Pitch Framing Newsbeat
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
If you take the Astros’ plan, and Manwaring’s comment about copycats, to their logical conclusion, then at some point in the not-too-distant future, almost every team — save, perhaps, for a few with gifted offensive catchers for whom framing aptitude is less paramount — could have someone squatting behind the plate and stealing extra strikes. But sweeping changes to the sport rarely come without unforeseen consequences. That kind of mass movement toward catchers with strong receiving skills would upset the delicate balance between batter and pitcher; if you think baseball’s strikeout rates are high now, wait until the first wave of Stepford framers arrives. If umpires start to see nothing but good receivers, they might adjust their zones, much like a hitter adjusts to a pitch he’s shown too often. Then the framing bubble would burst, as previous advantages have when every organization discovered them.
It’s also possible that a greater awareness of framing could hasten the end of umpiring as we know it. The discovery of framing has opened up a new field of research for authors and aspiring sabermetricians, but what’s good for baseball writers isn’t always good for baseball. Even if the intent isn’t to criticize umpires, it’s impossible to write about framing without drawing some attention to the fact that the rulebook strike zone is more of an abstract concept than something that exists in the wild. The more attention that the catcher’s ability to influence the strike zone receives, the more likely it is that Major League Baseball will act to automate it. And if the human element goes, replaced by robo umps, then framing will go with it.
The calls might be more accurate. But we’d lose the art that is a perfect frame.
Monday, April 08, 2013
There is nothing like a handcrafted leather framing of a good pitch.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
We have a pretty good idea of the Justin Masterson skillset. He’s got a big, sweeping motion and he leans heavily on a low-90s sinker. Sometimes he’ll threaten to go entire games without throwing anything else. Masterson keeps the ball on the ground, he strikes out about one batter for every six, and he issues the occasional walk. Last year, he posted about the same FIP as Jon Lester and C.J. Wilson, which is good company at least in terms of name value. Masterson’s ERA was elevated, but, ERA.
Relative to the league average, over his career, Justin Masterson has pitched to the tightest strike zone out of the sample. Because 1,000 called pitches is an unfamiliar denominator, know that Masterson has averaged about 1,815 called pitches per 200 innings. So this is a pretty extreme result we’re looking at, and it’s the sort of thing that makes you want to regress it going forward. It makes you want to blame someone other than Masterson — someone like, say, Masterson’s catchers. One wonders if this is a framing thing, since, in theory, a strike zone is a strike zone. Why should Masterson get screwed so badly?
Generally I think that the pitch framing stuff is pretty interesting. Here we have a look at the effect of poor framing on a specific pitcher.
Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
for his generous support.
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