Friday, December 28, 2018

"Aaron Rodgers' 2018 struggles mirror Zack Greinke's experiment with FIP"

Zack Greinke is one of my favorite baseball players of all time. Not everyone shares that opinion, as Greinke has some social anxiety issues and he rubs a lot of people the wrong way; but he’s a fascinating quote-machine and almost certainly one of the most cerebral, and interesting people in baseball. Greinke has always had a deep interest in scouting and Sabermetrics


Perhaps my favorite thing Greinke ever did, was to conduct an experiment with his pitching over the course of a few seasons. Greinke has been good for ages, but it was never enough for him to be good — he also wanted a deep understanding of why he was good and how he could get better.

For those of you who don’t follow baseball, we know that there are a few things that pitchers have control over and a few things they don’t. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, and modern research has revealed that it’s more like there are some things they control a great deal, and some things they control less — but the point stands, and at the time Greinke did his little experiment he relied on FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching):


Greinke’s theory was that by focusing on the elements of FIP, that he could make himself even more efficient than he already was. That’s not how it worked out.


So why didn’t Greinke’s strategy work, and what does any of this have to do with Aaron Rodgers?