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In short, when it comes to the timing variables within the running game and the reputation of the battery mates, our study refutes the conventional wisdom that the catcher’s arm is primarily responsible for caught stealing. While there are other lurking variables at play — like pitch location and handedness of the batter — surface value says that a pitcher’s quickness to the plate is a whole lot more influential than a catcher’s arm in the battery dynamic. Said lurking variables will be topics for future installments and will help us dive deeper into assigning credit to one of the two battery mates. When it comes down to the timing variable, the need for speed is on the pitcher’s side of the rubber.
I actually think the conventional wisdom is that bases are stolen against the pitcher. You hear that cliche a lot. OR, camps are split and there is no conventional wisdom.
Johnny Cueto is my go-to example for a RHP who kills the running game. He hasn't hit 1,000 IP yet (964.2), but for his career he has 16 SB and 30 CS.
I thought the most important point about catcher's arm is not % of base stealers caught (however much of that can be attributed to the pitcher), but, rather, is in "scaring" baserunners into not attempting a steal in the first place.
In that vein it is not throwing runners out that is the main asset of a catcher's arm; it's preventing stolen base attempts in the first place.
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