 2.03
Tsuyoshi Wada 4.20^ 3.56^
Wei-Yin Chen 3.03^ 3.28^
*Minor league stats
^Japanese league stats
Hammel is an interesting case. He had impressive strikeout-to-walk ratios of 3.17 in 2009 and 3.10 in 2010, but last year his strikeout number dropped dramatically (from 141 to 94) and his walk figures went up (from 47 to 68).
Lindstrom, on the other hand, is coming off his best strikeout-to-walk ratio since his rookie year (2.95 in 2007).
As for Wada and Chen, their strikeout-to-walk ratios are impressive. But those are numbers in Japan, and it’s hard to think they will continue to dominate at that same level against major league hitting.
For the record, as a team, the Orioles had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.95. Among current Orioles pitchers with more than 30 innings pitched, only Tommy Hunter (3.00) and Jim Johnson (2.76) near a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3-to-1.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun