# Need guidance

Would appreciate it if anyone could provide me a link where I can pull up 2011 MLB season stats that INCLUDE info on batters reaching base on an error (ROE).

For whatever reason(s)I can't find this stat readily available on any baseball stat reference websites?

Original Post
ne14bb:

I've seen a lot of stats, but I don't think I've ever seen that one and would wonder about its relevance.

There is no effect on any offensive statistics based on reaching base by error, which is entirely a function of the defense's inability to make an ordinary effort play.
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We can argue (even agree) about its relevance but it is also why I am interested in the stat.

Seems between MLB, Baseball Stat Reference and Sabermetrics every stat imagineable (in the case of SM unimagineable)is available to the public yet I can't find ROE info?

If no one here knows of a link or site that provides it then I'll look elsewhere but there HAS to be some records of this stat whether it is relevant or not...it is and has been a recorded part of the game.
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Some quick math:

162 Game season in a 16 Team National League means 1,296 games played. Assume 1.5 errors per ballgame and there are 1,944 errors in a season. Assume an even distribution that means each team has 122 errors commited by the opposition. Assume 33% of these are throwing errors and you have 82 errors on batted balls. Assume again they are evenly distributed to all 9 slots in the batting order and each position in the batting order has 9 errors commited by the defense during a season.

Round these assumptions almost any way you want and you probably come out between 1 to 2 errors per month per player.

For a full time player something like 15 errors max over 700 plate appearances or 2.1%.
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ne14bb,

I honestly don’t know if you’ll ever find anything at the ML level on ROEs. I don’t know what your purpose is, but if you just want to see ROEs in baseball statistics, you can check the two following links. They are the batting and pitching stats I do for our HSV team, and cover the last 5 seasons. Just fo a find on ROE and you should be able to see all kinds of information.

http://www.infosports.com/scor.../images/cbatting.pdf
http://www.infosports.com/scor...images/cpitching.pdf

In truth, at the ML level errors are such a relatively small part of the game, I can understand why you haven’t found much. However, at lower levels it’s a different story. Between there being more errors, poorer scorekeeping, and some tendency for purposeful “fudging”, errors play a much larger role in the game.

You can also look at MaxPreps. Last year they added ROEs as a tracked stat.
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OK,

Went to Baseball Prospectus and they provide ROE.

IMO -downplaying upwards of 10-17 times MANY batters at the MLB can reach base in a season and subsequently score a run (can't do without reaching 1st base)does not seem all that irrelevant to me.
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quote:
Originally posted by ne14bb:
OK,

Went to Baseball Prospectus and they provide ROE.

IMO -downplaying upwards of 10-17 times MANY batters at the MLB can reach base in a season and subsequently score a run (can't do without reaching 1st base)does not seem all that irrelevant to me.

As you’ve seen, I track ROEs, albeit for my own purposes, so I for one don’t think they’re irrelevant, but how relevant they are depends on what you’re trying to do with them, and what you want to make them relevant to. How relevant is an ROE to the number of walks, K’s, hits or sacs?

What I’m trying to find out is, what so you think makes them relevant?
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"SO" relevant? Not sure that fits but def relevant where simplest answer is because any time a player gets on base they have an opportunity to score.

The rules of the game have never dictated how a player gets on base so long as they do so safely and from there, they have increased their chance to help team if they can score.

Ignoring (overlooking) even 1 run that can be scored from a ROE IMO does not make sense when so many stas today are suppose to demonstrate how accurate they are in determining run production.
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quote:
Originally posted by JMoff:
ne14bb:

I've seen a lot of stats, but I don't think I've ever seen that one and would wonder about its relevance.

There is no effect on any offensive statistics based on reaching base by error, which is entirely a function of the defense's inability to make an ordinary effort play.

Correct! It is the defense that has given the offense an opportunity to score they otherwise would not have had.

That you actually believe there is no effect to a ROE in the game is your opinion but it's not like 1 game in history was won because a player ROE. We know it happens throughout MLB so perhaps ROE should not be so easily dismissed.

If ROE is "entirely the function of the defense" then how come HBP which meets same definition-is counted in OBP & consequently OPS & RC etc...?

IMO in a game where scoring more = WINS and you can only score on offense - why would would any statistician h*llbent on creating magical formulas to "effectively demonstrate" how runs are produced; simply disgard ROE as an additional stat in that arsenal to attain the HOLY GRAIL (Runs Created)?

The argument ROE amount to 1 or 2 runs here or there actually solidify my argument that those runs are not only meaningful in regard to countless games won by 1 or 2 runs "here-there-everywhere" in MLB but that those runs can easily be accounted for in stats.

All of which goes back to my OP ... why keep hidden and or remove such an easily accountable stat from MLB and the numerous stat sheets that DON'T provide ROE?

There are a lot more stats on these spread sheets that are far FAR removed from a run being scored than ROE.

I now have the MLB ROE info and will move on from here.
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quote:
Originally posted by ne14bb:
…The rules of the game have never dictated how a player gets on base so long as they do so safely and from there, they have increased their chance to help team if they can score.

If you take a look at rule 10, you’ll see every stat the rules require. Remember, those rules are owned by MLB, who is actually the franchise owners. In those rules, you’re not gonna see a great many of the stats available today. So in the context of the stats defined by the rules, ROEs have no relevance.

quote:
Ignoring (overlooking) even 1 run that can be scored from a ROE IMO does not make sense when so many stas today are suppose to demonstrate how accurate they are in determining run production.

How do you see a run being ignored or made more valuable because of the way the runner reached base? I really believe you’re confusing the stats called for by rule, and all the stats you have available.
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Did not look up rule 10 (any MLB rules for that matter) but will concede you are correct in that rule application.

How about at its core the game says the offense is to score runs and defense is to get 3 outs. Nothing more, nothing less than that.

Throw out stats and MLB stats completely and even "how" an offensive player reaches base safely as the rules provide different ways to do so.

The offensive side of the game simply says get on base then - score runs. ROE then is one of the ways to do exactly what the game calls for.

To discount ROE as irrelevant and insignificant to what the game calls for at its very core seems ...well... completely anti-rules.

To imply it has no relevancy in stats is an opinion and even one it seems the vast majority in the stat world agree with you on.

Interesting though is the same stat world that rejects ROE has no issue with including and using the equally similar (100% defense induced) HBP stat to make their OBP/OPS and all other offensive contributors valid in their multi-level advanced stat formulas? Why is that and or how is that any different than ROE?

Don't know just yet but will deduce the average # of times a MLB player is HBP per season is either in-line with and may even be lower than the # of times a player ROE. It certainly is not a huge statistical difference as a stat relative to ROE yet there is HBP in the mix of all stats formulas used to factor in offense. How come?
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Before I try to answer, I want to be sure you understand that I’m a big believer that ROE is a statistic that should be reported, tracked, and of course analyzed in relation to many other statistics.

quote:
Originally posted by ne14bb:
Did not look up rule 10 (any MLB rules for that matter) but will concede you are correct in that rule application.

Don’t feel bad. Many people who comment on baseball statistics don’t understand that not all baseball statistics have a direct application to the rules.

quote:
How about at its core the game says the offense is to score runs and defense is to get 3 outs. Nothing more, nothing less than that.

Actually, its even less complicated than that.

OBR - 1.02 The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent.

quote:
Throw out stats and MLB stats completely and even "how" an offensive player reaches base safely as the rules provide different ways to do so.

I’m not at all sure what you’re getting at. The reason MLB keeps statistics is to as accurately as possible, relate exactly what happened during a game.

quote:
The offensive side of the game simply says get on base then - score runs. ROE then is one of the ways to do exactly what the game calls for.

You’re correct to a point, but Ii think you’re confusing the rules and the stats baseball tracks because of them, and what the baseball community, including teams, players, management, fans, use statistics for. I assure you that no one in ownership, management, mistakes success or failure only by how a player reached base. Its much more involved than that.

quote:
To discount ROE as irrelevant and insignificant to what the game calls for at its very core seems ...well... completely anti-rules.

To imply it has no relevancy in stats is an opinion and even one it seems the vast majority in the stat world agree with you on.

But it is irrelevant to the rules, because the rules only ask for a total of runs each player scores. And there’s no percentage called for that involves runs for hitters.

[QUOTE]Interesting though is the same stat world that rejects ROE has no issue with including and using the equally similar (100% defense induced) HBP stat to make their OBP/OPS and all other offensive contributors valid in their multi-level advanced stat formulas? Why is that and or how is that any different than ROE?

Be thee careful about what thee speaks of. The “stat world” and what the rules call for are two entirely different things. This “stat world” you refer to is not controlled by the rules of baseball. In fact, if you look hard enough, my guess is you’ll find several data collecting entities, and the stats they generate often differ because they don’t all generate the same things the same ways.

quote:
Don't know just yet but will deduce the average # of times a MLB player is HBP per season is either in-line with and may even be lower than the # of times a player ROE. It certainly is not a huge statistical difference as a stat relative to ROE yet there is HBP in the mix of all stats formulas used to factor in offense. How come?

I’m not sure what your point is. In the end, MLB has determined that a player ROE will be charged with an at bat for computational purposes, but not with a hit. HBPs aren’t chargeable as at bats, and that makes them compute differently. Are you suggesting that an ROE not be counted as an at bat? That seems to be counter-intuitive because an error is a misplay which would have been an out. How would an HBP have been an out? Heck, it might have been an out or a HR for all anyone knows.
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quote:
Originally posted by Stats4Gnats:
Before I try to answer, I want to be sure you understand that I’m a big believer that ROE is a statistic that should be reported, tracked, and of course analyzed in relation to many other statistics.

OK we agree.

(quote) I’m not sure what your point is. In the end, MLB has determined that a player ROE will be charged with an at bat for computational purposes, but not with a hit. HBPs aren’t chargeable as at bats, and that makes them compute differently. Are you suggesting that an ROE not be counted as an at bat? That seems to be counter-intuitive because an error is a misplay which would have been an out. How would an HBP have been an out? Heck, it might have been an out or a HR for all anyone knows.

You made some valid points. To clarify however, I do not think ROE should be counted as a hit and yes it is an AB.

As to HBP was making the argument in regard to "defense made the error" thus ROE issue as there is no difference what happened in the AB to get batter on 1st base. Where HBP is used in OBP (always means also in OPS) yet ROE is left out of the equation.

As to my point? My only original point per OP was how come I ran into such diffuclty in trying to find ROE stat info when it is obvious numerous stat sheets available to the public are filled with stats yet kept leaving ROE off their charts. Probably should have left it at that.

(QUOTE) Be thee careful about what thee speaks of. The “stat world” and what the rules call for are two entirely different things. This “stat world” you refer to is not controlled by the rules of baseball. In fact, if you look hard enough, my guess is you’ll find several data collecting entities, and the stats they generate often differ because they don’t all generate the same things the same ways.

You more than make my other point. The stat world has gone beyond looking hard at every faction of the game to make them into fractions and formulas so advanced the commoner (me) has neither the intellect or the interest to figure them out.

But this every day fan (obviously not a stat rat) does understand that if the rules and stats are two different things it sure seems like they are both about what makes a team WIN.
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quote:
Originally posted by ne14bb:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Stats4Gnats:
Before I try to answer, I want to be sure you understand that I’m a big believer that ROE is a statistic that should be reported, tracked, and of course analyzed in relation to many other statistics.

OK we agree.

(quote) I’m not sure what your point is. In the end, MLB has determined that a player ROE will be charged with an at bat for computational purposes, but not with a hit. HBPs aren’t chargeable as at bats, and that makes them compute differently. Are you suggesting that an ROE not be counted as an at bat? That seems to be counter-intuitive because an error is a misplay which would have been an out. How would an HBP have been an out? Heck, it might have been an out or a HR for all anyone knows.

You made some valid points. To clarify however, I do not think ROE should be counted as a hit and yes it is an AB.

As to HBP was making the argument in regard to "defense made the error" thus ROE issue as there is no difference what happened in the AB to get batter on 1st base. Where HBP is used in OBP (always means also in OPS) yet ROE is left out of the equation.

As to my point? My only original point per OP was how come I ran into such diffuclty in trying to find ROE stat info when it is obvious numerous stat sheets available to the public are filled with stats yet kept leaving ROE off their charts. Probably should have left it at that.

(QUOTE) Be thee careful about what thee speaks of. The “stat world” and what the rules call for are two entirely different things. This “stat world” you refer to is not controlled by the rules of baseball. In fact, if you look hard enough, my guess is you’ll find several data collecting entities, and the stats they generate often differ because they don’t all generate the same things the same ways.

quote:
Originally posted by ne14bb:
You made some valid points. To clarify however, I do not think ROE should be counted as a hit and yes it is an AB.

WHEW! I’m sure glad we don’t have to go back to basic scorekeeping!

Without reading further, and based on what’s been said in the past, it sure sounds to me as though all you’re trying to do is do a little deeper analysis, which is what I do. I just throw the numbers on a printed page and let the reader do all the interpreting he/she wants to do.

quote:
As to HBP was making the argument in regard to "defense made the error" thus ROE issue as there is no difference what happened in the AB to get batter on 1st base. Where HBP is used in OBP (always means also in OPS) yet ROE is left out of the equation.

I got that. But the difference is, an ROE is an official at bat, and a HBO isn’t. That’s where difference lies.

quote:
As to my point? My only original point per OP was how come I ran into such diffuclty in trying to find ROE stat info when it is obvious numerous stat sheets available to the public are filled with stats yet kept leaving ROE off their charts. Probably should have left it at that.

Naw. You seldom learn or share knowledge without discussion. Believe me, there’s no great conspiracy to keep anything secret. The stat wonks will never allow that to happen.

I guess I should have had you look at the following link earlier on.

http://www.baseball-fever.com/...ANCES-ARE-IT-IS-HERE

If you’re really interested in stats and stat wonks, try looking at the following. This forum is fun and can be instructive, but some of the folks over there will blow off your socks.

http://www.baseball-fever.com/...nalysis-Sabermetrics

quote:
You more than make my other point. The stat world has gone beyond looking hard at every faction of the game to make them into fractions and formulas so advanced the commoner (me) has neither the intellect or the interest to figure them out.

Hey, I’m on your side there. I love the numbers, but really don’t give a darn about them at the ML level. I’m really only interested in how they apply to the guys I score for and generate stats for. So any of the great stats the wonks swoon over that has something as simple a Ball Park Factors in it, is really pretty useless to me, as are most tables that are based on a 9 inning game rather than 7 innings.

quote:
But this every day fan (obviously not a stat rat) does understand that if the rules and stats are two different things it sure seems like they are both about what makes a team WIN.

I think you’re pretty much right on target, other than it isn’t the stats that make a team win, its how they’re used in the management of that team.
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Great stuff and I appreciate your feedback in helping me try to figure this stuff out.

Any reason you know of why retrosheet shows different stats (ROE) just one example over course of same season as BP does?

Is one more accurate (thereofre mor reliable)than the other?
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quote:
Originally posted by ne14bb:
Great stuff and I appreciate your feedback in helping me try to figure this stuff out.

Not a problem. Glad to do it!

quote:
Any reason you know of why retrosheet shows different stats (ROE) just one example over course of same season as BP does?

Is one more accurate (thereofre mor reliable)than the other?

I’m honestly not a good person to ask about ML stats because I don’t get involved in MLB that way. I spend my energy and time almost exclusively in the HSB arena. Ask that question in that forum over at BBF and you get a much better answer because that’s the venue they participate in. I’m tellin’ ya, they have some “real” Sabers there, where I’m just an old guy who keeps score and runs some stats for the HS team.
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Just saw this thread, but one thing that I don't believe was mentioned when comparing ROE and HBP is that to some extent there have been batters who were "skilled" in getting HBP. How did Ron Hunt get hit 50 times in one season when no one else was close to that in that year or any other. Why did guys like Craig Biggio and Don Baylor get more HBP than most players year after year. It was not just a function of stance as these guys had very different stances and there are actually some guys who crowd the plate that do not get HBP as much as other guys. This may be why HBP is considered a more relevant "offensive" stat since under certain conditions can be brought about more often by an astute offensive player.
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quote:
Originally posted by Three Bagger:
Just saw this thread, but one thing that I don't believe was mentioned when comparing ROE and HBP is that to some extent there have been batters who were "skilled" in getting HBP. How did Ron Hunt get hit 50 times in one season when no one else was close to that in that year or any other. Why did guys like Craig Biggio and Don Baylor get more HBP than most players year after year. It was not just a function of stance as these guys had very different stances and there are actually some guys who crowd the plate that do not get HBP as much as other guys. This may be why HBP is considered a more relevant "offensive" stat since under certain conditions can be brought about more often by an astute offensive player.

Without having access to every pitcher who threw to guys like hunt, every catcher who was calling pitches against him, or him, in order to get his side of the story, its pretty easy for people to guess why that is. My best guess is, players who got/get hit a lot more than normal, the defense figures they can’t handle inside pitches that move toward them very well at all, and thus pound the ball in with a steady diet of inside pitches. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to get doinked with a pitch in. Another reason COULD be those guys didn’t/don’t have the reflexes to get out of the way as well as other players, and another could be unlike most players, those guys weren’t bothered much by the fear of pain.

But in the end, a HBP is pretty much treated exactly the way a BB is treated. It’s a free pass that the defensive fielders never get the opportunity to make a play on and put the batter out. An ROE is something very different. The ball has been put in play, and that means there is an opportunity to put the batter out.

Its interesting to see how different people perceive the different things. I do a stat called LEAD OFF SUCCESS. I’m a pretty basic guy, and to keep it simple it works like this. If a player is the 1st batter in an inning, he’s credited with a LOO(Lead Off Opportunity). If he reaches safely, he’s credited with a LOS(Lead Off Success). I don’t care how he got there, the point is, he reached safely, it gave his team the chance to score a run.

Can’t get more basic or objective than that. FWIW, here’s an example of our last season’s numbers. Don't forget to scroll down.

http://www.infosports.com/scor...per/images/los01.pdf
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Stats4Gnats,
I looked over your stat and they are interesting.

I guess the major question I have is, does your stat Leadoff Success really tell anything useful to a coach especially in a small sample such as a high school season. If a guy has 20, 40, or even 100 plate appearances in a season, reaching base even five or six times on errors leading off skews the use of any data since these had nothing to do with what the batter did. You can reach on an error on a rocket or the softest checked swing grounder. You can reach when you strike out and the catcher doesn't handle the pitch. One guy could get on base leading off on twelve hits in thirty AB's with no BB's but two ROE's and another guy could reach on eight hits, no BB's and seven errors. The second guy reached more times leading off, but he is no way the superior hitter leadoff or otherwise. You wouldn't put the second guy as your leadoff batter based on that. If there was found to be a relationship to reaching on errors and that players exceptional speed, then maybe it would be meaningful after all. However, the higher level the player plays at, the less times he will reach on errors as the fielders get better.

I will admit it is of interest to me if certain extremely fast guys reach base more on groundball or throwing errors than others(Ichiro, for example) because they cause infields to rush more often or play an extra step in, leading to more balls off their gloves. My son is extremely fast down the line as well as lefthanded and I would bet he reached more on errors than most teammates year after year when he was younger. At least it seemed that way to my prejudiced eyes.

I can tell you are passionate about your high school stat keeping though!
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quote:
Originally posted by Three Bagger:
…I guess the major question I have is, does your stat Leadoff Success really tell anything useful to a coach especially in a small sample such as a high school season. If a guy has 20, 40, or even 100 plate appearances in a season, reaching base even five or six times on errors leading off skews the use of any data since these had nothing to do with what the batter did. You can reach on an error on a rocket or the softest checked swing grounder. You can reach when you strike out and the catcher doesn't handle the pitch. One guy could get on base leading off on twelve hits in thirty AB's with no BB's but two ROE's and another guy could reach on eight hits, no BB's and seven errors. The second guy reached more times leading off, but he is no way the superior hitter leadoff or otherwise. You wouldn't put the second guy as your leadoff batter based on that. If there was found to be a relationship to reaching on errors and that players exceptional speed, then maybe it would be meaningful after all. However, the higher level the player plays at, the less times he will reach on errors as the fielders get better.

Its hard to say what any stat tells any coach, because they all think differently. To me, its not so much what it tells me, but how certain things might be explained. FI, if your team isn’t scoring very well, chances are your lead-off batters aren’t getting on a lot. And since the batter who leads off the most innings is the one in the #1 BPOS, that might be a good place to start looking for improvement.

I’m not a big believer in “skewed” stats because of low sample numbers being unreliable. The numbers are what the numbers are, whether its based on 10 occurrences or 10,000. Now you might say the numbers are more or less reliable based on the number of occurrences, but basing a decision on even a low number of occurrences is better than a flat out guess. What’s happening is, as the sample increases, so does the reliability, but it doesn’t mean everything before a certain point is unreliable.

I don’t try to guess at what any metric I do tells anyone. My job isn’t to make judgments, its to present information. If I was scoring for you and you wanted more in depth information about leadoff batters, as soon as you defined what it was you wanted, you’d get it if it was possible to get. But for me or any other statistician to try to figure out every possible format or relationship to other data anyone might want to see, isn’t an option, at least for me.

quote:
I will admit it is of interest to me if certain extremely fast guys reach base more on groundball or throwing errors than others(Ichiro, for example) because they cause infields to rush more often or play an extra step in, leading to more balls off their gloves. My son is extremely fast down the line as well as lefthanded and I would bet he reached more on errors than most teammates year after year when he was younger. At least it seemed that way to my prejudiced eyes.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that players who are faster tend to reach more on certain BIPs than others. A couple years back I decided to see if there was a relation of “hustle” to reaching base. What I did was time every batter from contact to contact (ball with bat to foot to base) on every at bat I could. Then I broke down the results by what happened. I wish I’d have been able to get a 30 or 40 yard sprint time for everyone to see just how much hustle there really was, but what I found out was, while foot speed was definitely a factor, the more effort a player put into getting to 1st on EVERY BIP, the more likely it seemed to be that he’d be rewarded.

It sure looked as though most players would “give up” on anything in the air that wasn’t hit hard, and just about anything on the ground that was hit “at” a fielder. Unfortunately, I had to give up on the metric because its impossible to score a baseball game and use a stopwatch on every ball put into play. I needed someone to do the watch for me, but at the HS level, almost everyone at a game is much more interested in the game and what’s going on, than in proving/disproving theories.

You may well be correct about your son, but the proof would be in the “pudding”. Unfortunately, there’s no way to go back and get the data that would prove or disprove your perception. That’s a big reason why guys mike myself do what we do.

quote:
I can tell you are passionate about your high school stat keeping though!

Yeah, I am, and that’s why I’m really encouraged by there being so many people now using some kind of software to either keep score or do their stats. We’re getting closer and closer to having a central depository for youth baseball numbers, and to me that means closer to answering a lot of questions and proving or disproving a lot of long held beliefs.
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I think your last sentence hit the nail on the head whether it be for youth baseball or professional in that the new programs, sabermatics etc. are disproving a lot of long held beliefs, one example of which is the value of the sacrifice bunt in most situations. I recently joined SABR and love the statistical side of baseball as much as I enjoy watching the game. Keep up the good work!
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quote:
Originally posted by Three Bagger:
I think your last sentence hit the nail on the head whether it be for youth baseball or professional in that the new programs, sabermatics etc. are disproving a lot of long held beliefs, one example of which is the value of the sacrifice bunt in most situations. I recently joined SABR and love the statistical side of baseball as much as I enjoy watching the game. Keep up the good work!

Its really too bad that in the past so many people, usually coaches, felt somehow threatened by the numbers, but I believe that the current generation of coaches has come a long way into the “light” of truth and reality, and the next one will be even better about it. The trouble is, for every question the numbers answer, or beliefs they either prove or disprove, more questions come up, and we never seem to run out of myths.

What I’m finding more and more, is that many of the long held beliefs and/or myths have come to be simply because there was such a dearth of numbers. There’s always been a few dads or coaches who have tried to do a good job of developing the numbers for their teams, but what was rare, was anyone keeping them from year to year, or to combine them into one database where different metrics can be run, but because of so many more data points, the results become more and more reliable.

Now there are more and more people trying to do it, and venues to make it happen. At the HS level, MaxPreps has really made an imprint. There have always been places where teams could send some basic stats so they could be compared to other teams and players, but in general it was pretty localized. IOW, someone using a stat service in NC couldn’t see what was goin’ on in Ca.. That’s the kind of thing that provides skewed outlooks people develop.

But when MaxPreps went national several years back, a whole new world of information opened up. Other than the obvious scouting implications, it can really be humbling to have your son be a league leader, but find out he’s little more than just one of 5,000 really good players in the state, let alone the country. And now, with several years of data history, its much easier to get a real read on that history.

What I like about this new wave of data availability is, rather than just getting the same old stats of ERA and BA, its not unusual to find things like ROEs and Pitch Counts being able to be tracked. IOW, things are getting better.
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