Yesterday, A.J. Burnett told reporters that he plans to cut down on his walks in 2010, after issuing 97 of them a season ago. “I would like to not walk as many people, go a little deeper in the games and be a little more efficient like [CC] is,” noted Burnett. “He’s real efficient with his pitches. He’s 12-15 an inning as opposed to 20-25 an inning, and it helps. Being more efficient in strike one, and just not give away free bags. Let them earn their bases.” Not only was Burnett’s 4.22 BB/9 the second highest mark of his career when tossing 100 or more innings in a season, it was also the highest mark he had posted in eight years (he walked 4.31 per nine innings in 2001). Basically, the base-on-balls was a significant problem for the tattooed right-hander in 2009, as nearly 11% of his at-bats resulted in a free pass.
While it is difficult to explain the uptick in Burnett’s walk rate last season – his career rate is 3.78 – there are some factors to consider that might shed a bit of light on the issue.… Click here to read the rest