Joe Sheehan on "peripherals"

By Jason Wojciechowski on August 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Joe Sheehan in today's newsletter:

I think, sometimes, that we cheat ourselves by the use of the word "peripherals" to describe things like walk and strikeout rates. Maybe they were peripheral 20 years ago, but we know now that those numbers, along with batted-ball rates, are the best way to measure what a pitcher is actually doing. Even ERA, which has its use, has defense and timing and batted-ball luck mixed in thoroughly. The primary stats for evaluating pitchers should be the rates we call "peripherals," and the stuff like ERA and W-L and saves and the like should be pushed to the side.

If you follow me on Twitter (and you do, right? Why wouldn't you?), you know I've been hammering on this point of terminology for quite a while, so it's nice to see one of the major players in the game (the writing on the internet about baseball using stats invented post-1950 game) on the same side.

For what it's worth, my go-to phrase for strikeout, walk, and homer rate is "component stats."

Now if we can just stop saying "triple-slash."