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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Noah Syndergaard doesn’t like throwing to Wilson Ramos

Today, on As The World Turns....

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard was “livid” when he had to throw to catcher Wilson Ramos and confronted the Mets’ front office about it, Joel Sherman and Kevin Kernan of the New York Post report.

It’s apparently been an ongoing thing and the numbers shake out: Syndergaard has a 5.09 ERA in 92 innings with Ramos behind the dish compared to a 2.45 ERA in 66 innings with Tomás Nido catching him. Syndergaard also made his first start with Rene Rivera catching him this year, tossing seven shutout innings against the Nationals last Monday.

Per Sherman and Kernan, the Mets’ front office thinks the pitcher-catcher dynamic is, in their words, “overstated,” and generally want to avoid pitchers having personal catchers. Syndergaard, however, feels that Nido calls a better game, controls the running game better, and is better at framing low pitches.

 

QLE Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:22 AM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets being mets, noah syndergaard, wilson ramos

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:50 AM (#5877979)
If I added right, Ramos started 16 times with Thor. In those starts, he has hit 303/591 with 11 R, 20 RBI -- there are a few walks in there too but I didn't count those. So 5 of his 14 HR have come in Noah starts. Nido has gone 3-33 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI.

Of course if his negative effect is anywhere near 2.5 R/9 then there's no way his offense can make up for 99 innings of that but (by rough estimate based on RC27) it looks to make up for about half of it relative to giving Nido another 70 PA. And of course I don't think Ramos turns up his bat in Thor starts, just noting that sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: September 10, 2019 at 07:39 AM (#5877988)
"Calls a better game"

I understand why it's nice to have a catcher calling for the right pitches first, but ultimately the pitcher decides what to throw. This shouldn't be a real concern. "I have to shake him off too often" is an annoyance, but not a big problem.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 10, 2019 at 08:10 AM (#5877991)
Sounds like somebody’s pointing fingers and making up narratives about why he’s pitched worse when Ramos is behind the plate.
   4. Sweatpants Posted: September 10, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5878003)
Yeah, I'm going to have to side with management on this one. Setting aside the points already made here, there's also the fact that it doesn't look good for an organization to give in to tantrums, especially by Syndergaard-level players. He's a good pitcher, but DeGrom is the ace. If anyone should get to be picky about whom he throws to, it's DeGrom, so if he can tolerate pitching to Ramos (his ERA is about a run higher throwing to Ramos than to Nido) than Syndergaard should be able to do it, too.

On the other hand, if a 2.35 ERA with Javy Lopez behind the plate can (supposedly) bother Greg Maddux, then I can see how a 5.09 ERA with Ramos could upset Syndergaard.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: September 10, 2019 at 09:11 AM (#5878006)
At some point it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. "Stupid Ramos calling a stupid slider here. I bet it gets hit for a homerun ... see?!? I was right! Stupid Ramos ruins everything."
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5878010)
Sounds like somebody’s pointing fingers and making up narratives about why he’s pitched worse when Ramos is behind the plate.

Agree.

At some point it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. "Stupid Ramos calling a stupid slider here. I bet it gets hit for a homerun ... see?!? I was right! Stupid Ramos ruins everything."

And agree. If you think you're gonna get beat, you usually will.
   7. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: September 10, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5878047)
Syndergaard year has been OK but certainly the hope was that he'd be better than he has been this year. At some point, you'd hope that he takes the leap and be an "ace".
   8. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5878086)
Eduardo Perez on MLB Network Radio this morning, when Steve Phillips brought up this Post article: "C'mon, man...it's the Post."
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5878087)
Syndergaard year has been OK but certainly the hope was that he'd be better than he has been this year. At some point, you'd hope that he takes the leap and be an "ace".

Seems like mental toughness might be what's holding him back.
   10. bfan Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5878089)
Okay, it is the internet, so I will take the other side.

Whether it has become self-fulfilling or not, these numbers suggest he does not like pitching to Ramos, and performs tangibly worse while doing so.

Greg Maddox wouldn't pitch to Javey Lopez, but rather pitched to Eddie Perez, a far worse hitter than Lopez. This is not a unique need/request.

Since catchers need rest, you can spot the Ramos rest to coincide with Noah's starts; it isn't that hard to do. If the cost of the weak bat is not worth the desired catcher, then don't keep the weak hitting catcher on your roster. If you have him on your roster, and your #1 catcher needs rest, what is the harm on this timing?

Now, if DeGrom didn't want Ramos as his catcher either, or none of the other pitchers did, then that is a problem, but those are facts not in evidence (and wouldn't that be a Ramos problem?).

Then, you use next year's spring training to try and fix the problem, by isolating what Noah doesn't like and seeing if you can get it addressed/fixed when the games do not count.
   11. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:39 PM (#5878093)
Now, if DeGrom didn't want Ramos as his catcher either, or none of the other pitchers did, then that is a problem, but those are facts not in evidence (and wouldn't that be a Ramos problem?).

If Syndegaard is right about Ramos’s defense then the Mets have 2 halves of a good catcher. One can hit, but sucks at defense. The other can’t hit, but is a strong defender. That is a roster construction problem.
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5878094)
Syndergaard year has been OK but certainly the hope was that he'd be better than he has been this year. At some point, you'd hope that he takes the leap and be an "ace".

He has a 3.47 FIP in front of a team defense that has been pretty bad. Maybe that's not quite "ace" level but I'll take it.

As for Ramos vs. Nido, I don't blame management for this particular decision but they should be trying to find a decent defensive catcher who can put up more than a 46 OPS+.

EDIT: Coke to Jeff Frances the Mute
   13. bfan Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5878096)

If Syndegaard is right about Ramos’s defense then the Mets have 2 halves of a good catcher. One can hit, but sucks at defense. The other can’t hit, but is a strong defender. That is a roster construction problem.


Not every team can have JT Realmuto as their catcher.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5878100)
Greg Maddox wouldn't pitch to Javey Lopez
But John Smiltz and Tom Glavane apparently had no problem with Lopoz, so how do you explain that?
   15. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5878101)
It's been a long time but I recall reading/hearing back in the day that for Maddux it was more about preparation: when you have a personal catcher who generally only plays when you pitch, then you can work together to prepare for your next start. The regular catcher can't do that, he has to focus on today's game, then tomorrow's game. He has no time to think about your next start three days hence. Plus if you have your own personal catcher, he can spend all his time preparing to catch only you: how you like him to set up, how to frame your pitches particularly, what pitches you like to throw in what situations, etc.

The Personal Catcher concept has been common for a couple decades now, to the point OOTP implemented it in their game years ago. And I think opportunity for deeper preparation has more to do with it, in most cases, than disliking the regular catcher.
   16. bfan Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5878121)
Greg Maddox wouldn't pitch to Javey LopezBut John Smiltz and Tom Glavane apparently had no problem with Lopoz, so how do you explain that?


I don't have to, and neither did Greg Maddox; that is how he felt he best performed. As I said, it may be in his (Noah's or Greg's) head alone, but one version of Noah is Cy Young level, and one level is AAA worthy. Fix it in the spring if it is fixable, but deal with it as best one can until then, which means keep Cy Young on the mound.
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 10, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5878135)
Noah Synderguard is no Cy Jung.
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5878136)
first pitcher-personal catcher I remember was McCarver with Steve Carlton. That added 5 years to McCarver's career
   19. KronicFatigue Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5878142)
So when Noah is up for arbitration, the Mets can argue he's only worth the value of a AAA pitcher b/c they are planning on making Ramos their full time catcher?
   20. Itchy Row Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5878146)
But John Smiltz and Tom Glavane apparently had no problem with Lopoz, so how do you explain that?
They didn't seem to mind putting up with Ron Gnat's defense.
   21. KronicFatigue Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5878149)
Since catchers need rest, you can spot the Ramos rest to coincide with Noah's starts; it isn't that hard to do. If the cost of the weak bat is not worth the desired catcher, then don't keep the weak hitting catcher on your roster. If you have him on your roster, and your #1 catcher needs rest, what is the harm on this timing?


For the same reason Pete Rose wasn't allowed to bet on the Reds. #1 catchers need rest, and no hit all glove backups need to play (presuming they are roster worthy like you say). But maybe the #1 is best rested on getaway Thursday or the 2nd game of a double header. Maybe a couple of bats are out of the lineup on a Noah start and the manager wants to generate offense.

Once players start deciding what's good for them, or good for one specific game, the manager can't decide what's good for the team long term.
   22. Wayne Newton's pet monkey (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:17 PM (#5878151)
Seems like mental toughness might be what's holding him back.


Also, get a ####### haircut already, filthy hippie.
   23. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:18 PM (#5878152)
Do current MLB catchers actually call pitches? I thought the coaches called them all.
   24. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5878154)
Other fun Noah 2019 splits:

4 days rest: 2.99 ERA in 72.1 IP
5 days rest: 5.21 ERA in 76.0 IP (the Mets front office are buffoons for ever pitching him on 5 days rest)

SO/B ratios (this is the one stat that seemingly Ramos would have some control over):
Nido 3.32
Ramos 4.65

HR:
Nido 3 HR in 240 AB
Ramos 14 HR in 352 AB (maybe Noah should stop throwing meatballs to Ramos)

   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5878157)
SO/B ratios (this is the one stat that seemingly Ramos would have some control over):
Nido 3.32
Ramos 4.65

HR:
Nido 3 HR in 240 AB
Ramos 14 HR in 352 AB (maybe Noah should stop throwing meatballs to Ramos)


Great stats. I doubt Ramos is putting down the sign for "hanging slider".
   26. bfan Posted: September 10, 2019 at 05:26 PM (#5878186)
Great stats. I doubt Ramos is putting down the sign for "hanging slider".


No, but if Noah believes Ramos is no good at pitch-framing, then maybe Noah feels that he must work toward the middle of the plate more to get strikes, which would lead to, well, those dingers that are showing up.
   27. Smitty* Posted: September 10, 2019 at 05:35 PM (#5878190)
I remember reading back in the day that part of the Maddux rationale was that Lopez needed roughly 1 day off out of 5 anyway, if he had a personal catcher then everyone basically always threw to the same catcher every time they started. There’s probably something to that. Plus it’s not like Maddux needed the run support anyway :)

Oh, and don’t you hate pants?
   28. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2019 at 07:27 PM (#5878228)
I'm more in bfan's corner than not ... I was mainly just pointing out that Thor's focus is purely on his own performance and not taking into consideration that Ramos produces more offensive runs than Nido. Alonso could commit an error in every Thor start and he wouldn't for a second consider asking for a new 1B.

As to management and tantrums -- as a manager/GM of a baseball team, you can get totally wrapped up into control and character and treating everybody the same ... or you can realize that some players are super-valuable and sensibly accommodate their simpler peeves. Jordan rules didn't cost the Bulls a single game. Walter Payton played I think one quarter of pre-season football every year (after his rookie year) -- because who would be dumb enough to risk unnecessary injury to Walter Payton and who would be dumb enough not to realize Payton showed up every down when it mattered.

Both Thor and Ramos are key players on the Mets but, as everybody has noted, Ramos needs a day off every 5 games or so anyway so this can be easily managed. Aggravating Thor is unnecessary so doing so is bad management. Insisting on it until it gets out to the press is really bad management.

As also noted, it only becomes a genuine management challenge if deGrom also asks for Nido.

Note, I'm sorta distinguishing between "management challenge" and "roster construction challenge" here. So as others have also said, if Ramos is such a poor defensive C that none of your pitchers like working with him or Nido's bat is such a noodle he has no business being in the majors, that is a roster construction issue. That obviously creates managemet challenges, especially if both of those things are true.
   29. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 10, 2019 at 10:45 PM (#5878266)
if Noah believes Ramos is no good at pitch-framing, then maybe Noah feels that he must work toward the middle of the plate more to get strikes,

Noah has basically an equal K rate for the two catchers.

His walk rate while pitching to Nido is roughly 50% higher.

I hate pants.
   30. manchestermets Posted: September 11, 2019 at 04:11 AM (#5878323)
FWIW, Ramos has a positive dWAR (0.2). Does he look notably worse than that defensively?
   31. Bote Man Posted: September 11, 2019 at 08:12 AM (#5878333)
The big knock against Ramos when he was with the Nationals was his poor fielding of balls thrown in from the outfield. This is an infrequent event, but you could've made a lot of money betting against him catching the ball cleanly as a baserunner charged home. I have no idea how this figures into defensive metrics, if at all.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: September 11, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5878343)
like a lot of Mets, Ramos looked terrible defensively in the first half - then improved after that. I suspect a secret 2-day "Defense for Dummies" program for many of the Mets is to be credited.
   33. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 11, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5878346)
i'm okay with ramos defensively and ok with noah working with a different catcher. you want him comfortable (and i'm also willing to take his comments at face value that he doesn't think it's that ramos is terrible - it's that something isn't working between the two of them) particularly if you plan on trading ns anyway, as they supposedly might.

(honestly, i'd be pretty happy with catchers having personal catchers more generally were the world was one where injuries/slumps/trades/etc didn't happen. given that they do, i'd like the moundsmen to be comfortable with their backstop potentially being in flux accordingly.)

also, what walt said in 28.
   34. CFBF's Overflowing Pathos Posted: September 11, 2019 at 10:50 AM (#5878377)
I remember reading back in the day that part of the Maddux rationale was that Lopez needed roughly 1 day off out of 5 anyway, if he had a personal catcher then everyone basically always threw to the same catcher every time they started. There’s probably something to that. Plus it’s not like Maddux needed the run support anyway :)


That was what the Braves always said publicly, but it was met with a...certain amount of skepticism from the fandom. There was probably a bit of truth to it, and while a small handful of fans got really worked up over the whole Maddux-Lopez thing it was hard to care too terribly much when Maddux was one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game. If Syndergaard was mid-90's Greg Maddux the Mets might be more inclined to indulge him.

It's notable, for example, that the Maddux-Lopez dynamic shifted toward the end of the 2003 season, when Lopez had his alien possession year and Maddux had declined to innings-eater status.
   35. The Run Fairy Posted: September 11, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5878419)
FWIW, Ramos has a positive dWAR (0.2). Does he look notably worse than that defensively?


That's entirely the result of the positional adjustment. By bbref's numbers, Ramos is 4 runs below average defensively (which isn't that bad), and he gets 7 runs back because he's a catcher. Fangraphs has him at -8 runs from framing alone and baseball prospectus has him in the red in all categories (blocking/framing/throwing).
   36. Sweatpants Posted: September 11, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5878430)
As to management and tantrums -- as a manager/GM of a baseball team, you can get totally wrapped up into control and character and treating everybody the same ... or you can realize that some players are super-valuable and sensibly accommodate their simpler peeves. Jordan rules didn't cost the Bulls a single game. Walter Payton played I think one quarter of pre-season football every year (after his rookie year) -- because who would be dumb enough to risk unnecessary injury to Walter Payton and who would be dumb enough not to realize Payton showed up every down when it mattered.

Both Thor and Ramos are key players on the Mets but, as everybody has noted, Ramos needs a day off every 5 games or so anyway so this can be easily managed. Aggravating Thor is unnecessary so doing so is bad management. Insisting on it until it gets out to the press is really bad management.
Syndergaard isn't Jordan, Payton, or Maddux, though, and it's not like the Mets are a truly terrible team and Syndergaard is the only player they have remotely close to a star or with any star potential. Just in their rotation they have the reigning Cy Young winner, who's pitching substantially better than Syndergaard this year as well. Ideally no one's complaining about being forced to play with any of their teammates, but if a guy who's basically underachieved this year gets to do it, then that opens up a lot of guys to do the same thing. The rules for Dick Allen weren't the same as the ones for Alex Johnson.

Also, keeping Payton healthy by not subjecting him to the violence of unnecessary downs is hardly an analogous situation. His backup was by definition more expendable, so no one's getting their feelings hurt there. That's more the equivalent of babying DeGrom in spring training.
   37. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 11, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5878441)
first pitcher-personal catcher I remember was McCarver with Steve Carlton. That added 5 years to McCarver's career


I don't know if this counts as a personal catcher, because catcher usage back then was considerably different than it is now, but Cy Young took Lou Criger with him wherever he went, from Cleveland to St. Louis to Boston. Criger caught virtually all of Young's starts when he was available, but only once in his 16-year career played in 100 games in a season.
   38. base ball chick Posted: September 11, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5878452)
things have changed a lot over the past couple of years, but i know that when ausmus was with the astros, he didn't catch roy oswalt - clemens and pettitte demanded him and roy-o thought that ausmus would help the younger guys out better

there have always been guys who had a strong catcher preference

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