Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mark Reynolds not quite on pace to break his own K record

Reynolds still strikes out at an ungodly rate, to be sure. But his 161 whiffs in the Diamondbacks' first 119 games translates to "just" 219 for the season, falling just short of his record 223 of last year. It's not exactly Maris and Mantle in '61, but I'll want to keep an eye on the "race". (Yes, I'm pitiful).

In his Historical Baseball Abstract of 2000 or so, Bill James wondered why no one had yet broken Bobby Bonds' 1970 record for K's, considering the steady trend towards more strikeouts.  The obvious answer was that when guys got close, managers would start playing them less.

Now, there is little stigma attached to whiffing, which may be fine for someone like Reynolds, who is 5th in the NL in homers (26), and seventh in walks (61). But when rotten hitters strike out a ton, a common occurrence with so many teams having 3, 4, 5 100-K men, a little stigma might be order.

And of course, today's preponderance of aggressive swinging and missing probably accounts for the current rash of no-hitters, a trend we can expect to accelerate.

UPDATE: I haven't looked up anybody else, but Reynolds must be leading, or nearly leading MLB in Three True Outcomes-his 162 K, 62 BB, and 26 jacks in 467 PA amounts to a TTO rate of .535 (through 8/17).

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