A hitter slaps a ground sphere between second and 3rd and that rolls simply past the diving shortstop’s (let’s speak to him “Jerek Deter”) glove right into left field. IT’S A HIT! In the main statistics, the hitter it s okay an at-bat (and thus additionally a plate appearance) and also a hit. The hitter’s batting average and also on-base percentage have increased.

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Now imagine the exact same action by the hitter, the swing, the path, speed, spin on the ball, and speed to an initial base. This time, however, the defender simply gets come the ball, however fumbles around and also the hitter takes first base. In the main statistics, the hitter it s okay an at-bat (and thus additionally a bowl appearance)… however no hit. The hitter’s batting average and also on-base percentage have just decreased. Makes sense, yes? Uh, no.


People have actually complained around silliness the the how errors space treated, specifically with respect to how it has actually resulted in an incredibly messy pitching stat in ERA that has concerned prevail over a much much more logical runs-allowed (RA) scale for pitching metrics. The spatu nature that the scorekeeper’s decision top top whether particular balls room errors is perhaps finest highlighted by the fact that players have referred to as the press box and also had dram scored together errors overturned and also called hits. However the trouble I’m came to with isn’t scorekeepers, it’s the rules because that scorekeeping and how official baseball statistics represent events. While many writing on this topic focuses (understandably) ~ above the impact of errors on the earned run rule and also on the distortions intrinsic come ERA, my worry here is just how reached top top error is a paris in the ointment of attack statistics together well.

Part the the concern is the idea that ruling a beat a “reached ~ above error” puts all of the onus on the fielder… yet it somehow likewise counts (in batting average and also on-base percentage) against the hitter. Why need to the hitter be “punished,” especially due to the fact that on most errors he has at least made part contribution (e.g., placing the ball into play, running tough to to win the throw, etc.) come it no being one out? I do think the means reached top top error is taped is unfair in that way. Over there are distinctions within the sabermetric community around how much skill is connected in got to on errors and whether it have to be contained in metrics like wOBA (as in this discussion). The is yet one more discussion. For now, I’m involved with the accuracy problem.

The trouble is that, due to the fact that of the way “official” MLB statistics room recorded, we have plate appearances (in hitters’ records, at least) that space “blank spaces” that actually distort the document of what has happened. This is most obvious by looking in ~ on-base percentage, which could be better thought of together “not-out percentage.” Hits, walks, and hit-by-pitches count together instances of gaining on base. Got to on errors count in the denominator together at-bats (and for this reason plate appearances), however not in the numerator, also though no out occurred on the beat (another discussion lurks in the denominator around sacrifice access time together opposed come sacrifice flies).

My an individual perference would certainly be take it the most basic path and call what is now a “reached on error” a hit. Yet if the doesn’t seem ideal it could additionally be treated together a separate classification like struggle by pitch. The is one more event in which the hitter look at (in a non-technical, non-sabermetric sense) plays an also “more passive” function and is still consisted of in the official statistics. Even if got to on error doesn’t have actually the hitter ability component part would like for sabermetric stats and projections, that doesn’t typical it shouldn’t be given a different treatment the it currently is in main statistics. Intentional to walk are somewhat analogous: while they space somewhat regarded player skill (they are normally given to hitters who room thought to be too most likely to do damage in a specifically situation), the player theatre an reportedly passive role; furthermore, favor a got to on error, someone else’s spatu judgment of an objective instance is connected (in this case, the manager quite than the scorekeeper).


Intentional go also administer a historical precedent against “we haven’t done it this way before, what around history?” kinds of arguments: prior to the mid-1950s, castle weren’t recorded independently from walks, however they have been included to official statistics. Hit by pitch wasn’t videotaped earlier, and neither were caught stealings. If it renders our records of what a player has done much more logical and accurate, what is the objection? reached on errors don’t occur in the in its entirety numbers and also with the regularity of fight by pitches and also caught stealings. Ns realize that I’m choose nits here. But this is a blog about baseball, what did you expect?


Matt Klaassen reads and writes obituaries in the greater Toronto Area. If girlfriend can"t get enough of him, monitor him top top Twitter.


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I completely 100% disagree through this entire analysis. Errors are vital part that the game, and also the hitter does not add at all to getting on base once they are called right, which happens at the very least as often just like typical umpire calls. Errors save pitchers from protective crap in no-hitter bids. And also I constantly feel great for a pitcher once his ERA is no blasted through the same kind that stuff.

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To postulate the an error should count as a hit seems asenine. Comparing it to an IBB even moreso. When a hitter hits into an error, that is an evident out that didn’t finish up having actually that result, due to a defensive miscue. That is pretty cut and dry, and to provide some type of credit transaction to the hitter for gaining on base seems to go versus the totality system that baseball is constructed on.