the bane of the 2011 cardinals: GIDP

a continuing theme in game threads is the frustrating rate at which the team hits into double plays. we lead the majors - by a lot. i thought we'd take a quick look at who's hitting into double plays and think about the factors that lead to double plays.

intuitively, i suspect that the factors most likely to affect GIDP are the number of chances - with at least a runner on first and less than two outs, the groundball rate of the player, and the speed of the player, in something like that order.

the good news is that there's some comfort to be had in looking at the numbers. there's nothing about the GIDP numbers that suggest they are sustainable.

 

GB %

GIDP opp

GIDP

GIDP Rate (2011)

GIDP Rate

(career)

Skip Schumaker

57.4%

9

4

44%

14%

Mark Hamilton

 36.4%

3

1

33%

N/A

Ryan Theriot

52.5%

25

7

28%

15%

Nick Punto

43.9%

11

3

27%

9%

Albert Pujols

50.0%

65

15

24%

13%

Jon Jay

58.1%

23

5

22%

12%

Yadier Molina

49.3%

42

9

21%

20%

Gerald Laird

37.5%

11

2

18%

10%

Team Total

47.4%

425

65

15%

N/A

League Average

 

 

 

10%

 

here are the eight worst offenders by percentage in the GIDP category for  the cardinals. some of them obviously suffer from a small sample size (mark hamilton's 1 for 3 rate is obviously not predictive). but even the highest rates - albert's or yadi's - are probably more bad luck than anything else. most of these players are running at twice their career rates, with the exception of yadi whose typical place in the batting order, groundball rates, and slow speed give him the remarkable 20% GIDP career rate.

the team's bad luck at the top of this list is not balanced out by good luck from others. among players with at least 10 GIDP opportunities, there are another five at or above league average (10%) GIDP rate. among players with at least 10 GIDP opportunities, only TWO have less than a 10% GIDP rate: the kings of timely hitting in 2011 - lance berkman and daniel descalso.

there may be some non-bad luck factors going on here. the most obvious candidate for non-bad luck is albert's sharp increase in groundballs probably contributes to his GIDP rate, and that increased groundball rate may be as a result of injury or faults in his stance or swing. still, a 25% increase in groundball rate (from 40.9% career to 50% so far this year) should not result in a doubling of a GIDP rate. the bottom line is there's just a lot of bad luck going on with regards to GIDP.

we do seem to have a lot of groundball hitters on the team (3rd in the majors for GB rate), so we're not going to regress to the league average GIDP rate of 10%, but we should regress to something slightly above that - say, 11% or 12%. there is no reason to think that we will continue to hit into so many double plays going forward.

 

***

update: uber-prospect shelby miller is being promoted to springfield.

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