05-09-2012, 12:02 AM
The true importance of the strikeout is a subject of much debate in baseball circles. It is generally agreed, though, that the K is a powerful weapon for pitchers, one with strengths (it's the most reliable method of recording an out) and weaknesses (pitching for strikeouts requires more pitches and taxes the arm).
Dennis Brackin wrote a great piece
for the Star Tribune
last week on the subject of pitching to contact, which is a philosophy that the Twins have notoriously espoused. Brackin's article sought to clarify some misconceptions about the phrase. Most notably, that coaches are actively encouraging pitchers not to strike anyone out.
A severe strikeout deficiency is currently the greatest downfall for Minnesota's pitching staff, but it's not the coaching approach that is at issue. It's the personnel.