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  1. Winston Smith's Avatar
    You used AL numbers for your base and all 3 of these new guys are NL guys. Is that apples to apples?
  2. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Yes, thank you jay for pointing that out.
  3. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    I think an average of 1 is the current situation if those five were involved (Correia and Pelfrey may combine for 1). Marcum could be worth 2.5 and maybe Hendriks/Gibson can produce 2. That way the 10 WAR might be reachable.
  4. jay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse
    I think it is a nice idea except for the fact that there isn't a correlation between WAR and actual wins.
    Excellent sarcasm.

    For the true non-believers, the total WAR accumulated by a team has had a correlation to actual wins between .83 and .89 over the last few seasons.

    It includes some variables that are not perfectly measured (ie - defense) and can't account for real-life variation caused by the context in which contributions are provided (ie - winning an abnormal amount of close games or "clutch" and "luck"). It may not be exactly perfect, but it is extremely useful.
  5. Todd G's Avatar
    Just to get the obligatory statement out of the way so we can continue with an informed discussion.

    "WAR, what is it good for?"

    Carry on.
  6. old nurse's Avatar
    I think it is a nice idea except for the fact that there isn't a correlation between WAR and actual wins.
  7. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Why is there such consistency since 2007 in which catchers do well (getting more strikes from balls) and which catchers do poorly (getting strikes called a ball)?
  8. old nurse's Avatar
    To prove that it was framing that caused the ball or strike call there would have to be consistency in calling pitches by the umpires. I don't think you can prove that.
  9. h2oface's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim H
    The idea that a catcher can steal enough pitches for his pitcher to save 50 runs in 80 games isn't just an exaggeration, it is an insult to umpires. They aren't so bad at their jobs that how a catcher catches the ball is going to have much of an effect.
    Umpires are pretty bad, especially calling the low part of the zone and the outside part of the zone, but i don't see that from catcher framing. I see it as just humanly impossible to make accurate calls from that severe of an angle.
    Updated 12-04-2012 at 02:01 PM by h2oface (corrected caps, complying with a warning email)
  10. jorgenswest's Avatar
    I looked at the data and I don't see the relationship between team, catcher and quality of pitchers.

    All of the new metrics about fielding and its impact on wins is very new. I am not certain how strongly the Twins should embrace all of the data that is available today.With their moves, they don't seem to be embracing it at all. I hope they are right.
  11. Jim H's Avatar
    I suspect the quality of the pitching is the key here. Neither the Pirates or the Twins had very good pitching in those years. Tampa certainly did.

    That is the problem with some of these new metrics, they actually corolate better with something else than what they are trying to measure. I remember when everyone was excited because Jeter's UZR improved one year over the previous year. The real reason was a number of better starting pitchers. Nobody ever really considered that.

    Finally, I don't doubt that Molina is good at framing pitches. The question is, what is the impact of that rather limited skill. I suspect that Molina has a large impact on a game because of his all around defensive skills. Including working with his pitcher, calling a game, blocking pitches and throwing out runners. While I don't doubt that stealing a pitch here and there is useful, the idea that it is a 5 win skill over 80 games, is pretty unbelievable, and pretty much ruins this metric as anything to pay attention to.
    Updated 12-01-2012 at 06:20 PM by Jim H
  12. jorgenswest's Avatar
    2011 data on Butera and all other catchers with reference to pitch fx is below


    He did not fare well in the 2011 analysis.

    Entering 2012, Jose Molina was ranked #1 and Doumit was at the very bottom. Is it simply an amazing coincidence that in spite of changing teams and parks they were ranked at the top and bottom for the 2012 season?

    If the catcher has no control, why isn't it random?
  13. Jim H's Avatar
    The problem with this metric is that you are giving the catcher credit for something he has no control over. First of all, on close pitches you can't sure that Pitch f/x is any more accurate than the umpire. Camera angles and the inability of Pitch f/x to show the depth of the plate mean that often the umpire could be right and Pitch f/x could be wrong. 2nd, the umpire usualy doesn't see the "framing of the pitches" he is focused on where/if the ball crosses the plate not where the ball is caught. When an umpire misses a call it can be for a variety of reasons. Maybe the catcher blocked the umpires view, maybe the umpire was expecting the pitch to move different than it did, maybe because the pitcher is getting credit for an extra inch because his control has been so good, maybe he missed it because he is human.

    The idea that a catcher can steal enough pitches for his pitcher to save 50 runs in 80 games isn't just an exaggeration, it is an insult to umpires. They aren't so bad at their jobs that how a catcher catches the ball is going to have much of an effect.

    I also find it strange that it ok to give exaggerated credit for Molina being a good catcher, but not to Butera.
  14. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    While the defensive metrics might lead to exaggerated figures, I agree generally with the basic point that Doumit caught too many games last year. That's the problem when you have non-MLB players on your roster like Drew Butera. That is why I was bullish on Herrmann last year to get promoted and play in AAA. That is why I would like the Twins to either go with Herrmann or spend 1-2 million on somebody other than Butera (this would only really amount to around a $1 million difference in salary).
  15. jorgenswest's Avatar
    It is hard to believe. Can it be ignored?

    While other teams have hired some of the pitch f/x pioneers like Mike Fast, the Twins watch from the sidelines. Hopefully time will show that the Twins took the right path.

    Understanding the impact of defense on winning ball games is still in the early stages. It is easy to see the side the Twins stand on with their decisions to sign Willingham and Doumit last year and willingness to trade their best defensive player this year. What's next? Starting Parmelee in RF?
  16. Jim H's Avatar
    "If the metric is accurate, Molina saved his team 50 runs in 80 games. Doumit cost the Twins 21 runs in 59 games. Molina's value is all defense but those 50 runs saved represent 5 wins. Doumits -21 represents a loss of 2 wins and completely wipes out his contribution to the team as a hitter" Quote from above article.

    I used to think most fans underrated defense. Some of these new "metrics" distort it. You really think that how a catcher catches the ball can save his team 50 runs in 80 games? I suspect that most good umps don't even see where the catcher catches the ball. They are focused on the strike zone above the plate. One of the problems with that nice little box that most TV broadcasts use to show whether a ball or a strike, is that it doesn't show the depth of the strike zone.

    All of this isn't to say that Doumit is a good catcher. He is not. Molina is a lot more valuable than his offensive numbers suggest. Just like Butera is. But saying that Molina won 7 more games than Doumit by how he frames pitches-I don't think that is remotely true.

  17. glunn's Avatar
    I agree with those who feel that the Twins should go young.
  18. beckmt's Avatar
    This assumes the Twins do not add ptiching this offseason. Adding a couple of pitchers would get us to the area that is discussed above, middle 70's in wins. Adding 3 ptichers and a shortstop could get us to about .500. At that point luck could go either way. As long as we do not trade future(top of the line ) prospects, this seems to me to be a reasonable way to go.
  19. Brad Swanson's Avatar
    I'd like to see what Escobar could do with some consistent playing time. He likely won't set the world on fire, but his defense could help a lot if the Twins go with their usual pitching philosophy.
  20. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom
    Well, that .237/.291/.331 projection for Florimon looks OK as long as he provides his patented gold-glove defense.

    Evidently ZIPS is projecting that Dozier will be swallowed into the Bermuda Triangle.
    Leaving them out was my error. I didn't expect someone would infer that I was hiding the positive. Unfortunately, they don't pick up the slack. Plouffe and Revere's numbers were essentially the same as 2012.

    Dozier 247/296/348

    As for Florimon and defense. There is no evidence that he is an elite defender. His UZR/150 of 5 was well below the league average. He has had flashy and inconsistent performance in the minors. He was taken off the 40 man roster twice in the last year and the Twins were the only interested team.

    Escobar, on the other hand, had a string of three or four years ranked as the best defensive middle infield prospect in the White Sox system. He can't hit either but being two years younger offers hope for growth that Florimon doesn't have.
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