Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    "He told me to focus on throwing right to his mitt.
    I knew that would help my pitching".

                                                                   
    Dice.


    Well Katz: I suppose hearing it from the "horse's mouth" doesn't cut it either, eh?
    Tell me, have you ever pitched or caught  beyond high school? This question isn't meant  to be derogatory. My point is that something so simple - something a pitcher learns at the lowest levels - is repeated and suddenly his focus changes from trying to pinpoint finite issues from one of the worst starts of his career, to: Aim for my mitt. 

    Would Salty have simplified it that way? Would Napoli or VMART? Yeah, Dice was poor with Tek in his debut.
    He was atrocious with Salty.
    Tito is trying to get Dice back on track, so he pairs Tek/Dice.  WHY?

    I tried to get some compelling data across to you last year. No go.
    I don't know if you don't understand how this criteria is measured, or you simply can't believe that which offers no acceptable reason to you.

    Salty may be the man at some point, that's the hope. But until that happens, this team wins with Tek.
    No, not every game. But they are a .596 team with him handling the pitchers historically - and marginally above .500 team when others handle those same pitchers. They went 18-9 with Tek starting last year, despite Tek not catching Buch and damn little of Lester. They are 5-10 this year, but are now 3-2 when Tek starts.

    And he's hitting .063.

    It's 4-5 years of Mathis compared to Napoli in a nutshell. Napoli is the better hitter but Mathis gets the most out of his pitching staff year in and year out. And the Angels win far more games with the weak-hitting Mathis year in and year out.

    You're a smart guy, Katz. But you are really missing the boat on this one.
    I guess sometimes you have to believe in something...before you can see it.

     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    I don't think that qualifies as cause and effect. I don't think the patronizing comments to a fine poster like Katz do anything but expose your own delusions. DiceK was shaking Varitek off numerous times. He knows the bigotry towards him and the love old Varitek. That's his advised way of trying to give credit to someone who is old, can't hit, can't throw, can't run, can't block, but who is a proud fan favorite. Very sad, Harness.

    100% of the credit goes to the Japanese guy who didn't learn the local language.

    Switching gears, when is Wakefield going to be DFA or DL'd?
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    I do believe Katz can determine which posters patronize on this board without UR help.
    As for cause and effect, a careful study of your inability to differentiate between poster and identity is a perfect illustration of cause-effect.

    As for bigotry, tell the board about the thread you started using the term: "two japs".
    That caused quite a reaction. Kinda like cause and effect.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannycater. Show dannycater's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    I don't see a lot of skills in Salty. I hope he can hit a little, but am not impressed by his arm and not by his pitch-calling skills either. You look at Tek, who is well past his prime, but then you see a guy who has calmed down Beckett and frankly he's done a fine job in comparison to Salty. You want effectiveness from your pitchers, and Tek mostly has been the guy behind the dish when this is occuring. It's alarming how many homers the Sox staff allowed with Salty back there. And it's true about having a .100 hitting catcher. If the rest of the team supplies the offense, and the catcher works with the pitchers well enough to keep teams from 3 runs and under, I'm going with that backstop guy.

     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    Harness, the "two japs" was to underscore the bigotry in Boston, which you knew but are desperate for cover.

    Now, I want you to apologize for claiming that DiceK said that he knew his pitching was going to be good when Varitek told him to just throw where Varitek put his mit. That's false, by simply listening to the interview. DiceK first said he changed his approach and forgot about his prior bad outings and the things being said about him. He then made reference to Varitek and the mit and actually said "he was trying to help me".

    I took your comment and made the mistake of believing you were honest about what DiceK said. I reveiwed the interview myself and caught you being deliberately dishonest to try and deflect credit to Varitek.

    Again, DiceK gets 100% for overcoming a boohing rabid Red Sox fanbase and pitching a really solid game. Most Red Sox fans love Wakefield and resent DiceK, which is obvious from the comments about the two.

    Wakefield should have boohed when he came out, not DiceK.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    My statement holds. In fact, another poster mentioned it verbatim.
    You also alluded to it when you said "Dice forgot about his prior outings".
    Tek was trying to get him to focus on the basics (mitt).

    I'm not saying this was definitely the tonic that allowed Dice to pull his magician act.
    I am saying that a right word at the right time can have a very positive affect.
    I'd say major league pitchers know a hell of a lot more than you do. And when they rave about the cerebral work of a battery mate - or simply mention the input - it's just one more way of proving a catcher's relevance to pitching, beyond blocking pitches and throwing out runners.

    You won't see beyond the EGO that propels you, so nothing anybody says or shows will matter anyway.

    Now, let's talk about dishonesty, beginning with the identities you claim aren't yours...
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    It amazes me that so many people think a pitcher will pitch the exact same pitces and the exact same locations no matter who catches them. Yes, they shake off the catcher from time to time; that doesn't mean the catcher does not have a large influence on what is pitched.

    Then there is the emotional support factor and more...
     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    Red Sox record 2010-2011 in Varitek starts 21-11 .656
    Red Sox record 2010-2011 in non-Varitek starts 73-72 .503

    There's only one reasonable conclusion: he is very lucky. 


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

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    You'd expect "luck" to even out over the years: it hasn't.
     
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  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from redsoxfan791. Show redsoxfan791's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    Wow. What a ridiculous statment that Varitek has no impact on the quality of the pitching staff.  LOL on that one.

    The catcher has some impact on the pitching staff, but it's way overstated.  The truth is that there's nothing but anecdotal evidence showing a catcher's impact.  While there is some exciting research being done (with supported findings), it's still way too early to make any conclusions on what might come out of it.

    His effect on the pitching staff is legendary and espeically how he manages it. Josh Beckett pitched a masterpiece Sunday night against the Yankees and it was not a coincidence that Varitek was behind the plate. V-Tek knows when to make visits to the mound, is smart when calling pitches, and overall is a very intelligent ball player.

    It sounds like you're giving credit to Varitek for Beckett's start, and not Beckett.  I tend to think that Beckett (the man who actually had to execute his pitches) is responsible for throwing a tight curve ball and great two seamer. 

    All of the qualities you mentioned with Varitek are those that I agree with, but I know they're opinions.  You seem to think they're facts. 

    Yeah, what a slouch V-TEK has been in his career. I'm sure that it is pure coincidence that he's behind the plate on all these occassions.  No, he doesn't make his rotation better at all.  Nothing to do with it.  LOL!

    You're channeling your emotions rather than rational thought processes.  It completely undermines your argument.  You've taken someone else disagreeing with your opinion personally, and you're using that irritation to personally attack someone else. 

    Varitek:  Has caught a Major League record four official no-hitters
    • Hideo Nomo: April 4, 2001 vs Baltimore
    • Derek Lowe: April 27, 2002 vs Tampa Bay
    • Clay Buchholz: September 1, 2007 vs Baltimore (Clay's No-Hitter was his second Major League start)
    • Jon Lester: May 19, 2008 vs Kansas City

    That's a very nice stat, but it could be coincidental.  Correlation does not equal causation.  Varitek deserves just as much credit for the no hitters as the defense behind the pitchers as they had to field the ball.  Pitchers/catchers can't will a batted ball toward a particular fielder.  As a result, if said fielder doesn't read a ground ball correctly or runs an abnormal route, that batted ball may become a hit, not an out.  Furthermore, the fielding crew likely had to make a few out of zone plays they normally would not have made in order to preserve the no hitter. 

    Giving credit to the pitcher/catcher for a no hitter is nice, but it makes about as much sense as giving credit to a pitcher for a win.  Unless the pitcher strikes out all 27 batters, the defense is just as much a part of a no hitter as the battery combo.

     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    In Response to Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation:
    [QUOTE]You'd expect "luck" to even out over the years: it hasn't.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]..

    True, but you're also assuming that Varitek is the most important variable.  There's a correlation between the Varitek and performance.  That doesn't mean there's causation.
     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    In Response to Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation:
    [QUOTE]I hope Burrito chokes on those numbers. Of course, he likely doesn't understand any of it. One thing, Moon: On Beckett in 2010: Tek caught him 6 of 8 games in April/May. 3 quality starts. 7 IP in  4 of the 6 games. 5.6 and 3 in the other two. VMART caught him twice during this period: Josh couldn't get out of the 5th frame in either start. Once Beckett returned from the DL, Tek wasn't allowed to catch him in any of Josh's 2nd half starts. Tito paired him with VMART almost exclusively in the second half. To think Boston had an 18-9 record with Tek starting games in 2010 is amazing considering he didn't really catch Buch - and was quite limited with Lester. Today was a good example of Josh getting a win w/o his best stuff.
    Posted by harness[/QUOTE]

    Victor Martinez is no longer a Red Sox. Get over it already!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    The great debate about CERA last year was quite circular and there is little reason to think it won't continue to be in 2011.

    The premise of the OP to quote the headline is that Jason Varitek should be the primary starting catcher. From that point we broke into the argument of CERA and are left with uneven sample sets from last year and this to compare.

    But even if you accept that pitchers perform better with Varitek as their signal caller, there is a harsh reality. He is a 39 year old catcher in the post steroid - post grennie era. The argument ignores just how badly Varitek played not only as a hitter but as a defensive catcher by July 2009 when he was catching every day at 37. He wore down and that is no surprise given his age and the number of games he has caught in his career. The sample sets are still very small so I won't get into just how bad he has looked at the plate to start this year because after all I don't think Carl Crawford is a .140 hitter either.

    But the answer for 2011 isn't Jason Varitek catching 5 times a week. Rick Patino could have found a new variation on this because while Jason Varitek is still walking through that door he is not the physically the player he was even in 2007 when he had become an average catcher offensively, with issues throwing out runners but strong every day in game catcher in other aspects of his game.

    The RS went into this season with modest confidence at best in this tandem. It is why IMO they were serious in their interest in Russell Martin and that they continued to collect catchers in low leverage trades. Now I do think that they have no issues with Varitek as their back-up catcher. They can accept whatever warts that brings because of the positives Tek can still bring with a reduced workload.

    It is comforting to think it is one person when a team scuffles. Lot's of folks like to blame the manager (that covers it all, offense, defense pitching). If Tek wasn't here it would probably be Young catching the heat for not filling Farrell's shoes. But pitching wasn't the only problem this team had. They weren't hitting and when they did they were sure not to do so with RISP. Is that Magidan's fault?

    It is baseball, when it is going good the numbers can be jaw dropping (see Jed Lowrie the last 7 games for details). When it is going bad it can be mind numbing (see Carl Crawford or John Lackey's start for details).

    The RS need to give Salty more than two weeks when the entire team was in a collective slump to prove if he can or can not be the primary catcher for the RS. If Pedroia got the same quick hook he'd be putting on his Laser Show or some place else in MLB after the RS traded him.

    If the RS fail that one will be on Epstein's inability to find different option than the can't miss - so far has Salty and twilight version of the RS Captain as his catching tandem IMO.








     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    ESPN baseball analyst John Kruk, in his weekly interview on the Mut & Merloni Show, suggested that the Red Sox' three-game winning streak against the Blue Jays gave up glimpse of what he expected from the club. Even so, Kruk acknowledged that he does have some questions about the club, including the team's catching situation.

    Through the first 15 games of the season, Red Sox pitchers have a 2.40 ERA with Jason Varitek behind the plate and a 7.29 mark with Jarrod Saltalamacchia calling signals. Kruk suggested that he doesn't think the disparity is a coincidence.


    "[Josh] Beckett and Daisuke [Matsuzaka], their best starts of the year just happened to be with Varitek behind the plate? I don’t think so," said Kruk. "First of all, the thing with Jarrod Saltalamacchia is this. He’s never established himself as an everyday catcher. All we heard about when he was in Atlanta was, ‘Oh, this guy is going to be the second coming of Johnny Bench – switch-hitter with power to both sides, he can call a game, he can throw.’ He’s never proven it. You wonder why a guy who was supposed to be this great has been with his third organization already at such a young age. There has to be something there where two other organizations felt this guy isn’t an everyday catcher, we can get by with someone else.


    "To me, the thing that Varitek does back there with that pitching staff, they trust him. They know that when he puts a finger down, there’s a reason why he wants that pitch and they throw it," Kruk added. "Saltalamacchia puts a finger down and they’re like, ‘Uh-oh, why does he want this?’ There’s questions. Everything is questioned with a catcher you don’t trust. You don’t have full faith in him because you haven’t spent a lot of time with him. Can he develop into that?  I don't know."

     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    Nice to see Katz and others posters not make the silly grand canyon of myth. An experienced  pitcher throws what he wants, when he wants, wherever he wants.

    Varitek is washed up in every other way, low minor league levels, it's understandable that those infatuated with his career need to find some way to make him seem an integral part of the team. Theo should have long since moved on and picked up a good defensive (good throwing arm and blocks ball well)catcher by now. The good news is that it won't decide if this pitching staff performs well.

    At least Varitek does have a legitimate role as a backup catcher. Wakefield, the other sentimental ornament, is a complete waste of a roster spot. He makes Lowell look like Babe Ruth.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    In Response to Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation:
    [QUOTE]The great debate about CERA last year was quite circular and there is little reason to think it won't continue to be in 2011. The premise of the OP to quote the headline is that Jason Varitek should be the primary starting catcher. From that point we broke into the argument of CERA and are left with uneven sample sets from last year and this to compare. But even if you accept that pitchers perform better with Varitek as their signal caller, there is a harsh reality. He is a 39 year old catcher in the post steroid - post grennie era. The argument ignores just how badly Varitek played not only as a hitter but as a defensive catcher by July 2009 when he was catching every day at 37. He wore down and that is no surprise given his age and the number of games he has caught in his career. The sample sets are still very small so I won't get into just how bad he has looked at the plate to start this year because after all I don't think Carl Crawford is a .140 hitter either. But the answer for 2011 isn't Jason Varitek catching 5 times a week. Rick Patino could have found a new variation on this because while Jason Varitek is still walking through that door he is not the physically the player he was even in 2007 when he had become an average catcher offensively, with issues throwing out runners but strong every day in game catcher in other aspects of his game. The RS went into this season with modest confidence at best in this tandem. It is why IMO they were serious in their interest in Russell Martin and that they continued to collect catchers in low leverage trades. Now I do think that they have no issues with Varitek as their back-up catcher. They can accept whatever warts that brings because of the positives Tek can still bring with a reduced workload. It is comforting to think it is one person when a team scuffles. Lot's of folks like to blame the manager (that covers it all, offense, defense pitching). If Tek wasn't here it would probably be Young catching the heat for not filling Farrell's shoes. But pitching wasn't the only problem this team had. They weren't hitting and when they did they were sure not to do so with RISP. Is that Magidan's fault? It is baseball, when it is going good the numbers can be jaw dropping (see Jed Lowrie the last 7 games for details). When it is going bad it can be mind numbing (see Carl Crawford or John Lackey's start for details). The RS need to give Salty more than two weeks when the entire team was in a collective slump to prove if he can or can not be the primary catcher for the RS. If Pedroia got the same quick hook he'd be putting on his Laser Show or some place else in MLB after the RS traded him. If the RS fail that one will be on Epstein's inability to find different option than the can't miss - so far has Salty and twilight version of the RS Captain as his catching tandem IMO.
    Posted by fivekatz[/QUOTE]

    No Katz. You are twisting the OP, just as you are twisting the data as being "uneven" - just as you are twisting popular opinion.

    The intention of the OP is not to designate Tek as primary starting catcher.
    That's why the term "stabilize" was used.
    The OP is saying that the team needs a stabilizing force to calm the waters.
    I don't know of anybody here who is for Tek being a FT catcher. Believe it or not, we understand the long-term affects of aging.

    If you choose not to accept a catcher's importance to his pitchers to the extent I or others do, fine. But distorting the truth isn't going to change it.

    The "uneven data" had one purpose: To validate a catcher's relevance. That's it.
    The board can argue as to the extent of it until the cows come home. But once something has been established, nothing anybody says will change that.

    I also don't think the majority of the board is saying the 5-10 record is all on Salty.
    Many factors play into it. And when the team was 2-9, Tito felt it necessary to get Tek more playing time, which is what the author of this thread is condoning.

    A great hitter can impact run production.
    A great pitcher will allow his team to win many games by limiting the opposing bats.
    A lesser hitter or pitcher will have less impact.

    It's no different with a catcher and his affect on pitchers. You will see a notable difference with a given pitching staff if there's a notable difference in how they are handled.

    You will see ambiguous results if the catchers are of similar skill-sets. To acknowledge one and not the other is using tunnel-vision.
     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    IS 791 "EX-PITCH"?
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    True, but you're also assuming that Varitek is the most important variable.  There's a correlation between the Varitek and performance.  That doesn't mean there's causation.

    I think there is certainly causation.

    Just because we don't know the reason why, the fact that it has been a near constant year after year after year tells me VTek is a major reason it is happening, not because the sun . I researched the pitchers VTek caught vs his teammate catchers over the past few years. If anything, he has caught more of the "lower end" starters than his teammate catcher. Yes, there are other variables. Yes, there is anecdotal evidence to back up the argument that catchers "matter" from pitcher, coaches, and managers (even Tito today said as much). This isn't discounting the role of the pitcher. Of course the pitcher matters a lot, but it is folly to think a pitcher will pitch the exact same game no matter who catches. The cathcer adds so many variables from pitch-calling to emotional support to setting a target to manipulating the umps to blocking/throwing/fielding dribblers and bunts to just plain instilling confidence in themselves.
     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    Harness, Katz doesn't "twist". He has more patience than I do with some loony tune like you.

    There is no causation, which requires proof.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from redsoxfan791. Show redsoxfan791's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    In Response to Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation:
    [QUOTE]IS 791 "EX-PITCH"?
    Posted by harness[/QUOTE]

    Lol.  Hardly.  Really there are two reasons.  One, I barely have time to post on here but in spurts.  Two, he and I vehemently disagree on the concept of pitching to contact and luck.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from redsoxfan791. Show redsoxfan791's posts

    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    I think there is certainly causation.

    Just because we don't know the reason why, the fact that it has been a near constant year after year after year tells me VTek is a major reason it is happening, not because the sun . I researched the pitchers VTek caught vs his teammate catchers over the past few years. If anything, he has caught more of the "lower end" starters than his teammate catcher. Yes, there are other variables. Yes, there is anecdotal evidence to back up the argument that catchers "matter" from pitcher, coaches, and managers (even Tito today said as much). This isn't discounting the role of the pitcher. Of course the pitcher matters a lot, but it is folly to think a pitcher will pitch the exact same game no matter who catches. The cathcer adds so many variables from pitch-calling to emotional support to setting a target to manipulating the umps to blocking/throwing/fielding dribblers and bunts to just plain instilling confidence in themselves.

    I'm not saying there isn't causation.  I'm just saying the proof of causation doesn't exist--yet. 

    I agree that it's a little foolish to assume that a pitcher will pitch identically regardless of the catcher--just as it's ridiculous to assume that fly ball pitchers will pitch identically with a great OF defense vs. a terrible OF defense.  I think the emotional factor does exist, but it's largely overstated.  We really need to find ways to measure a catcher's skills (i.e. pitch framing, blocking pitches, etc.) before we can determine who much value actually has.  Right now, it's just perceived value.  That perceived value might be correct, but it's really just a guess.  For over 125 years we "knew" that wins, ERA, batting average, and RBI were accurate measures of performance.  Now, we actually know they aren't. 
     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    Like I have said before, I'd like to know the reason, and maybe someday we will, but I don't need to know the major vairable that causes what has been proven to happen: pitchers do better with VTek. Even if it something silly, like the color of his mitt makes for a better target, if it works: it works.

    I do know from playing the game and having and talking to a good friend who was a high level pitcher, that the catcher is a major factor in the results over time. It may turn out that there are actually many small facors that add up to a better "comfort level" or "confidence level" when VTek catches, but the fact that teams like the Sox, Angels and Yanks have done much better when a weaker hitting catcher plays should open some eyes. Sadly, some remain shut refusing to evenadmit there is even a tiny influence from the catcher (not you 791).
     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    In Response to Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation:
    [QUOTE]Like I have said before, I'd like to know the reason, and maybe someday we will, but I don't need to know the major vairable that causes what has been proven to happen: pitchers do better with VTek. Even if it something silly, like the color of his mitt makes for a better target, if it works: it works. I do know from playing the game and having and talking to a good friend who was a high level pitcher, that the catcher is a major factor in the results over time. It may turn out that there are actually many small facors that add up to a better "comfort level" or "confidence level" when VTek catches, but the fact that teams like the Sox, Angels and Yanks have done much better when a weaker hitting catcher plays should open some eyes. Sadly, some remain shut refusing to evenadmit there is even a tiny influence from the catcher (not you 791).
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    That is frustrating.  It's almost as frustrating as those who think the pitcher is solely responsible for hits and runs allowed.

    While I don't think the influence is quite as strong as harness thinks it is, there's something there.  Does it have a drastic affect on ERA and hits allowed?  I don't know.  I tend to think no because of all of the external variables involved in ERA that are outside of the pitcher's control.  Does it have an affect on a pitcher's skills like strikeouts, walks, ground balls, home runs allowed?  I have to believe there's some effect.  There's been some compelling research that's been done recently.  Hopefully something will come of it so we can put this to rest once and for all. 
     
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    Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation

    An interesting piece in ESPN by Gordon Edes whcih highlights some of the catching issues.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/10049/rapid-reaction-athletics-5-red-sox-0

    Saltalamacchia has thrown out just 17.6 percent of the runners who have attempted to steal (3-of-17).  This is likely a trend that can't continue.

    Can a catcher's ability to throw out base runners improve a pitcher's performance?  I'd like to think so.  What are the options is Salty is a bust?
     

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