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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Reframing WAR at Fangraphs

Update: An earlier bug that impacted updated pitcher WAR has now been resolved. The pitcher tables below have been updated to reflect that. Thanks to everyone who pointed out the issue!

I’m very pleased to announce that FanGraphs has finally added catcher framing data to the site, with full thanks to Jared Cross, who you may know as the co-creator of the Steamer projections. We’ve also incorporated catcher framing into WAR.

Including catcher framing in WAR has been a topic of internal debate at FanGraphs for the past half-decade. The problem has never been with the inclusion of framing numbers on the catcher side of things. That’s a fairly simple addition. The problem has always been what to do with the pitchers. For instance, the 2011 Brewers were some 40 runs above average in catcher framing. When you add those 40 runs to catchers, do you subtract 40 runs from pitchers? As it turns out, you do, but those runs are not attributed equally to each pitcher

Bote Man Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:17 PM | 184 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fangraphs, framing, pitch framing, war

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   1. Sunday silence Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:26 PM (#5824180)
what else can you do with those numbers other than to take them out of the pitcher's contribution. What's the alternative? That MIL catchers add 40 runs to their total defense and somehow they've gotten better but no one gets any worse?
   2. villageidiom Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:41 PM (#5824184)
What's the alternative?
To continue to give the credit for a well-placed pitch in the perfect position for framing to the person who threw it there.
   3. Sunday silence Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:08 PM (#5824188)
but I mean after you give credit to the catcher. Assuming you credit the catcher, then you would also credit both? yes?
   4. villageidiom Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:44 AM (#5824193)
No.

There should be a conservation of value. A run of positive outcome for the offense is a run of negative outcome for the defense. If the leadoff hitter pulls a ball down the line for a double, the defense gave up as many expected runs as the hitter achieved. If a given outcome has a fixed value for the defense, then it's a matter of apportioning credit. They can't credit 40 more runs saved to MIL catchers without adding 40 runs to the defense somewhere else. MIL didn't suddenly give up 40 fewer runs during the offseason.

You can apportion some of it to the fielders. In theory a pitch changed from a ball to a strike will result in a lower OBP, but not just from an increase in strikeouts. A worse count (for the hitter) leads to worse BIP outcomes as the hitter has to be more defensive. Some portion of those worse BIP outcomes were influenced by framing earlier in the count. Given that we already treat BIP as being out of the control of the pitcher, and credit BIP outcomes (almost) entirely to the defense, any benefits on BIP that came from earlier framing must be credited to the catcher and debited to the defense. Exactly how you take that away from each fielder, I don't know, but it would seem necessary.

But some substantial amount of framing benefit should go, as I suggested, to the person who threw the ball in that spot in the first place.
   5. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 06:41 AM (#5824199)
Who gets credit for the bank robbery, the guy who holds the gun or the guy who drives the getaway car?

The entire thing is just absurd, beyond satire.
   6. bookbook Posted: March 21, 2019 at 06:54 AM (#5824200)
On the other hand, there should be teams where the catchers pitch framing makes the defense worse. Those pitchers should be getting extra credit.
   7. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:08 AM (#5824204)
WAR is great. It gives us a better understanding of who the better players are, and why. Being able to quantify framing adds to that understanding.

BUT. Big, big but.

We only have data for framing going back, what, 10 seasons? And despite all of the debate, it seems likely that in the not too distant future we'll have automated ball-and-strike calls. So this part of WAR, a stat designed so we can compare players not just against contemporaries but against players across decades, will greatly benefit or disadvantage players (both pitchers and catchers) from a tiny slice of history. And that destroys what WAR is trying to accomplish.
   8. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 21, 2019 at 09:37 AM (#5824215)
I saw the tables of the most wins adjusted for season and for ten years. I'm curious if there's a statement anywhere of the aggregate number of wins that have been reallocated, either year by year or for the ten years?
   9. DL from MN Posted: March 21, 2019 at 09:53 AM (#5824216)
So Brian McCann should have been the 2008 MVP?
   10. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5824220)
So Brian McCann should have been the 2008 MVP?

Extremely, extremely believable.

If I am understanding correctly, in 1 (one) season, Jonathan Lucroy added 4.5 wins to his team by receiving pitches, while in another season, Ryan Doumit cost his team 5.8 wins due to his receiving of pitches.
   11. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5824221)
The proper hope is that this is all junk science. If in fact catchers can go plus-minus 8-10 wins just by being good at faking out the umpire, that's self-evidently a massive black eye on the sport. The idea that being "bad" at faking out the umpire should keep an otherwise talented catcher out of the lineup is laugh-out-loud preposterous necessitating immediate remedial action.

Most likely this is just an artifact of the Jacobin era of sabermetrics. One should certainly hope so.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5824222)
If I am understanding correctly, in 1 (one) season, Jonathan Lucroy added 4.5 wins to his team by receiving pitches, while in another season, Ryan Doumit cost his team 5.8 wins due to his receiving of pitches.

Don't believe it.

The proper hope is that this is all junk science. If in fact catchers can go plus-minus 8-10 wins just by being good at faking out the umpire, that's self-evidently a massive black eye on the sport. The idea that being bad at faking out the umpire should keep an otherwise talented catcher out of the lineup is laugh-out-loud preposterous necessitating immediate remedial action.

I actually agree with this.

If it's at all true, we need automated strike zones immediately.
   13. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5824225)
I actually agree with this.


Everyone should. There's nothing there to seriously disagree with and anyone who does is so deep in the sabermetric forest that they're forever lost absent some kind of immediate intervention and detox.

We've reached a very unfortunate point in baseball history where the numbers and "analytics" have essentially swallowed up everything in the sport. No one wants to watch a battle of dueling algorithms. The truly unfortunate thing is that there seems to be no end in sight to what can now rightfully be called madness.
   14. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5824230)
I agree in concept with crediting catchers for some aspect of pitch framing, but Fangraphs has just made this a massive component of WAR. McCann and Russell Martin increased their WAR from 2008 to 2018 by over 50%! Yadier Molina just went from fringe to solid HOF candidate by sabermetric standards. I just don't know.
   15. DL from MN Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5824232)
I don't know why people find this unbelievable. The catcher handles the ball more often than anyone else on the team. They SHOULD have more variation in defensive outcomes than a left fielder because the left fielder gets 2 chances a game and the catcher gets 120+. We believe a left fielder can be +/- 3 Wins on defense. Why wouldn't a catcher be +/- 5 wins?

We should also see much bigger spread in outcomes BEFORE teams started measuring this than after. That's the whole nature of using a measurement system to control variation.
   16. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5824234)
I don't know why people find this unbelievable. The catcher handles the ball more often than anyone else on the team. They SHOULD have more variation in defensive outcomes than a left fielder because the left fielder gets 2 chances a game and the catcher gets 120+. We believe a left fielder can be +/- 3 Wins on defense. Why wouldn't a catcher be +/- 5 wins?

This was discussed a lot in a previous thread, but I think, broadly speaking, a lot of people don't take seriously the notion that receiving a pitch is particularly comparable to fielding a ball in play.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5824237)
Predictably, this conversation (and Fangraphs) ignores what vi points out in Post 2. Pitch framing isn't about catcher's "stealing calls", despite the silliness we see in posts such as 11. It's a combination of pitchers hitting the target and catchers receiving the ball quietly (without much movement), something that's gone on forever and has no connection to modern analytics. You can still prefer the automated strike zone because the end result (pitches getting called strikes that are outside the zone, pitches being called balls that are inside), but it would be nice to have that conversation without the hysterics.
   18. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5824240)
They SHOULD have more variation in defensive outcomes than a left fielder because the left fielder gets 2 chances a game and the catcher gets 120+. We believe a left fielder can be +/- 3 Wins on defense. Why wouldn't a catcher be +/- 5 wins?


Aren't most pitches clearly balls or clearly strikes? And of the (much fewer) borderline calls that get called for strikes, how much is that each individual umpires predilection for calling those pitches strikes to begin with? And how much credit goes to the pitcher for putting the pitch right in that spot?
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5824241)
Predictably, this conversation (and Fangraphs) ignores what vi points out in Post 2. Pitch framing isn't about catcher's "stealing calls", despite the silliness we see in posts such as 11. It's a combination of pitchers hitting the target and catchers receiving the ball quietly (without much movement), something that's gone on forever and has no connection to modern analytics.
If the target is given more importance than the actual strike zone, I think "stealing calls" or other dramatic language is appropriate.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5824242)
Pitch framing isn't about catcher's "stealing calls", despite the silliness we see in posts such as 11. It's a combination of pitchers hitting the target and catchers receiving the ball quietly (without much movement), something that's gone on forever and has no connection to modern analytics.

If the catcher is not "stealing" any calls, he's adding no value.
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5824244)
BUT. Big, big but.
I like this, and I cannot lie.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5824246)
If the target is given more importance than the actual strike zone, I think "stealing calls" or other dramatic language is appropriate.


No it isn't. "Stealing" absolutely suggests they're doing something untoward, but neither the pitcher throwing the ball where the catcher is set up or the catcher handling the ball without much movement is the least bit wrong. It's an umpire problem, not a player problem. And, it's the way baseball has always been played, even before we had the Pitch FX data to identify it.

If the catcher is not "stealing" any calls, he's adding no value.


I don't think that's true (catching the ball quietly, as opposed to with a lot of movement, is a skill. It's just not a devious one), but then again, it's not something I care a lot about.

   23. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5824248)
Why wouldn't a catcher be +/- 5 wins?


Simple: Because the difference between a ball and a strike shouldn't be close to that dependent on how a pitch is received.

If the catcher is not "stealing" any calls, he's adding no value.


This, too, is self-evident.

   24. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5824250)
"Stealing" absolutely suggests they're doing something untoward,


No it doesn't (*), but in any event who gives a #### how it's described? It doesn't change the fundamental point in the least. You're simply deflecting from the fundamental point with the fussy cavils about nomenclature.

I don't think that's true (catching the ball quietly, as opposed to with a lot of movement, is a skill.


No, it's not. "Discernible through statistical inference" does not equal "skill." And similarly "not yet discernible through statistical inference" does not mean "not skill."

That mistake is a fundamental flaw in the sabermetric enterprise and has been from the start.

(*) Any more than "stealing" a base means a player is doing something untoward.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5824251)
It's an umpire problem, not a player problem. And, it's the way baseball has always been played, even before we had the Pitch FX data to identify it.
I agree with the first sentence, but do we know if the second sentence is true? It's possible that in the past that umpires paid less attention to the target and to how the catcher handled the pitch.

   26. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5824253)
I agree with the first sentence, but do we know if the second sentence is true? It's possible that in the past that umpires paid less attention to the target and to how the catcher handled the pitch.


I see no reason why we would think this. Umpires have never chosen to miss calls, then or now.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5824254)
No it isn't. "Stealing" absolutely suggests they're doing something untoward, but neither the pitcher throwing the ball where the catcher is set up or the catcher handling the ball without much movement is the least bit wrong. It's an umpire problem, not a player problem. And, it's the way baseball has always been played, even before we had the Pitch FX data to identify it.


If it results in a rule-book strike being called a ball, or a ball being called a strike, then it's a problem. I agree it's more the umpires "fault", but it's still a bad thing.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5824255)
That mistake is a fundamental flaw in the sabermetric enterprise and has been from the start.


Good Lord, not everything has to do with your ####### obsession with sabermetrics and it's ruination of the sport, you ####### moron.

If it results in a rule-book strike being called a ball, or a ball being called a strike, then it's a problem. I agree it's more the umpires "fault", but it's still a bad thing.


I have no problem with that. As I said. I just would like to see this discussed honestly and intelligently with what is really going on (and as it relates to the subject of value, that the pitcher is not an innocent bystander).

Hell, the reason Livan Hernandez got so many terrible calls in the playoff game against the Braves is largely because Livan Hernandez always threw the ball exactly where his catcher was set up.


   29. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:22 AM (#5824256)
Fooling the umpire into calling a ball a strike is now deemed literally one of the top two or three "skills" in baseball.

Nice sport you got there.
   30. DL from MN Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5824257)
Aren't most pitches clearly balls or clearly strikes?


Aren't most pop-ups clearly outs?
   31. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5824258)
Good Lord, not everything has to do with your ####### obsession with sabermetrics and it's ruination of the sport, you ####### moron.


Actually, everything in baseball as it's now played and commented upon pretty much does have to do with that. The pitch framing thing -- grade triple-A pure unadulterated bullshit of the very highest order -- very much does. (*)

People are knee-jerk defending it without really having the slightest idea of its implications.

(*) I remember Joe Garagiola mentioning framing on some of the 80s Games of the Week, and McCarver probably did, too, and since I'm normal I sort of thought "Yeah, there there Joe (head pat) ... ok whatever." It's actually beyond belief that of all the things from that era -- the stolen base, RBIs, pitcher wins, clutch hitting -- the one thing that's survived intact into the 2020s, with the full saber fanatic seal of approval, appears to be pitch framing. Simply absurd.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5824260)
I see no reason why we would think this.
Maybe they were more accustomed to catchers not catching pitches so they were better trained to not assume it was a ball if they did. Maybe catchers and pitchers didn't always focus as much on targets (e.g. the catchers may have tended to set up dead center), so umpires didn't use the target as a reference. Maybe when pitches were slower, it was easier to judge them based on the strike zone itself rather than the catcher. Etc...

It's possible that it's always been this way, but is there good evidence?
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5824262)


Actually, everything in baseball as it's now played and commented upon pretty much does have to do with that.


No, you're confusing "everything in baseball" with "every silly idea that pops out of your head."

   34. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5824264)
No, you're confusing "everything in baseball" with "every silly idea that pops out of your head."


The absurdity of plus-minus 8-10 wins for tricking the umpire effectively speaks for itself. Whether you want to listen is another story altogether. Apparently you don't.

And everything in baseball, right down to how it's curated and narrated, has in fact been swallowed up by saber fanaticism. I guess that doesn't speak quite as directly for itself, but it's also true.
   35. DL from MN Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5824266)
Fooling the umpire into calling a ball a strike is now deemed literally one of the top two or three "skills" in baseball.


Want to take this power away from the pitchers and catchers? Swing the bat and put the ball in play. Baseball is a battle at the margins of the strike zone.

This is the one thing I haven't seen good data on. Does stealing a strike on a 0-0 count really improve the outcomes when the player swings at the 1-1 strike? The catcher should get a lot of credit for a strikeout looking but not so much on the first pitch, especially when umpires change their strike zone based on the count. Easier to get strike 1 called, harder to get strike 3.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5824268)
Maybe they were more accustomed to catchers not catching pitches so they were better trained to not assume it was a ball if they did. Maybe catchers and pitchers didn't always focus as much on targets (e.g. the catchers may have tended to set up dead center), so umpires didn't use the target as a reference. Maybe when pitches were slower, it was easier to judge them based on the strike zone itself rather than the catcher. Etc...}


Livan Hernandez threw pretty damn slow. Throughout his career, he was pretty much without equal when it came to getting balls called strikes.

Now it's possible that catchers set up at the edges of the zone more often now than they did in the past. But you're still talking only about a difference in number, but the phenomenon that leads to "missed" calls is the same. If the catcher doesn't have to move much to catch the ball, the pitch is just going to look better to an ump, and vice versa. I say that as an ump who works with catchers who aren't good and pitches that aren't that fast.

   37. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5824269)
Fooling the umpire into calling a ball a strike is now deemed literally one of the top two or three "skills" in baseball.

Want to take this power away from the pitchers and catchers? Swing the bat and put the ball in play. Baseball is a battle at the margins of the strike zone.
People in this thread aren't MLB players so your solution is pretty asinine.

What about pitchers who don't want dropped strikes, or strikes when a baserunner is stealing, called balls? They can't swing the bat or make the runner not steal.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5824270)
The absurdity of plus-minus 8-10 wins for tricking the umpire effectively speaks for itself. Whether you want to listen is another story altogether. Apparently you don't.


If catchers are truly gaining 8-10 wins for this (even though they're sharing actually sharing this with the pitcher), they've always been doing it, and that exists with or without statheads being able to quantify it. "Framing" didn't begin with Jonathan ####### Lucroy.

If it's a problem, it's a problem because umpires have long been missing balls and strikes based on how the ball is received. It didn't become a problem because now we can measure it.

   39. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5824272)
If catchers are truly gaining 8-10 wins for this (even though they're sharing actually sharing this with the pitcher), they've always been doing it,


There's no reason whatever to assume this. Some catchers have certainly tried, but there's no reason to believe the impact was ever this great.

But in any event, unless it's junk science -- still very much a possibility -- it requires immediate remedial action and is a massive black eye on the sport.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5824273)

Livan Hernandez threw pretty damn slow. Throughout his career, he was pretty much without equal when it came to getting balls called strikes.
His average was weighted by that one game! j/k
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5824274)
There's no reason whatever to assume this.


Bullshit. There's every reason to think that nothing has changed with what causes umpires to miss ball/strike calls.

   42. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5824278)
SoSH, stop trying to engage him like he's interested in an actual discussion. You should know better.
   43. Baldrick Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:46 AM (#5824279)
I hate this move, but fortunately I never use Fangraphs WAR anyways, so they can knock themselves out I guess. I'll be VERY annoyed if BB-Ref implements this.

IF these numbers are anywhere close to accurate (I don't believe they are, but accepting for the moment that they could be), it's an overwhelming argument for computerized balls and strikes being implemented immediately.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:46 AM (#5824280)

SoSH, stop trying to engage him like he's interested in an actual discussion. You should know better.


My bad.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5824281)
There's every reason to think that nothing has changed with what causes umpires to miss ball/strike calls.

Not clear. Batters used to swing far more often. Pitchers pitched to contact, and there were far, far fewer strikeouts.

In a league with 4 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9, and far fewer pitches per at bat, framing might well matter a lot less.
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5824282)
SoSH, stop trying to engage him like he's interested in an actual discussion.

This is true, but perpetual trollery aside, he's right on this one.

IF these numbers are anywhere close to accurate (I don't believe they are, but accepting for the moment that they could be), it's an overwhelming argument for computerized balls and strikes being implemented immediately.

100% agree with all of this.
   47. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5824283)
There's every reason to think that nothing has changed with what causes umpires to miss ball/strike calls.


I thought pitchers had better stuff now than they used to. Aren't batters taking more pitches? You don't think the sabermetric focus on pitch framing has led to more effort put into pitch framing, by more catchers on more pitches?

Maybe the umpires aren't as good now. Maybe they judged balls and strikes using different shortcuts.

Etc, etc.
   48. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5824286)
This is true, but perpetual trollery aside, he's right on this one.


He's right on almost all of them. It only seems like "trollery" because of the dominant philosophy and groupthink around here. Accepted long ago.

"Actual discussions" involve different points of view, but that obvious truism is lost in the internet era wherein. Not really my fault.

It's self-evident that outcomes in a sport shouldn't be as dependent on fooling the umpires or referees as appears to be the current impact of pitch framing. Really, it is. It's self-evident. Why people are quibbling with something so obvious truly escapes. The simpler thing would be to simply agree with something so obviously true.
   49. Baldrick Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5824287)
Stop. Talking. To. The. Troll.

Jesus, people. It's really not that hard.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:53 AM (#5824289)
Stop. Talking. To. The. Troll.

Jesus, people. It's really not that hard.


I still want to have the conversation though, so respond to me.
   51. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5824291)
In a league with 4 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9, and far fewer pitches per at bat, framing might well matter a lot less.


Absolutely, it might matter less given those factors. But the mechanics that lead to umpires missing calls have not changed, and it has nothing to do with sabermetrics (which is why, as usual, SBB is also not right this time).

If anything, sabermetrics and data collection will be what allows us to correct this historic problem. But SBB can't have that now, can he?


   52. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5824293)
In 2011, when Jonathan Lucroy supposedly added 4.5 wins with his framing, Brewers pitchers had a 3.63 ERA when he was catching them. With any catcher catching them, they had a 3.63 ERA.

This doesn't pass the smell test.
   53. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5824294)
But the mechanics that lead to umpires missing calls have not changed, and it has nothing to do with sabermetrics (which is why, as usual, SBB is also not right this time).


Sabermetric measurement doesn't lead to changes in approach and selection criteria based on those measurements? Seriously?
   54. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5824295)
This doesn't pass the smell test.


Yep. The saving grace of all of this is that it's likely junk science, as I noted in one of my very first salvos. Typically, junk science shouldn't be applauded -- but here it's far better than the alternative.
   55. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5824296)
This is true, but perpetual trollery aside, he's right on this one.

I disagree that he's right, but fortunately there are other people taking his stance in a much less obnoxious way (you, for example). So this debate can be had without anyone having to resort to interacting with him.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5824297)
In 2011, when Jonathan Lucroy supposedly added 4.5 wins with his framing, Brewers pitchers had a 3.63 ERA when he was catching them. With any catcher catching them, they had a 3.63 ERA.

This doesn't pass the smell test.


I hope you're right.
   57. SoSH U at work Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5824299)
Sabermetric measurement doesn't lead to changes in approach and selection criteria based on those measurements? Seriously?


Only one of the 12 largest gains by catchers in the framing data has occurred in the last five years. If catchers are suddenly changing their approach to get better at it, it isn't indicative in the results.
   58. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5824300)
Only one of the 12 largest gains by catchers in the framing data has occurred in the last five years. If catchers are suddenly changing their approach to get better at it, it isn't indicative in the results.


I thought you were going back way farther than 10 years. And I assume you're ok with the Red Sox potentially losing division championships in years like 1977 and 1978 because Thurman Munson was better at getting umpires to call "strike" on actual balls than Carlton Fisk. I wouldn't be, that's for sure.

   59. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5824305)
Who gets credit for the bank robbery, the guy who holds the gun or the guy who drives the getaway car?
Bank robberies are bad things; we don't normally give people credit for them at all.
   60. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5824306)

Like others here, I find it a bit hard to believe that this skill is solely attributable to the catchers and not in large part to the pitchers. Looking at Lucroy, for example, he was massively positive in framing as a Brewer, and has been negative in every other season. McCann was massively positive as a Brave, positive during his first season with the Yankees, and has been mixed since then.

Martin has been more consistently good at this, although he saw a drop-off beginning in 2014. Molina also saw a drop off, beginning in 2015.

Actually, what it kind of looks like is that umpires wised up to the whole thing around 2014-2015. Maybe for a few years it was something that catchers could do to materially influence the game. But since then, the variation has been much lower. Very few of the "best" and "worst" framing seasons according to that article came after 2014.
   61. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5824308)
In 2011, when Jonathan Lucroy supposedly added 4.5 wins with his framing, Brewers pitchers had a 3.63 ERA when he was catching them. With any catcher catching them, they had a 3.63 ERA.

OK, but he didn't catch Randy Wolf, and Wolf had a 3.69 ERA. It's not like the same pitchers were doing just as well with a different catcher. It's just one pitcher who happened to pitch just as well with a different catcher as the rest of the staff did with Lucroy. That in itself is pretty meaningless.
   62. BrianBrianson Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5824309)
In 2011, when Jonathan Lucroy supposedly added 4.5 wins with his framing, Brewers pitchers had a 3.63 ERA when he was catching them. With any catcher catching them, they had a 3.63 ERA.


The article indicates pitcher-catcher pairings weren't random, so it's certainly possible it works out mathematically. But it doesn't indicate how they're getting the framing WAR. Where's that from?
   63. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5824313)
I don't know why people find this unbelievable. The catcher handles the ball more often than anyone else on the team. They SHOULD have more variation in defensive outcomes than a left fielder because the left fielder gets 2 chances a game and the catcher gets 120+. We believe a left fielder can be +/- 3 Wins on defense. Why wouldn't a catcher be +/- 5 wins?
That's apples and accordions. (The phrase "apples and oranges" never made much sense; of course you can compare them. They're similar.) The chances that a left fielder gets are not the same type of chance that the catcher gets. Each chance that a fielder gets is a full play - safe or out. Each chance the catcher gets is only a fraction of a play - ball or strike, not safe or out.
   64. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5824315)
Their example of the worst season of pitcher framing is Ryan Doumit, 2008. He cost his team 5.8 wins with his framing. The Pirate pitchers in 2008 had a 5.07 ERA with Doumit catching, and a 5.08 ERA with anyone catching.

This is so weird to me that I double-checked the numbers, and looked at other years. The numbers aren't always that close. In 2009, the Pirates had a 4.48 ERA with Doumit behind the plate, and a 4.59 ERA overall.
   65. Bug Selig Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5824318)
Each chance the catcher gets is only a fraction of a play - ball or strike, not safe or out.
Of course, sometimes a ball or strike *is* safe or out. Not trying to contradict your point - a ball or strike is never a triple, for instance - but that fraction doesn't have to be very big to conclude that a catcher is more important than a left fielder (which baseball figured out 100+ years ago).
   66. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5824320)
Their example of the worst season of pitcher framing is Ryan Doumit, 2008. He cost his team 5.8 wins with his framing. The Pirate pitchers in 2008 had a 5.07 ERA with Doumit catching, and a 5.08 ERA with anyone catching.
You would think TFA would explain how the hell that's even logically possible, but no. It seems like there are two options:

1) The same Pirate pitchers would have somehow had a significantly better ERA with Doumit catching that with others, were it not for Doumit's terrible framing, or

2) Doumit's poor framing didn't end up having an effect on ERA because, although his framing put the pitchers in worse counts and thus was something that across a large sample would tend to lead to more bad outcomes and thus a loss of wins, the pitchers were able to overcome the disadvantage and get a similar net result as they did with other catchers. In which case, is it at all fair or accurate to say Doumit "cost" his team 5.8 wins?

EDIT: Or, I guess, 3) Doumit's poor framing led to a bunch of runs that just happened to be unearned. Not likely.

What am I missing here?
   67. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5824322)
It's self-evident that outcomes in a sport shouldn't be as dependent on fooling the umpires or referees as appears to be the current impact of pitch framing. Really, it is. It's self-evident. Why people are quibbling with something so obvious truly escapes. The simpler thing would be to simply agree with something so obviously true.
This argument itself is meta-trolling. Not a single person is disputing that point. What they're disputing is your trollish claim that sabermetrics is causing this rather than reporting it.

Sabermetric measurement doesn't lead to changes in approach and selection criteria based on those measurements? Seriously?
Sabermetric measurement that nobody knew about until five minutes ago did not lead to changes in approach 5 years ago, no.
   68. DL from MN Posted: March 21, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5824328)
what it kind of looks like is that umpires wised up to the whole thing around 2014-2015


Or general managers stopped hiring catchers who suck at framing and the standard deviation tightened.
   69. John DiFool2 Posted: March 21, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5824331)
Things I don't understand...

How one poster (whose handle is apparently a single period now) can get his own cute little avatar (while the rest of us must apparently do without), and
How his "Screenname History" has no entries, at all. The man with no past...
   70. DL from MN Posted: March 21, 2019 at 01:28 PM (#5824333)
I think there is only one instance where framing can clearly leads to run expectancy - called strike 3 and ball 4. Everything else has so much game theory tied to the outcome that it's really difficult to assess the value of getting a strike or ball on pitch 1 of a plate appearance. Hell, there are enough batters who take until they get a strike that I'm not sure the first strike matters at all.
   71. Rally Posted: March 21, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5824338)
After a 1-0 count, batters hit (in 2018) 262/379/444
After a 0-1 count, they hit 218/264/349

That's the difference between facing Ben Zobrist and Alcides Escobar.
   72. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5824339)
Every pitch leads to a different run expectancy because of the aggregate difference in batting output on various counts. If a catcher, theoretically, could get every taken 1-1 pitch fraudulently called a strike, and the rest of the league's catchers could only get a half or a third of them called that way, that indeed would be a very valuable "skill."

Kind of in the same way someone who could pilfer the Calc 201 test ahead of time without getting caught whereas the same effort by his aggregate peers would get them caught half the time would be a valuable "skill" ... but nonetheless ....
   73. Baldrick Posted: March 21, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5824340)
How one poster (whose handle is apparently a single period now) can get his own cute little avatar (while the rest of us must apparently do without), and
How his "Screenname History" has no entries, at all. The man with no past...

The avatars are based on donations to the site, I believe. Though I don't really know, since I donated and never got one?
   74. DL from MN Posted: March 21, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5824344)
After a 1-0 count, batters hit (in 2018) 262/379/444
After a 0-1 count, they hit 218/264/349

That's the difference between facing Ben Zobrist and Alcides Escobar.


Now take out all the plate appearances where the first pitch isn't right on the edge of the strike zone (and thus frameable), re-run the numbers and get back to me. I don't care if the pitcher is missing the plate by a foot or if the batter swung and missed. The catcher doesn't affect those plays. I want to know how much of the numbers you gave me are the result of the variation in pitchers and how much is the result of the variation of catchers. It feels like a gage R&R study. To do that we would need to measure frameable pitches for pitchers with different catchers and catchers with different pitchers. Then we should be able to tease out the percent variation that is the result of the catcher.


   75. villageidiom Posted: March 21, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5824345)
I think there is only one instance where framing can clearly leads to run expectancy - called strike 3 and ball 4. Everything else has so much game theory tied to the outcome that it's really difficult to assess the value of getting a strike or ball on pitch 1 of a plate appearance. Hell, there are enough batters who take until they get a strike that I'm not sure the first strike matters at all.


Scenario 1:
On a 1-1 count, the pitch comes in just outside the strike zone. 2-1 count. Later in the PA, the batter pulls a pitch down the line for a double.

Scenario 2:
On a 1-1 count, the pitch comes in just outside the strike zone, but the catcher frames it and gets a strike call. 1-2 count. Later in the PA, the batter pulls a pitch down the line for a double.

As of today, the batters in either scenario are credited with having created the same value either way.

If we're saying that getting the 1-2 count instead of the 2-1 count is worth N expected runs to the defense, then doesn't the batter in scenario 2 create an extra N runs with his double than the batter in scenario 1, for having negated the additional value created by the catcher?

I can see the argument that no, the batter is being valued on outcomes, and it doesn't matter what happened in the PA except that it started 0-0 and it ended with a double. But does that argument still make sense if we're now identifying sub-PA outcomes and crediting the catcher (and debiting the pitcher and/or defense) for those? Shouldn't the batter be credited in scenario 1 for having not swung at a borderline pitch, thus creating a count that often leads to better outcomes? I think the answer to that is no, he will get credit in a larger sample via the better outcomes he will actually create. We shouldn't trouble ourselves with the theoretical better outcomes.

So then let's go back to the catcher: shouldn't he likewise be credited not on theoretical better outcomes but on actual outcomes? In Scenario 2 that framed pitch produced the same outcome as the unframed pitch in Scenario 1. Both gave up doubles. There was no outcome-based difference. We measure the hitter on outcomes; we measure the defense on outcomes; we measure the pitcher on outcomes. EXCEPT now we're measuring the catcher's value on outcomes PLUS a specific sub-outcome action, and we offset that among the pitcher and the position players. That means we're looking at sub-outcome actions for the pitcher and position players, but just for catcher framing. Is a pitcher having difficulty with his pitches when runners are on? Are fielders changing their positioning based on the base/out game state and the count? Do those actions change the value they produce? And if they do, should we debit the catcher to offset for it, as we do now in reverse for catcher framing?

This introduces an inconsistency in how we value player actions. That's not to say we shouldn't measure catcher framing, or account for it somehow. IMO it's that the way we account for everything else is at least inconsistent, and at most incompatible, with the way we account for this.
   76. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5824346)
68 nails it. This has been discussed in baseball. It's why an Erik Kratz stays in the game at 39 as one quick example
   77. Karl from NY Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5824347)
#18:

Aren't most pitches clearly balls or clearly strikes?


Yes. But there's a *big* swing on borderline pitches, multiplied by many chances per game. The difference in run value between a strikeout and a walk is something like 0.8. Do that on one pitch out of every 700, once a week, and you're saving 25 runs for 2.5 WAR over a full season.

And how much credit goes to the pitcher for putting the pitch right in that spot?


Some should. Throwing a frameable pitch is a repeatable skill and does have value. This is testable: look at framing data for a pitcher-catcher pair and figure out how much of it persists with a different catcher. (I'm not sure if Fangraphs did that but it sounds like they did.)

#35:

This is the one thing I haven't seen good data on. Does stealing a strike on a 0-0 count really improve the outcomes when the player swings at the 1-1 strike? The catcher should get a lot of credit for a strikeout looking but not so much on the first pitch, especially when umpires change their strike zone based on the count. Easier to get strike 1 called, harder to get strike 3.


Boiled down, this is saying to contextualize pitch framing based on the context within an at-bat. It's a valid approach in itself, but I think WAR deliberately tries to exclude all context which would encompass that.
   78. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5824350)
lots of odd stuff i'd like to comment on


Their example of the worst season of pitcher framing is Ryan Doumit, 2008. He cost his team 5.8 wins with his framing. The Pirate pitchers in 2008 had a 5.07 ERA with Doumit catching, and a 5.08 ERA with anyone catching.



you've made this point at least twice in the thread and both times you fail to add an important aspect. You have to know how many runs the NON DOUMIT catchers are adding or subtracting before you make any final judgments.

Agreed? If the non Doumit cathchers are also like -2 runs/year (and assuming they played 25%) of the games, then there would be essentially no difference in ERA due to catcher framing. Do people agree on this principle?

because this is rather basic and you dont even address that.


****

It might be an interesting idea to try reason A PRIORI on exactly how many runs a catcher can save with framing. I.e. to try to think about it in the abstract without looking at the numbers they are putting out there.

OK how many pitches are there in a game? Im guessing 140 per team? Should be about 40 PA/game and I think its 4.2 pitchers per AB. something like that?

how many borderline calls are there? Is 10% or 5%? wel we have those little diagrams that they break out everytime the umpire blows a bnch of calls in a game. How many do we usually see? I dont think we see more than 8 or 10 of those calls for any one team...I'm gonna guess and say there's 8 borderline pitchers per team. It's just a guess but it cant be that far off.

Ok now how much is a stolen strike calll worth? Well just going abstractly here. Since 3 strikes=out I'd say one strike = 1/3 of a chance.

So...how many catcher framing chances per game? Approx 3. Compare to the Lf which was mentioned earlier in the thread. I guess they are about 2 chances per game (or less?).

So if say a LF can be +/- 2.5 wins on defense then Im gonna go out on a limb and say a Catcher with framing could be +/- 3.7. Well lets call it 4 wins since its all approx anyway.

But WAIT A MINUTE! Catchers dont play full time. what's an average catcher play 75%? So lets round it back down from 4 to 3 wins per year.

OK, maybe its not accurate but at least that's a ball park for starting discussion. +/- 30 runs or 3.0 wins. hmm
   79. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5824351)
75 is a much better and more thorough way of articulating what I was getting at in 66.
   80. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5824355)

If we're saying that getting the 1-2 count instead of the 2-1 count is worth N expected runs to the defense, then doesn't the batter in scenario 2 create an extra N runs with his double than the batter in scenario 1, for having negated the additional value created by the catcher?


You raise a very interesting point. I think that's clear. But isnt it also quite reasonable to say "Yes he did add additional value?"

Because its quite demonstrable that the pitch count does effect ba. slug. and OBP. Yes? ergo, he hit a double on an 0-2 count and that's a pretty damn good feat.

But then it probably all evens out in the end anyway, because our theoretical player also took 2 pitches for strikes, so he obviously lost some tiny bit of vale there.

Im thinking for most batters it should all even out in the wash. Do some batters repeatable skill at hitting in 0-2 counts? I cant recall of the top of my head... But obviously you've added an important pt. we've got at least THREE separate factors going into each pitch. We've got the pitchers control factor et al. The catchers FRAMINg ability and of course the batters eye/ability to make contact/ability to hit for power....

Make it FOUR if have to factor in Angel Hernandez.
   81. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5824357)
This introduces an inconsistency in how we value player actions. That's not to say we shouldn't measure catcher framing, or account for it somehow. IMO it's that the way we account for everything else is at least inconsistent, and at most incompatible, with the way we account for this.


Great post, and there's also an inconsistency (which has come up before) between treating a double on a pitch right down the middle the same as a double on a really good pitch. WAR kind of combines a bunch of things that are measured on different "scales" and/or in different "units."

I want to know how much of the numbers you gave me are the result of the variation in pitchers and how much is the result of the variation of catchers. It feels like a gage R&R study. To do that we would need to measure frameable pitches for pitchers with different catchers and catchers with different pitchers. Then we should be able to tease out the percent variation that is the result of the catcher.


It's almost certainly a bunch of small sample sizes and noises being misread as patterns. If it wasn't, you'd see material ERA swings for the catchers who are supposedly really good at framing. (And at the end of the day, if framing isn't really impacting actual runs given up, then who cares? As village said, if a hitter eventually pops out, we don't care that he took a close pitch for an earned ball and therefore changed his predicted outcomes in aggregate.)
   82. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5824358)
The difference in run value between a strikeout and a walk is something like 0.8.


I think it should be 0.53 runs or so; with walk = 0.3 runs and KO = -.23 runs.
   83. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:25 PM (#5824359)
I actually agree with this.

If it's at all true, we need automated strike zones immediately.


Well OK, let's say it is true. Does it not raise other questions about other long held assumptions?

You and CFB (I guess or has he seen the light) continue to insist that OF'ers cant be costing their team +/- 2.5 wins per year. (Im going with 2.5 here because my best guess is top fielders can save about 2.6 to 2.8 wins per year, Ive done a little more number crunching on that issue.)

Now you are quite willing to believe 4 or 5 wins for catchers.

And so.....????
   84. RoyalFlush Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5824363)
Who gets credit for the bank robbery, the guy who holds the gun or the guy who drives the getaway car?

The entire thing is just absurd, beyond satire.


I believe the law gives them both equal credit.
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5824364)
Now you are quite willing to believe 4 or 5 wins for catchers.

No, I think the estimates are probably greatly over-stating the impact. If not, then there's a big problem.
   86. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5824365)
Sabermetric measurement doesn't lead to changes in approach and selection criteria based on those measurements? Seriously?



measurement that nobody knew about until five minutes ago did not lead to changes in approach 5 years ago, no.


That's not a fair characterization of what the . guy is saying. I think he's saying that "in the future" or "over a period of time" statistical insights will lead to changes in strategyy. Yes?

I mean is that what shifting is all about these days? Advance scouting identified certain patterns in hitters by crunching large sets of data that was impossibel a few years ago. This led them to be shift fielders around in an effort to gain a few percentage pts of an advantage.

Agreed? I mean you can disagree with the guy all you want, but its pretty dickish on your part to deliberately mischaracterize or not even pretend to understand what he is saying.
   87. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5824367)
No, I think the estimates are probably greatly over-stating the impact. If not, then there's a big problem.


Well ok, "if not" then yeah its a big problem.

But even if not so much, its still pretty annoying.

I guess only time will tell us what the final say is on how much catcher framing adds.
   88. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:42 PM (#5824369)

If catchers are truly gaining 8-10 wins for this...



how the faq did we get to +/- 8 or 10? The article said plus 5.8 wins or such. (and minus 4.3 or such)

That equates to Plus/Minus 5.8 or 6 if you will.

Mm-Kay? You dont just double the number and then say "plus/minus." that's not correct at all.
   89. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5824371)

In a league with 4 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9, and far fewer pitches per at bat, framing might well matter a lot less.


This statement is ambiguous without more details to add.

in a high scoring run environment, OBP will have a greater than normal impact on scoring. In a low scoring environment .slug will have a more impactful impact. we had this mentioned hereabouts a few months ago. I dont have cite for it, but im pretty sure it's a real thing.

So in a high scoring run environment , balls and strikes could well be worth more as it relates to OBP.
   90. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5824373)
you've made this point at least twice in the thread and both times you fail to add an important aspect. You have to know how many runs the NON DOUMIT catchers are adding or subtracting before you make any final judgments.

Agreed? If the non Doumit cathchers are also like -2 runs/year (and assuming they played 25%) of the games, then there would be essentially no difference in ERA due to catcher framing. Do people agree on this principle?


Yes, that's a valid point. It's possible the other Pirate catchers in 2008 (Ronny Paulino and Raul Chavez) were roughly as bad as Doumit at framing. If I knew how to find the framing numbers for Paulino and Chavez, I would post them here.

But please note that I am not cherry-picking out a catcher who did poorly at framing but ended up comparable to the other catchers on the team. I am looking at what Fangraphs calls the WORST CATCHER SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF FRAMING and pointing out that his team's ERA did not suffer with him behind the plate. I find it hard to believe that two backup catchers would just coincidentally happen to be exactly as bad as the worst pitch framer ever. Similarly, with Lucroy, I am picking out the best season in the history of framing and pointing out that his team's ERA did not benefit with him behind the plate.

Let's do one more. The second-worst framing season is by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 2014. The 2014 Marlins had a 3.78 ERA overall, and a 3.59 ERA with Salty behind the plate. So what's the excuse there? Why didn't Salty hurt the team's defense in any evident way? Note also that the Marlins' backup catcher was reputed defensive wizard Jeff Mathis.

What am I saying is that I expect to see some other evidence that pitch-framing is as valuable as they say. If Ryan Doumit and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are costing their teams through their pitch-framing as much as Fangraphs says, it's got to be showing up somewhere. Because it doesn't look like it's showing up in the amount of runs the team is allowing.
   91. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5824374)
I think the idea of crediting a hitter for a "sub-event" even when the result turns out bad is encapsulated in golf's measurement of "strokes gained." The idea there is comparing the expected score from where you hit the ball with the aggregate expected score in all positions. So if you boom a drive into the perfect place on the fairway, 30 yards ahead of the average drive, you're deemed to have "gained strokes" from the drive even if you duck hook the next shot OB. It's become a somewhat mainstream measurement of shot quality.
   92. . Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5824375)
how the faq did we get to +/- 8 or 10? The article said plus 5.8 wins or such. (and minus 4.3 or such)


I meant there the difference between the high end and the low end. LuCroy is like 8-10 better than Doumit, at least in the years being discussed.
   93. Kiko Sakata Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5824377)
you've made this point at least twice in the thread and both times you fail to add an important aspect. You have to know how many runs the NON DOUMIT catchers are adding or subtracting before you make any final judgments.

Agreed? If the non Doumit cathchers are also like -2 runs/year (and assuming they played 25%) of the games, then there would be essentially no difference in ERA due to catcher framing. Do people agree on this principle?

because this is rather basic and you dont even address that.


Non-Doumit catchers on the 2008 Pirates were +6.0 framing runs in 60% of Doumit's innings
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:55 PM (#5824378)
But please note that I am not cherry-picking out a catcher who did poorly at framing but ended up comparable to the other catchers on the team. I am looking at what Fangraphs calls the WORST CATCHER SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF FRAMING and pointing out that his team's ERA did not suffer with him behind the plate. I find it hard to believe that two backup catchers would just coincidentally happen to be exactly as bad as the worst pitch framer ever. Similarly, with Lucroy, I am picking out the best season in the history of framing and pointing out that his team's ERA did not benefit with him behind the plate.

Let's do one more. The second-worst framing season is by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 2014. The 2014 Marlins had a 3.78 ERA overall, and a 3.59 ERA with Salty behind the plate. So what's the excuse there? Why didn't Salty hurt the team's defense in any evident way? Note also that the Marlins' backup catcher was reputed defensive wizard Jeff Mathis.

What am I saying is that I expect to see some other evidence that pitch-framing is as valuable as they say. If Ryan Doumit and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are costing their teams through their pitch-framing as much as Fangraphs says, it's got to be showing up somewhere. Because it doesn't look like it's showing up in the amount of runs the team is allowing.


Excellent post. WTF are those alleged 5 wins hiding?
   95. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5824380)
But please note that I am not cherry-picking out a catcher who did poorly at framing but ended up comparable to the other catchers on the team. I am looking at what Fangraphs calls the WORST CATCHER SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF FRAMING and pointing out that his team's ERA did not suffer with him behind the plate. I find it hard to believe that two backup catchers would just coincidentally happen to be exactly as bad


Right, that's a good pt. I think we need to have more transparency with the methods and the data before we can make any conclusions.

You sure as hell could be right, I think many of us have that instictive feeling that we never in our lives ever thought before the big game:

"Well they've got Yesztremski and we've got Mantle...Maybe that's a push."

"And they've got Pagliaroni and we've got Berra. Hell we've got 0.7 runs right there on pitch framing!"

I mean no one ever thought it was that huge a deal. Maybe it is maybe it's not. Im trying to keep an open mind.

And we need more freakin TRANSPARENT methods; not this BIS TZR UZR crap with no transparency.

EDIT as was mentioned uptread, it was pointed ouit that C/P pairings on non random. So its possible, as a counter pt. to Tom, that Doumit is catching for all the "good" pitchers on the Pit and the non Doumits are catching the 5th starter. So even though the ERA are the same, Doumit's should be better because he's catching better pitchers. Again we need more data.
   96. BrianBrianson Posted: March 21, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5824383)
So, again, how are framing wins/runs actually being calculated? I couldn't find that.
   97. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5824385)
KIKO: if you reading this: Can you explain how you calculate or where you find data on how many balls OF'ers can cut off and prevent an extra base hit?

I know you said you were measuring this on your statistical website, but i dont see that data anywhere and im not sure how you would estimate it.

thanks.
   98. Esteban Rivera Posted: March 21, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5824390)
My first impression is that this is along the lines of "Glenn Hubbard is the greatest defensive second basemen of all time". Post #75 by villageidiom aligns with my initial thoughts at this time, that if you really look at it, pitch framing for the most part is inconsequential unless it directly results in an outcome. So that would mean that the only results over which pitch framing would have a tangible outcome on are the pitches that directly result in a strikeout or a walk (strike three and ball four) due to the framing. Wouldn't that suggest that you're more likely to see the impact of pitch framing in terms of strikeouts and/or walks allowed than in terms of runs allowed? This would also imply that any credit or debit for the pitch framing should be taken from or added to the pitcher.
   99. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: March 21, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5824391)
I say that as an ump who works with catchers who aren't good and pitches that aren't that fast.


I've always wondered about this from the umpire's perspective. Please provide your insight.

Why and how does an umpire let pitch framing influence his decisions? Correct me if I am wrong, but my impression is that:

1. The umpire's perspective is 2-2.5 ft in front of where the catcher catches the ball implying that they can only get an impression out of the corner of their eye about how the catcher receives the ball
2. Catchers routinely set up out side the strike zone, so umpires know that where they receive the ball often has no relationship to whether it is a strike or not. So why do they care where it is caught?
3. ML pitchers have tremendous late movement on many of their pitches, so the pitch has could move several inches between the plate and the catchers mitt. So again, why do umpires care about where it is caught?
4. Umpires set up just behind the catcher on the inside of the plate. Can they even really see how the catcher catches the ball on the outside of the plate (even beyond the problem in #1)?
5. Why does catching the ball with little glove movement matter? Its a large strike zone, so catching the ball with little movement doesn't have much to do with whether it is a strike? Points 2 and 3 also might apply to this point.

Given all the caveats, why does the umpire allow pitch framing to be a thing?


   100. BrianBrianson Posted: March 21, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5824392)
Allow?
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