FanPost

Dusty and Dusters

After cussing loudly on Friday and throwing things, I decided to spend the next day or so looking at whether or not Dusty Baker and the Reds Pitching staff is intentionally throwing at McCutchen. To be clear, I don't think Friday night was intentional at all.

An interesting pattern emerged, however.

Since Cutch got into the league in 2009, he has recorded 3144 PA and been HBP 30 times.

Against the Reds:

324 PA, 6 HBP, once every 54 ABs.

Against the rest of the league:

2820 PA, 24 HBP. Once every 117 AB.

Cutch has been plunked roughly at twice the rate against the Reds as compared to everyone else. What is interesting is the timing of the HBP. Before Chapman drilled him in the back on August 5, 2012, Cutch was hit once by Reds pitchers. That occurred on August 10, 2010 in the second inning of a game the Pirates led by two runs. The pitcher was Mike Leake, and Cutch left the game following the plate appearance. Looking at the splits on baseball-reference.com, from 2009 to 2011, Cutch was hit once in 190 PA against the Reds, a low frequency compared to the rest of Cutch's career to that point.

Since the beginning of the 2012 season, it is 5 times in 134 PA, a much higher frequency.

Since Cutch "arrived" as a perennial MVP candidate in 2012, I decided to compare this rate to other MVP candidates. I totaled the top three non-Baker managed players in the MVP voting for each year and found the HBP rate. The players:

2009: Albert Pujols (MVP), Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Howard

2010: Albert Pujols, (runner up to Votto), Carlos Gonzalez, Adrian Gonzalez

2011: Ryan Braun (MVP), Matt Kemp, Cecil Fielder

2012: Buster Posey, Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen

Player

PA

HBP

PA/HBP

Albert Pujols

149

1

149

Hanley Ramirez

27

0

-----

Ryan Howard

31

0

-----

Carlos Gonzalez

28

0

------

Adrian Gonzalez

23

0

------

Ryan Braun

112

2

56

Matt Kemp

29

1

29

Prince Fielder

71

2

35.5

Buster Posey

28

1

28

McCutchen (since opening of 2012)

134

5

26.8

It should be noted that players in the NL Central were hit at a rate of one HBP per 64.4 PA. Non-NL Central players at 1 per 83 PA. This is probably just because of larger sample size.

To expand this out, I totaled up the HBP rate for the top 3 MVP vote getters for each year of Dusty's pre-Reds career, which breaks down as follows: 1993-2002 SF Giants, 2003-06, Cubs.

Year

PA

HBP

1993

150

1

1994

140

1

1995

109

2

1996

162

1

1997

148

4

1998

150

3

1999

135

1

2000

91

1

2001

141

2

2002

76

0

2003

123

4

2004

105

1

2005

163

0

2006

175

2

Dusty's pitching staffs have routinely hit non-division MVP candidates far more often than in-division candidates:

Team

In Div

PA/HBP

Outside Div

PA/HBP

Giants

8/836

145.5

8/486

60.67

Cubs

2/416

208

5/160

32.0

Interestingly , three of the 2003 HBP were of Barry Bonds. With the Giants, Dusty's pitchers hit opposing MVP caliber players at a rate 44% higher than the player's HBP rates against other clubs. With the Cubs, that dropped to 3% higher. For McCutchen since May of 2012, it is at a rate more triple that of his rate against other clubs.

What does this mean? I don't know, other than that since May 2012 Cutch has been hit by Reds pitchers at a rate considerably higher than any other comparably talented opposing player against a Baker managed club since 1993.

All stats from www.baseball-reference.com.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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