Twins and Catcher Framing
by, 06-18-2014 at 10:44 AM (358 Views)
Glen Perkins talked about Josmil Pinto and his ability to frame pitches. He didn't mention Kurt Suzuki. I guess he wasn't asked. Nor was he asked about Ryan Doumit in previous years.
Since 2011 it has been debated about the Twins decision making on catcher and defense. At best, they are waiting to see if the data that has been available for many season has validity. At worst, they are ignorant and that ignorance shows in their roster decisions as well as their development of catchers in the minors. Other teams make it a priority on selecting catchers. In fact, several of the catchers that formerly appeared at the bottom of the lists are no longer catching regularly. Kurt Suzuki still has a regular job.
Ben Lindbergh wrote weekly last year. He has done monthly reports this year. Below are a link to his recent report and quotes relevant to the Twins.
May's catcher report from Baseball Prospectus
Suzuki's receiving rates nearly 80 runs below average since 2008, and he's the driving force behind Minnesota's last-place showing thus far this season. His inelegant glovework didn't hurt as much when he was hitting, but he's batting .212 without an extra-base hit over his last 10 games, so that unexpected offense may be behind him.
Thoughts from April's catcher report
Other names of note: Travis d'Arnaud has sustained his early success, and Hank Conger and Yan Gomes have backed up their positive rating from 2013. John Jaso brings up the rear, costing the A’s 4.9 runs, and perennial offenders Kurt Suzuki, Carlos Santana, Chris Iannetta, and Wilin Rosario have offended again. (Santana ranks fifth-worst with only 334 framing opportunities.) Josmil Pinto, who had the second-worst estimated framing rating in the upper minors last season and a negative RPM in his brief 2013 major-league time, has cost the Twins a couple of runs already this year.
I am certain there will be discussion of not trusting metrics. Clearly the Twins don't trust this data. Glen Perkins might. The data has now several years behind it and catchers are very consistent in their rankings even after changing teams.