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If pitch framing is so valuable, why is doesn't it show up in CERA? There's too much other noise?
When this stuff first started, Tango and I had a short discussion, probably here, maybe offline. Anyway, given his estimates, 2 stolen strikes per game over a season was about 2 wins ... or 2 lost strikes was about -2 wins. It's not quite that simple since the stolen/lost strikes are generally borderline pitches that are called a strike, say, 50% of the time but I don't find it that hard to believe that Molina (or some C) steals 2-3 strikes a game.
If these studies focused strictly on ball 4 and strike 3 calls, then that would be dealing with actual value.
This is the equivalent of rating hitter value on RBIs. Changing a count into a pitcher's count has value. It won't pan out every time, but it averages out over a season to some positive value added. It's the same line of argument as why we use ERA+ or WAR or wOBA (or whatever) to measure value instead of RBI or wins.
This is the equivalent of rating hitter value on RBIs.
Not really, it's equivalent to rating of a hitter value based upon obp.
No - By the logic proposed, getting on base doesn't do anything except improve the odds that you'll score. If you don't score, you might as well not have gotten on base, Scoring is what matters. Except that scoring doesn't matter - it just improves your odds to win, so nothing matters except wins. If you don't win, you might as well have not scored. Because wins matter. Except that wins don't matter, they just improve your odds to make the playoffs, so making the playoffs is all that matters. So if you don't make the playoffs, you might as well have not won. Making the playoffs matters. Except that making the playoffs just gives you a chance at winning the Series. Because COUNT DA RINGZZZZZZ.
If you don't think ball and strike calls other than ball 4 and strike 3 matter, then go take a look at the difference between overall hitting lines after an AB with say a 1-2 and a 2-1 count. For all of MLB in 2013, the average hitting line after 1-2 was .179/.228/.271 and after a 2-1 count it was .255/.387/.412. So from a 1-1 count, that next pitch going one way or the other ends up swinging the hitter's OBP by 159 points and SLG by 141. That is a MASSIVE difference.
Another thought that I had right after I hit Submit: This business of pitch framing may be why some pitchers, including superstars like Steve Carlton, had favorite "personal catchers", like Tim McCarver for Carlton. It may be that McCarver's normal positioning led to his glove moving in the direction that most benefitted Carlton's stuff. Don't know; thought it was worth throwing into the mix, especially since you can probably get pitchers who have or had personal catchers to tell you why they liked that catcher so much.
I don't find it hard to believe it, but unless it's the call third strike, you still have to continue the pitch sequence. I understand most of these studies look at how the average player does and awards credit based upon the difference. I.E. it's a 1-1 count, and a ball is called a strike, they look at the average performance difference throughout the league between a 1-2 count vs 2-1 count and award credit based upon that. It's nice and theoretical and all, but it doesn't really save the "run" unless the batter actually makes the out. Just changing the odds isn't the same thing as actually changing the outcome. If these studies focused strictly on ball 4 and strike 3 calls, then that would be dealing with actual value.
YOu seem to think that the only outcomes that matter are outcomes that end in walks or strikes (see the part where you say "strictly on ball 4 and strike 3 calls'"). It's not just about ball 4 and strike 3; it can never be.
I fully understand the changes to the chances. But again, when talking about a value stat like war or runs saved, you can't be focusing on the theoretical. This is the same silly nonsense that make people list fangraph war for pitchers.
This is the same silly nonsense that make people list fangraph war for pitchers.
I just don't see how you can assign a run value to something that ultimately failed.
There are lots of ways to go with this, but I think any system that assigns catchers defense as a bonus to war, should only be based upon how it affected the actual results that happened and not the theoretical of what is possible. Example if a guy grounds out on that 1-2 pitch that should have been 2-1, the catcher gets some of the defensive credit for the improvement in the odds on that play happening. If he smacks a homerun.... well no credit is given as it didn't ultimately make a difference.
I confess I dont know what that controversy was about, but if you could provide some detail I would be interested.
CFB: lets put it this way: do you believe that baseball outcomes can in fact be predicted statistically or not? Given that: a) we are never going to be fully informed, as the states of molecules in front of homeplate is constantly changing, as well as lots of other stuff; and b) we cant' state FOR CERTAIN what will happen.
WHich player performed better? Which player has more talent?
We accept each at bat as an individual piece of the puzzle working to scoring a run. But we have never given credit to pitchers who get ahead of the count and then allow a base hit. This is what this system does. We are giving credit for a portion of the result without looking at the actual result. I mean by the logic that they are using for catchers rating, a batter who gets ahead on a count 2-0 and then grounds out would probably still be credited with a positive performance. (mind you, I would have no problem with a system that does any of that as an analytical tool, just don't see why it matters in a war like stat)
BUt the numbers still balance. You add up Molina and you add up the Cardinal pitching staff and it still comes out to 95 wins. Very close to actual. What is wrong with a system like that? IT all balances out.
Dave Ortiz comes up, gets ball one...borderline pitch that he takes and which the data says that 70% of the time the rest of the league swings and misses it or it gets called a strike on them, and instead he gets a ball call on him...now he has worked his way into a favorable hitters count, shouldn't he get the same type of bonus the catcher who worked the count in the opposite way did? Of course he then pops up to the second baseman, but by this system, he gets more "runs" for working the count to 2-1 instead of 1-2 even if he ultimately has the same out result.
Generally speaking I think that the lowest individual action we should award a run value to is the entire plate appearance. This is cutting it down to awarding a run value to each individual pitch.
What if you did this:
Batter gets ahead 2-0; he ultimately grounds out. Instead of being charged say -0.45 (example only) for the out. WE charge him at -0.65 because he was ahead in the count and had a better chance to get a hit.
Conversely. The pitcher gets ahead 2-0, he ultimately gives up a hit, instead of charging him for 1 single, we charge him 1.2; same reasoning.
ANd similar for Molina.
I'm just pointing out that when they assign a run value to something like this it's more removed from "real" run values that we have associated for years in the stat community, in that it's not really based upon the same "definition" of event that we have used forever
But personally what I would do, would to look only at bats in which the system claimed that the catcher did a positive or negative thing in regards to pitch framing, and if the result of the at bat correlates, then look at sharing "defensive" value between the catcher and the fielder.
SO then what is your concern with pitch by pitch evaluations? doesnt this mean you cant defend that argument now?
It seems you are taking an arbitrary line in the sand and making this some sort of sacred point.
LInear runs, takes a single and awards it a portion of a run. Do you have a problem with that? Why not? It's the same reasoning isnt it? It usually takes 3 or 4 at bats to go from Runner on base to scoring a run. By your reasoning we cannot use a single plate appearance to award a portion of a run.
You say we cant deconstruct AB into pitch by pitch. But we deconstruct wins into runs, we deconstruct runs into AB. Whats the difference? WHy are you stuck on this point?
But then you're skewing data, that does not seem to be scientific at all, to have this great big data set and then to only take outcomes that you want to take. I realize you're not being biased for St Lou, or to Molina, but you are still taking only certain outcomes.
If you have all that data, then you have to use it all to be as accurate as possible. Your argument seems arbitrary.
You do realize the Molina they are talking about isn't Yadier Molina but his brother.
nothing in baseball that is used as an backwards value looking tool, is based upon anything other than the individual plate appearances..
what about ball and strike data? I guess I need to know what you mean by "backwards looking tool"?
I realize pitch framing is quite a bit different than other stats; I dont see that that concept, per se, makes it invalid or not useful.
I still think you could successfully combine a pitch by pitch metric, and use it in combo with an AB based metric. I dont see any fundamental reason why that would be impossible. I guess that is where we differ.
OK, I dont think there is much we differ about. Do you believe that data can only be useful if it only uses final outcomes (strike out, walks, hit) in the data or do you think that it can work if it uses ordinary pitch by pitch data?
I often discuss pitch framing with my colleagues. The most common source of doubt I hear: The numbers don’t pass the sniff test. The infamous Jose Molina has too many smart people crinkling their brows. This is a determination each of us has to make. Can there be a possible 5-win data inefficiency that existed for 100-plus years of baseball history? Can it be possible such a big deal was missed for so long?
There is NOTHING wrong with the way that they are coming up with their data. There is nothing wrong with their research. It's very valuable data and research. I just am not comfortable with using the same terms for wins/runs that we have used based upon plate appearance events with per pitch events.
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