12-02-2012, 01:32 PM #21
Does it matter if he gets the call because of skill or reputation? He still gets the call. Watching the videos in the study, I think it is more skill than reputation.
Why didn't Jaso do well with that pitching staff in 2011?
12-02-2012, 01:52 PM #22
Honestly, the only way to put any type of stock into catcher ERA is to look at how the same pitchers perform over a few years with the same catchers... If there was something to this, I'd imagine that over a large enough sample, you could determine that the catcher made the pitcher X amount of runs better... but this would essentially have to be done with the same group of pitchers pitching to the same catchers over several years to get enough data to be remotely conclusive...
12-02-2012, 02:00 PM #23
12-02-2012, 02:03 PM #24
Perhaps Jorgenswest forgot the key point in the article he referenced
And finally, before we get started, the disclaimer. These splits are not necessarily indicative of skill. They measure less than one full season and include many other factors that should be corrected for. As time passes, we should be able to complete more technically rigorous analysis (that's the royal we, as in someone else who knows more about statistics) that may begin to clarify what percentage is skill and what percentage is unexplained/random variation. Until that time, I strongly recommend not using this information for anything more than entertainment purposes.
Even the author did not believe his numbers.
12-02-2012, 02:19 PM #25
12-02-2012, 02:30 PM #26
One year later catchers who did well or poorly, still do well or poorly.
Do you want the Twins to continue to ignore the data?
Do you think the Rays are paying attention?
It appears that many would join the Twins in discounting this study.
It is my hope that the Twins have someone or a group they have hired in the front office responsible for seeking out these studies and evaluating the impact on the team. Minimally this work deserves lengthy study on the part of the Twins management.
12-02-2012, 02:53 PM #27
12-02-2012, 03:23 PM #28
I have always believed that Catchers have huge influence on games in ways that are hard to quantify. Things like the calling of pitches, framing to a lesser extent, Quarterbacking the Defense.
I don't know enough of this data and the conclusions drawn from it but a couple of incomplete thoughts jump to mind right away.
A. The Run differential seems excessive. If you see something this excessive. It's probably a red flag just like Brock said.
If the data and result was solid. Molina would be negotiating for a fairly large contract right now because there are enough teams that follow metrics and look for edges like this especially something this large.
B. I haven't read all of it and it looks like it will take awhile to get through it all but I'm wondering how a called strike can be quantified into Runs. The Difference between a 2-0 count and a 1-1 count is important but how do you quantify the rest of the at bat and the result based upon one strike or ball.
C. I've done a little umping behind the plate. Some Parents and Coaches say I suck at it and I probably do... I know that proper technique for umpires is to watch the ball from Pitchers Hand to Catchers Glove and that's easy enough understood as it's written. However, Catchers don't always sit still behind the plate. They move around and the Glove ends up being be blocked from view by the catcher a large percentage of times. Even if they sit still they block the view of the glove. The Ump is positioned behind the Catcher and for that reason it is very difficult to see the glove and if you can't see the glove consistently. It's very difficult to be influenced by framing.
If you look at the Video examples of Lucroy and Veritek shown in the example. It looks to me that the Umpires would struggle to see the glove but who knows cuz MLB umps are the best of the best. Maybe they can and I just haven't figured out how to position myself properly.
All in all... I'm a little skeptical.
12-02-2012, 03:52 PM #29
Yup, I still struggle with defensive metrics as a whole. I have 0 confidence in this stat. The Butera negative numbers tell me that this stat means pretty much nothing.
I don't think anyone would say that Doumit's some great catcher defensively, but having watched most of the games, I didn't see anything that was overly alarming.
12-02-2012, 04:04 PM #30
12-02-2012, 04:07 PM #31
Another thing to add from an umpire perspective. When I can see a glove... The Movement of a glove in an attempt to frame after the catch could be seen by the ump as the catcher believing that it was a ball.
If the pitch is a strike. A good Catcher will catch and hold it in position. If it's a ball... They will attempt to frame by moving it. If the Ump has any doubt. The actual framing movement from the catcher is a tip that it was a ball.
12-02-2012, 04:13 PM #32
No matter my first blush opinion... Keep posting this stuff... It is very interesting. The Game has changed so much over the decades and metrics are at the forefront of that change.
12-02-2012, 04:20 PM #33
I had an opinion going in and now have a different one after reading. That alone makes it a good article for me. I never considered this and want to see him DH and play RF a little more.
12-02-2012, 04:22 PM #34
But when you come at us with "a good catcher is worth nearly one run a game compared to the worst", you're going to get laughed out of the room. And for good reason. It's an absurd statement.
12-02-2012, 04:36 PM #35
Well, half the stuff on this site is absurd so I wouldn't worry too much about that.
But I do thank the OP for the post -- at least it is thought provoking. And while the impact may not be as significant as jorgenswest would suggest, it certainly appears that there is enough "smoke" to merit further examination.
I also found the "head bobbing" part of the original article very interesting. It took me back to discussions we had earlier this year about mechanized ball/strike counts and umpire bias. As I recall, that discussion had to do with the strike count and how it affected the umpires zone. And now it looks like its not just the strike count but the stability of the catcher. Funny to think about how many little factors can affect the call -- and how much an "automated" system would change that. (And possibly change the game as we know it.)
12-02-2012, 04:47 PM #36
My hope us that the study (not mine) will lead them to go through the data. They can take the same approach. They have the capability to look at every pitch that Doumit, Butera and Mauer received with pitch f/x.
I hope they did that before signing Doumit and extending him.
All of the new game data available in the last several years will lead to new understanding of the impact of defense on winning baseball games. My hope is that the Twins are not behind the curve.
12-02-2012, 04:49 PM #37
Interesting. This from the first BP article is encouraging:
Doumit dropped his head on 11 of the 12 pitches I reviewed on video. On the one pitch where he did not do that, he got a strike call. Molina dropped his head to follow the ball into the glove on two of the 10 pitches I reviewed on video, and both of those pitches were called balls.
Lucroy’s head was stable on all seven pitches I reviewed, and he got seven strike calls. Varitek’s head was stable on all six pitches I reviewed, all called balls, but his exaggerated glove movement may have cost him those strike calls.
12-02-2012, 05:08 PM #38
The overarching point has merit; the interpretation of that particular data does not. There is simply no way that a good catcher is worth 20% (or, in the case of the Rays, considerably more than 20%) of a team's allowed runs. To even the most casual observer, the metric is horribly flawed... Even the creator of said metric says that it is basically useless at this point.
It's not as if the Twins are extraordinarily high on Doumit. Ryan has said that he hopes to see Mauer behind the plate more often in 2013. That doesn't devalue Doumit in any way. He's a poor catcher; nearly everyone admits that. But the point of a backup catcher is not to catch 50 or 60 or 70 games and that's where Doumit shines. He's a backup catcher who should be catching 40 times a year at most so the amount of damage he can do behind the dish is limited. But by having a backup catcher that can OPS at .800, you also have a guy that can pinch hit, play DH, and occasionally even man the outfield (though poorly). The flexibility he offers from a position that is usually a blackhole is outstanding.
And nearly every team in MLB, especially AL teams, would love that kind of flexibility.
12-02-2012, 05:13 PM #39
Brock, what if it is 10 runs a year? Or 20, instead of 50?
And Seth doesn't believe it because he "knows" Butera is good on defense, even though there is zero statistical evidence to back that up. None. His catcher ERA is high, his framing rate is low, what does he actually do well?
People used to "know" the earth was flat, and that the sun revolved around the earth too....until we started using science and numbers to figure things out. Were those early attempts precise? No. Did they lead us to the truth, yes, yes they did.
12-02-2012, 05:26 PM #40
As opposed to this metric, which even the creator says is terribly flawed and should not be used as an evaluative tool.
71 runs in half a season. Over a 162 game season, we're talking about a catcher that frames pitches being worth ~145 runs. The Tampa Bay Rays allowed 577 runs in 2012. Once you factor in defense, what's a pitcher worth at that point? 60%? 50%? Lower? There's no way you can tell me with a straight face that the guy who actually stands on the mound and throws the ball is worth somewhere around half of a team's runs. If that was the case, pitchers wouldn't be the most in-demand object of lust in baseball.
Again, the idea behind this metric is legitimate. But its actual implementation is completely absurd.
PS. I hate Drew Butera. I never wanted him on the roster and think he's a complete waste as a baseball player. I don't care what the stats say about him either way.