Quick Hits: Are the Mets Turning More Double Plays?

By Sam Maxwell

Though they stand at only 13-17 and in 4th place in the National League East, there have been many bright spots so far for the New York Mets in 2013. To me, one of those bright spots is all the double plays I have seen. Their propensity for turning two so far got me wondering whether the amount has been higher for the team than in recent years.

I asked our Dan Haefeli, who likes to have Fun with Numbers, to do a little digging. He came back with this:

"Double play stats are somehow quite difficult to find. From ESPN, I was able to find how many GIDP’s teams have hit against the Mets (30 so far this year). For reference on pace, that’d be 162 over the season. Fangraphs has the Mets with 88 double plays, but they don’t explain where that number comes from or what they’re actually referring to (my best guess is people who have participated in double plays. Say, for example, you had 28 6-4-3 double plays, and 2 6-6-3 double plays, that would total 88.)They’ve averaged a hair over 115 per season since 2000, with the most being 136 in 2010. Groundball rate seems to have little correlation, same with WHIP. In terms of the jump from this year to last year, it all seems to point to infield defense. Daniel Murphy was, by all accounts, terrible early last year but has been solid in 2013. Similarly, Ike has been much better at first, and I imagine that has at least some impact. Unfortunately I can’t find much data between b-r or Fangraphs to support that though.Either way, they’ve been doing a pretty good job so far (aided mostly by Miami having hit into 11 so far in six games)."

Though the web of stats can make it hard to research, it seems I was right that the Mets are on pace for well over the average amount of double plays they’ve turned over the last decade and a half, as well as modestly above the highest total of 136 in 2010. Though Dan says ground ball rate seems to have little correlation, it still is interesting that it so far stands at 48%, which would be the highest in the last 14 years. That may be attributed to a new overall organizational pitching philosophy, as well as John Buck.

Whatever is the cause, I appreciate the effect, and it must continue throughout the rest of the season, especially when Zack Wheeler arrives on the scene.

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