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Arizona Diamondback Strikeout Record: Did Gibson Help Or Hurt The 'K's'?

Yippie! The Diamondbacks as a team struck out more times than any other MLB team has managed to do in all recorded baseball history (however long that is). That's quite the accomplishment to do something no team has ever done before. 

With 1403 strikeouts and 11 games to go, the D-fans are clearly doing something wrong. Or are they?

Some would argue that a strikeout is the same as any other out. This is silly.

You don't move runners over with strikeouts and you don't put pressure on opposing pitchers and defenses. The idea that statistically a strikeout is the same as any other out is another case of numbers trumping common sense and intangible factors.

New GM Kevin Towers will have to look hard at his lineup of K-Kings which includes five of the National League's top 15 strikeout artists: "King of the K" Mark Reynolds (202), Adam LaRoche (157), Justin Upton (152), Chris Young (134) and Kelly Johnson (133).

Upton and Reynolds kind of make sense. They both should be able to strikeout less they do, but they are also high-risk, high-reward kind of players. What's more interesting is that guys like Young, LaRoche and Johnson are punching out so much. Those guys should all have the ability to be contact hitters. 

It makes you (at least me) wonder if this dubious record is a result of the hitters or if there's some managerial influence at play here.

The Gibby Effect

Since taking over as manager on July 2nd, Kirk Gibson's team has amassed 9.43 strikeouts per game (72 games).

The guy he replaced? 9.16 per game (79 games) for A.J. Hinch's team.

That's an increase of about a quarter strikeout per game under Gibby. Kind of surprising since Gibson doesn't buy into the Money Ball advanced stats bullshit.

Mark Reynolds Under Gibby

When Gibby first took over, there was a lot of hoopla made about Reynolds adjusting his swing to try and strikeout less.

How'd that work out? 1.46 strikeouts under Hinch. 1.45 under Gibson. 

I guess that's an improvement. Perhaps. 

By the way, Reynolds batting average was .212 under Hinch and .193 under Gibson.

To be fair, he did get his noggin cracked by that fastball and that obviously did something to him at the plate.

LaRoch and Johnson K's As D-backs

Curious if there's something in the Arizona water that makes guys strikeout or is this just a lineup built to K?

Adam LaRoche is already 17 strikeouts above his career average (140) in his first year in Arizona.

His career averages of 26 home runs and 93 RBI will probably be surpassed, but not by much. He has 23 four-baggers right now and sits at 93 RBI. His batting average is down 11 points and his slugging and on-base percentages are also below career average.

Kelly Johnson shows a similar pattern. He's +7 on his career strikeout number and his power numbers don't really have much to show for it.

Of course, Kelly is a younger player and healthy for the season which is kind of to the point that there are always variables outside the numbers that experienced baseball people need to consider without the aid of a spreadsheet.

By hiring old-school Kevin Towers, the Diamondbacks are obviously moving back in that direction. Buck Showalter would be proud.