# Thread: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

1. ## I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

For starters, the best explanation I've read for the numbers used in the formula is that they were devised using a matrix with run values for each play outcome. Maybe I just need a mathematician to explain to me how this is possible, but this seems to be an oversimplification of all the possible outcomes after a pitch.

Johnny Cueto has been knocked for having a lower ERA than FIP, but thats largely because he doesnt have high strikeout numbers. FIP doesnt take into account that when a pitcher is changing speeds and locating well, pitches that are hit are generally more poorly hit and easy to field.
It likewise doesnt consider the intangibles of the pitcher in question. If a pitcher gives up a walk and then a double that his RF lost in the sun, a really good pitcher can more often buckle down and escape the inning giving up one or fewer runs, a poor pitcher may let a misfortune like this open up the floodgates to a bad inning.
Lastly, it gives no consideration to how well a pitcher holds runners or picks them off. A pitcher with a slow delivery/bad pickoff move is giving the other team a huge advantage with their ability to steal bases.

In short, I feel there are plenty of good stats (classic and more modern advanced metrics) in place to judge a pitchers worth. Any one care to explain to me what I might be missing?

3. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

I stay out of the FIP discussions, mainly because I never got into using metrics much. I think they're useful, but I personally don't like breaking things down that far. Just know if you go against the metrics guys on here, you're going to have a long day!

4. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

You're not alone. I don't have much faith in a stat that cherry picks data and assigns an arbitrary coefficient to each outcome. You won't find a supporting argument from me!

Someday, we won't see players with names taking the field. It will be just a bunch of really big numbers standing out there. You know, because with stats like xFIP, why bother playing the game? We already know what's going to happen...

5. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

I don't put too much stock into FIP either, but that's mainly because I don't think it tells you much more than what you can easily glean from looking at K/9, BB/9, WHIP, and ERA. It's still an interesting metric. I always enjoy finding pitchers who consistently outperform their FIP since I think that's the best statistical indicator of "craftiness."

6. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

Originally Posted by Alpha Zero
I don't put too much stock into FIP either, but that's mainly because I don't think it tells you much more than what you can easily glean from looking at K/9, BB/9, WHIP, and ERA. It's still an interesting metric. I always enjoy finding pitchers who consistently outperform their FIP since I think that's the best statistical indicator of "craftiness."
While I don't put much stock in it, I do agree that it's an interesting concept.
And I second what you mentioned about WHIP, ERA, etc.

7. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

I dabble in the metrics, but would hardly consider myself an expert. However, FIP (in theory) is supposed to represent everything that a pitcher can control (BB, K, HR, etc). It's works much better for predicting future performance/trends than for measuring a single season.

If a pitcher gives up a walk and then a double that his RF lost in the sun, a really good pitcher can more often buckle down and escape the inning giving up one or fewer runs, a poor pitcher may let a misfortune like this open up the floodgates to a bad inning.
I came up with a random formula to sort of measure what you are talking about. I did (Runs/Hits+BB+IBB+HBP). This essentially shows the percentage of runners that get on base that end up scoring for any given pitcher. I was actually surprised by the results.

2011 Season (IP > 50)
Arredondo - 26%
Masset - 26%
Cordero - 27%
Ondrusek - 27%
Bray - 28%
Cueto - 28%
Chapman - 31%
Wood - 34%
Willis - 35%
Leake - 36%
Bailey - 39%
LeCure - 39%
Volquez - 40%
Arroyo -42%

To be fair there are plenty of holes in the idea, but just a quick generalization shows some of the results you were looking for. I used Runs, which adds in unearned runs, but you could easily show ER instead.

8. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

Personaly, what ever metrics they use to figure FIP i don't trust due to the fact it is and extremely easy stat to out preform and there is no possible way for it to be ballpark nuetral like they say it is.

9. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

Originally Posted by dcameron24
I dabble in the metrics, but would hardly consider myself an expert. However, FIP (in theory) is supposed to represent everything that a pitcher can control (BB, K, HR, etc). It's works much better for predicting future performance/trends than for measuring a single season.

I came up with a random formula to sort of measure what you are talking about. I did (Runs/Hits+BB+IBB+HBP). This essentially shows the percentage of runners that get on base that end up scoring for any given pitcher. I was actually surprised by the results.

2011 Season (IP > 50)
Arredondo - 26%
Masset - 26%
Cordero - 27%
Ondrusek - 27%
Bray - 28%
Cueto - 28%
Chapman - 31%
Wood - 34%
Willis - 35%
Leake - 36%
Bailey - 39%
LeCure - 39%
Volquez - 40%
Arroyo -42%

To be fair there are plenty of holes in the idea, but just a quick generalization shows some of the results you were looking for. I used Runs, which adds in unearned runs, but you could easily show ER instead.
Are you using runs that score after the pitcher is replaced?

I've always had a problem with assigning earned runs only to the guy that allowed them on base. IOW, the reliever should have some accountability IMO. Don't know how you could assign it other than partial ERA, IOW, if a runner inherited on third scores then the reliever is 25% responsible and the pitcher that allowed him to get there. 50-50 split for runner at second and 25-75 split for someone on first when inherited.

Some guys may enter the game with a different attitude if those runners were going to be accountable to them.

10. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

Originally Posted by IamRV
Are you using runs that score after the pitcher is replaced?

I've always had a problem with assigning earned runs only to the guy that allowed them on base. IOW, the reliever should have some accountability IMO. Don't know how you could assign it other than partial ERA, IOW, if a runner inherited on third scores then the reliever is 25% responsible and the pitcher that allowed him to get there. 50-50 split for runner at second and 25-75 split for someone on first when inherited.

Some guys may enter the game with a different attitude if those runners were going to be accountable to them.
I was just using Runs Scored. Basically of all the runners said pitcher allows on base how many score? No matter how they score...

11. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

Originally Posted by dcameron24
I was just using Runs Scored. Basically of all the runners said pitcher allows on base how many score? No matter how they score...
If you change it to Earned Runs instead of runs it makes some of the figures change drastically:

2011 Season (IP > 50)

Cueto - 22% (-6%)
Arredondo - 23% (-3%)
Ondrusek - 24% (-3%)
Masset - 25% (-1%)
Cordero - 26% (-1%)
Bray - 28%
Chapman - 30% (-1%)
Wood - 34%
Leake - 35% (-1%)
Willis - 35%
Bailey - 37% (-2%)
LeCure - 38% (-1%)
Volquez - 39% (-1%
Arroyo - 40% (-2%)

12. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

I'll throw my hat in the FIP ring - I think it is, overall, the best pitching metric we have. It erases defensive variations, downplays luck fluctuations, and only shows us what the pitcher himself did. I'll try to hit on a few points made here.

Johnny Cueto has been knocked for having a lower ERA than FIP, but thats largely because he doesnt have high strikeout numbers. FIP doesnt take into account that when a pitcher is changing speeds and locating well, pitches that are hit are generally more poorly hit and easy to field.

High strikeout rates are one of the easiest ways to evaluate a effective pitcher. History has shows us that those who miss bats the most consistently have the highest rates of success. There are always exceptions, sure, but this is almost always the case. There is no better result in an at-bat than a strikeout (at least, from the pitcher's perspective). As for the 'more poorly hit' thing - I could certainly see that, but history has also shown us that pitchers have very little control over a ball that has been hit, and that BABIP usually stabilizes itself around .300 (again, always exceptions! This is why you always look at a player's career performance as well). Some pitchers hold low career BABIPs, so we can chalk that up to more than luck, sure. But some others, like say, Randy Johnson (.291) and Roy Halladay (.292) don't. We can agree those are both excellent pitchers. Johnson was obviously a K machine, but Halladay is a "changing speeds and locating well" guy that we can see has been hit (when he is hit) just the same as anyone else.

a really good pitcher can more often buckle down and escape the inning giving up one or fewer runs, a poor pitcher may let a misfortune like this open up the floodgates to a bad inning.

Yeah, FIP can't show us this. No stat can show us this. Which is why 'intangibles' can't have much place in objectively evaluating players. It's just too subjective. Unless... you want to talk about LOB%.

Someday, we won't see players with names taking the field. It will be just a bunch of really big numbers standing out there. You know, because with stats like xFIP, why bother playing the game? We already know what's going to happen...

This is the most tired argument/joke in existence. As if traditional stats are any different. Numbers are numbers.

I don't put too much stock into FIP either, but that's mainly because I don't think it tells you much more than what you can easily glean from looking at K/9, BB/9, WHIP, and ERA. It's still an interesting metric. I always enjoy finding pitchers who consistently outperform their FIP since I think that's the best statistical indicator of "craftiness."

Well, FIP is meant to present most of those stats to you in one tidy package, scaled to ERA. So, that's a bit like saying, "I don't care much for OPS because there's nothing there that I can't easily glean from looking at a guy's singles, doubles, triples, homers, walks..."

Though I agree, if a guy consistently outpitches his FIP through his career (Matt Cain!) that definitely is worth noting.

Personaly, what ever metrics they use to figure FIP i don't trust due to the fact it is and extremely easy stat to out preform and there is no possible way for it to be ballpark nuetral like they say it is.

What evidence do you have that it is so easy to outperform? Any... at all. Please. As for the ballpark thing, I responded to one of your posts in this thread:

explaining why, yes, xFIP can certainly be park neutral. You never responded, so maybe you never saw it. Or maybe you're just ignoring it. You'd probably just say I'm 'full of ****' again anyway.

For all the other stuff - not taking into account base stealers, pick offs, slow deliveries, whatever - well... ERA doesn't exactly include that either. FIP isn't a magical thing, it's meant only to look at the things I pitcher has direct control over. It's been proven to be more effective than ERA to evaluate future performance, but it still should be used in conjunction with other statistics. That's the big message here, I think. No one is claiming that FIP is the end-all number in saying "THIS GUY IS GOOD" or "THIS GUY IS BAD." It's just a single stat among many. We use it so often because it essentially replaces ERA - for every hole FIP has, ERA has about 6. But context is everything. Never forget that trends, career numbers, etc. are just as important in evaluating a player's performance and future potential.

13. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

There are way to many variables for FIP to actually be a stat you would see on the back of a baseball card, IMO those are the only ones that really show what a player did and there are none that show what a player actually can do.

14. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

The notion that FIP presents only an indicator of future performance and not what a pitcher actually did is really silly, yet I see that line of thought a lot. To be clear: FIP is based entirely one what a pitcher has already done, and can be used, to at least some degree, to evaluate a completed season.

And FIP has too many variations for a baseball card?! Are you even keeping up here? The entire point of FIP is to GET RID of the tireless amount of variations in ERA and strip it down to the bare essentials.

15. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

Originally Posted by [deleted]
The notion that FIP presents only an indicator of future performance and not what a pitcher actually did is really silly, yet I see that line of thought a lot. To be clear: FIP is based entirely one what a pitcher has already done, and can be used, to at least some degree, to evaluate a completed season.

And FIP has too many variations for a baseball card?! Are you even keeping up here? The entire point of FIP is to GET RID of the tireless amount of variations in ERA and strip it down to the bare essentials.
You think that all these variables that skew a pitcher's FIP K's, flyballs, grounders, HRA (which you can't say it its ballpark independent), ect., are the bare essentials. ERA is how many runs you gave up from guys you let on base via hits, walks, and HBP there aren't many ways you can screw that up unlike FIP which takes out half those because a feilder has to be involved.

16. ## Re: I don't care much for FIP, anyone care to explain why I'm wrong.

This is why I stay out of the FIP arguments.

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