A Pitching Fix

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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Of course the pitcher has more to do with the outcome than the catcher.  If a pitcher has a 3.50 ERA with Catcher #1 and a 4.25 ERA with Catcher #2, a CERA proponent is not suggesting that Catcher #2 is responsible for 4.25 earned runs per game.  He's suggesting that he might be responsible for .75 runs per game.  
     
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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Salty could be improving, hopefully he is.  He's a hard worker, from all reports. 
     
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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    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
    I would never have guessed that. Nice stat.
     
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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    Of course the pitcher has more to do with the outcome than the catcher.  If a pitcher has a 3.50 ERA with Catcher #1 and a 4.25 ERA with Catcher #2, a CERA proponent is not suggesting that Catcher #2 is responsible for 4.25 earned runs per game.  He's suggesting that he might be responsible for .75 runs per game.  
    Posted by Hfxsoxnut
    Or none.

     
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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to 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 3  A little later in May we saw this: 0 1 followed by 7 9 In late May we saw this 1 3 2 3 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.
    Posted by moonslav59
    Que, CERA, CERA
    Not only is it not exact science, but, IMO, is a seriously flawed stat that you have used too much to be too hard on Salty. I went round and round with you or harness, or both, last year, and prefer now to leave it at that.
    Earlier this season Sox pitchers must have thought Salty was calling for cookies, because they were grooving the ball regularly. Funny how they now seem to be throwing what he is calling. 
    And I still maintain that several hundred well called pitches, even if only in a few games, falls outside the conventional definition of sample size, as in a .200 hitter having two three-hit games in a row. That many well called pitches strongly suggest that the catcher is onto something and, who knows, might even have been onto something before brilliant pitching called special attention to how the catcher handled the calls. 
    I agree with Max.
    Are you really blaming Salty for Boston's rotten pitching earlier in the year? If so, what explains the sudden transformation?

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from marstan. Show marstan's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    GUYS ....YOU GOTTA GET A GRIP WITH THE LOVEFEST
    RE: SALTY AND SHOPPACH. REALITY...THEY BOTH STINK
    TO HIGH HEAVEN. WAIT TILL THE SEASON MOVES ALONG
    AND YOU WILL SEE THE OPPOSING SCOUTS PITCH SALTY
    OUT AND AWAY. HE JUST CANNOT HIT HEAT BECAUSE OF
    HIS LONG SWING. I WOULDN'T GET TOO EXCITED OVER
    HIM. RE: SHOPPACH...HE IS AN OFFENSIVE DISASTER.
    THE RAYS DISCARDED HIM. IF HE WOULD HAVE BEEN
    WORTH KEEPING, THEY WOULDA KEPT HIM . JOE MADDON
    IS NO FOOL. HE KNEW SHOPPACH WAS A WASHED UP
    JOURNEYMAN, SO THEY MOVED HIM TO THE SOX GARBAGE
    HEAP. WITH THESE TWO GUYS, WE FINISH 4TH, IF WE'RE
    LUCKY. P.S. I WISH WE COULD SEND YOUK BYE-BYE. GOOD
    RIDDANCE TO HIM.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I took that as two things, 1
    , Salty playing a full season for the first time, pretty much ever.

    True, and that is why I have said he still has time to grow. My point is, when VTek was "growing" we weren't a strong contender with him holding us back, and Salty had over 200 ML games as a catcher under his belt before 2011. That's more than Vtek had. He had plenty of rest spread out over the season, and still did not improve in my eyes, in fatc, it appeared he got worse from Mid August to 2 games ago. 

     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.

    I have never blamed September on any one person, and certainly not Salty. It was a team loss. We had tons of injuries to key players. We over-achieved for a while, and it finally caught up to us.

    I haven't given up on Salty. I'm just saying I do not think we can count on him to get it all together in a few short months this season and help our staff enough to make us a contender. It's my opinion, and I have never pretended to think I know everything.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59'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.  .  

    I have never come close to saying or implying I am "completely right", in fact, I have gone out of my way to say I could be wrong. Also, this debate has gone on long before this thread, and much research and anecdoatl evidence has been presented on both sides of the aisle. 

    I have never said that Salty is the "biggest and most fixable problem for this pitching staff". All winter long I was saying we needed to trade for a guy like Gavin Floyd or Wandy Rodriguez to bolster our staff. Yes, I mentioned I wanted to trade Salty and give Lava the chance, but it was not even close to my central winter theme. I also argued for weeks and weeks with softy about his claiming our defensive catching was a top priority to fix this winter. I would have been fine with Ramon Hernandez, but not at that cost and not if it kept us from upgrading our staff.

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

    If you want to base your whole position on a 2 or 3 game sample size, go right ahead. I hope you guys are right. I realize I may be wrong about Salty. I know different players learn and grow at different paces and at different points in their careers. However, I tend to stick with what I see as long-term trends, until a new trend begins to develop. I'm sorry if I don't see a 3 game sample size a big sign of improvement. It could be the start of a trend, and I'll be glad to admit I was wrong if it turns out that way. Salty is at an age where there is still room for great improvement. I have said that many times.

    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.  

    I'm not going to get into one game sample sizes and a big hug between Doubie and Salty as evidence or anything. I could cite some one game sample sizes to counter you very easily (like the 18, 15, 13 and 10 run games this year), but those games alone don't prove my point either.

    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--

    Actually, shoppach does not have a great rep as a game-caller and does not have a "solid rapport" with this staff or "terrific knowledge" of hitters. I never came close to saying these things, so this is not something I understand as a point against my position.

    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, who sounds like they are a Mr. know-it-all?

    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.  

    I said the same thing hundreds of times.

    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." 

    Because that's absurd. Try listening to how many times a pitcher gives great credit to a catcher, even guys like Schill and Pedro.

    Of course the pitcher has to execute the pitch, and that is the large part of the dynamic. I have said this many times. Also, while harness was trying to give full credit to the catcher for the wide CERA differentials, I said that the 1.00 to 1.50 CERA differential was probably only 0.33 to 0.66 the catcher's responsibility and that perhaps the rest was just circumstance. If I was that sure that CERA was an absolute science, I wouldn't have made those concessions. 

    I actually find it "radical" that you and others don't think a decent catcher can get a  0.33 to 0.66 better ERA from the staff than a bad one. There is piles and piles of data to support my position on many many teams over years and years of comparative studies. Yes, I do believe in my position, or else I wouldn't be debating it, but I know that it is just a theory, and some very knowledgeable baseball minds do not feel as strongly about it as I. There are also a few that do feel like I do. I'm OK with disagreement, but I do disagree with short sample size methodology of proving any point. That's why I have said we should wait.
     
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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I think a .33 ERA, or even a .66 ERA in extreme cases (V-tek for example), isn't out of the realm of possibility. But quoting Salty's sub .500 record as if it was his record to me is completely absurd.
     
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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I'm a CERA believer.

     
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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Moonslav, I have no problem agreeing a good defensive catcher can lop a third or two thirds of a run from a team ERA or that Tek in fact did that. CERA does make sense. But harv53's OP says basically the fix for this team's lousy ERA is to eliminate Salty, and you did not seem to disagree with that and in fact cited all you CERA evidence to support the OP. My view is that last year means nothing because Tek is no longer part of the equation and that Salty has shown positive signs. More importantly, he's the best option available right now. I thought Lavarnway looked terrific last fall, but catchers need time to develop, and Lavarnway has very little experience. I think most of the bad pitching this year is on the pitchers, and Beckett today was a perfect example. Ditto for the good games. The catcher helps, but only pitchers have command and good repertoires. I also think pitchers need to focus on execution and not on figuring out which pitch to throw. In that context maybe Sciosia is right to call pitches because his pitchers are less likely to refuse.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Que, CERA, CERA
    Not only is it not exact science, but, IMO, is a seriously flawed stat that you have used too much to be too hard on Salty. I went round and round with you or harness, or both, last year, and prefer now to leave it at that.

    Fine. I'd just as soon not say anything more until the last game of the season is over, and I can show once again that most pitchers did better with Shoppach than Salty. It might not happen, just as Aviles might have a better BA than Pedey as well, but I still think my projection is sound.

    Earlier this season Sox pitchers must have thought Salty was calling for cookies, because they were grooving the ball regularly. Funny how they now seem to be throwing what he is calling. 

    It's not funny. I'm not going to continue going over game by game sample sizes. Over a long haul, the trend will maefest itself or it won't. We'll see.

    And I still maintain that several hundred well called pitches, even if only in a few games, falls outside the conventional definition of sample size, as in a .200 hitter having two three-hit games in a row. That many well called pitches strongly suggest that the catcher is onto something and, who knows, might even have been onto something before brilliant pitching called special attention to how the catcher handled the calls. 
    I agree with Max.
    Are you really blaming Salty for Boston's rotten pitching earlier in the year? 

    I have never blamed Salty. I do think he hasn't helped. I do think a great game-calling/CERA good catcher could have gotten a little better out of our staff so far... maybe a 0.33 to 0.66 better ERA in games Salty has caught thus far. I don't think my position is that radical, in fact I think the position that a catcher makes not difference is more radical.

    If so, what explains the sudden transformation?

    Again, a 3 game sample size is a "transformation"?

    Salty's last 5 games: 15, 6, 5, 3, 0. Yes, it looks nice, but so did his trend last July, and June, and May, and... 

    Let's give it time. I'll be more than happy to admit I was wrong if the this 2 game trend continues throughout the year, and you won't ever see me using 1 or 2 games of us getting blown out in Salty games as "evidence" to support my position. I have never done it. I never will.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Moonslav, I have no problem agreeing a good defensive catcher can lop a third or two thirds of a run from a team ERA or that Tek in fact did that. CERA does make sense.

    But harv53's OP says basically the fix for this team's lousy ERA is to eliminate Salty, and you did not seem to disagree with that and in fact cited all you CERA evidence to support the OP.

    I supported replacing Salty all winter long. Long before Harv started this OP. There were a number of reasons for my position:
    1) I thought his value was higher after a nice offensive season, and that our offense could suffer some decline in order to try and boost our pitching by using Salty as one piece in a larger trade to a get quality arm.
    2) Salty will be a FA after next year, and we have some great catching prospects, so I think we should have tried to get the best we could while his stock was higher than when we got Salty.
    3) We are very close to the luxury tax threshhold. I realize Salty is not getting paid much, but we may end up going over by just a million, and that will effect future costs.
    4) I have high hope for Lava. Perhaps I am being overly optimistic, but I believed he could equal Salty's offense this year at a fraction of the cost. Any drop off from Salty to Lava would, in theory, more than be made up for by the pitcher we got in return.
    5) The CERA issue. I had hoped we picked up a veteran catcher known for for helping pitchers do well, and who could be counted on to catch FT if need be. His bat would be unimportant, but preferably, if he hit RHPs better than lefties, that would be a plus. (So, he match up with Lava.)

    I wasn't totally upset this didn't happen. I projected a nice offensive season from the Salty/Shopp lefty-righty platoon. In fact, I was ridiculed for being overly generous. Now, I am being blasted for being overly critical.

    My view is that last year means nothing because Tek is no longer part of the equation and that Salty has shown positive signs. More importantly, he's the best option available right now. I thought Lavarnway looked terrific last fall, but catchers need time to develop, and Lavarnway has very little experience. 

    I would not have expected much better from Lava in the CERA area than Salty, but I did not think he could do much worse.

    I guess I just am not on board with the "positive signs" you and others speak of. A two game sample size against weak offensive opponents is not enough for me to see a change in the continuingup and own and mostly down trend Salty has shown since April 2011 in CERA-related areas. The team has a 6.34 ERA when salty catches this year. The sample size is way too small, but I'm sorry if I don't yet see "positive signs" based on 2 games.

    I think most of the bad pitching this year is on the pitchers, and Beckett today was a perfect example. Ditto for the good games. The catcher helps, but only pitchers have command and good repertoires.

    I agree, and that's why I prefer to wait until a larger sample size is under our belt. Beckett and Lester are notorious slow starters even with VTek catching them. Let's give it time, but please, don't ask me to jump on a two game bandwagon. It's not my nature. Perhaps my most consistent theme in my my posts from day one is that I do not make definitive judgements on small sample sizes. It is the main reason I avoid the game threads. They are littered with even smaller than 1 game sample sizes judging.

    I also think pitchers need to focus on execution and not on figuring out which pitch to throw. In that context maybe Sciosia is right to call pitches because his pitchers are less likely to refuse.

    I couldn't agree more, and that is why most pitchers defer to their catcher's unless they feel very strongly about a particular situation. Pitchers have more important things to focus on than books of research. Having a catcher they trust helps a pitcher in many ways. I'm nota saying our pitchers distrust Salty. I guess I'm just arguing they may have trusted a more experienced catcher more (or Lava about the same).


     
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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    Que, CERA, CERA Not only is it not exact science, but, IMO, is a seriously flawed stat that you have used too much to be too hard on Salty. I went round and round with you or harness, or both, last year, and prefer now to leave it at that. Fine. I'd just as soon not say anything more until the last game of the season is over, and I can show once again that most pitchers did better with Shoppach than Salty. It might not happen, just as Aviles might have a better BA than Pedey as well, but I still think my projection is sound. Earlier this season Sox pitchers must have thought Salty was calling for cookies, because they were grooving the ball regularly. Funny how they now seem to be throwing what he is calling.  It's not funny. I'm not going to continue going over game by game sample sizes. Over a long haul, the trend will maefest itself or it won't. We'll see. And I still maintain that several hundred well called pitches, even if only in a few games, falls outside the conventional definition of sample size, as in a .200 hitter having two three-hit games in a row. That many well called pitches strongly suggest that the catcher is onto something and, who knows, might even have been onto something before brilliant pitching called special attention to how the catcher handled the calls.  I agree with Max. Are you really blaming Salty for Boston's rotten pitching earlier in the year?  I have never blamed Salty. I do think he hasn't helped. I do think a great game-calling/CERA good catcher could have gotten a little better out of our staff so far... maybe a 0.33 to 0.66 better ERA in games Salty has caught thus far. I don't think my position is that radical, in fact I think the position that a catcher makes not difference is more radical. If so, what explains the sudden transformation? Again, a 3 game sample size is a "transformation"? Salty's last 5 games: 15, 6, 5, 3, 0. Yes, it looks nice, but so did his trend last July, and June, and May, and...  Let's give it time. I'll be more than happy to admit I was wrong if the this 2 game trend continues throughout the year, and you won't ever see me using 1 or 2 games of us getting blown out in Salty games as "evidence" to support my position. I have never done it. I never will.
    Posted by moonslav59
    Anything better than "horrible" is an improvement. Anything much better than horrible is tantamount to a transformation. You set the baseline as "horrible."
    From that to brilliant is transformative, even if only in a few games. ( "I've already said my "sample size" in these matters, unlike with BA and the like, differs from yours. And I've explained why. ) You were in no hurry to note how much better -- if that really was the case -- until others commented upon how well Salty was calling games. One would think that someone who follows the games as closely as you -- pitch by pitch, as you say -- especially someone who's called the young man "horrible," might at last observe that Salty is doing better, at least better than "horrible," even in ( according to your criteria for all positions and facets of positions ) a "small sample size," and take encouragement, however tentative, from the trend, as you put it. Never mind last year. And, given my reservations about CERA, I'm not sure I would have agreed with you then.
    I'm in no hurry to make dispositive judgments on pitcher/catcher CERA and the like, and when I am, if ever, my criteria will differ from yours. You're playing with a stacked deck. You set the terms by raw numbers -- and they are decisive. So at the end of the year, if the numbers come out according to your projections, you can say that you were right. But that begs the question. It's your assumptions and methodology that arouse skepticism: the closed box causality. I've seen correlations as high as .6 and .7 not taken to demonstrate causality because so many variables remain shadowy and not precisely available to quantification.
    I've learned never to argue with someone on his hobby horse -- not now, not in October.
    Tell you what. I'm going to consult a few good baseball men in and around LA, and, if they haven't heard of CERA, try to explain it to them as well as I can -- even perhaps using your numbers -- to see what they think. What they say may not hold any more water than what you say -- but I'll have a listen just out of curiosity.
    I've never said a catcher makes "no difference," and I doubt that many pitchers or ex-pitchers would make such a flat statement. No straw men.
    What's your evidence for thinking that another catcher would have been .033 to .066 better than Salty in games before he saw the light? Did you chart the pitches and say, more than once, "See, if Salty  calls for X instead of W, the pitcher gets that guy out"? Or do just feel that a better catcher would have made a difference? Or with "horrible" in mind, were you predisposed to give the kid a bum rap. I'm assuming that before the last few games he was still in your "horrible box." Maybe you were looking for more of the same, and were sure you'd found."
    What I saw, a lot of the time, was dreadful pitching -- no matter what or where Salty called for. 
    I think you are a man of honor, and you will live or die with your own convictions and numerology. But that is not the beginning and the end of the issue. It's one perspective.

     
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    Re: A Pitching Fix

    This is a good read on the value of 'pitch framing' based on some actual event data.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/evaluating-catchers-framing-pitches-part-3
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Anything better than "horrible" is an improvement. Anything much better than horrible is tantamount to a transformation. You set the baseline as "horrible."
    From that to brilliant is transformative, even if only in a few games. ( "I've already said my "sample size" in these matters, unlike with BA and the like, differs from yours. And I've explained why. ) You were in no hurry to note how much better -- if that really was the case -- until others commented upon how well Salty was calling games. One would think that someone who follows the games as closely as you -- pitch by pitch, as you say -- especially someone who's called the young man "horrible," might at last observe that Salty is doing better, at least better than "horrible," even in ( according to your criteria for all positions and facets of positions ) a "small sample size," and take encouragement, however tentative, from the trend, as you put it. Never mind last year. And, given my reservations about CERA, I'm not sure I would have agreed with you then.

    I have stated that I feel a catcher partially influences how well (or badly) a pitcher does, and some games the influence is more than in others. It's hard to pinpoint in a one game sample size how much a catcher influenced the outcome. That is why I don't ever use a bad game to support my position. I think I am being reasonable in not accepting your 1 game sample size as proof of improvement just yet. I'm not saying the last 2 games can not be the start of a new trend, but I think it is unreasonable for you to expect me to think 2 games bear so much meaning.

    I'm in no hurry to make dispositive judgments on pitcher/catcher CERA and the like, and when I am, if ever, my criteria will differ from yours. You're playing with a stacked deck. You set the terms by raw numbers -- and they are decisive. 

    Just because I use data to support my position, does not mean that is all I use to base my opinion on. My best friend was a quality pitcher. I have played the game. I have read what many pitchers say about catchers both generically and specifically. I'd say the vast majority give a lot of credit to their catchers. I don't think they are empty platitudes made towards friends or to not wrinkle any feathers. 

    So at the end of the year, if the numbers come out according to your projections, you can say that you were right. But that begs the question. It's your assumptions and methodology that arouse skepticism: the closed box causality. I've seen correlations as high as .6 and .7 not taken to demonstrate causality because so many variables remain shadowy and not precisely available to quantification.

    If my projection comes out to be correct, it will not prove my position to be infallible, but I think it will show that catchers do make a difference to some degree. To what degree is debateable. I know there are many variables involved in a pitcher's performance on any given night or over a season sample size. Shoppach having better numbers than Salty will not prove that Salty is worse than Shoppach, but it will appear that he is in this area. The fact that certain catchers continually get better results with the majority of the pitchers on their teams year after year in a very consistent manner should not be totally ignored. 

    I've learned never to argue with someone on his hobby horse -- not now, not in October.
    Tell you what. I'm going to consult a few good baseball men in and around LA, and, if they haven't heard of CERA, try to explain it to them as well as I can -- even perhaps using your numbers -- to see what they think. What they say may not hold any more water than what you say -- but I'll have a listen just out of curiosity.

    If you ask these people, make sure you present the theory correctly. CERA should not be used as many use it: total year CERA of catcher A vs catcher B. It is not a good stat to compare a catcher from one team with one from another. The stat is highly restrictive, and should only be used to compare catchers who catch the same pitchers and who by and large have the same defense behind the pitchers as well. The data from pitchers who are caught almost exclusively by one catcher should not be considered in the evaluation. This makes some teams have no viable evidence to judge by. The sample sizes should be more than a handful of innings. I know that just CERA and OPS against is not the whole story, but if one sees a clear trend year after year, with one catcher continually getting better results from the same pitchers the other team catcher has caught, then I tend to believe that catcher makes a noticable difference. I do not think it is as high as harness thought it might be (1 to 1.50 runs per game). I think it might be as high as 0.66 between a goodcatcher and a poor one, but it could be more or less. 

    I am not 100% certain of my position, but I feel very confident that the trends will continue as they almost always have. 

    I've never said a catcher makes "no difference," and I doubt that many pitchers or ex-pitchers would make such a flat statement. No straw men.

    OK, I thought I read you said "or no difference" to a comment about a catcher's influence. I guess I read that the wrong way. I thought you we implying a catcher might not make any difference. Sorry for misunderstandingand misrepresenting  your position.

    What's your evidence for thinking that another catcher would have been .033 to .066 better than Salty in games before he saw the light? 

    1) I'm not convinced he has "seen the light".
    2) If he has, there is no evidence, because the point is now moot.

    Players can improve. Salty is young enough to think he can improve greatly, or do as many players do: stay pretty close to where they are at 27. 

    I don't know how much Salty influenced the pitcher in the last 2 games he caught. The pitchers looked good, and they appeared to like what Salty was asking of them. This is encouraging, but not enough for me to be convinced...yet.

    Did you chart the pitches and say, more than once, "See, if Salty  calls for X instead of W, the pitcher gets that guy out"? 

    Very very rarely. I do watch every pitch of every game. i have missed maybe 3 games over the last 4 years. I watch games on tape delay mostly and sometimes replay key pitches of plays. I particularly watch defense (esp at SS) and pitch type and location, but no, I do not "chart them". I do think that in general, Salty does not call for enough inside pitches or "purpose pitches". It's a gutsy call to make, and some pitchers are reluctant to do it, or might panic an miss the location. That is not all on the catcher's head. I give great importance to the pitcher's ability. I look for pitchers missing locations (targets), but have no way of knowing for sure what pitch and location was called for, so it is hard to assign blame on a game-to-game basis.

    I am not a blind follower of stats and data, but I do think that over large sample sizes, one can get a rough idea of what is what.

    Or do just feel that a better catcher would have made a difference? Or with "horrible" in mind, were you predisposed to give the kid a bum rap. I'm assuming that before the last few games he was still in your "horrible box." Maybe you were looking for more of the same, and were sure you'd found."

    I did not know Salty was "horrible" before last year, but I expected a young catcher would not come close to VTek's abilities in this area. I remember arguing with harness that I thought he was learning from Vtek. I had said the same about VMart, the year before. However, as the year progressed, I saw too much inconsistency, and a vast difference in how Salty handled certain pitchers vs how VTek did. Salty then began looking "horrible" in mid August. It wasn't just pitch-calling and loaction-calling, but he really lost it in other defensive areas as well. I totally lost faith. I admit that. Yes, i was predisposed to expecting Salty to be inconsistent again this year, but knew and stated several times, that he was at an age where very few cacthers had aleady mastered CERA-related areas of theri game and that he had time to improve. My position was that he was only under team control for this year and next, and that maybe this team could ill afford (with the loss of Paps) to let a young catcher "cut his teeth" in hopes that he "gets it together" almost overnight. If we reallyt wanted to win it all this year, I didn't think Salty would help our staff improve, which is what we most sorely needed (along with better defense). I don't think I let my opinion cloud my observations. From what I saw up until the last 2 games, was "more of the same". I wasn't going to mention anything about it until at least 40 games had been played, but when I saw this thread, I jumped the gun.

    What I saw, a lot of the time, was dreadful pitching -- no matter what or where Salty called for. 

    Agreed.

    I think you are a man of honor, and you will live or die with your own convictions and numerology. But that is not the beginning and the end of the issue. It's one perspective.

    Now, I think you are misrepresenting where I come from. It's not all about numbers with me. However, I feel clear trends in data should not be ignored. 

    I wasn't always a firm believer in a catcher's great influence in pitching results. i always knew they mattered, but never really looked at this as a comparative study issue, until 2 years ago. I read all the data harness presented, and did some research on my own (looking at much more than just ERA). I also found many clear trends that lasted year after year after year, and came to believe it couldn't be a hoax. I admit that I am not sure exactly how and why some pitcher consistently do better with some catchers over others. I even joked that maybe it was the "catcher cologne". I also noticed a striking fact: teams seemed to win more with the weker hitting/great CERA or defensive catcher more than with their better hitting/poorer CERA catcher. Guys like Mathis (consistently one of the leagues worst hitting catcher) had a better winning percent than Napoli (one of the leagues best hitting catchers). The Yanks won a higher percentage of games without Posada than with him over a long stretch of time. And, the Sox won way more with Vtek than Vmart or Salty (both of whom are better hitters than Vtek), and even if you take away the beckett games from Vtek, we still won more with him than Salty.

    Can we agree to just wait it out. I won't claim any victory if Salty gets poorer results this year. For one thing, I'm not a big fan of Shoppach's game-calling abilites either, but he seemed to have a decent or average history in these areas over the last few years. I will be greatly saddened if our staff has a 5.00+ CERA with Salty, because it will probably mean we missed the playoffs again. If I had to project when salty might pull it all together, it would probably be 2013 or 2014 or even 2015 (if ever). I hope he learns quicker than I project. I'm not hoping he stinks so I can say "I told you so".
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    Anything better than "horrible" is an improvement. Anything much better than horrible is tantamount to a transformation. You set the baseline as "horrible." From that to brilliant is transformative, even if only in a few games. ( "I've already said my "sample size" in these matters, unlike with BA and the like, differs from yours. And I've explained why. ) You were in no hurry to note how much better -- if that really was the case -- until others commented upon how well Salty was calling games. One would think that someone who follows the games as closely as you -- pitch by pitch, as you say -- especially someone who's called the young man "horrible," might at last observe that Salty is doing better, at least better than "horrible," even in ( according to your criteria for all positions and facets of positions ) a "small sample size," and take encouragement, however tentative, from the trend, as you put it. Never mind last year. And, given my reservations about CERA, I'm not sure I would have agreed with you then. I have stated that I feel a catcher partially influences how well (or badly) a pitcher does, and some games the influence is more than in others. It's hard to pinpoint in a one game sample size how much a catcher influenced the outcome. That is why I don't ever use a bad game to support my position. I think I am being reasonable in not accepting your 1 game sample size as proof of improvement just yet. I'm not saying the last 2 games can not be the start of a new trend, but I think it is unreasonable for you to expect me to think 2 games bear so much meaning. I'm in no hurry to make dispositive judgments on pitcher/catcher CERA and the like, and when I am, if ever, my criteria will differ from yours. You're playing with a stacked deck. You set the terms by raw numbers -- and they are decisive.  Just because I use data to support my position, does not mean that is all I use to base my opinion on. My best friend was a quality pitcher. I have played the game. I have read what many pitchers say about catchers both generically and specifically. I'd say the vast majority give a lot of credit to their catchers. I don't think they are empty platitudes made towards friends or to not wrinkle any feathers.  So at the end of the year, if the numbers come out according to your projections, you can say that you were right. But that begs the question. It's your assumptions and methodology that arouse skepticism: the closed box causality. I've seen correlations as high as .6 and .7 not taken to demonstrate causality because so many variables remain shadowy and not precisely available to quantification. If my projection comes out to be correct, it will not prove my position to be infallible, but I think it will show that catchers do make a difference to some degree. To what degree is debateable. I know there are many variables involved in a pitcher's performance on any given night or over a season sample size. Shoppach having better numbers than Salty will not prove that Salty is worse than Shoppach, but it will appear that he is in this area. The fact that certain catchers continually get better results with the majority of the pitchers on their teams year after year in a very consistent manner should not be totally ignored.  I've learned never to argue with someone on his hobby horse -- not now, not in October. Tell you what. I'm going to consult a few good baseball men in and around LA, and, if they haven't heard of CERA, try to explain it to them as well as I can -- even perhaps using your numbers -- to see what they think. What they say may not hold any more water than what you say -- but I'll have a listen just out of curiosity. If you ask these people, make sure you present the theory correctly. CERA should not be used as many use it: total year CERA of catcher A vs catcher B. It is not a good stat to compare a catcher from one team with one from another. The stat is highly restrictive, and should only be used to compare catchers who catch the same pitchers and who by and large have the same defense behind the pitchers as well. The data from pitchers who are caught almost exclusively by one catcher should not be considered in the evaluation. This makes some teams have no viable evidence to judge by. The sample sizes should be more than a handful of innings. I know that just CERA and OPS against is not the whole story, but if one sees a clear trend year after year, with one catcher continually getting better results from the same pitchers the other team catcher has caught, then I tend to believe that catcher makes a noticable difference. I do not think it is as high as harness thought it might be (1 to 1.50 runs per game). I think it might be as high as 0.66 between a goodcatcher and a poor one, but it could be more or less.  I am not 100% certain of my position, but I feel very confident that the trends will continue as they almost always have.  I've never said a catcher makes "no difference," and I doubt that many pitchers or ex-pitchers would make such a flat statement. No straw men. OK, I thought I read you said "or no difference" to a comment about a catcher's influence. I guess I read that the wrong way. I thought you we implying a catcher might not make any difference. Sorry for misunderstandingand misrepresenting  your position. What's your evidence for thinking that another catcher would have been .033 to .066 better than Salty in games before he saw the light?  1) I'm not convinced he has "seen the light". 2) If he has, there is no evidence, because the point is now moot. Players can improve. Salty is young enough to think he can improve greatly, or do as many players do: stay pretty close to where they are at 27.  I don't know how much Salty influenced the pitcher in the last 2 games he caught. The pitchers looked good, and they appeared to like what Salty was asking of them. This is encouraging, but not enough for me to be convinced...yet. Did you chart the pitches and say, more than once, "See, if Salty  calls for X instead of W, the pitcher gets that guy out"?  Very very rarely. I do watch every pitch of every game. i have missed maybe 3 games over the last 4 years. I watch games on tape delay mostly and sometimes replay key pitches of plays. I particularly watch defense (esp at SS) and pitch type and location, but no, I do not "chart them". I do think that in general, Salty does not call for enough inside pitches or "purpose pitches". It's a gutsy call to make, and some pitchers are reluctant to do it, or might panic an miss the location. That is not all on the catcher's head. I give great importance to the pitcher's ability. I look for pitchers missing locations (targets), but have no way of knowing for sure what pitch and location was called for, so it is hard to assign blame on a game-to-game basis. I am not a blind follower of stats and data, but I do think that over large sample sizes, one can get a rough idea of what is what. Or do just feel that a better catcher would have made a difference? Or with "horrible" in mind, were you predisposed to give the kid a bum rap. I'm assuming that before the last few games he was still in your "horrible box." Maybe you were looking for more of the same, and were sure you'd found." I did not know Salty was "horrible" before last year, but I expected a young catcher would not come close to VTek's abilities in this area. I remember arguing with harness that I thought he was learning from Vtek. I had said the same about VMart, the year before. However, as the year progressed, I saw too much inconsistency, and a vast difference in how Salty handled certain pitchers vs how VTek did. Salty then began looking "horrible" in mid August. It wasn't just pitch-calling and loaction-calling, but he really lost it in other defensive areas as well. I totally lost faith. I admit that. Yes, i was predisposed to expecting Salty to be inconsistent again this year, but knew and stated several times, that he was at an age where very few cacthers had aleady mastered CERA-related areas of theri game and that he had time to improve. My position was that he was only under team control for this year and next, and that maybe this team could ill afford (with the loss of Paps) to let a young catcher "cut his teeth" in hopes that he "gets it together" almost overnight. If we reallyt wanted to win it all this year, I didn't think Salty would help our staff improve, which is what we most sorely needed (along with better defense). I don't think I let my opinion cloud my observations. From what I saw up until the last 2 games, was "more of the same". I wasn't going to mention anything about it until at least 40 games had been played, but when I saw this thread, I jumped the gun. What I saw, a lot of the time, was dreadful pitching -- no matter what or where Salty called for.  Agreed. I think you are a man of honor, and you will live or die with your own convictions and numerology. But that is not the beginning and the end of the issue. It's one perspective. Now, I think you are misrepresenting where I come from. It's not all about numbers with me. However, I feel clear trends in data should not be ignored.  I wasn't always a firm believer in a catcher's great influence in pitching results. i always knew they mattered, but never really looked at this as a comparative study issue, until 2 years ago. I read all the data harness presented, and did some research on my own (looking at much more than just ERA). I also found many clear trends that lasted year after year after year, and came to believe it couldn't be a hoax. I admit that I am not sure exactly how and why some pitcher consistently do better with some catchers over others. I even joked that maybe it was the "catcher cologne". I also noticed a striking fact: teams seemed to win more with the weker hitting/great CERA or defensive catcher more than with their better hitting/poorer CERA catcher. Guys like Mathis (consistently one of the leagues worst hitting catcher) had a better winning percent than Napoli (one of the leagues best hitting catchers). The Yanks won a higher percentage of games without Posada than with him over a long stretch of time. And, the Sox won way more with Vtek than Vmart or Salty (both of whom are better hitters than Vtek), and even if you take away the beckett games from Vtek, we still won more with him than Salty. Can we agree to just wait it out. I won't claim any victory if Salty gets poorer results this year. For one thing, I'm not a big fan of Shoppach's game-calling abilites either, but he seemed to have a decent or average history in these areas over the last few years. I will be greatly saddened if our staff has a 5.00+ CERA with Salty, because it will probably mean we missed the playoffs again. If I had to project when salty might pull it all together, it would probably be 2013 or 2014 or even 2015 (if ever). I hope he learns quicker than I project. I'm not hoping he stinks so I can say "I told you so".
    Posted by moonslav59
    But, you see, there is the point. You'll be "saddened if our staff has a 5.00+ with Salty," but without any definitive way of connecting the two. That's the nub of which you and I disagree.
    Harness thinks the difference between catchers is 1.50. You think, at least for this year, the difference between Salty and a catcher who calls a better game could be .33 or .66. Why not .50? Or .90? Or .25. Or a flat 1? Over the course of a season, the differences amongst those numbers would add up to healthy run differentials. The thing about quantification is that it's in for a penny in for a pound, even in an "inexact science," if it is to have persuasive weight, and especially it if leads to value judgments of any kind, especially as regards human behavior. ( Check me if I'm wrong, Moon, but I think you said somewhere that were a philosophy major at Notre, or a philosophy major in any event. Where? If so, you will recall that two philosopher/mathematicians, Wittgenstein and Whitehead cautioned strongly against throwing inexact numbers, or guesses, around; and indeed, two aces with exact numbers cautioned against using them save in restricted circumstances, and  still with a healthy skepticism. ) 
    So when you start talking about an X or Y differential ( one-third of a run versus two-thirds of a run ), you are bound to raise eyebrows. When you use NUMBERS to show that catchers make a difference TO THIS OR THAT extent, you must be pretty certain that all the variables that yield the numbers are accounted. 
    I prefer to say that catchers make a difference ( based on my own experience as pitcher and coach and conversations with others ) but we have yet to figure out a way to demonstrate it to a wide audience, trends notwithstanding, and far, far from being able to determine how much difference. The last point is the kicker.
    BTW, I don't intend "transform" to signify a permanent shift from one state to another. That isn't the way humans work. ( Utopians miss this point, amongst many others. They must lack self-knowledge. ) But from "horrible" ( in your opinion ) to brilliant ( in mine, anyway ) warrants a mention while it's happening, even if its continuance cannot be guaranteed. Maybe just hoped for, as humans go. As you say.
    Try tracking pitches. It's fun and can be illuminating. I don't do it now to that extent, but I did if I were going to pitch against the same team the next day.
    Coach Dedeaux required detailed notes on the what and where of pitches, and the results. And he's ask questions during a game, just to make sure you were staying on top of things. "You really think that last pitch was a change-up?"
    "I do." "Me too." 
    Fair enough. Let's just hang on.

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

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    But, you see, there is the point. You'll be "saddened if our staff has a 5.00+ with Salty," but without any definitive way of connecting the two. That's the nub of which you and I disagree.

    Fine. I'm sorry, but if I see a trend continue, I will think Salty had something to do with it. I don't need to know the pinpoint reason, and my guess is there are several factors involved, but I will still feel there is something to Salty's negative influence (or maybe just not as positive is another way to look at it).

    Harness thinks the difference between catchers is 1.50. You think, at least for this year, the difference between Salty and a catcher who calls a better game could be .33 or .66. Why not .50? Or .90? Or .25. Or a flat 1? 

    It could be. I am just voicing my opinion just as you are. If I had to guess, I'd say it is more than 0.66 rather than less than 0.33. It could be the full 2.00 it is at now. All I know is that a differential exists and has existed for years. I am thiniing that will continue, just as I think pedey will continue to hit around .300. He may not here or there, but it isn't out of the question to project as much. I know you have issues with any projection, so maybe that is what this argument is really about.

    Over the course of a season, the differences amongst those numbers would add up to healthy run differentials. The thing about quantification is that it's in for a penny in for a pound, even in an "inexact science," if it is to have persuasive weight, and especially it if leads to value judgments of any kind, especially as regards human behavior. ( Check me if I'm wrong, Moon, but I think you said somewhere that were a philosophy major at Notre, or a philosophy major in any event. Where? If so, you will recall that two philosopher/mathematicians, Wittgenstein and Whitehead cautioned strongly against throwing inexact numbers, or guesses, around; and indeed, two aces with exact numbers cautioned against using them save in restricted circumstances, and  still with a healthy skepticism. ) 

    I minored in Philosophy: majored in Poli Sci. 

    If it was 1 number, I'd be very cautious, but it is several numbers that consistently point to the same conclusion: the same pitchers, with virtually the same defense behind them, do qworse with Salty than our other catcher. It's not the data alone that makes me believe this. I watch the games. When harness first tried to convince me of the magnitude of the differential, I was hesitant. I didn't want to believe it was so influential. I started watching the gamnes with his theory in mind actually thinking he was wrong. I observed the opposite. He seemed to be right. We discussed many games and  situations over about 2 seasons. I came to believe that the influence was more than I had previously believed, but less than what harness felt it was.

    So when you start talking about an X or Y differential ( one-third of a run versus two-thirds of a run ), you are bound to raise eyebrows. When you use NUMBERS to show that catchers make a difference TO THIS OR THAT extent, you must be pretty certain that all the variables that yield the numbers are accounted. 

    Look, I have said over and over that I am not certain of this. I have called it a theory. I have said players can change and grow. I'm getting tirted of you portraying me as a righteous bully on this subject. There are a ton of variables that go into a season's results. I realize that bad/good luck could account for much of the differentials. A ball caught when Shoppach is catching could be misjudged when Salty was catching. A team could be hot when Salty catches and cold when Shopp catches. I get that, but that is true of every stat in baseball, but yet we seem to realize that certain things even out over the long haul (large sample size), and I feel that this is the case with Salty. Sal;ty is still young, and much of his record is during spotty play. I'm willing to wait it out, but am not expecting a great transformation this year. I'm sorry this upsets you to no end.

    I prefer to say that catchers make a difference ( based on my own experience as pitcher and coach and conversations with others ) but we have yet to figure out a way to demonstrate it to a wide audience, trends notwithstanding, and far, far from being able to determine how much difference. The last point is the kicker.

    I agree, and that is why I do not give fuill weight to the CERA number in isolation, and am guessing that it is not that severe.

    BTW, I don't intend "transform" to signify a permanent shift from one state to another. That isn't the way humans work. ( Utopians miss this point, amongst many others. They must lack self-knowledge. ) But from "horrible" ( in your opinion ) to brilliant ( in mine, anyway ) warrants a mention while it's happening, even if its continuance cannot be guaranteed. Maybe just hoped for, as humans go. As you say.

    Let's hope there is more good transformations than bad over the rest of the season.

    Try tracking pitches. It's fun and can be illuminating. I don't do it now to that extent, but I did if I were going to pitch against the same team the next day.
    Coach Dedeaux required detailed notes on the what and where of pitches, and the results. And he's ask questions during a game, just to make sure you were staying on top of things. "You really think that last pitch was a change-up?"
    "I do." "Me too." 
    Fair enough. Let's just hang on.

    I will. I have been looking for missed targets, and if it appears an pitcher is missing the target a lot, I do not put blame on the catcher, but if a pitcher is hitting the target and getting shelled, then perhaps the catcher's influence is not good for that game.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Well,then, there seems to be general agreement that harv53's OP is full of it.  Calling pitches from the dugout is out.  Ditto dumping Salty.  Ditto turning the pitching staff over to Shoppach. 

    And, while I will agree with moonslav that CERA is real, I also think finding that kind of catcher ain't that easy. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    But, you see, there is the point. You'll be "saddened if our staff has a 5.00+ with Salty," but without any definitive way of connecting the two. That's the nub of which you and I disagree. Fine. I'm sorry, but if I see a trend continue, I will think Salty had something to do with it. I don't need to know the pinpoint reason, and my guess is there are several factors involved, but I will still feel there is something to Salty's negative influence (or maybe just not as positive is another way to look at it). Harness thinks the difference between catchers is 1.50. You think, at least for this year, the difference between Salty and a catcher who calls a better game could be .33 or .66. Why not .50? Or .90? Or .25. Or a flat 1?  It could be. I am just voicing my opinion just as you are. If I had to guess, I'd say it is more than 0.66 rather than less than 0.33. It could be the full 2.00 it is at now. All I know is that a differential exists and has existed for years. I am thiniing that will continue, just as I think pedey will continue to hit around .300. He may not here or there, but it isn't out of the question to project as much. I know you have issues with any projection, so maybe that is what this argument is really about. Over the course of a season, the differences amongst those numbers would add up to healthy run differentials. The thing about quantification is that it's in for a penny in for a pound, even in an "inexact science," if it is to have persuasive weight, and especially it if leads to value judgments of any kind, especially as regards human behavior. ( Check me if I'm wrong, Moon, but I think you said somewhere that were a philosophy major at Notre, or a philosophy major in any event. Where? If so, you will recall that two philosopher/mathematicians, Wittgenstein and Whitehead cautioned strongly against throwing inexact numbers, or guesses, around; and indeed, two aces with exact numbers cautioned against using   them  save  in restricted circumstances , and   still with a healthy skepticism. )  I minored in Philosophy: majored in Poli Sci.  If it was 1 number, I'd be very cautious, but it is several numbers that consistently point to the same conclusion: the same pitchers, with virtually the same defense behind them, do qworse with Salty than our other catcher. It's not the data alone that makes me believe this. I watch the games. When harness first tried to convince me of the magnitude of the differential, I was hesitant. I didn't want to believe it was so influential. I started watching the gamnes with his theory in mind actually thinking he was wrong. I observed the opposite. He seemed to be right. We discussed many games and  situations over about 2 seasons. I came to believe that the influence was more than I had previously believed, but less than what harness felt it was. So when you start talking about an X or Y differential ( one-third of a run versus two-thirds of a run ), you are bound to raise eyebrows. When you use NUMBERS to show that catchers make a difference TO THIS OR THAT extent, you must be pretty certain that all the variables that yield the numbers are accounted.  Look, I have said over and over that I am not certain of this. I have called it a theory. I have said players can change and grow. I'm getting tirted of you portraying me as a righteous bully on this subject. There are a ton of variables that go into a season's results. I realize that bad/good luck could account for much of the differentials. A ball caught when Shoppach is catching could be misjudged when Salty was catching. A team could be hot when Salty catches and cold when Shopp catches. I get that, but that is true of every stat in baseball, but yet we seem to realize that certain things even out over the long haul (large sample size), and I feel that this is the case with Salty. Sal;ty is still young, and much of his record is during spotty play. I'm willing to wait it out, but am not expecting a great transformation this year. I'm sorry this upsets you to no end. I prefer to say that catchers make a difference ( based on my own experience as pitcher and coach and conversations with others ) but we have yet to figure out a way to demonstrate it to a wide audience, trends notwithstanding, and far, far from being able to determine how much difference. The last point is the kicker. I agree, and that is why I do not give fuill weight to the CERA number in isolation, and am guessing that it is not that severe. BTW, I don't intend "transform" to signify a permanent shift from one state to another. That isn't the way humans work. ( Utopians miss this point, amongst many others. They must lack self-knowledge. ) But from "horrible" ( in your opinion ) to brilliant ( in mine, anyway ) warrants a mention while it's happening, even if its continuance cannot be guaranteed. Maybe just hoped for, as humans go. As you say. Let's hope there is more good transformations than bad over the rest of the season. Try tracking pitches. It's fun and can be illuminating. I don't do it now to that extent, but I did if I were going to pitch against the same team the next day. Coach Dedeaux required detailed notes on the what and where of pitches, and the results. And he's ask questions during a game, just to make sure you were staying on top of things. "You really think that last pitch was a change-up?" "I do." "Me too."  Fair enough. Let's just hang on. I will. I have been looking for missed targets, and if it appears an pitcher is missing the target a lot, I do not put blame on the catcher, but if a pitcher is hitting the target and getting shelled, then perhaps the catcher's influence is not good for that game.
    Posted by moonslav59
    Moon, moon, you are the one who's upset, not because I'm portraying you as a "righteous bully" (a tad defensive ) but because I'm challenging in very specific terms a pet theory of yours. I've said what I think must and should be done to make this theory at least more palatable than it now is to me and to other posters and to baseball analysts elsewhere, with no guarantee that it will finally become as persuasive as you would like. I've said -- and I repeat -- the minute you use numbers, especially in refined percentages, you are obligated to account for how you arrive at those numbers. As I said, I prefer to say that we know catchers' influence is in there somewhere, somehow, but we still don't know how to measure it quantitatively with enough precision even to guess at .33, etc. Certainly not well enough to call any catcher "horrible," despite what may on the surface look like arrows pointing sharply in a direction. 
    The Pedey analogy is not a good one. He hits around .300 on his own. At least two people are involved in CERA, the more important one not mentioned in that title. The whole team is involved in fact, since sloppy or sluggish defense, without errors assigned specifically, can have an effect on runs scored, and thus on the catcher's CERA. I am at this moment inclined to think that a lot of this can be traced to chance or randomness, too much of it, given the variables involved, to permit strong credibility.
    Not Notre Dame? I don't know where I got that idea. Sorry. What university? Were you the second baseman all three years? I'll bet your were as intense as Pedey. But you probably didn't say in public that your coach better learn fast that he's not coaching high school any more. Ho. I seem to recall that one time you said that you and the coach didn't see eye to eye on positioning. Maybe not.
    I'm not entirely sure that hitting or missing the target can itself be too significant. A pitcher can hit a target and still get shelled. Good pitches have been known to leave the yard.  But give it a go, and let us hear what you saw and what you think it revealed.
    Peace.

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

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Moon, moon, you are the one who's upset, not because I'm portraying you as a "righteous bully" (a tad defensive ) but because I'm challenging in very specific terms a pet theory of yours. I've said what I think must and should be done to make this theory at least more palatable than it now is to me and to other posters and to baseball analysts elsewhere, with no guarantee that it will finally become as persuasive as you would like. I've said -- and I repeat -- the minute you use numbers, especially in refined percentages, you are obligated to account for how you arrive at those numbers. As I said, I prefer to say that we know catchers' influence is in there somewhere, somehow, but we still don't know how to measure it quantitatively with enough precision even to guess at .33, etc. Certainly not well enough to call any catcher "horrible," despite what may on the surface look like arrows pointing sharply in a direction. 

    I believe Salty has been by and large "horrible" in the CERA-related area. The ERA, OPS against, and win-loss numbers have all been pretty consistent over larger sample sizes. Of course, within any large sample sizes there are times it might look like the theory is not matching up with the results.

    I agree that my 0.33 to 0.66 number can not be justified with nay data I can present. If I was a true CERA fullly onboard believer, I'd be arguing he is 2 runs worse than Shopp and truly "horrible" if all those runs were truly "on the catcher". This issue has so many variables and tangents that it may never be proven right or wrong. For example, Salty might do the exact same thing VTek did, but for some unknown reason (perhaps psychological), that particular pitcher might not feel as confident with Salty's call as with VTek. Is it Salty's fault? Maybe, maybe not.

    You are right about the ".33 to .66" statement. It's just a "feeling" number, and I thought I was choosing a middleground by saying what I said. I feel like a catcher makes a big difference, but that it is probably not as great as the single stat (CERA) indicates. It's a piosition that is very hard to prove, but no harder than anyone saying a catcher makes zero difference of up to a 2 run difference. I do know that the numbers back up the claim that catchers do, in fact, make a difference.

    The Pedey analogy is not a good one. He hits around .300 on his own. 

    Not really. He faces a pitcher and a defense that other players did not face at that particular time and place. My point was that when we see constant trends, we start believeing there's a reason for it, and act accordingly. If we have a relief pitcher with a horrible record vs LHPs, we'll probably go by the numbers and try to avoid pitching him in a key situation vs a lefty. Even though we don't know why he stinks vs lefties, we go with the numbers. Maybe this is a closer analogy.  

    At least two people are involved in CERA, the more important one not mentioned in that title. The whole team is involved in fact, since sloppy or sluggish defense, without errors assigned specifically, can have an effect on runs scored, and thus on the catcher's CERA. I am at this moment inclined to think that a lot of this can be traced to chance or randomness, too much of it, given the variables involved, to permit strong credibility.

    I agree, and that is why very large sample sizes are needed to even thigs out. BTW, the same could be said about pedey's BA. Maybe he just happened to get some poor defense 9non-errors) on his hit balls, and he is actually a .285 hitter with a lot of luck. That was where my analogy was ment to go.


    Not Notre Dame? I don't know where I got that idea. Sorry. What university? Were you the second baseman all three years? I'll bet your were as intense as Pedey. But you probably didn't say in public that your coach better learn fast that he's not coaching high school any more. Ho. I seem to recall that one time you said that you and the coach didn't see eye to eye on positioning. Maybe not.

    I did go to Notre Dame for 4 years. I did not make the Varsity team. My best friend pitcher did not at first either. We both got off on the wrong foot at the first try-out. I did play on the inter-hall team which was a very good league filled with all-state baseball player who were at ND on football or basketball scholarships. I played 2nd base 90% of the time and CF the other 10%. We had a fantastic fielding SS that I felt honored to play beside. That is where I get my defensive slant. I saw him rob at least a play a game.

    I'm not entirely sure that hitting or missing the target can itself be too significant. A pitcher can hit a target and still get shelled. Good pitches have been known to leave the yard.  But give it a go, and let us hear what you saw and what you think it revealed.

    Yes, hitting the target is everything. The pitch can be flat, or even not the actual called pitch type. It's hard to truly know, unless you are the catcher or pitcher. I realize there is a lot of gray area on this issue, and that is why many choose to just ignore it, since if something can't be easily explained, they don't buy into something that is just theory based on actual trends and consistencies.

    Peace.

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

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Well,then, there seems to be general agreement that harv53's OP is full of it.  Calling pitches from the dugout is out.  Ditto dumping Salty.  Ditto turning the pitching staff over to Shoppach.  

    If we ever bring up lava for a non-injury related stint, I have said all along, he matches up better with Salty than Shopp. Both Lava and Shopp hit lefties better than righties, not so with Salty.

    I admit I wanted Lava here FT, but it's not a clearcut choice. There are pluses and minuses to both choices. I'm fine with the choice made, and am glad to see our catcher OPs so high thus far.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    In Response to Re: A Pitching Fix:
    Moon, moon, you are the one who's upset, not because I'm portraying you as a "righteous bully" (a tad defensive ) but because I'm challenging in very specific terms a pet theory of yours. I've said what I think must and should be done to make this theory at least more palatable than it now is to me and to other posters and to baseball analysts elsewhere, with no guarantee that it will finally become as persuasive as you would like. I've said -- and I repeat -- the minute you use numbers, especially in refined percentages, you are obligated to account for how you arrive at those numbers. As I said, I prefer to say that we know catchers' influence is in there somewhere, somehow, but we still don't know how to measure it quantitatively with enough precision even to guess at .33, etc. Certainly not well enough to call any catcher "horrible," despite what may on the surface look like arrows pointing sharply in a direction.  I believe Salty has been by and large "horrible" in the CERA-related area. The ERA, OPS against, and win-loss numbers have all been pretty consistent over larger sample sizes. Of course, within any large sample sizes there are times it might look like the theory is not matching up with the results. I agree that my 0.33 to 0.66 number can not be justified with nay data I can present. If I was a true CERA fullly onboard believer, I'd be arguing he is 2 runs worse than Shopp and truly "horrible" if all those runs were truly "on the catcher". This issue has so many variables and tangents that it may never be proven right or wrong. For example, Salty might do the exact same thing VTek did, but for some unknown reason (perhaps psychological), that particular pitcher might not feel as confident with Salty's call as with VTek. Is it Salty's fault? Maybe, maybe not. You are right about the ".33 to .66" statement. It's just a "feeling" number, and I thought I was choosing a middleground by saying what I said. I feel like a catcher makes a big difference, but that it is probably not as great as the single stat (CERA) indicates. It's a piosition that is very hard to prove, but no harder than anyone saying a catcher makes zero difference of up to a 2 run difference. I do know that the numbers back up the claim that catchers do, in fact, make a difference. The Pedey analogy is not a good one. He hits around .300 on his own.  Not really. He faces a pitcher and a defense that other players did not face at that particular time and place. My point was that when we see constant trends, we start believeing there's a reason for it, and act accordingly. If we have a relief pitcher with a horrible record vs LHPs, we'll probably go by the numbers and try to avoid pitching him in a key situation vs a lefty. Even though we don't know why he stinks vs lefties, we go with the numbers. Maybe this is a closer analogy.   At least two people are involved in CERA, the more important one not mentioned in that title. The whole team is involved in fact, since sloppy or sluggish defense, without errors assigned specifically, can have an effect on runs scored, and thus on the catcher's CERA. I am at this moment inclined to think that a lot of this can be traced to chance or randomness, too much of it, given the variables involved, to permit strong credibility. I agree, and that is why very large sample sizes are needed to even thigs out. BTW, the same could be said about pedey's BA. Maybe he just happened to get some poor defense 9non-errors) on his hit balls, and he is actually a .285 hitter with a lot of luck. That was where my analogy was ment to go. Not Notre Dame? I don't know where I got that idea. Sorry. What university? Were you the second baseman all three years? I'll bet your were as intense as Pedey. But you probably didn't say in public that your coach better learn fast that he's not coaching high school any more. Ho. I seem to recall that one time you said that you and the coach didn't see eye to eye on positioning. Maybe not. I did go to Notre Dame for 4 years. I did not make the Varsity team. My best friend pitcher did not at first either. We both got off on the wrong foot at the first try-out. I did play on the inter-hall team which was a very good league filled with all-state baseball player who were at ND on football or basketball scholarships. I played 2nd base 90% of the time and CF the other 10%. We had a fantastic fielding SS that I felt honored to play beside. That is where I get my defensive slant. I saw him rob at least a play a game. I'm not entirely sure that hitting or missing the target can itself be too significant. A pitcher can hit a target and still get shelled. Good pitches have been known to leave the yard.  But give it a go, and let us hear what you saw and what you think it revealed. Yes, hitting the target is everything. The pitch can be flat, or even not the actual called pitch type. It's hard to truly know, unless you are the catcher or pitcher. I realize there is a lot of gray area on this issue, and that is why many choose to just ignore it, since if something can't be easily explained, they don't buy into something that is just theory based on actual trends and consistencies. Peace. Peace.
    Posted by moonslav59
    I suspect that the Irish might have missed out on a pretty good player. But it sounds as though you had a great time in the dorm league. As you know, I side with you on the value of superior defense. It saved my bacon more than once. It didn't hurt to have an All-American SS behind me and a 2b man with lightning feet on  the pivot and great range to his left. The 3b man had a rocket up his sleeve. Even the 1b man was handy with the glove. Rod specialized in great defense and was overall the best coach in the history of college baseball. Eleven national championships, five in a row at one point, destroying all the odds. He was also a remarkable man. I miss chatting with him every now and then. The next best thing is writing a book about him, which I'm working on at the moment.
    Hey, Notre Dame and USC. What a great rivalry! The Trojans have had the edge recently, but there was a time when they lost to the Irish for umpteen years in a row. 
    On the "issue." I'm far from dismissing it. ( I'd ask Lasorda what he thinks, but I fear that HE would be dismissive and blustery. I'll ask some others. ) I'm highly skeptical, obviously, but you are astute and careful and honest; and I'm always prepared to listen to what you have to say. Fire away.
    Good that we've had a soft landing on this one.

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

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    I suspect that the Irish might have missed out on a pretty good player. But it sounds as though you had a great time in the dorm league. As you know, I side with you on the value of superior defense. It saved my bacon more than once. It didn't hurt to have an All-American SS behind me and a 2b man with lightning feet on  the pivot and great range to his left. The 3b man had a rocket up his sleeve. Even the 1b man was handy with the glove. Rod specialized in great defense and was overall the best coach in the history of college baseball. Eleven national championships, five in a row at one point, destroying all the odds. He was also a remarkable man. I miss chatting with him every now and then. The next best thing is writing a book about him, which I'm working on at the moment.

    Awesome, ex. 

    I love defense. When I was a kid, I never dreamed of hitting an HR to won the World Series, instead, I dreamed of making a diving catch while crashing into the wall with bases loaded and 2 outs.

    I was actually better at Basketball (point guard) and Football (WR/DB then QB by senior year), but baseball has always been my passion. I like to joke that I was the starting QB of the championship team at NotreDame my senior year. While true, it wasn't for the varsity team. BTW, My freshman year was the year Joe Montana rose from the 3rd string QB to win a national championship in '77. (and yeah, we beat 'SC).

    Hey, Notre Dame and USC. What a great rivalry! The Trojans have had the edge recently, but there was a time when they lost to the Irish for umpteen years in a row. 

    Yeah, those days are long gone.

    On the "issue." I'm far from dismissing it. ( I'd ask Lasorda what he thinks, but I fear that HE would be dismissive and blustery. I'll ask some others. ) I'm highly skeptical, obviously, but you are astute and careful and honest; and I'm always prepared to listen to what you have to say. Fire away.
    Good that we've had a soft landing on this one.

    I enjoy debating with you, ex. You know your stuff, and have lots of first hand experiences to relate to. I know you are not "dismissing it". I know there is a lot to this issue we haven't even touched on. 

    I'll start watching the pitches more closely, along with SS range, and several other hot button issue-related areas.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: A Pitching Fix

    Bad night for Shoppach, giving up six runs tonight, five earned. Buchholz looked fine, but the catching was just not up to snuff. Or just maybe it was the pitcher after all.
     
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