A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    Exactly. I am not saying that catchers have no impact on pitchers, just that the impact cannot be accurately measured using CERA and that the impact is possibly overrated. Its very difficult to come up with a statistically significant way to measure the impact of catchers on pitchers from what I can read about it.




    CERA can be used to accurately measure the impact that catchers have on pitchers if it is used correctly.  It's not a stat that should be disregarded just because of its limited use.

    With the advent of Pitch f/x in 2008, statisticians have made great strides towards  more accurately measuring the impact of catchers on pitchers in three categories - blocking pitches, pitch framing, and pitch calling.  From my understanding, they have a pretty good understanding of how blocking pitches and pitch framing impacts pitchers.

    The one area that they still have not been able to fully quantify is in pitch calling, although strides have been made in that category as well.

    Here is a link to a great article about Varitek, and his value to a pitching staff.  You should also click on and read the articles that are linked in this Varitek article.  Very informative.

    http://www.overthemonster.com/2012/2/29/2830655/jason-varitek-advanced-catcher-defense

     

    Since when did you become a Bill James fan, anyway?

     

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Note the part about Bill James, father of baseball stats, who also felt that CERA as currently constructed is not a useful objective way to measure how good a catcher is at preventing runs. Keith Woolner also came to this conclusion. I choose to believe these two statisticians rather than anyone here. No offense Moon, but these two are published experts. When I do not know the answer to something I find the most qualified advice I can find. I think these two guys fit the bill.

    No offense taken, but these statisticians are responding to the useage of CERA to compare catchers on different teams, with different staffs, different parks, different defenses behind them, and more.  They are right: the stat is near useless when used that way, but when properly used, it can have a limited use that can be very telling or can detect trends to the good or bad.

    If it were just a coin flip, one would expect to see even small sample sizes even out over a long period of time and using hundreds of small individual pitcher sample sizes with 2 catchers from the same team over several years, it does not come out that way. There are clear differentials between the two catchers when looking at each pitcher year by year. The numbers are skewed when you look at overall career numbers, since one catcher might have caught a certain pitcher at a different point in his career. 

    When you look at a pitching staff one by one and find that over 75% of them do better with one catcher than the other, and then the same thing happens the next year, and the next year, and the next... It can not be a fluke. Just because nobody can pinpoint the exact reason it happens, does not make it go away.

    Catchers make a huge difference in the performance of a pitcher- just ask them. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to prove that some pitchers prefer one catcher over another, and some even get demanding about it. The record of VTek vs various back-ups and then VMart and Salty is undeniable. The record of Mathis vs Napoli is undeniable. Combining all the small sample sizes one by one and determining how many pitchers do better with one over the other shows a clear disparity when one of the catchers is known to be a good defensive catcher/game caller/pitcher handler/ pitch framer... 

    Just because it can not easily be quantified, even by the best statisticians, does not mean the numbers must be discounted or ignored.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    I think the general consensus is that CERA differences are probably real but are overated in their significance and difficult to prove from a mathmatical standpoint given current sample sizes and the large degree of variability in the available data. 

    How are they "over-rated" when only a few people believe in it?

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to RedSoxKimmi's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     

    Exactly. I am not saying that catchers have no impact on pitchers, just that the impact cannot be accurately measured using CERA and that the impact is possibly overrated. Its very difficult to come up with a statistically significant way to measure the impact of catchers on pitchers from what I can read about it.

     




    CERA can be used to accurately measure the impact that catchers have on pitchers if it is used correctly.  It's not a stat that should be disregarded just because of its limited use.

     

    With the advent of Pitch f/x in 2008, statisticians have made great strides towards  more accurately measuring the impact of catchers on pitchers in three categories - blocking pitches, pitch framing, and pitch calling.  From my understanding, they have a pretty good understanding of how blocking pitches and pitch framing impacts pitchers.

    The one area that they still have not been able to fully quantify is in pitch calling, although strides have been made in that category as well.

    Here is a link to a great article about Varitek, and his value to a pitching staff.  You should also click on and read the articles that are linked in this Varitek article.  Very informative.

    http://www.overthemonster.com/2012/2/29/2830655/jason-varitek-advanced-catcher-defense

     

    Since when did you become a Bill James fan, anyway?

     



    Interesting read Kimmi. Thanks.

    We may never know why some pitchers continously did better with Vtek or some other catcher. Maybe some of it was just psychological or feeling in a comfort zone. Quite frankly, I don't really care what the reason is/was, except to quench my curiosity, what I really care about is that we have a catcher on our team who can help get the most out of our shaky staff. I like the Ross signing and have seen improvement in Salty in this area, so we will see. I expect 60-70% of our pitchers will have better CERA and OPS against with Ross, but I also expect them to do better with Salty this year than last year.

     
  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 RedSoxKimmi's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     

    Exactly. I am not saying that catchers have no impact on pitchers, just that the impact cannot be accurately measured using CERA and that the impact is possibly overrated. Its very difficult to come up with a statistically significant way to measure the impact of catchers on pitchers from what I can read about it.

     




    CERA can be used to accurately measure the impact that catchers have on pitchers if it is used correctly.  It's not a stat that should be disregarded just because of its limited use.

     

    With the advent of Pitch f/x in 2008, statisticians have made great strides towards  more accurately measuring the impact of catchers on pitchers in three categories - blocking pitches, pitch framing, and pitch calling.  From my understanding, they have a pretty good understanding of how blocking pitches and pitch framing impacts pitchers.

    The one area that they still have not been able to fully quantify is in pitch calling, although strides have been made in that category as well.

    Here is a link to a great article about Varitek, and his value to a pitching staff.  You should also click on and read the articles that are linked in this Varitek article.  Very informative.

    http://www.overthemonster.com/2012/2/29/2830655/jason-varitek-advanced-catcher-defense

     

    Since when did you become a Bill James fan, anyway?

     




    Thanks for the link. I will check it out later. I believe some of the things James has to offer are valuable; I never said otherwise.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Ask Daniel Bard if he'd like VTek back as his catcher.

    2009

    w VTek 2.97 (30 inn)

    w Kott 4.15 in 9 inn

    w Mart 6.43 in 7 Inn

     

    2010

    w VTek  o.48 in 19

    w VMart 2.64 in 44

     

    2011

    w VTek  1.44 in 31

    w Salty  4.54 in 40

     

    2012 (starter)

    w Salty  5.05 in 36

    w Shop  5.91 in 21

     

    Ask Lester

    2008: Vtek 3.06/ Cash  4.74

    2009: Vtek 3.92/ VMart 1.62 (joined team after Lester regained form)

    2010: Vtek 1.88/ VMart 3.64

    2011: Vtek 2.48/ Salty  3.77

    2012: Shop 3.70/ Salty 5.62

     

    Ask Beckett

    Better every year with Vtek except his short season of 2010

     

    Ask Dice-K

    Way way way better every year with VTek, except his short season of 2009 when VMart's sample size was only 7 innings.

     

    Buchholz is the only guy who struggled more with VTek than others. His career numbers show:

    5.12 w VTek in 118 IP

    4.99 w Salty in 141 IP

    3.79 w Lava in 36 IP

    3.23 w Shopp in 78 IP

    2.83 w VMart in 241 IP

    It's hard to tell if 2008 was just a bad year or if VTek catching him made any difference, but that year skewed the numbers badly for VTek. He did very poorly with Cash that year too. If you go year by year, he doesn't look as bad with VTek as the career numbers show (an example of how CERA used incorrectly can be misleading).

    2008: Vtek  6.88/ Cash 5.79

    2009: VTek 3.72 in 10 IP/ VMart 4.34 in 77 IP

    2010: VTek 2.25 in 4 IP/ VMart  2.13 in 165 IP/ D Brown 11.25 in 4 IP

    2011: VTek 3.38 in 19 IP/ VMart 3.52 in 64 IP

    Even the pitcher who did worse with VTek than others still did better with him in 2 of 4 seasons.

     

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Thanks for the link. I will check it out later. I believe some of the things James has to offer are valuable; I never said otherwise.

    Yes, the ones that agree with you are valuable, right?

    LOL

     
  9. 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:

    Ask Daniel Bard if he'd like VTek back as his catcher.

    2009

    w VTek 2.97 (30 inn)

    w Kott 4.15 in 9 inn

    w Mart 6.43 in 7 Inn

     

    2010

    w VTek  o.48 in 19

    w VMart 2.64 in 44

     

    2011

    w VTek  1.44 in 31

    w Salty  4.54 in 40

     

    2012 (starter)

    w Salty  5.05 in 36

    w Shop  5.91 in 21

     

    Ask Lester

    2008: Vtek 3.06/ Cash  4.74

    2009: Vtek 3.92/ VMart 1.62 (joined team after Lester regained form)

    2010: Vtek 1.88/ VMart 3.64

    2011: Vtek 2.48/ Salty  3.77

    2012: Shop 3.70/ Salty 5.62

     

    Ask Beckett

    Better every year with Vtek except his short season of 2010

     

    Ask Dice-K

    Way way way better every year with VTek, except his short season of 2009 when VMart's sample size was only 7 innings.

     

    Buchholz is the only guy who struggled more with VTek than others. His career numbers show:

    5.12 w VTek in 118 IP

    4.99 w Salty in 141 IP

    3.79 w Lava in 36 IP

    3.23 w Shopp in 78 IP

    2.83 w VMart in 241 IP

    It's hard to tell if 2008 was just a bad year or if VTek catching him made any difference, but that year skewed the numbers badly for VTek. He did very poorly with Cash that year too. If you go year by year, he doesn't look as bad with VTek as the career numbers show (an example of how CERA used incorrectly can be misleading).

    2008: Vtek  6.88/ Cash 5.79

    2009: VTek 3.72 in 10 IP/ VMart 4.34 in 77 IP

    2010: VTek 2.25 in 4 IP/ VMart  2.13 in 165 IP/ D Brown 11.25 in 4 IP

    2011: VTek 3.38 in 19 IP/ VMart 3.52 in 64 IP

    Even the pitcher who did worse with VTek than others still did better with him in 2 of 4 seasons.

     



    Which of these are statistically significant and what is the probability that they are real and not by chance? Are you a statistician? I at least admitted that I am not. When there is something I do not know I go to who I think are the most believable sources I can to get the answer. With all due respect, why would I believe you instead of Bill James?

     
  10. 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 RedSoxKimmi's comment:

     

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     

    Exactly. I am not saying that catchers have no impact on pitchers, just that the impact cannot be accurately measured using CERA and that the impact is possibly overrated. Its very difficult to come up with a statistically significant way to measure the impact of catchers on pitchers from what I can read about it.

     




    CERA can be used to accurately measure the impact that catchers have on pitchers if it is used correctly.  It's not a stat that should be disregarded just because of its limited use.

     

    With the advent of Pitch f/x in 2008, statisticians have made great strides towards  more accurately measuring the impact of catchers on pitchers in three categories - blocking pitches, pitch framing, and pitch calling.  From my understanding, they have a pretty good understanding of how blocking pitches and pitch framing impacts pitchers.

    The one area that they still have not been able to fully quantify is in pitch calling, although strides have been made in that category as well.

    Here is a link to a great article about Varitek, and his value to a pitching staff.  You should also click on and read the articles that are linked in this Varitek article.  Very informative.

    http://www.overthemonster.com/2012/2/29/2830655/jason-varitek-advanced-catcher-defense

     

    Since when did you become a Bill James fan, anyway?

     

     




     

    Here is one good quote from the article. It says what I have been saying all along: that there is no current methodology to measure how good a game a catch calls and that this represents a significant portion of his CERA. Not all of it, I realize, since you can measure how many pitches a catcher pulls back into the strike zone and how many balls he blocks from becoming passed balls and how many base stealers he throws out (though this data set is frequently due to the pitcher and not the catcher). There are some other links that I looked at that are very complicated but failed to convince me that you can measure the ability of any catcher to call a good game and hence reduces the value of CERA as a valuable measure for catchers. If you only have an understanding of 50% of someone's performance, as the article you cited implies, how can you really claim you understand the performance of a player? It would be like evaluating you on your job taking into account only 50% of what you do. Is it totally useless? No. But pretty close to it. I would have hated to have my raises determined by an evaluation of half of what I did if it was the bad half.

    Here is the relevant take home message IMO:

    We've made great strides with the last few years of PitchFX data and now have a basic understanding of the effects of pitch blocking and framing. Measuring game calling is probably the last big unknown, at least when it comes to the game on the field. To me, game calling will be the biggest single aspect of catcher defense, and also the hardest to isolate. Without it, we're probably 50-60% of the way to understanding.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Today's report from the fort...

    Whenever I hear the name Marco Duarte I will immediately remember how he cost me watching my first major league perfect game in person. Lester (18 straight outs), Carter and Hanrahan (3 more straight outs each) and then Duarte, ugh. It's the first time this season we actually stayed for the entire game and we only stayed that long because the "perfect" game was in play, but it was Duarted. Lester was obviously fabulous, and just to fuel the CERA debate, it was Ross who was catching him. Carter and Hanrahan looked equally good; throwing strikes and working quickly can be contagious!

    We would not have been even considering the perfect game if not for the wizardry of Iglesias who prevented two hits, one by going up the middle to pick a grounder headed for center and the other by backhanding a liner off the bat of Longoria in the third base hole. He was 0 for 3, being thrown out on a good bunt attempt by a great play by Longoria, something about turnabout is fair play?? He lined to left in another at bat, but left two guys on with his only bad at bat in the middle innings.

    Gomes and the poor outfield defense of the Rays was our offense. Middlebrooks, Napoli and Overbay all hit the ball hard. Victorino returned and got a hit, but it was simply a well-placed fifteen hopper up the middle. Ellsbury has perfected the routine 4-3 putout and is not working counts at all. With Ross catching and Salty DHing, we could have been looking at the opening day lineup, especially if Drew and Papi both start the season on the DL. 

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    Today's report from the fort...

    Whenever I hear the name Marco Duarte I will immediately remember how he cost me watching my first major league perfect game in person. Lester (18 straight outs), Carter and Hanrahan (3 more straight outs each) and then Duarte, ugh. It's the first time this season we actually stayed for the entire game and we only stayed that long because the "perfect" game was in play, but it was Duarted. Lester was obviously fabulous, and just to fuel the CERA debate, it was Ross who was catching him. Carter and Hanrahan looked equally good; throwing strikes and working quickly can be contagious!

    We would not have been even considering the perfect game if not for the wizardry of Iglesias who prevented two hits, one by going up the middle to pick a grounder headed for center and the other by backhanding a liner off the bat of Longoria in the third base hole. He was 0 for 3, being thrown out on a good bunt attempt by a great play by Longoria, something about turnabout is fair play?? He lined to left in another at bat, but left two guys on with his only bad at bat in the middle innings.

    Gomes and the poor outfield defense of the Rays was our offense. Middlebrooks, Napoli and Overbay all hit the ball hard. Victorino returned and got a hit, but it was simply a well-placed fifteen hopper up the middle. Ellsbury has perfected the routine 4-3 putout and is not working counts at all. With Ross catching and Salty DHing, we could have been looking at the opening day lineup, especially if Drew and Papi both start the season on the DL. 



    Thanks again, Jid. It's getting to the point where the ST sampe sizes are getting big enough to feel some optimisim over our starters. Lester is the big guy this year. There's no debate now between him and Beckett. It's all Jon now. 

    Have you seen any radr gun reporst on his fastball? I'm concerned over his loss of velocity over the last year or two.

     

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    Moon today his fastball was sitting at 93-94, his cutter at 88-90, and his breaking pitches at 80-82. That's if you can believe the board at Jet Blue. But his location was outstanding, only going to 3 balls on two hitters out of eighteen. For some perspective, Hanrahan was 96 on the fb and 84 on the slider. Cobb topped out at 90 and his off-speed stuff was around 78-80.

     
  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 jidgef's comment:

    Moon today his fastball was sitting at 93-94, his cutter at 88-90, and his breaking pitches at 80-82. That's if you can believe the board at Jet Blue. But his location was outstanding, only going to 3 balls on two hitters out of eighteen. For some perspective, Hanrahan was 96 on the fb and 84 on the slider. Cobb topped out at 90 and his off-speed stuff was around 78-80.




    Lester did look good. All his pitches were being located well. He is a notoriously slow starter from what I can remember and this year, if there is any hope at all for the playoffs, the team has to start well, unlike the last couple of years.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    Moon today his fastball was sitting at 93-94, his cutter at 88-90, and his breaking pitches at 80-82. That's if you can believe the board at Jet Blue. But his location was outstanding, only going to 3 balls on two hitters out of eighteen. For some perspective, Hanrahan was 96 on the fb and 84 on the slider. Cobb topped out at 90 and his off-speed stuff was around 78-80.

    Lester did look good. All his pitches were being located well. He is a notoriously slow starter from what I can remember and this year, if there is any hope at all for the playoffs, the team has to start well, unlike the last couple of years.



    Jon Lester's career ERA by month: April 4.10, May 4.11, June 2.78. July 3.83, Auguest 4.14, September 3.72, Overall: 3.76

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    Moon today his fastball was sitting at 93-94, his cutter at 88-90, and his breaking pitches at 80-82. That's if you can believe the board at Jet Blue. But his location was outstanding, only going to 3 balls on two hitters out of eighteen. For some perspective, Hanrahan was 96 on the fb and 84 on the slider. Cobb topped out at 90 and his off-speed stuff was around 78-80.



    Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about Lester's loss of velocity. The guy can pitch. He was one guy I really had some doubts over this winter. I'm feeling better about him now. Now, if Buch can keep his back in check, Lackey return to form, Dempster and Doubront keep us in the games, maybe just maybe...

    I can't bring myself to say it!

    LOL!

     
  17. 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 hill55's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     

    In response to jidgef's comment:

    Moon today his fastball was sitting at 93-94, his cutter at 88-90, and his breaking pitches at 80-82. That's if you can believe the board at Jet Blue. But his location was outstanding, only going to 3 balls on two hitters out of eighteen. For some perspective, Hanrahan was 96 on the fb and 84 on the slider. Cobb topped out at 90 and his off-speed stuff was around 78-80.

    Lester did look good. All his pitches were being located well. He is a notoriously slow starter from what I can remember and this year, if there is any hope at all for the playoffs, the team has to start well, unlike the last couple of years.



    Jon Lester's career ERA by month: April 4.10, May 4.11, June 2.78. July 3.83, Auguest 4.14, September 3.72, Overall: 3.76

     




    The first several weeks of the season are going to be difficult..the schedule is tough. If we start slowly again its going to be very difficult to make up ground with this team.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    Here is one good quote from the article. It says what I have been saying all along: that there is no current methodology to measure how good a game a catch calls and that this represents a significant portion of his CERA. Not all of it, I realize, since you can measure how many pitches a catcher pulls back into the strike zone and how many balls he blocks from becoming passed balls and how many base stealers he throws out (though this data set is frequently due to the pitcher and not the catcher). There are some other links that I looked at that are very complicated but failed to convince me that you can measure the ability of any catcher to call a good game and hence reduces the value of CERA as a valuable measure for catchers. If you only have an understanding of 50% of someone's performance, as the article you cited implies, how can you really claim you understand the performance of a player? It would be like evaluating you on your job taking into account only 50% of what you do. Is it totally useless? No. But pretty close to it. I would have hated to have my raises determined by an evaluation of half of what I did if it was the bad half.

    Here is the relevant take home message IMO:

    We've made great strides with the last few years of PitchFX data and now have a basic understanding of the effects of pitch blocking and framing. Measuring game calling is probably the last big unknown, at least when it comes to the game on the field. To me, game calling will be the biggest single aspect of catcher defense, and also the hardest to isolate. Without it, we're probably 50-60% of the way to understanding.



    As with any other stat, you can't get a complete picture of a player's performance by just looking at the one stat. CERA is no different.   That doesn't mean it should be disregarded.  If used in the right context, along with other stats and the results of these studies, you can get a very good idea of a catcher's impact on a pitcher. 

    The fact that the stat geeks are 50-60% of the way to understanding doesn't mean that what they have quantified isn't accurate.   It will be refined and tweaked, but the overall picture will likely remain the same.  I've read the same thing about defensive assessments in general, that the saber geeks are about 60% of the way to completely understanding defensive contributions. 

    This hasn't stopped them from using said stats in their assessments of players.  It also hasn't stopped just about every MLB team from employing these very same saber guys to interpret these very same stats to make assessments for them.

    FWIW, I have also read that the saber community is only about 80% (IIRC) of the way to completely understanding the offensive contributions of players.  Again, it doesn't mean that the stats they have are inaccurate or that they have should be disregarded.

     

     


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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    In response to jidgef's comment:

     

    Moon today his fastball was sitting at 93-94, his cutter at 88-90, and his breaking pitches at 80-82. That's if you can believe the board at Jet Blue. But his location was outstanding, only going to 3 balls on two hitters out of eighteen. For some perspective, Hanrahan was 96 on the fb and 84 on the slider. Cobb topped out at 90 and his off-speed stuff was around 78-80.

     



    Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about Lester's loss of velocity. The guy can pitch. He was one guy I really had some doubts over this winter. I'm feeling better about him now. Now, if Buch can keep his back in check, Lackey return to form, Dempster and Doubront keep us in the games, maybe just maybe...

     

    I can't bring myself to say it!

    LOL!



    You will be a Pollyanna before you know it Moon! You will jump on the bandwagon as soon as it gets even a little in tune....we hope!

     

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    I think the general consensus is that CERA differences are probably real but are overated in their significance and difficult to prove from a mathmatical standpoint given current sample sizes and the large degree of variability in the available data. 

    How are they "over-rated" when only a few people believe in it?



    Lot's of people think it is 1/2 run a game or more and that is probably the absolute extre IMO, worst to 1st.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    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.



    Statistically a very small sample size considering the number of variables involved. Time of the year, injuries, opponents...etc....right down to daily lineups. There are a ton of variables in this sort of eval.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    I didn't see today's game but from the highlights that curve that Lester kept getting strike calls with almost looked like one heck of a cutter. I like our chances!

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to RedSoxKimmi's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     

    Here is one good quote from the article. It says what I have been saying all along: that there is no current methodology to measure how good a game a catch calls and that this represents a significant portion of his CERA. Not all of it, I realize, since you can measure how many pitches a catcher pulls back into the strike zone and how many balls he blocks from becoming passed balls and how many base stealers he throws out (though this data set is frequently due to the pitcher and not the catcher). There are some other links that I looked at that are very complicated but failed to convince me that you can measure the ability of any catcher to call a good game and hence reduces the value of CERA as a valuable measure for catchers. If you only have an understanding of 50% of someone's performance, as the article you cited implies, how can you really claim you understand the performance of a player? It would be like evaluating you on your job taking into account only 50% of what you do. Is it totally useless? No. But pretty close to it. I would have hated to have my raises determined by an evaluation of half of what I did if it was the bad half.

    Here is the relevant take home message IMO:

    We've made great strides with the last few years of PitchFX data and now have a basic understanding of the effects of pitch blocking and framing. Measuring game calling is probably the last big unknown, at least when it comes to the game on the field. To me, game calling will be the biggest single aspect of catcher defense, and also the hardest to isolate. Without it, we're probably 50-60% of the way to understanding.

     



    As with any other stat, you can't get a complete picture of a player's performance by just looking at the one stat. CERA is no different.   That doesn't mean it should be disregarded.  If used in the right context, along with other stats and the results of these studies, you can get a very good idea of a catcher's impact on a pitcher. 

     

    The fact that the stat geeks are 50-60% of the way to understanding doesn't mean that what they have quantified isn't accurate.   It will be refined and tweaked, but the overall picture will likely remain the same.  I've read the same thing about defensive assessments in general, that the saber geeks are about 60% of the way to completely understanding defensive contributions. 

    This hasn't stopped them from using said stats in their assessments of players.  It also hasn't stopped just about every MLB team from employing these very same saber guys to interpret these very same stats to make assessments for them.

    FWIW, I have also read that the saber community is only about 80% (IIRC) of the way to completely understanding the offensive contributions of players.  Again, it doesn't mean that the stats they have are inaccurate or that they have should be disregarded.

     

     

     



    Well put, and I am pretty sure that smart management teams are not waiting for the proper expalnation as to why most pitchers do better with one catcher over another. If they do, they realize it and begin to make moves to maximize those gains.

    The Angels clearly value the CERA related are of a catcher's game. They started Mathis over the much better hitter, Napoli more often than not. The team record when Mathis started was way better than when Napoli caught, even though mathis was one of the worst hitters in MLB during his tears with the Angels, and Napoli was one of the best hitting catchers of that time. (Another point in the argument of defense over offense at certain important positions.)

    I know wins and losses are team stats, and crediting or blaming a win or loss on a catcher is heading into very speculative areas, but take a look at these numbers when Jeff Mathis was the Angel catcher vs when he was not:

      w/Mathis  w/others  (Mathis OPS/Team catcher OPS incl Mathis)

    2007  34-18    60-50  (.627/.672)

    2008  58-32    42-30  (.593/.755) Napoli .971

    2009  46-32    51-33  (.569/.725) Napoli .817

    2010  29-33    51- 49  (.497/.667) Naps .801

    2011  45-34    41-42  (.484/.555) Conger .656/Wilson .546

    Look at the massive offensive disparity between Mathis and Napoli, and yet the team won more with Mathis. Can't say why, so let's ignore the numbers right?

     

    The wins and losses are even more astounding between VTek and the other Sox catchers over the years, even the years where VTek was the worse offensive catcher:

    These are the numbers after VTek's offense went south.

          w/VTek  w/others (VTek's OPS/Team catcher OPS including VTek's)

    2008  73-47    22-20   (.672/.650) Cash .620

    2009  61-45    34-22  (.703/.750)  VMart .907

    2010  18-9      71-64  (.766/.793)  VMart .884

    2011  42-22    48-50  (.723/.737) Salty .741/Lava .833

    Total  194-126  175-156

    Now you can see why I value catcher defense and CERA-related areas of a catcher's game. I have also done studies on opponent's OPS with each catcher- very similar results as CERA. 

    Even if you take away Beckett's 20-10 team record in his starts in 2011 from VTek, the team still went 22-12 when Vtek was the catcher. This is much better than 48-50 with other catchers with pitchers not named Beckett.

     

    I know this will upset some Yankee fans, but Posada's CERA numbers were usually worse than his back-up, and sure enough, even though he outhit his back-up by a ton, his winning percentage was lower than his back-ups'. I don't have the numbers, but harness did the legwork, and I trust his data like I trust my own above.

     

    Teams win with good game callers. They can win much more, even if the other catcher is a way better hitter. Just because it can not be quantified with specific data, does not mean the catcher behind the plate doesn't have a large influence on how ell the pitcher does and hence how well the team does.

     

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

    In response to RedsoxProspects' comment:

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

     

    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.

     



    Statistically a very small sample size considering the number of variables involved. Time of the year, injuries, opponents...etc....right down to daily lineups. There are a ton of variables in this sort of eval.

     



    Let's look at just the pitchers who were caught the most by Yadier's back-up and compare them to how they did with Yadier:

    (OPS against with sample size of 95+ PAs)

    2012   w/Tony Cruz  w/Yadier

    L Lynn         .730   .725

    Westbrook  .730   .722

    Wainwright .761    .690

    K Lohse      .570     .652

    J Kelly       .686     .754

    J Garcia    .817     .709

    Laird is known as a good game caller and Yadier and Laird both had a team CERA of 3.80...

    2011:      w/Laird  w/Yadier  w/Cruz

    McClellan   .672       .808     .595

    K Lohse      .674      .682      n/a

    Westbrook .806      .786      n/a

    j garcia      .825      .694      .794

    E Jackson  .813      .821       n/a

    Carpenter   n/a     .687       .531

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
  25. 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 RedSoxKimmi's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     

    Here is one good quote from the article. It says what I have been saying all along: that there is no current methodology to measure how good a game a catch calls and that this represents a significant portion of his CERA. Not all of it, I realize, since you can measure how many pitches a catcher pulls back into the strike zone and how many balls he blocks from becoming passed balls and how many base stealers he throws out (though this data set is frequently due to the pitcher and not the catcher). There are some other links that I looked at that are very complicated but failed to convince me that you can measure the ability of any catcher to call a good game and hence reduces the value of CERA as a valuable measure for catchers. If you only have an understanding of 50% of someone's performance, as the article you cited implies, how can you really claim you understand the performance of a player? It would be like evaluating you on your job taking into account only 50% of what you do. Is it totally useless? No. But pretty close to it. I would have hated to have my raises determined by an evaluation of half of what I did if it was the bad half.

    Here is the relevant take home message IMO:

    We've made great strides with the last few years of PitchFX data and now have a basic understanding of the effects of pitch blocking and framing. Measuring game calling is probably the last big unknown, at least when it comes to the game on the field. To me, game calling will be the biggest single aspect of catcher defense, and also the hardest to isolate. Without it, we're probably 50-60% of the way to understanding.

     



    As with any other stat, you can't get a complete picture of a player's performance by just looking at the one stat. CERA is no different.   That doesn't mean it should be disregarded.  If used in the right context, along with other stats and the results of these studies, you can get a very good idea of a catcher's impact on a pitcher. 

     

    The fact that the stat geeks are 50-60% of the way to understanding doesn't mean that what they have quantified isn't accurate.   It will be refined and tweaked, but the overall picture will likely remain the same.  I've read the same thing about defensive assessments in general, that the saber geeks are about 60% of the way to completely understanding defensive contributions. 

    This hasn't stopped them from using said stats in their assessments of players.  It also hasn't stopped just about every MLB team from employing these very same saber guys to interpret these very same stats to make assessments for them.

    FWIW, I have also read that the saber community is only about 80% (IIRC) of the way to completely understanding the offensive contributions of players.  Again, it doesn't mean that the stats they have are inaccurate or that they have should be disregarded.

     

     

     



    Its hard to put much credence in a stat that is at best 50% accurate. As you know, I am not a big believer in a lot of defensive statistics. The offensive stats are easier to quantify: OPS, BA, SLG etc.  So is ERA. I guess I am not really saying CERA is TOTALLY useless, but its certainly not something I would depend on at all. I think Bill James said "This time the scouts got it right" or something to that effect. Maybe Mathis played over Napoli because it was clear to the eyes of Scoscia that the benefits of Mathis outweighed the benefits provided by Napoli rather than invoking CERA.
    I think I believe part of the criteria CERA measures: blocked pitches in the dirt, pulling balls back into the strike zone etc, but I do not believe anyone has claimed that the 50% of CERA or thereabouts that deals with calling a good game or not has been able to be quantified (not that it doesn't exist). One of the links from the article you provided contained an article from someone who claims he has been able to measure "calling a good game", but after reading it twice, I still cannot understand it.

    For now, I guess I will believe the scouts and see if more UNDERSTANDABLE data becomes available. Its clear that some catchers are better than others, and some do seem to call a better game and are preferred by more SP. I do not see a way to quantify it......yet.

     

     

     

     
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