FIP as fielding-independent stat
(I'm back from vacation. Hooray!)
I put this here partially so people might see it but also just to remind myself that it's something I want to ask myself.
The "FI" in "FIP" stands for "fielding independent" (hyphen?) because it uses only walks, strikeouts, and homers as inputs, none of which actions involve any fielder not wearing a mask.1 Fielders, however, have significant input on the question of whether balls put in play result in men running the bases. So: do pitchers rack up walks, strikeouts, and homers differently with men on base?
Note, of course, that we had better not simply answer this question by looking at league splits -- the pitchers who pitch with men on base most often are sure to be worse than the pitchers who don't.
If there is a difference, is it a difference that's big enough that that we should be calling it Q(uasi)FIP?
Is the Q/FIP question, assuming one exists, just a linguistic one? Could we gain more accuracy by attempting to strip out these effects? Enough accuracy to make it worth the additional complexity?
Beaneball by Jason Wojciechowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.