There are two teams with winning records the last three seasons in the Grapefruit League. The Twins and Tigers. In fact, the Twins have the longest string of winning records and haven't had a losing season since 2007 thanks to the performance of players like Aaron Hicks, Luke Hughes, Cole DeVries and Matt Maloney.
... and it means nothing.
Spring training records and individual stat lines have no meaning. They shouldn't be used to argue that one player or
Mike Berardino reported yesterday that Terry Ryan expected Kurt Suzuki to start at catcher. At the time of the signing, it appeared that Suzuki was signed to gibe the Twins a veteran backup. On this site, there were certainly questions about his defense and concern about the workload he carried early in his career. At the time, the best available options other than Suzuki were John Buck or retaining Doumit. While Suzuki has shown to be a poor pitch framer, Doumit and Buck are at the bottom.
Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) measures what a player’s ERA should have looked like over a given time period, assuming that performance on balls in play and timing were league average. Fangraphs relies on FIP to calculate WAR for pitchers.
Is FIP independent of the catcher?
The following table shows pitching performance by catcher over the last two seasons.
Two topics that appeared in the forums led me to wonder which teams are getting the platoon advantage.
How did the Indians do it? I look at their numbers and see a combined 6.1 WAR from Jan Gomes and Ryan Raburn. Those cheap additions will be the difference between contending for the wild card and being on the fringe. Francona has found a role for them to put up fantastic numbers.
We also debated about how platooning might help the Twins.
I wondered how often
My last blog topic on catcher defense was last November. The trade of Butera has prompted a revisit.
Through July 26 while Ryan Doumit was catching, 46 out of zone balls were called strikes and 205 in zone strikes were called balls. They convert it to a ratio which for Doumit would be 0.22 extra strikes/lost strikes. That ratio is the worst in baseball and the next for a current catcher is twice the ratio at 0.44. The data is from Baseball Prospectus.
How much difference