Pitch Framing Newsbeat
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Mention his improved standing in the controversial area of pitch framing, and Kurt Suzuki all but rolls his eyes.
It’s not just because the Twins’ beleaguered pitching staff has spent the past two weeks reversing the gains of the season’s first four months.
“I still think that thing is false,” said Suzuki, the Twins’ all-star catcher.
Monday, August 10, 2015
So age does have its effects. It cuts off the youthful rise in framing experience around age 25, then imposes a long and very gentle recession of skills, broken only when longtime veterans get pared down to those with enduring defensive ability.
If one hoped for a dominating effect from age or height, though, one is disappointed. Age mainly serves to cap the learning curve of novice catchers, and height is meaningless. Anyone looking for a magic formula to find catchers inclined to become framing wizards will have to dig much deeper into other numbers.
As analysts for 30 teams or so no doubt are digging right now.
Posted: August 10, 2015 at 02:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
When Atlanta Braves pitcher David Aardsma hopped a ball to the plate in the eighth inning Monday night, Pierzynski turned in one of the most shameless sell jobs you’ll ever see from a catcher. He framed up the pitch like it were a strike, held it there to show the ump and looked at him like, “come on, this is totally a strike.”
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Sounds like WAR needs to be tweaked.
No current version of WAR accounts for framing, a catcher’s art of carefully receiving the pitch in such a way as to cause the umpire to call it a strike. That happens to be Posey’s most important defensive talent. Good framers turn pitches outside of the zone into strikes and keep pitches within the zone from being called incorrectly as balls. This ability, in turn, scares opposing batters into swinging at less-optimal pitches, making the impact of good framing significant. Our best estimates put a good framer as worth up to three or four wins per year.
So far this season, Posey has racked up 11.8 runs in value from his framing, more than an entire win’s worth to add to his total and putting him within a win of Trout. Catchers who consistently earn strikes where umps usually call balls are clearly good at manipulating the umpires, but there’s some mystery as to how good framers like Posey get those calls. I wanted to understand not just what Posey does when a pitch comes in, but also what he does that other catchers don’t do.
Monday, July 06, 2015
OK, so now Russell Martin is one of the worst pitch framers?
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
But does having eyes of different colors remain a market inefficiency?
Simon: “Two things have become much more popular lately: pitch framing and defensive shifts. What are your approaches with regard to each of those?”
Scherzer: “Framing is there. Certain catchers get more calls than others, but the pitcher has to put the ball in the right spot to let the catcher do that. It’s more parts catcher, but there is a pitcher part to that, especially if you want to work the outside edges and down and give the catcher a pitch he can [frame]. [The more you’re] able to execute the pitch in the vicinity of where his glove is, the easier it is for him to frame.
“With defensive shifts: You see how they’re implemented, and it’s not just a mad scientist doing this. It’s a real fact that if you shift, you can prevent more hits. Sometimes, it’s a matter of moving your whole infield around to get to the point of it being a positive.
“I put all that on the coaches. The coaches do a phenomenal job of doing their research to try to figure out if they want to shift and who they want to shift against so that they feel comfortable.
“I don’t worry about infield shifts at all—you play where you’re gonna play. I’m just gonna pitch my game.”
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