A Pitching Fix

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from NUSoxFan. Show NUSoxFan's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix : The Sox are 5-7 this year with Salty and 3-3 with Shoppach. Last year we were 47-49 with Salty and 43-23 with others. More HRs!  Whoopdidoo! 
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    I think the point of the HRs stat is telling to how small our current sample size is. Right now, Shoppach has 0 home runs and therefore Salty is producing an infinitely better ratio in that regard. There is literally no way that will continue through an entire season barring injury.

    Similarly, I'd expect the pitching lines with both catchers to even out with an even set of data. It's still in my opinion that pitchers pitch games, not catchers. The fact that we are having this argument about catchers ability to call games, is probably more a telling sign about our pitching staff. Do you really think we would have this conversation about catchers if Roy Halladay or King Felix was in our rotation?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I think the point of the HRs stat is telling to how small our current sample size is. Right now, Shoppach has 0 home runs and therefore Salty is producing aninfinitely better ratio in that regard. There is literally no way that will continue through an entire season barring injury.

    Similarly, I'd expect the pitching lines with both catchers to even out with an even set of data. It's still in my opinion that pitchers pitch games, not catchers. The fact that we are having this argument about catchers ability to call games, is probably more a telling sign about our pitching staff. Do you really think we would have this conversation about catchers if Roy Halladay or King Felix was in our rotation?

    Yes, I do. The fact that Beckett and Lester both did much better with VTek than Salty was discussed last year and before as well.

    This trend has continued unabated for about 10 years. VTek got better results from each individual pitcher than his back-up (of than the starter once he became the back-up). It's not a fluke. Sure, every year about 20-30% of the pitchers do better with the "other catcher", but even then it was mostly a close race. Year in and year out, VTek did better with about 70-75% of the pitchers that both catchers caught a significant amount of time. harness did a lot of research that showed this was true on many other teams as well. One catcher consistently got better results from the pitchers than the other on the same team. 

    Just because a pitcher will shake off signs, and ultimately has the final say in what is throw and where, doesn't mean he always chooses what to pitch every pitch. A guy like VTek did his homework. He knew how to keep certain hitters "off stride". Maybe someday Salty will master that part of his game, but right now, I think he is sorely lacking in that area. The numbers continue to bear that out. 

    3 years ago, I challeneged anyone to a bet that VTek would get better results than VMart in the 2010 season. Many said it was a total coin-toss, so I offered 3:1 odds. There were no takers. Last winter I offered 5:1 odds in a VTek-Salty match up. Again, no takers. This year I offered 3:1 odds on Shopp vs Salty. I think one person vaguely said he'd take me on. If it is really a krapshoot, why have the results always turned out the same way?

    There is usually 1 or 2 pitchers who seem to do a bit better with the "other guy", but the vast najority continually do better with one particular catcher. Taking it a step farther, often times the catcher that does better with the staff is also the worse hitter, and yet the winning percentage is higher with the weaker hitter/better game-caller than with the better hitter/weaker game-caller catcher. The same was true with Mathis over Napoli, Fill-in-the-blank vs Posada, and many others besides just VTek and his teammate.

    Maybe it is a fluke that our staff has gotten worse and worse as VTek caught less and less, but the individual pitching comparative data says otherwise. The pitchers continued to do well when VTek caught them, but got much worse with VMart and now Salty. I don't think Shoppach is as good as VTek in thsi area, so maybe Salty and Shopp will "even out" a bit more as the season progresses, but I seriously dount it will ever get to even with a majority of the pitchers both catcher catch a significant amount of time.

    See you in October with the final numbers.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    [QUOTE]There will always be single game sample sizes that make someone look good or bad behind the plate. Salty's overall picture has not been any better this year than April of last year. That doesn't mean he can't still improve, but I'm not sure we can rist the patience needed to find out. We gave up on Kotarras much quicker than Salty. Perhaps more than just Theo saw something in Salty, I missed.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    I disagree. I think that a single-game sample of pitch-calling is significant, especially if one is watching closely pitch-by-pitch, inning by inning, through the order more than once. It's not the same as, say, a .210 hitter going 4 for 5. Salty had that White Sox lineup dead to rights. Or he was just lucky.
    He looks better to me behind the plate than he did at this time last year. He's quicker and more certain with his right leg on blocked balls. His glove looks a little quicker to me.
    If you aren't willing to risk the patience, what would you do? Send Salty to AAA? Try to get something for him? And what might that be? If other teams don't think he's any better than you do, what would they give for him? If they planned to use him as backup, what would they give to obtain a backup? Do you really think that Salty is so bad that you'd be willing to take almost anyone for him? You'll say package him with X or Y. But, still, why would another team want him at all? Unless its scouts have a higher estimation of him than you do.
    Would you jettison Salty one way or another now, and give the job to Lavarnway? He's raw at the job. What makes you think that he'd learn all those things you listed as catching requirements any faster than Salty? Please don't say a Yale degree.
    I don't know any more than you how the Salty situation will play out. For the moment, I opt for patience. 
    Shopp has looked godawful more than once behind the plate this year.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I disagree. I think that a single-game sample of pitch-calling is significant, especially if one is watching closely pitch-by-pitch, inning by inning, through the order more than once. It's not the same as, say, a .210 hitter going 4 for 5. Salty had that White Sox lineup dead to rights. Or he was just lucky.

    I have watched every pitch of every game this year and nearly every one last year. I thought I was seeing some improvement into the summer last year, but then he seemed to get worse. A lot worse, and I'm not counting the Wake games.

    The plate-blocking aspect of Salty's game is just a small part of the total package. He may be improving in that one area, but there are several more I seriously doubt he can improve enough to offset his better-than-average catcher offense. I hope I am dead wrong.

    He looks better to me behind the plate than he did at this time last year. He's quicker and more certain with his right leg on blocked balls. His glove looks a little quicker to me.

    I'll go along with this analysis, but he looked pretty bad in a couple of early games this year.

    If you aren't willing to risk the patience, what would you do? Send Salty to AAA? Try to get something for him? And what might that be? If other teams don't think he's any better than you do, what would they give for him? 

    Actually, I was for trading him this past winter, because I thought his stock was higher than when we got him, and I thought there might be a team or two's GM who were blinded by Salty's catcher OPS and nice arm. Enough to overpay for him. However, the main reason was that I felt Lava can not be any worse than Salty on game-calling and CERA related issues, and that he is probably a better offensive catcher than Salty.

    What could we get for him? I don't know. I wouldn't just trade him for nothing. I had mentioned him being part of a deal to get Gavin Floyd, but I have no idea if the White Sox want a catcher, want salty, or would make a deal with us.

    I wasn't high on the Shoppach signing, but I do think he's better than Salty at getting more out of the staff. Since Lava hits lefties much better than righties, he doesn't match up as well with Lava as he does with Salty.

    If they planned to use him as backup, what would they give to obtain a backup? Do you really think that Salty is so bad that you'd be willing to take almost anyone for him? You'll say package him with X or Y. But, still, why would another team want him at all? Unless its scouts have a higher estimation of him than you do.

    I tend to think GMs have varying ideas of a player's wothiness. Like I said, I wouldn't just give him away, but I know many teams had horrible offensive production from their catchers last year. Salty is young, and for many reasons stated here already, I think someone would want him more than I do, yes.

    Would you jettison Salty one way or another now, and give the job to Lavarnway? He's raw at the job. What makes you think that he'd learn all those things you listed as catching requirements any faster than Salty? 

    I don't think he will. What I do think is that he can't do much worse in all the areas I mentioned. I'd much prefer to have a known great game-calling catcher than Lava or Salty, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. I'm not happy with Shoppach as adefensive catcher and game-caller either, but he has a decent history in this area. 

    Please don't say a Yale degree.

    I have never and will never use the Yale argument in defense of Lava.

    I don't know any more than you how the Salty situation will play out. For the moment, I opt for patience. 

    I don't think we have much of a choice. patience with Salty or patience with Lava, but I'll stick to my projection. At the end of this season, look at each of our pitchers one-by-one, throw out any pitcher who was not caught by both catchers more than 20-25 innings, and then compare ERA and OPS against with Shoppach and with Salty, and I'll give 3:1 odds the majority of pitchers did better with Shoppach than Salty. 

    I also would bet we win more games as a percent with Shoppach than Salty, unless BV starts going with a personal caddy method of platoon and one gets Beckett and Lester much more than the other.
     
    Shopp has looked godawful more than once behind the plate this year.

    He has looked even worse than I expected, but game-calling and bonding with the staff is more important than passed balls and CS% in my opinion.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Well, tonight's game sure nailed the lid shut on Salty's coffin. He was so bad Bobby had to use three relievers. First tme in this series the Sox were outhit. Ben needs to dump Salty before they get back to the Fens or he will get booed off the field. One thing's for sure--Lester is going to demand Shoppach catch him from here on out. I did like the White Sox catcher, however. He held the Sox to four little hits. Peavy had nothing to do with it. Great catching. But I wonder who the heck caught those first two games when our guys scored 20 runs. I mean that's some of the worst catching I've seen this year.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    [QUOTE]I disagree. I think that a single-game sample of  pitch-calling  is significant, especially if one is watching closely pitch-by-pitch, inning by inning, through the order more than once. It's not the same as, say, a .210 hitter going 4 for 5. Salty had that White Sox lineup dead to rights. Or he was just lucky. I have watched every pitch of every game this year and nearly every one last year. I thought I was seeing some improvement into the summer last year, but then he seemed to get worse. A lot worse, and I'm not counting the Wake games. The plate-blocking aspect of Salty's game is just a small part of the total package. He may be improving in that one area, but there are several more I seriously doubt he can improve enough to offset his better-than-average catcher offense. I hope I am dead wrong. He looks better to me behind the plate than he did at this time last year. He's quicker and more certain with his right leg on blocked balls. His glove looks a little quicker to me. I'll go along with this analysis, but he looked pretty bad in a couple of early games this year. If you aren't willing to risk the patience, what would you do? Send Salty to AAA? Try to get something for him? And what might that be? If other teams don't think he's any better than you do, what would they give for him?  Actually, I was for trading him this past winter, because I thought his stock was higher than when we got him, and I thought there might be a team or two's GM who were blinded by Salty's catcher OPS and nice arm. Enough to overpay for him. However, the main reason was that I felt Lava can not be any worse than Salty on game-calling and CERA related issues, and that he is probably a better offensive catcher than Salty. What could we get for him? I don't know. I wouldn't just trade him for nothing. I had mentioned him being part of a deal to get Gavin Floyd, but I have no idea if the White Sox want a catcher, want salty, or would make a deal with us. I wasn't high on the Shoppach signing, but I do think he's better than Salty at getting more out of the staff. Since Lava hits lefties much better than righties, he doesn't match up as well with Lava as he does with Salty. If they planned to use him as backup, what would they give to obtain a backup? Do you really think that Salty is so bad that you'd be willing to take almost anyone for him? You'll say package him with X or Y. But, still, why would another team want him at all? Unless its scouts have a higher estimation of him than you do. I tend to think GMs have varying ideas of a player's wothiness. Like I said, I wouldn't just give him away, but I know many teams had horrible offensive production from their catchers last year. Salty is young, and for many reasons stated here already, I think someone would want him more than I do, yes. Would you jettison Salty one way or another now, and give the job to Lavarnway? He's raw at the job. What makes you think that he'd learn all those things you listed as catching requirements any faster than Salty?  I don't think he will. What I do think is that he can't do much worse in all the areas I mentioned. I'd much prefer to have a known great game-calling catcher than Lava or Salty, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. I'm not happy with Shoppach as adefensive catcher and game-caller either, but he has a decent history in this area.  Please don't say a Yale degree. I have never and will never use the Yale argument in defense of Lava. I don't know any more than you how the Salty situation will play out. For the moment, I opt for patience.  I don't think we have much of a choice. patience with Salty or patience with Lava, but I'll stick to my projection. At the end of this season, look at each of our pitchers one-by-one, throw out any pitcher who was not caught by both catchers more than 20-25 innings, and then compare ERA and OPS against with Shoppach and with Salty, and I'll give 3:1 odds the majority of pitchers did better with Shoppach than Salty.  I also would bet we win more games as a percent with Shoppach than Salty, unless BV starts going with a personal caddy method of platoon and one gets Beckett and Lester much more than the other.   Shopp has looked godawful more than once behind the plate this year. He has looked even worse than I expected, but game-calling and bonding with the staff is more important than passed balls and CS% in my opinion.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    I was kidding about Yale.
    How do you know who's bonding and not bonding with the staff? That sounds awfully touchy-feely to me. But Doubront gave Salty a big hug in the dugout the other night. I take that to mean, "Nice calls, partner." Probably not, "What are you doing after the game?" What do you guess Lester had to say to Salty tonight?
    The odds are against a trade involving Salty, for the issues that I raised.
    I don't do bets on baseball, certainly not on the basis of raw numbers. That's your territory, anyway. I played and coached this game long enough to know about its wayward ways.
    How did you like Salty tonight? The change-up he called on the last pitch was exactly what the doctor ordered.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I like what I saw, and like I said, I hope I am proven totally wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

    I really hesitate to make definitive judgements based on 1 game, 2 games, a week of games or even a month. 

    I know Salty is not going to be traded. If anyone goes, it's Shoppach (for Lava). 

    As for betting. I haven't bet for over 20 years, but I offered the CERA odds the last few years to see how much those who discount CERA were willing to back their convictions. None did, but I realize that doesn't mean they backed down from their beliefs. They may just not be bettors.

    I don't know if Shoppach is "bonding" better with our staff than Salty, but I'll follow the trends and stick to my projection that our staff will do better with Shopp than Salty, not so much because I think Shopp has a great history, but rather that he has been decent and Salty has been horrible. I realize Salty is just the age that VTek started coming of age, so I am holding out hope he can grow and grow.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    [QUOTE]I like what I saw, and like I said, I hope I am proven totally wrong. It wouldn't be the first time. I really hesitate to make definitive judgements based on 1 game, 2 games, a week of games or even a month.  I know Salty is not going to be traded. If anyone goes, it's Shoppach (for Lava).  As for betting. I haven't bet for over 20 years, but I offered the CERA odds the last few years to see how much those who discount CERA were willing to back their convictions. None did, but I realize that doesn't mean they backed down from their beliefs. They may just not be bettors. I don't know if Shoppach is "bonding" better with our staff than Salty, but I'll follow the trends and stick to my projection that our staff will do better with Shopp than Salty, not so much because I think Shopp has a great history, but rather that he has been decent and Salty has been horrible. I realize Salty is just the age that VTek started coming of age, so I am holding out hope he can grow and grow.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    "Horrible"?  Not a wee bit over the top.
    Not willing to judge by a few games? But you said in another post that Salty has already had a couple of bad games this year, and apparently that confirmed your impression that he hasn't improved since last April. With tutoring from Tek and Buck, that's a long way to go without any improvement. What would it say about the young man? That he's thick? That he's obstinate? That he's hopelessly unskilled? 
    I'm praising what I see based on how I was trained to size up batters and pitch to them, or to try to teach other pitchers how to do it -- always in collaboration with a catcher. A lot depends on what you look for. If pitchers pay attention to good catchers, check scouting reports themselves, and are good boys, they are much better off. But then there are those days when you feel just fine, have St. Christopher on the mound with you -- and still have a bumpy ride.
    Look, I'd rather not have this exchange drawn out. It can't go anywhere profitable at the moment. But fair is fair. Salty has caught ( no pun intended ) so much heat that I thought he should get praise when praise is due. As I see it, of course.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from parhunter55. Show parhunter55's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Holy CERA, Batman!  Salty caught a shutout tonight.  What does that do to the numbers, vis-a-vis Shoppach (hence to problem with small sample sizes and the rush to judgement in the early going of any season--of which I am just as guilty as the next)?
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from charliedarling. Show charliedarling's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I don't think that it really matters if it takes a shake off or two.  In the end, the pitcher is going to throw the pitch he wants to throw.

    If the pitcher is locating his pitches and not serving up balls down the middle, he is going to throw a decent game on most nights no matter who makes the first signal.

    I remember Varitek getting shaken off in the past just like every catcher.  There does seem to be fewer shake offs when a manager (Angels) calls pitches though.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Funny that harv53 has disappeared from his own thread after last nights gem. It would be surprising if Teks CERA weren't legit given his long career, rep, studiousness, etc. Let's just agree he was a cut above. This does not make Saltalamacchia a disaster at catcher as moonslav and Harv 53 would have us all believe with their talk of dumping him, making Shoppach the primary, having Bobby V call the pitches--a really insane idea--etc. It just means he needs to get better at a very difficult to master position.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    "Horrible"?  Not a wee bit over the top.
    Not willing to judge by a few games? But you said in another post that Salty has already had a couple of bad games this year, and apparently that confirmed your impression that he hasn't improved since last April. 

    No. I said I saw brief improvement last year and then a steep decline, so I am counting about half of 2011 and the first few games of this year to say I haven't seen improvement from last April. Yes, even that sample size is a bit too small to judge definitively, but I haven't seen an upward trend since Slaty seemed to improve from last April to last June or July.

    Yes, he has been "horrible" with the staff since last July. He also "horrible last April, so improving on "horrible" can still be pretty bad.

    I am not blaming all of our staff's woes on Salty, but I feel strongly he was part of the problem. As you know, the rest of our defense has been pretty poor as well, and that deserves some of the blame as well. Here's a look at the runs scored in Salty games  and ctachers not named Salty against us since July 14th of 2011:
    Salty  Other Catcher
    9
          5
          0
    10
          0
        10
          6
    4
          1
    8
    3
          9
    5
          4
    3
    2
          3
    9
          5
          4
          3
    2
    3
          9
          2
    3
          7
          3
    4
          2
    6
          3
    5
    4
    5
           5
    1
           6
    4
           3
    1
    9
           1
    4
    5
           2
    0
    15
           3
    0
    5
           5
    4
          10
    7
    11
           1
    0
    11
    7
           7
    6
    6
    9
           6
           5
           9
           3
    4
    8
    6
           9
    7
           6
    9
    6
    4
    6
          7
          4

    2012
    3
    10
    13
    2
          3
    7
          3
          2
    5
          4
    1
    18
    6
    6
    15
    5
          2
    6
          3
    3
    0

    I realize the sample set is small, but Salty's record before coming here was not great, in terms of having pitchers do better with him than the other team catcher(s).

    If you take an even smaller sample size from August 26th to today, the opposing team has scored 228 runs in Salty's last 36 games (6.33 runs per game).

    Other catchers in that same stretch:
    86 runs in 16  (5.37 runs per game)

    The staff did poorly with whoever they were caught by since last August 26th, but the full run differential is significant and not a sign that Salty has been improving in this area. 

    Yes, his last 2 games are encouraging (1.5 runs allowed per game), but I tend to trust the larger sampel sizes more than 1 or 3 game views. 

    BTW, his last 5 games: 29 runs in 5 games: 5.8 runs per game.

    I know these are small sample sizes, and he might be turning things around, but has just had some bad luck or bad circumstances recently. I'm willing to give him a longer look, but my expectations are not great in his CERA-related areas. I hope I am pleasantly surprised.  

     


    With tutoring from Tek and Buck, that's a long way to go without any improvement. What would it say about the young man? That he's thick? That he's obstinate? That he's hopelessly unskilled? 
    I'm praising what I see based on how I was trained to size up batters and pitch to them, or to try to teach other pitchers how to do it -- always in collaboration with a catcher. A lot depends on what you look for. If pitchers pay attention to good catchers, check scouting reports themselves, and are good boys, they are much better off. But then there are those days when you feel just fine, have St. Christopher on the mound with you -- and still have a bumpy ride.
    Look, I'd rather not have this exchange drawn out. It can't go anywhere profitable at the moment. But fair is fair. Salty has caught ( no pun intended ) so much heat that I thought he should get praise when praise is due. As I see it, of course.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    [QUOTE]Holy CERA, Batman!  Salty caught a shutout tonight.  What does that do to the numbers, vis-a-vis Shoppach (hence to problem with small sample sizes and the rush to judgement in the early going of any season--of which I am just as guilty as the next)?
    Posted by parhunter55[/QUOTE]

    It helped a little, but...

    After 20 games:

    Shopp  4.14  .665 OPS against
    Salty    6.34  .880 OPS against 


    2011:

    VTek  3.57   .662
    Salty 4.62   .746




     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    To me the worst caught game this season was game three at Detroit when the Sox lost after giving up a 3 run lead in the 9th, and the catcher was Shoppach.  As I recall, that was Aceves first attempt at a save, and he gave up the 3 runs in the 9th.  Last night Aceves threw a clean 9th to get the save, mostly with fastballs, but with a changeup for the K at the end. 

    And the two best caught games, both with Salty behind the plate, were the 1-0 loss to the Rays and the 1-0 win yesterday.  The first was Bard's best start and the second was Lester's. 

    The Sox are right now on a six game winning streak during which the pitching has been at its best all season for a six game stretch.  Salty has caught for of those six games. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I don't think that it really matters if it takes a shake off or two.  In the end, the pitcher is going to throw the pitch he wants to throw.

    You are missing a major point. Just because a pitcher might go along with a pitch called  by a catcher, it doesn't mean he would have called that pitch himself if left to his own devices.

    Pitchers often pitch the pitch and to the location that the catcher calls.  I would guess that they might not even think about it too much, unless the really disagree and think they can get the hitter out with a different pitch. Even if the catcher only actually calls 20% of what is thrown, that can make a large difference in the outcome: good or bad.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    [QUOTE]"Horrible"?  Not a wee bit over the top. Not willing to judge by a few games? But you said in another post that Salty has already had a couple of bad games this year, and apparently that confirmed your impression that he hasn't improved since last April.  No. I said I saw brief improvement last year and then a steep decline, so I am counting about half of 2011 and the first few games of this year to say I haven't seen improvement from last April. Yes, even that sample size is a bit too small to judge definitively, but I haven't seen an upward trend since Slaty seemed to improve from last April to last June or July. Yes, he has been "horrible" with the staff since last July. He also "horrible last April, so improving on "horrible" can still be pretty bad. I am not blaming all of our staff's woes on Salty, but I feel strongly he was part of the problem. As you know, the rest of our defense has been pretty poor as well, and that deserves some of the blame as well. Here's a look at the runs scored in Salty games  and ctachers not named Salty against us since July 14th of 2011: Salty  Other Catcher 9       5       0 10 6        0     10       6 4       1 8 3       9 5       4 3 2       3 9       5       4       3 2 3       9       2 3       7       3 4       2 6       3 5 4 5        5 1        6 4        3 1 9        1 4 5        2 0 15        3 0 5        5 4       10 7 11        1 0 11 7        7 6 6 9        6        5        9        3 4 8 6        9 7        6 9 6 4 6       7       4 2012 3 10 13 2       3 7       3       2 5       4 1 18 6 6 15 5       2 6       3 3 0 I realize the sample set is small, but Salty's record before coming here was not great, in terms of having pitchers do better with him than the other team catcher(s). If you take an even smaller sample size from August 26th to today, the opposing team has scored 228 runs in Salty's last 36 games (6.33 runs per game). Other catchers in that same stretch: 86 runs in 16  (5.37 runs per game) The staff did poorly with whoever they were caught by since last August 26th, but the full run differential is significant and not a sign that Salty has been improving in this area.  Yes, his last 2 games are encouraging (1.5 runs allowed per game), but I tend to trust the larger sampel sizes more than 1 or 3 game views.  BTW, his last 5 games: 29 runs in 5 games: 5.8 runs per game. I know these are small sample sizes, and he might be turning things around, but has just had some bad luck or bad circumstances recently. I'm willing to give him a longer look, but my expectations are not great in his CERA-related areas. I hope I am pleasantly surprised.     With tutoring from Tek and Buck, that's a long way to go without any improvement. What would it say about the young man? That he's thick? That he's obstinate? That he's hopelessly unskilled?  I'm praising what I see based on how I was trained to size up batters and pitch to them, or to try to teach other pitchers how to do it -- always in collaboration with a catcher. A lot depends on what you look for. If pitchers pay attention to good catchers, check scouting reports themselves, and are good boys, they are much better off. But then there are those days when you feel just fine, have St. Christopher on the mound with you -- and still have a bumpy ride. Look, I'd rather not have this exchange drawn out. It can't go anywhere profitable at the moment. But fair is fair. Salty has caught ( no pun intended ) so much heat that I thought he should get praise when praise is due. As I see it, of course.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE
    Raw numbers aside, it's hard to believe that Salty was "horrible" at pitch-calling for such a sustained stretch, and then suddenly call two brilliant games in a row. An overnight epiphany? 
    Two games of pitch-calling is not a small sample. It's not like AB's. It involves hundreds of individual decisions, each one part of a larger pattern intended to retire batters. IMO, it can't be done much better than Salty did with Doubront, Tazawa, Lester, Morales, Padilla, and Aceves.  



     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    It would be surprising if Teks CERA weren't legit given his long career, rep, studiousness, etc. Let's just agree he was a cut above. This does not make Saltalamacchia a disaster at catcher as moonslav and Harv 53 would have us all believe with their talk of dumping him, making Shoppach the primary, having Bobby V call the pitches--a really insane idea--etc. It just means he needs to get better at a very difficult to master position.

    Forget the comparison to VTek, are you saying an ERA of about 5 from 2011 to 2012 with Salty is not "horrible"?

    BTW...

    I have never argued making Shoppach the "primary catcher"...NEVER!

    I have never said BV should call the pitches from the bench....NEVER!

    I never argued that VTek should be the primary catcher in 2011. I knew he couldn't handle catching 110+ games.

    I have always been for trying to get a catcher who handles the staff better than average. I realize it is not easy to find one and get one.

    I would have rather had VTek back than signing Shoppach, but with Salty as the primary catcher, I was OK with Shoppach as long as BV used him primarily vs LHPs (his strong suit). That appears to be happening, and that is part of the reason our catcher OPS is over .900 now. 

    My position before ST was to try and trade Salty while his value was raised in 2011 with a pretty darn good offensive season for a catcher. I wasn't for giving him away. He still has an option left, so keeping him made some sense as well, at least until we saw how Lava looked. Lava wasn't the choice. I get that. If he was, we wouldn't have signed Shoppach or brought VTek back, we'd have got a catcher who hits righties better or who could catch 100+ games if Lava bombed. That's all in the past now, and the decision is made.

    Of course, I am hoping he will "master a difficult position", but forgive me if I am being realistic by not expecting it this season. I realize comparing him to VTek might not be fair, but Shoppach has never been known as a superb in "game-calling" and other areas associated with good CERA results. He's been decent, and so far, in a small sample size, Salty has compared unfavorably to Kelly. 20 games is a small sample size, but it is a continuation of a trend that has had  afew ups and downs, but has so far shown no growth at all, unless you go by the recent 2 game sample size. I need more than that to be convinced. 

    Sorry, but wishful thinking can only go so far.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from NUSoxFan. Show NUSoxFan's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    [QUOTE]I don't think that it really matters if it takes a shake off or two.  In the end, the pitcher is going to throw the pitch he wants to throw. You are missing a major point. Just because a pitcher might go along with a pitch called  by a catcher, it doesn't mean he would have called that pitch himself if left to his own devices. Pitchers often pitch the pitch and to the location that the catcher calls.  I would guess that they might not even think about it too much, unless the really disagree and think they can get the hitter out with a different pitch. Even if the catcher only actually calls 20% of what is thrown, that can make a large difference in the outcome: good or bad.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    I still say that these numbers can be not as telling as you'd think and heavily inflated. Who started during Beckett's home run derby implosion where he just plan was not hitting any spots? The thing with these numbers is they take into account situations completely out of a catcher's control.

    I will concede that Varitek was an excellent catcher which is why we kept him on for so long - and probably does explain his different CERA than backups, because he was consistently above them for a sample size of 10 years.

    I am not willing to give the same credit to Shoppach (or discredit so Salty). I like the play out of Salty, outside of the beginning of 2011 I have never really seen him as unable to play defensively as some here insist, and I certainly do not believe he mishandles pitching staffs so badly that Shoppach will "command the team to a better record".

    If Shoppach has a better record starting than Salty, I'd more attribute it to Valentine playing him in matchups tailored to his ability undervaluing the offensive difference. If this was Varitek, I'd be willing to consider his CERA, because it would be backed with a career sample size.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Raw numbers aside, it's hard to believe that Salty was "horrible" at pitch-calling for such a sustained stretch, and then suddenly call two brilliant games in a row. An overnight epiphany? 
    Two games of pitch-calling is not a small sample. It's not like AB's. It involves hundreds of individual decisions, each one part of a larger pattern intended to retire batters. IMO, it can't be done much better than Salty did with Doubront, Tazawa, Lester, Morales, Padilla, and Aceves.  

    Ex, CERA is not an exact science, and there are games, good and bad, where no catcher would have made much of a difference. The pitcher's skill is still the major factor. A catcher has influence, but I believe what harness believed. A catcher doesn't make much of a difference when a pitcher is "in a zone" or when a pitcher just doesn't have his stuff that night, but a catcher makes the most difference in those inbetween days.

    Salty has had several back-to-back good games called or good pitcher performances while he was the catcher. I hope you don't become the new softy who posted after every good game a pitcher had when Salty caught or bad game when Vtek caught then dissapeared for the majority of the games that followed the trend.

    Salty had some nice stretches last year. From late April to early May, we saw this:
    3
    0
    2
    2
    2
    A little later in May we saw this:
    0
    1
    followed by
    7
    9
    In late May we saw this
    1
    3
    2
    3
    followed by 
    7
    7
    6
    8
    Early June was perhaps his best stretch:
    1
    1
    4
    2
    4
    3
    5
    6
    2
    2
    He had a few blips but did pretty good all the way from June 10th to August 25th.
    I was encouraged by what I saw, and I'm not saying Salty can not do that again for a longer stretch. On my projection thread this spring, I mentioned that we should give him some slack, because he is just now the age VTek was when he became the FT Sox catcher, and it took Tek sometime to get it all together. Salty has had more ML experience than VTek did at this age, so maybe I am expecting too much too soon, but I just don't think this is a team that can afford to allow a catcher to learn on the go, if we want a ring this year. Salty collapsed last year starting in Mid August. He had had more rest than any MLB starting catcher at that point in the season. It wasn't just Wake games. He lost it in almost every category of catcher measurement the last 32 games of the Sox 2011 season. The first 20 games this year have shown some improvements in blocking the plate, but sadly not in CERA-related data. 

    I hadn't meant to mention CERA until after 40 games, because the sample sizes are too small, but making judgements on 2 game sample sizes is not my idea of data worthy of projecting where Salty goes from here. I hope this is the beginning of a long stretch of success. He did have a nice run last year after a bad April. Maybe this year he can sustain it until November.

    Maybe his bat coming around will help his confidence in other areas as well.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I am not willing to give the same credit to Shoppach (or discredit so Salty). I like the play out of Salty, outside of the beginning of 2011 I have never really seen him as unable to play defensively as some here insist, and I certainly do not believe he mishandles pitching staffs so badly that Shoppach will "command the team to a better record".

    Did you watch all the PBs, WPs, and botched plays by Salty last September? And, I'm not talking about the Wake games, although he worsened with him too.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    If Shoppach has a better record starting than Salty, I'd more attribute it to Valentine playing him in matchups tailored to his ability undervaluing the offensive difference. If this was Varitek, I'd be willing to consider his CERA, because it would be backed with a career sample size.

    It appears that BV is not going the Tito route of using personal caddys, but instead is going by a L/R platoon, except in cases where someone has a strong history vs a particular pitcher. This should give us a better and more balanced individual pitcher sample sizes to judge by come September.

    Let's give it more time. The individual pitcher smaple sizes per catcher are mostly in single digit innings thus far.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from craze4sox. Show craze4sox's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to A Pitching Fix:
    [QUOTE]I don't know about you but I have noticed that The pitchers and catchers (Salty in particular) can't seem to get on the same page as to what pitch should be thrown. I constantly see our pitchers shaking off signs. What do you think about calling pitches from the dugout, at least until Salty feels more comfortable. Another option would be to start Shoppach over Salty and see if the CERA improves. Worth a shot to get our ERA down.
    Posted by harv53[/QUOTE]

    Lets not put all the blame on our catchers.  Thats as bad as giving Tek credit for calling the correct pitches.  Our pitchers have been around long enough to know what location and pitches to throw to most hitters.  I said this all last season and stick by it, if guys like Halladay, Verlander and Lee can win using all different battery mates there is nothing to blame but our talent, or lack of on the staff.

    Bard and Doub I can understand being new starters, even Melencon coming from the NL but very few others.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I said this all last season and stick by it, if guys like Halladay, Verlander and Lee can win using all different battery mates there is nothing to blame but our talent, or lack of on the staff.

    So, if 98% of MLB pitchers rely more on their catcher than the top pitchers, tough luck?

    With marginal pitchers, doesn't it make more sense to try and get a catcher than can help them pitch better than to try and get 12 Hallidays?

    (Not that I haven't wanted us to improve our staff year in and year out: that has been my mantra for as long as i can recall.)
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from NUSoxFan. Show NUSoxFan's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    [QUOTE]I am not willing to give the same credit to Shoppach (or discredit so Salty). I like the play out of Salty, outside of the beginning of 2011 I have never really seen him as unable to play defensively as some here insist, and I certainly do not believe he mishandles pitching staffs so badly that Shoppach will "command the team to a better record". Did you watch all the PBs, WPs, and botched plays by Salty last September? And, I'm not talking about the Wake games, although he worsened with him too.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    I took that as two things, 1, Salty playing a full season for the first time, pretty much ever. And 2, everything went so horribly in September there wasn't a single player (maybe outside Pedey and Ells) doing they're job. Based on last September we may as well scrap the entire team.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    moonslav, you know a lot, but you also insist on being comnpletely right when it's one of your pet theories.  Thus, when harv53 started this thread, which was really a catching fix, you quickly jumped on board and agreed that the biggest and most fixable problem for this pitching staff is one of the catchers, Saltalamacchia.  . 

    We are now watching our second straight game which suggests your theory might be less than perfect. 

    We know for sure Doubront thinks Salty's OK.  We also know that the two best pitched games this season by Sox starters, a 1-0 loss (Bard was the starter) to good hitting Tampa in hitter friending Fenway, and last nights 1-0 win against Chicago, were both caught by Salty.  Last night Salty caught not only Lester, but Morales, Padilla, and Aceves to help get that shut out. 

    Of even more interest, today we watched Beckett shake off Shoppach--you know the good catcher with solid rapport with the pitching staff, terrific knowledge of the hitters, etc--repeatedly in the first inning because Tek taught Beckett to always throw heat in the first inning, which he did and which resulted in a 3-0 Chicago lead.  I think it's possible Bobby V finally told Beckett after the inning was over that maybe he needed to be less stubborn and less stupid. 

    Now I am going to advance a really radical theory.  The pitchers have much more to do with the outcome of a game than the catcher.  Pitchers get traded all the time, but even the most expensive ones don't say, "I need my catcher to come with me because he makes a heckuva difference in how well I pitch." 

     
Sections
Shortcuts

Share