A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

     

    All of the above, but I feel like I owe Salty a little after bashing him all 2011 and begging to trade him last winter. His improvement last season was remarkable and remarkably missed by many Sox fans.

     



    I don't think it's unremarkable that Salty's improvement with handling the pitching, assuming that there was one, was missed by fans.  For one thing, the starting rotation ended up with a 5.19 ERA, worst in franchise history.  Secondly, here is the team ERA by month:

     

    Apr 5.54

    May 3.93

    June 3.31

    July 4.57

    Aug 5.61

    Sept 5.51

    So things got better in mid-season, then fell apart completely again.  You can't expect fans to be knocked out by Salty's improvement in the face of numbers like that.

     



    I did a catcher vs catcher CERA day by day study last year. After April 25th, Salty's CERA improved greatly and was nearly equal to Shoppach's. Our staff was horrible last year due to injuries (Lackey, Buch, Dice-K, Bailey and others), lost velocity (Lester), and experiments gone wrong (Bard & Aceves). Hardly things to blame on Salty or other catchers.

    One big reason the staff's numbers did poorly late in the seasonwas the numbers with Lava and a couple big run games.

    Here's a summary of my collected data:

     

    Up to 4/25/12

    Salty 7.24

    Shop 4.14

     

    4/26 to 8/4

    Salty 4.06

    Shop 3.96

     

    4/26 to 8/23

    Salty  4.13

    Shop  3.93

    Lava  4.33

     

    A few of bad games in late August hurt everyone's CERA, including a 10 and 19 runs with Salty behind the plate.

    I stopped counting on August 31st. These were the final post 4/25 CERA numbers:

    Shop 3.93

    Salty 4.35

    Lava  5.25

     

    Also, we had a better staff in 2011, but Salty's CERA was 4.62. Salty's total CERA with Boston up to 4/25/13 was 4.88, so his CERA after 4/25 was a half run better with a poorer staff. I'd call that an improvement.

    Sidenote: Salty's Sept 2013 numbers were not bad:

    IP/ ER

    8  7

    9  3

    8  2

    7  5

    9  5

    9  2

    9  1

    9  5

    8  1

    9  4

    8  3  

    Sept total:  93 Inn  33 ERs for an CERA of 3.19

    Lava's Sept CERA was (135 Inn/96 ER) 6.40

    So, I wouldn't blame the Sept numbers on Salty.

     

    October (Salty had a bad series vs the Yanks)

    8  10

    11.2  3

    8  14

     

    The final 2012 CERA numbers were:

    Shop  3.77 in 370 inn

    Salty  4.84 in 852 inn

    Lava  5.75 in 219 inn

    But, the post 4/25/12 numbers tell a different story...

    Shop  3.93

    Salty  4.37

    Lava  5.75

     

    Note: CERA is best used looking at each pitcher individually one by one and comparing how they did with each catcher. I will provide that data soon. I have to run now.

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Here is a good link for those who think that CERA has much value. Its a very very iffy proposition. IMO catchers do have an effect on ERA, but its very small.

    http://bb_catchers.tripod.com/catchers/cera1.htm

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Is Salty pitching now? It remains absurd to say that the catcher has anything but a minimal effect on team ERA. That has NEVER been proven to be true. If you have a bunch of stiffs as starting pitchers, as we had last year and have this year, inserting someone who "calls a good game" is not going to significantly change the team ERA, and if you have a group of aces as SPs, inserting a catcher who "doesn't handle pitchers well" is not going to significantly degrade their ERA. There may be some very slight effect, but not much.

    There is ample evidence to show that pitchers do much better witsh some catchers over others.

    Take Daniel Bard

    w VTek  1.79 in 80 inn

    w VMart 3.16 in 51.1

    w Salty   4.77 in 77.1

    w Shop  5.91 in 21.1

     

    The best way to use CERA is to go pitcher by pitcher, year by year and compare how they did with each catcher, the numbers are astoundingly clear. Every year, about 75% of our pitchers did significantly better with VTek than with our other catchers. Ignoring the data and the statements made by pitchers is being short-sighted.

     

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    Here is a good link for those who think that CERA has much value. Its a very very iffy proposition. IMO catchers do have an effect on ERA, but its very small.

    http://bb_catchers.tripod.com/catchers/cera1.htm



    This article proves that CERA is used incorrectly by looking at the total CERA numbers of catchers on the same team or by comparing CERA with other teams.

    CERA has a very limited proper useage, but the value is still there.

    Looking at each pitcher one by one and how they did with each catcher will take out the factors that make team CERA near useless.

    harness did a comprehensive study of teams that had catchers that both caught significant innings year by year and found that there were some huge disparities between how pitchers did with catcher A vs Catcher B. Some of the biggest disparities were between Mathis and Napoli and between VTek and VMart and other Sox back-up catchers. Nearly all pitchers with large enough sample sizes did better with one catcher over the other year after year after year. It's not a fluke.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    Is Salty pitching now? It remains absurd to say that the catcher has anything but a minimal effect on team ERA. That has NEVER been proven to be true. If you have a bunch of stiffs as starting pitchers, as we had last year and have this year, inserting someone who "calls a good game" is not going to significantly change the team ERA, and if you have a group of aces as SPs, inserting a catcher who "doesn't handle pitchers well" is not going to significantly degrade their ERA. There may be some very slight effect, but not much.

    There is ample evidence to show that pitchers do much better witsh some catchers over others.

    Take Daniel Bard

    w VTek  1.79 in 80 inn

    w VMart 3.16 in 51.1

    w Salty   4.77 in 77.1

    w Shop  5.91 in 21.1

     

    The best way to use CERA is to go pitcher by pitcher, year by year and compare how they did with each catcher, the numbers are astoundingly clear. Every year, about 75% of our pitchers did significantly better with VTek than with our other catchers. Ignoring the data and the statements made by pitchers is being short-sighted.

     



    These are all small sample sizes, especially Bard's experience with VMart and Shoppach. But an even bigger point is that we are measuring CATCHER ERA, and that transcends individual pitchers. Its about how good a game each individual catcher calls for an entire pitching staff. If catcher A calls a better game than catcher B, then the ERA for the whole staff should be lower when examined over a statistically significant number of innings. I am not a statistician, but people who are, as the individual who wrote the article I linked up to and Keith Woolner in Baseball Prospectus (link below). Bill James also is not a fan of using CERA to make an assessment of how good a game a catcher calls. Here is the salient point from Woolner's long article: "[...] if there is a true game calling ability, it lies below the threshold of detection. There is no statistical evidence for a large game-calling ability, but that doesn't preclude that a small ability exists that influences results on the field." 

    Here is the link to his full article: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1489

    I am not a fan of CERA, nor am I "short sighted". I simply rely on the body of evidence that I consider convincing and in this case, Moon, its not your opinion that I consider to more convincing-its the evidence provided by guys like Woolner and James.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    I think it's only common sense that catchers can make a big difference.  There is strategy in pitch selection and catchers are part of the strategy team with the pitcher.  Different catchers set the target differently, and the optics can affect the pitcher.  Different catchers catch the ball differently, and the optics can affect the umpire.  There are roughly 150 pitches in each game, and making a difference on just one or two of those pitches can be the difference between giving up 2 runs and giving up 5 runs.   

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    The Woolner article is ancient, Pumpsie.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    These are all small sample sizes, especially Bard's experience with VMart and Shoppach. But an even bigger point is that we are measuring CATCHER ERA, and that transcends individual pitchers. Its about how good a game each individual catcher calls for an entire pitching staff. If catcher A calls a better game than catcher B, then the ERA for the whole staff should be lower when examined over a statistically significant number of innings.

    But, in reality some catchers catch certain pitchers way more than the other, so the overall numbers are skewed (see Wake with Salty and not VTek).

    Looking at each pitcher one by one/ season by season gives a better view. Then compare how each pitcher does with catcher A vs Catcher B. With Vtek vs VMar and VTek vs Salty, it was something like 75% of all pitchers with significant sample size with both cathcers did better with VTek every year since he tunred 31. Yes, most sample sizes were small, but when 75% of them all come out better with Vtek over several seasons, it can't be a fluke or some minimal influence. Some of the disparities were astoundingly large.

    Comparing team CERA is not an effective tool. It has to be done pitcher by pitcher and year by year to have a meaningful significance.

     

    I am not a statistician, but people who are, as the individual who wrote the article I linked up to and Keith Woolner in Baseball Prospectus (link below). Bill James also is not a fan of using CERA to make an assessment of how good a game a catcher calls. Here is the salient point from Woolner's long article: "[...] if there is a true game calling ability, it lies below the threshold of detection. There is no statistical evidence for a large game-calling ability, but that doesn't preclude that a small ability exists that influences results on the field." 

     

    Here is the link to his full article: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1489

    I am not a fan of CERA, nor am I "short sighted". I simply rely on the body of evidence that I consider convincing and in this case, Moon, its not your opinion that I consider to more convincing-its the evidence provided by guys like Woolner and James.

    I'll provide the evidence pitcher by pitcher, and you can judge for yourself. It will show each pitcher during the same seasons with both catcher, so many of the other factors are removed. I have to go now, so stay tuned...

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Their statement, after fairly exhaustive research of:

     "if there is a true game calling ability, it lies below the threshold of detection. There is no statistical evidence for a large game-calling ability, but that doesn't preclude that a small ability exists that influences results on the field." 

    does pretty much nail it though. They also feel that it's possible that a catcher can have some impact but the data was not there to prove it so why are we trying to prove it with much more limited data sets? We all think there is a CERA factor and guys like Scioscia allude to it but we don't know for sure if it exists and if it does we don't know what specifically is causing it. And since we can't show clear evidence of it's existance how can we show that it has a half run or more impact really ever, in a definitive way? Maybe we can show it over a 3 year period in a specific combination ( a combination defined in a statistical sense ) but that is still a very small data set. Statistically, 2 catchers over a 3 year period with the same pitchers are a statistically insignificant distribution.

    I'm not a statistical expert but that is how I see it from what little I know about the subject.

    To me it is potentially more than just pitch calling, pitch framing ability etc...which I feel are of course factors. If a catcher throws runners out at 45% rather than 17% would that not be a factor also? Look at Yadier Molina and his overall numbers, CERA and otherwize. Could it just be that he is the best overall defensive catcher in the game or is St. Louis mainly blessed with the best pitching coach in the game, best development staff in the game...etc? 

    If we compare the best CERA guy against the worst we maybe have a .5 run factor at most but even that can't be proved. We can make an educated guess maybe to that effect. To say much definitively about Salty regarding CERA is just a very muddled analysis. It is not at all definitive and I would even describe it as purely speculative. There is little evidence that he is even an average CERA catcher at any point in his career. 

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Look at Yadier Molina and his overall numbers, CERA and otherwize. Could it just be that he is the best overall defensive catcher in the game or is St. Louis mainly blessed with the best pitching coach in the game, best development staff in the game...etc? 

    Compare Yadier with the other StL catcher and find out.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    The Woolner article is ancient, Pumpsie.



    So is pi Bob....do you have a better one? Moon MIGHT be right about comparing catchers with individual pitchers, but I do not know where to access that data to draw a conclusion. It doesn't matter how old an article is unless there is a more current one that disproves it. Got one?

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    These are all small sample sizes, especially Bard's experience with VMart and Shoppach. But an even bigger point is that we are measuring CATCHER ERA, and that transcends individual pitchers. Its about how good a game each individual catcher calls for an entire pitching staff. If catcher A calls a better game than catcher B, then the ERA for the whole staff should be lower when examined over a statistically significant number of innings.

    But, in reality some catchers catch certain pitchers way more than the other, so the overall numbers are skewed (see Wake with Salty and not VTek).

    Looking at each pitcher one by one/ season by season gives a better view. Then compare how each pitcher does with catcher A vs Catcher B. With Vtek vs VMar and VTek vs Salty, it was something like 75% of all pitchers with significant sample size with both cathcers did better with VTek every year since he tunred 31. Yes, most sample sizes were small, but when 75% of them all come out better with Vtek over several seasons, it can't be a fluke or some minimal influence. Some of the disparities were astoundingly large.

    Comparing team CERA is not an effective tool. It has to be done pitcher by pitcher and year by year to have a meaningful significance.

     

    I am not a statistician, but people who are, as the individual who wrote the article I linked up to and Keith Woolner in Baseball Prospectus (link below). Bill James also is not a fan of using CERA to make an assessment of how good a game a catcher calls. Here is the salient point from Woolner's long article: "[...] if there is a true game calling ability, it lies below the threshold of detection. There is no statistical evidence for a large game-calling ability, but that doesn't preclude that a small ability exists that influences results on the field." 

     

    Here is the link to his full article: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1489

    I am not a fan of CERA, nor am I "short sighted". I simply rely on the body of evidence that I consider convincing and in this case, Moon, its not your opinion that I consider to more convincing-its the evidence provided by guys like Woolner and James.

    I'll provide the evidence pitcher by pitcher, and you can judge for yourself. It will show each pitcher during the same seasons with both catcher, so many of the other factors are removed. I have to go now, so stay tuned...



    Better still, tell me where you intend to get that information. I can't seem to locate it.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:


    Better still, tell me where you intend to get that information. I can't seem to locate it.



    You can get CERA data for each pitcher in Baseball-Reference in the pitcher's Splits.  Scroll to the bottom and you'll find the pitcher's ERA with each catcher.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     


    Better still, tell me where you intend to get that information. I can't seem to locate it.

     



    You can get CERA data for each pitcher in Baseball-Reference in the pitcher's Splits.  Scroll to the bottom and you'll find the pitcher's ERA with each catcher.

     




    Thanks. I'll look at it later. The Bruins are on TV here.

     

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from cassvt2004. Show cassvt2004's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    went to the game at Jet  last night and met Jid, who has been making great, informative posts on here. Nice to meet you and your father-in-law. Always great to put a face to someone after corresponding on here. I see that he took care of the update for last night, much better than I could. I want to add that Salty crushed that ball and his at bats have been very good this spring. Sometimes catchers don't come into their own as hitters until they get into their upper 20's and this could be the case here. I'm a fan. (As is my girlfriend, but that's another story). Also got to meet dr. Charles steinberg before the game. Onto my update, as I feel very fortunate to be down here catching games:

    went to see the sox-rays in port Charlotte this afternoon. Great little park and a lot of good stuff to see. Observations.

    * alfredo aceves is a crazy man. He pitched well for the most part, 4 1/3 innings only blemish was the 2 run hr to Shawn Rodriguez. He then plunked him in the back and almost started a brawl. He has good stuff but a huge chip on his shoulder. I'd be surprised if he is still here by June 1.

    * Andrew miller came in to clean up aceves' mess and looked good. Threw 95 as well as some 84 mph off speed stuff. Bailey and bard also had good velocity, control, and off speed stuff. Bullpen is the real deal.

    * lavarnway did a nice job behind the plate blocking some balls in the dirt. He seems engaged w/ the pitchers. 

    * it is a joy to watch the jumps that Jackie Bradley gets on balls in center. He played all 9 innings and was on base a couple more times. He looks so relaxed at the plate.

    * linares does not get cheated in his at bats. Dude swings hard. But he can hit.

    * it was great to see Blake swihart in person for the first time. He does not look like a ML catcher, but he had a good at bat and hit a two run double. Great swing.

    * I met jenny dell and had my picture taken with her. She sat right in front of me for the first two innings and couldn't have been nicer.

    that is all for tonight. Hope you guus and girls enjoy these updates. Again, thanks for inspiring me to right them Jid, and great to meet you.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     


    Better still, tell me where you intend to get that information. I can't seem to locate it.

     



    You can get CERA data for each pitcher in Baseball-Reference in the pitcher's Splits.  Scroll to the bottom and you'll find the pitcher's ERA with each catcher.

     




    OK, here it is. I looked up the CERA for Beckett, Lester, and Buchholtz for their careers as well as for the past four years. The numbers, to say the least, are all over the place and really would require the talents of a statistician to interpret. Here are a few facts re: career numbers. 

    1. Buchholtz has the following ERAs with these catchers (IP are in parentheses): Lavarnway: 3.79 (35.2), VMart: 2.83(241.1), Salty: 4.99(140.2), Varitek: 5.12(117.2), and Shoppach: 3.23(78)

    2. Lester has the following ERAs with the same catchers: L: 3.90(55.1), VM: 3.24(169.1), Salty: 4.55(253), Vtek: 3.41(546.1), and Shoppach: 3.70(48.2)

    3. Beckett"s stats: Lav: 7.94(11), VM: 5.48(90.1), Salty: 4.83(76.1), Vtek: 3.68(905), and Shoppach: 5.46(57.2)

    4. Career ERAs: Buchholtz: 3.92, Lester: 3.76, Beckett: 3.91

    5. Salty's CERA with Buchholtz, for example, varied between 3.52 in 2011 to 6.30 in 2012. Varitek's CERA with Beckett varied from 2.62 in 2011 to 7.18 in 2010. Varitek's CERA with Lester varied between 1.88 in 2010 to 3.92 in 2009. 

    I have all the numbers for CERA for all the catchers who caught a significant number of innings vs those three pitchers for the last four years and these numbers are truly all over the place. I can post them all if people want to see them. Again, I am not a statistician, but to the naked eye there is very little consistency between pitcher and catcher and I doubt very much that any statistically significant conclusions can be drawn about CERA using these matchups of pitchers and catchers. Beckett may have preferred his own catcher, Varitek, but in fact in 2010 the catcher with the best CERA when matched up with him was not Varitek who had a CERA of 7.18 (small sample size I admit) but VMart with a CERA of 5.11 when paired with Beckett.

    I will admit that many of these stats are small in sample size, but that is exactly one of the problems with CERA. How many innings are required for these matchups to mean something, especially when you want to compare it to another matchup with even smaller sample sizes? I will leave that to the statisticians like Bill James who is not a believer in CERA either.

     
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  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to ConanObrien's comment:

    pumpsie green being in a realistic thread is a joke



    Great! You have given me a reason to re-place you on ignore! But don't let that stop you: keep on with the drivel. It reflects your baseball intellect like a mirror.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Pumpsie, check this out.  It's an article about Jose Molina's pitch-framing (and strike-stealing) ability.  It even has videos of 10 strikes he stole on pitches that were more than a foot out of the strike zone.

    I don't think you could ask for much better real-life evidence of a catcher making a difference. 

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18896

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Cass, once again it was nice meeting you. I'm a little disappointed though that you like Jenny Dell more than me. But she is a little, and I emphasize little, bit cuter than me. I didn't see today's game, obviously, but I agree with what you're saying. First on Aceves, how he survived last season is a huge mystery to me. As much as I didn't like Bobby V, the FO should have fired him the moment they let Aceves get away with showing him up the way he did because Bobby obviously had no authority, if he ever really did, from that point forward. I know Aceves has great stuff, but he had it with the Yankees and they were willing to let him go. We need to find a way to send him packing, regardless of the return. It would be addition by subtraction.

    Interesting take on Linares; is it crazy to think of him in the mix for right-handed dh in Papi's absense? I know it won't happen because his track record doesn't warrant it and spring training is a pretty small sample, but he does go up there hacking. And from what I've seen, DH is his natural position.

    We are in complete agreement on Bradley. Like Hicks last night for Minny, an outfielder that moves at the crack of the bat and glides with speed, directly to where the ball is headed, is a joy to watch. Last night Hicks took away two triples on one great catch and one truly spectacular one.

    I don't know where they will fit in within the organization this year, but guys like Heiker Menenses (sounds like an std), Marrero and Bermudez (sp?) are fun to watch. There was very little exposure for any of the real youngsters in the organization last spring training, which was a disappointment. But this year, after five or six innings you can throw out your program because there ain't any guys on the field that are in the program. And that's been a very good thing. I imagine it's because the WBC has extended spring training so much that Farrell is combining his ML and farm rosters.  

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    Pumpsie, check this out.  It's an article about Jose Molina's pitch-framing (and strike-stealing) ability.  It even has videos of 10 strikes he stole on pitches that were more than a foot out of the strike zone.

    I don't think you could ask for much better real-life evidence of a catcher making a difference. 

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18896



    Couldn't agree with you more nut! If catching was easy they'd just put the fattest, slowest guy back there and give him a chance to play! It worked for me!

    In today's MLB the scouting is so efficient that everyone knows every hitter's strengths and weaknesses well before every game. But a good catcher can see inside those scouting reports and instantly match them with how a hitter is reacting and what his pitcher has for stuff on any given day. If a scouting report says you can get a guy out a certain way, and the pitcher can't deliver to that spot at the right speed and movement, than the catcher has to find the solution on the spot. Tek was a master. He didn't have the best hands, although he received the ball  very softly, didn't have a great arm, and was not great at blocking balls in the dirt. But pitchers TRUSTED him to lead them, and he did.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

     

    These are all small sample sizes, especially Bard's experience with VMart and Shoppach. But an even bigger point is that we are measuring CATCHER ERA, and that transcends individual pitchers. Its about how good a game each individual catcher calls for an entire pitching staff. If catcher A calls a better game than catcher B, then the ERA for the whole staff should be lower when examined over a statistically significant number of innings.

    But, in reality some catchers catch certain pitchers way more than the other, so the overall numbers are skewed (see Wake with Salty and not VTek).

    Looking at each pitcher one by one/ season by season gives a better view. Then compare how each pitcher does with catcher A vs Catcher B. With Vtek vs VMar and VTek vs Salty, it was something like 75% of all pitchers with significant sample size with both cathcers did better with VTek every year since he tunred 31. Yes, most sample sizes were small, but when 75% of them all come out better with Vtek over several seasons, it can't be a fluke or some minimal influence. Some of the disparities were astoundingly large.

    Comparing team CERA is not an effective tool. It has to be done pitcher by pitcher and year by year to have a meaningful significance.

     

    I am not a statistician, but people who are, as the individual who wrote the article I linked up to and Keith Woolner in Baseball Prospectus (link below). Bill James also is not a fan of using CERA to make an assessment of how good a game a catcher calls. Here is the salient point from Woolner's long article: "[...] if there is a true game calling ability, it lies below the threshold of detection. There is no statistical evidence for a large game-calling ability, but that doesn't preclude that a small ability exists that influences results on the field." 

     

    Here is the link to his full article: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1489

    I am not a fan of CERA, nor am I "short sighted". I simply rely on the body of evidence that I consider convincing and in this case, Moon, its not your opinion that I consider to more convincing-its the evidence provided by guys like Woolner and James.

    I'll provide the evidence pitcher by pitcher, and you can judge for yourself. It will show each pitcher during the same seasons with both catcher, so many of the other factors are removed. I have to go now, so stay tuned...

     



    Better still, tell me where you intend to get that information. I can't seem to locate it.

     



    harness and I did a study pitcher by pitcher study of teams that had 2 catchers who both caught a significant amount of innings over a few seasons on the same team. You look pitcher by pitcher and year by year. It tookm a lot of time.

    I can't locate the data. I think it's on my old laptop.

    I'll try to dig it up soon, buat the trends are pretty obvious. There are a few blips here and there, but there were so many examples of prolonged wide disparities between the same catchers year after year that is was clear to me that a great catcher can make a huge difference with a large majority of the pitchers on a staff.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to cassvt2004's comment:

    went to the game at Jet  last night and met Jid, who has been making great, informative posts on here. Nice to meet you and your father-in-law. Always great to put a face to someone after corresponding on here. I see that he took care of the update for last night, much better than I could. I want to add that Salty crushed that ball and his at bats have been very good this spring. Sometimes catchers don't come into their own as hitters until they get into their upper 20's and this could be the case here. I'm a fan. (As is my girlfriend, but that's another story). Also got to meet dr. Charles steinberg before the game. Onto my update, as I feel very fortunate to be down here catching games:

    went to see the sox-rays in port Charlotte this afternoon. Great little park and a lot of good stuff to see. Observations.

    * alfredo aceves is a crazy man. He pitched well for the most part, 4 1/3 innings only blemish was the 2 run hr to Shawn Rodriguez. He then plunked him in the back and almost started a brawl. He has good stuff but a huge chip on his shoulder. I'd be surprised if he is still here by June 1.

    * Andrew miller came in to clean up aceves' mess and looked good. Threw 95 as well as some 84 mph off speed stuff. Bailey and bard also had good velocity, control, and off speed stuff. Bullpen is the real deal.

    * lavarnway did a nice job behind the plate blocking some balls in the dirt. He seems engaged w/ the pitchers. 

    * it is a joy to watch the jumps that Jackie Bradley gets on balls in center. He played all 9 innings and was on base a couple more times. He looks so relaxed at the plate.

    * linares does not get cheated in his at bats. Dude swings hard. But he can hit.

    * it was great to see Blake swihart in person for the first time. He does not look like a ML catcher, but he had a good at bat and hit a two run double. Great swing.

    * I met jenny dell and had my picture taken with her. She sat right in front of me for the first two innings and couldn't have been nicer.

    that is all for tonight. Hope you guus and girls enjoy these updates. Again, thanks for inspiring me to right them Jid, and great to meet you.



    Keep the reports coming. I love this stuff.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    harness had all the CERA numbers for several other teams. Too bad he's not around anymore.

    I did the year by year VTek and other Sox catcher study and was amazed at the consistency over the years. The one guy VTek did not do all that well with was Buchholz, but part of that was that he did not catch buch that much during the seasons he did very well- maybe he was partially to blame for that, but every season there will be one or two picthers who do better with the "worse CERA cather", but the consistency lies in the steady numbers of pitchers who do better with the "better CERA catcher".

    Here's one year: 2011

    (Note: some sample sizes are small and some are unbalanced. Normally, I would discount the data due to this, but when the same catcher keeps getting better numbers that the other catcher on his team with almost every pitcher, year after year, I have to think it's not a fluke.)

      Lester wVTek  40.0  2.48 wSalty  145.2  3.77  

    Lackey VTek     33.0  6.82 Salty    127.0 6.31
      Bard wVTek  31.1  1.44 wSalty  39.2  4.54  

    Paps VTek   25.2  2.45 Salty   36.0  2.75  

    Aceves VTek  42  2.34 Salty  67  2.82  

    Miller VTek  30  7.28 Salty  35  4.08  

    Albers VTek  36  4.00 Salty  28  5.53  

    Bedard VTek  16  3.38 Salty  19  3.86  

    Very unbalanced sample sizes  or less than 15 innings by one catcher:  

    Beckett VTek  182  2.62 Salty     11  7.36  

    Wakefield VTek     13  4.15  Salty   142  5.21  

    Buchholtz VTek    19  3.38 Salty    64  3.52  

    Dice-K VTek   35  3.82 Salty    2  31.50  

    Only Lackey & Andrew Miller did better with Salty, and Miller had one of the lowest total sample size on this list, while the differential with Lackey is minimal.  

    Bard seemed to love VTek: 2010:

    VTek  19  0.48

    VMart 44  2.64

    Salty     2  4.50  

    Comparing catcher with each pitcher individually one-by-one takes away the bias of an overall CERA that is weighted by who catches better or worse pitchers.     Even looking at pitcher by pitcher's career CERA can be misleading. Year by year is best. (I can't seem to locate the prior year numbers, but I know I have them sonewhere. Trust me, they all look similar to 2011, except with VMart instead of Salty.)

     

    Here's an exchange I had with expitch on the Salty thread:

    The scouting report is the foundation of how a particular pitcher is expected to pitch to a particular batter. But things don't always work out according to plan. Batters make adjustments that catchers should notice and then make their own adjustments. In a given game, the pitcher doesn't have the good breaking that the report says will retire batter B. And on and on.  Thus the game of cat and mouse. The catcher initiates the game.  Catchers are largely responsible for helping the pitcher maintain focus. Catchers try to set a pace and rhythm that will best serve a pitcher in a particular game. Some catchers have a better "feel" than others for what the position requires.   Exactly, and because this "feel game" can never be quantified with stats or metrics (even CERA with it's many limitations can only partially capture a piece of it) many posters and fans choose to ignore it, minimize its influence in most games, or deny it all together.   "A pitcher can always shake of the catcher until he gets what he wants to pitch", they say. They assume this means the pitcher always... 1) Pitches the type of pitch and location where he wanted. 2) Thought of every pitch he wanted beforehand. 3) Never is influenced by a catcher to change a pitch type or location.   This only addresses  pitch choice and location. As ex points out, there is much more to it than even that... pace and rythym, comfort level, adjustments, focus maintenance, etc...   Also, some catchers, such as VTek, were legendary for accumulating and adjusting data on plans of attack on each and every batter in MLB. I know with the advent of advanced technology, many might feel this will become a needless art of the catching position, and future catchers will only need to consult the computer data before each game, but I think the human element of the game can never be captured by numbers.   We don't know where Lava is in this phase of the game. We won't know for a while. One game, one week, or one month sample sizes are not large enough to know for sure about anything in baseball, let alone an area of baseball so full of intangibles and variables. We barely can come to an agreement on this board that Salty has improved in this area over the past 4 months (4.05 CERA since April 25th). I seriously doubt any consensus will be reached after 7 weeks of watching Lava play sporadically as our catcher, or even if we now begin to play him FT.    This is not a knock on Lava. I have great hopes for him as our catcher of the future or, at worst, as a trade chip for a significant starting pitcher. I guess what I am trying to say is that we should be cautiously optimistic, and not neglect to view the complexities of the catching position as a whole. Throwing all our chips in the Lava basket, and totally discounting the fact that we have another young 27 year old catcher with somewhat limited experience behind the plate for someone in professional baseball for almost 10 years, who has improved immensely in a key area of his game (pitcher-handling) could be huge mistake.

     

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    More...

    By the way, using CERA for the O's big starters from 1969-1973:

      Palmer:   1969  70       71       72     73 

    Oates        --                       1.78    (2.54 w/ E. Williams)

    Hendicks  2.24  3.02  2.64  3.86   3.07

    Etch          2.50  2.41  2.60   1.83  1.29

    (Note: until 1973, Hendricks & Etchebarren caught Jim about equally, but Hendricks caught more most years.) 

    Cuellar:

    Oates                                  4.22  (3.59 w E. Williams)

    Hend       1.84  3.37   3.32  1.97   2.62

    Etch         3.25  3.72  2.54  2.08    2.96

    (Note: until 1973, Hendricks was almost exclusively Cuellar's catcher) 

    McNally:

    Oates                                3.91   (2.95 w/ E. Williams)

    Hendr     3.27  2.26  3.31  --        4.11

    Etch        3.30  3.55  2.52  2.20   3.69

    (Note: until 1972, Hendricks caught Dave more than Etch, but then Etch caught more innings starting with 1972 and the 2.52 CERA then in 1973, E. Williams caught more with all 3 of these starters.)

                                    1971     72

    Dobson:Oates                       --       2.66

    Hendr                     2.66    1.27

    Etch                        3.39    3.10

    (Note: both catchers caught Pat abour even in '71, but Oates more in '72) These are just 4 pitchers from that era. In this time frame, it appears that... Palmer did much better with Etchebarren, and Weaver let Etchebarren catch him at a higher percentage of the games than with the other 3 starters listed here. Cuellar did much better with Hendricks and was almost his exclusive catcher until 1972 when Oates became the main man then Williams in '73). McNally initially did better with hendricks, but when he started doing better with Etchebarren, Weaver matched him more with Etch. Dobson did way better with Hendricks, but oates caught him most of 1972. From this limited data, one could conclude that Hendricks was the better picther handler, except for Palmer.

     

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