PDA

View Full Version : salty's defense/game calling impact



Bos_Sports4Life
08-05-2013, 12:32 AM
I don't mind the price they are currently paying him at..However, Ive dug a bit and saw a more alarming trend than even I figured.

2013-
Ross (23 games) Catcher ERA- 3.08
Salty (78 games)- 4.05

2012-
Shoppach- 4.04 (May be off due to 1/3 of his starts being with another team).
Salty- 4.88

2011-
Varitek (64 starts)- 3.57
Salty (96 starts)- 4.65

Now granted maybe '12 is a little closer and '13 has obviously been short sample size...But combined the trio of Teck, Shoppach, and Ross have caught around 130 games for Boston which is deff enough of a sample too question his ability behind the plate.

Over the last yrs hes been about a total run HIGHER, now even if you throw is coincidences... And lets say he makes a 0.5 Run diff, isn't that extremely alarming? That would be a diff of -81 prorated.

It is very hard too measure catcher defense, But DWAR (And other well known saber stats) don't take into account blocks/framing etc and obviously its hard too measure catcher era as that is largely a pitchers doing, But I feel as though while it is hard too measure..It still needs too be taken into account and atleast be attempted too measure.

http://www.overthemonster.com/2012/2/29/2830655/jason-varitek-advanced-catcher-defense

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16096

2 pretty interesting articles...and im not saying these stats are 100% accurate (Really, no stat is that cant be measured with absolute numbers) ..Still interesting imo and atleast its thought out and attempting too measure something that is rarely measured.

grandsalami
08-05-2013, 01:11 AM
Boston pitchers (like peavy said himself) love salty behind the plate due to his game calling and familiarity with the pitchers. It's one if the reasons why I think he gets resigned

Nomar
08-05-2013, 01:13 AM
No pitcher is gonna come out and say he's bad at game calling, but he is.

-Lavigne43-
08-05-2013, 01:51 AM
Bags has broken it down before in the past with each pitcher individually separated. If I remember right almost every pitcher does way worse with Salty catching compared to every other catcher. I don't know how much of it is his fault, and how much of it is just a product of him catching more games then anyone else. It's a huge sample now though.

I think his pitch calling and framing can be terrible. You see more of that with the rookie pitchers. Pitch selection was night and day when Ross caught Webster and when Salty caught him. Likewise Workman got crushed in his relief stint which Salty caught, they've made sure Lavarnway has caught each of his subsequent starts. They used the excuse that Lavarnway was familiar with Workman because he caught him in the minors, he only caught him two times in the minors. You can't say they believe he is a smart veteran presence behind the plate when they try to avoid using him with rookie pitchers.

bagwell368
08-05-2013, 08:10 AM
Boston pitchers (like peavy said himself) love salty behind the plate due to his game calling and familiarity with the pitchers. It's one if the reasons why I think he gets resigned

Beckett for one didn't want to work with him.

I really don't care if we have to go with 2 out of these 3 next year:

* Ross, $2.5M defensive stopgap, Lavarnway next year

And this trio the year after:

* same $2.5M stopgap, Lavarnway and Vazquez

the offense will blow both years, but Salty's offense is nowhere near being great enough to make up for his sub standard D, and I don't want to see premium money spent on a catcher that is closer in value to the bottom 1/3 of starting catchers in the bigs then the 4th-7th slot a multi-year deal will set the Sox back.

They got good value out of him, but a pig in a dress with lipstick is still a pig.

Nomar
08-05-2013, 08:18 AM
Beckett for one didn't want to work with him.

To be fair, Becket didn't want to work at all. :laugh2:

But seriously he was not a Salty fan, and was probably the only one with the balls to show it.

mooz
08-05-2013, 09:37 AM
Yeah I really don't even think he's worth a QO regardless of how little we have for options. Regardless of what is said publicly, he's not a good game caller and he's terrible at framing pitches. Add in his horrendous defense and inconsistent offense that seems to decline when the games start meaning more (not saying it's connected, it's just inconvenient) and you have yourself a pretty terrible catcher. I don't care how many HR's he hits, if your offense is reliant on your catcher hitting 20-25 HR's to score runs, then you have bigger problems. Lucky for us we aren't reliant on his HR's, thank god.

Also, I know this seems like a minor thing but I can't stand the fact that Salty doesn't give a the pitcher a target until he's already in his throwing motion. I feel like it makes the pitcher somewhat reactive to where he puts the glove rather than already zoned into the spot. It also seems to encourage Salty's lunging to catch pitches he should easily frame had he already had the glove up. Varitek always gave a big target before the pitcher even went into his windup and I've noticed a lot of other successful catchers do it too.

RedSoxtober
08-05-2013, 03:13 PM
Bags has broken it down before in the past with each pitcher individually separated. If I remember right almost every pitcher does way worse with Salty catching compared to every other catcher. I don't know how much of it is his fault, and how much of it is just a product of him catching more games then anyone else. It's a huge sample now though.

I think his pitch calling and framing can be terrible. You see more of that with the rookie pitchers. Pitch selection was night and day when Ross caught Webster and when Salty caught him. Likewise Workman got crushed in his relief stint which Salty caught, they've made sure Lavarnway has caught each of his subsequent starts. They used the excuse that Lavarnway was familiar with Workman because he caught him in the minors, he only caught him two times in the minors. You can't say they believe he is a smart veteran presence behind the plate when they try to avoid using him with rookie pitchers.

I ran through the numbers this year and the results were mixed. A few guys were throwing slightly better to Salty while others were substantially better with Ross. On the whole the scenario still says "catchers not named Salty are better."

Bos_Sports4Life
08-05-2013, 11:10 PM
Beckett for one didn't want to work with him.

I really don't care if we have to go with 2 out of these 3 next year:

* Ross, $2.5M defensive stopgap, Lavarnway next year

And this trio the year after:

* same $2.5M stopgap, Lavarnway and Vazquez


Prob doesn't mean an absolute ton, But Dan Butler in Pawtucket is hitting .278/.375/.493 line and grades as a slightly above average defensive catcher. Hes turning 27 in oct, but maybe he replaces lavarnway as the occasional starter? too early too tell though, Good chance butlers performance is a flash in the pan...But 200+ atbats is a decent sample.

Obviously I wouldn't expect him too be a starter, but maybe as the 3rd guy..Basically lavarnways role.

bagwell368
08-06-2013, 04:16 PM
Prob doesn't mean an absolute ton, But Dan Butler in Pawtucket is hitting .278/.375/.493 line and grades as a slightly above average defensive catcher. Hes turning 27 in oct, but maybe he replaces lavarnway as the occasional starter? too early too tell though, Good chance butlers performance is a flash in the pan...But 200+ atbats is a decent sample.

Obviously I wouldn't expect him too be a starter, but maybe as the 3rd guy..Basically lavarnways role.

What happens to Lavarnway? Will Ross have anything else next year? Will Butler rise above being 38-39-40 on the 40 man (I.E. a AAAA player at best) - or will he get left off? We have a number of guys with higher trajectories that need to be covered before Butler.

Bos_Sports4Life
08-06-2013, 05:47 PM
What happens to Lavarnway? Will Ross have anything else next year? Will Butler rise above being 38-39-40 on the 40 man (I.E. a AAAA player at best) - or will he get left off? We have a number of guys with higher trajectories that need to be covered before Butler.

I see no reason why Ross couldn't handle 55 or so games as the primary backup.

Lavarnway has an OPS+ of 47 over the past 3 yrs, Beyond bad even for a spot starter it seems.Hes done better this yr, but hes also only had 52 PA's.

The reason I did bring up Butler was not so much that I think he's an important guy too look at..But it was more so due to the very limited options on the FA market. outside of mcCan there's not a ton, And I wouldn't want too give a 30 yr old catcher too much $/yrs in which he will surely get in such a weak class.

bagwell368
08-06-2013, 08:16 PM
I see no reason why Ross couldn't handle 55 or so games as the primary backup.

Lavarnway has an OPS+ of 47 over the past 3 yrs, Beyond bad even for a spot starter it seems.Hes done better this yr, but hes also only had 52 PA's.

The reason I did bring up Butler was not so much that I think he's an important guy too look at..But it was more so due to the very limited options on the FA market. outside of mcCan there's not a ton, And I wouldn't want too give a 30 yr old catcher too much $/yrs in which he will surely get in such a weak class.

McCann will be an overpriced pipe dream - which BC will side step. There are a number of good defensive catchers on the market next year.

Lavarnway is a better defensive catcher than Salty already IMO (with less than 50% as many games played in the Minors/Majors combined as Salty and way less before that). It's hard to judge a player who doesn't get many PA's, but Lavarnway was above AL average catcher as a hitter in '11 and is close to average this year.

Nomar
08-06-2013, 08:20 PM
Really thought Lavarnway could post a .200 ISO... looks like that's not happening anytime soon. Don't see him being more than a platoon guy. 80 wRC+ with a .343 BABIP is bad, but his walk rate will go up at least. Still think if he posts an 80 wRC+ he's better than Salty all things considered.

bagwell368
08-06-2013, 08:25 PM
Having one tough inning now...

Nomar
08-06-2013, 08:32 PM
Having one tough inning now...

:cheers:

To forgetting this inning, god willing.

Bos_Sports4Life
08-06-2013, 11:20 PM
McCann will be an overpriced pipe dream - which BC will side step. There are a number of good defensive catchers on the market next year.

Lavarnway is a better defensive catcher than Salty already IMO (with less than 50% as many games played in the Minors/Majors combined as Salty and way less before that). It's hard to judge a player who doesn't get many PA's, but Lavarnway was above AL average catcher as a hitter in '11 and is close to average this year.

he had 43 PA's in '11..

The one yr he had a solid sample size (166 PA's) he had an OPS+ of 23..Beyond terrible. Also had a -1.7 WAR despite him only playing part time. Now with him costing nothing and the lack of quality options..hes pretty much a lock for next yr too atleast get a chunk of playing time.

Obviously I never thought butler was some slam dunk, heck I doubt he ever makes much of an impact on any mlb team. However, when a catcher grades as solid defensively while maintaining an OPS close too .900...Hes worth atleast looking at imo.

Age too me is a little overrated, if anything that could be of some help for a catcher (Less wear & tear). Also playes a position that has featured plenty of late bloomers. Tecks rookie yr was 26 and didn't catch 90+ games until 27 and he's the 2nd best catcher in team history and a huge piece too multiple title teams. Now obviously I don't expect this dude too be the next teck, But at the same time I wouldn't say he can't be a solid backup flat out due too his age.

RedSoxtober
08-07-2013, 08:37 AM
Really thought Lavarnway could post a .200 ISO... looks like that's not happening anytime soon. Don't see him being more than a platoon guy. 80 wRC+ with a .343 BABIP is bad, but his walk rate will go up at least. Still think if he posts an 80 wRC+ he's better than Salty all things considered.
I think that it's a little hard to gauge where he is at the plate while he's getting so few PA. He's not in the lineup enough to settle into any kind of groove. It's beyond me why Farrell doesn't use him more; surely he can't think that Salty is capable of 130G and any kind of post-season success.


he had 43 PA's in '11..

The one yr he had a solid sample size (166 PA's) he had an OPS+ of 23..Beyond terrible. Also had a -1.7 WAR despite him only playing part time. Now with him costing nothing and the lack of quality options..hes pretty much a lock for next yr too atleast get a chunk of playing time.
A bit of context here. In 2012 he basically ignored his offense to concentrate all his effort on improving behind the plate. His offense took a big hit at all levels. Bags and others noted that he was approaching his PA very differently from previous years. Lavarnway also discussed the same thing. I believe that it's say to say that there's ample room to take 2012 as an outlier season even if it has the largest sample size of his career.


Obviously I never thought butler was some slam dunk, heck I doubt he ever makes much of an impact on any mlb team. However, when a catcher grades as solid defensively while maintaining an OPS close too .900...Hes worth atleast looking at imo.
If you step back to compare MiLB numbers then you're describing Lavarnway here, not Butler. Butler's current line is only his second season with an OPS over .750, and first since A-ball. Lavarnway was a much more consistent offensive force in the minors and it's pretty accurately reflected in his MiLB career .872 OPS vs .794 for Butler.

The downside to Lavarnway's path through the minors is that it was based primarily on his bat. He did a lot of DHing on the way up (50+% in some seasons). As a result we probably did not get to see the impact of a full season of catching duties on his offense.


Age too me is a little overrated, if anything that could be of some help for a catcher (Less wear & tear). Also playes a position that has featured plenty of late bloomers. Tecks rookie yr was 26 and didn't catch 90+ games until 27 and he's the 2nd best catcher in team history and a huge piece too multiple title teams. Now obviously I don't expect this dude too be the next teck, But at the same time I wouldn't say he can't be a solid backup flat out due too his age.

Age plays a big difference for catchers, even more than most positions. The strain on the legs/knees leads to many more washouts in the early 30s than any other position. In this particular comment I think you're confusing catching in MLB with catching in general; if a kid is catching 70-90 games in the minors it's only slightly less demanding than doing it in the majors. If he's catching, he's catching, and it doesn't matter where it's happening.

Butler and Lavarnway BOTH could be exceptions to this trend because of their history. Lavarnway came late to catching (converted OFer in college). Butler caught on (pun intended) with the Indies after not making his college team. Neither of them has as long a track record of innings on their legs as some catchers do.

bagwell368
08-07-2013, 12:31 PM
he had 43 PA's in '11..

The one yr he had a solid sample size (166 PA's) he had an OPS+ of 23.

The folks here that follow him closely agreed he looked very over coached last year on both sides of the ball.

He hit well in '11 and OK in '13 - that can't be disputed.


Obviously I never thought butler was some slam dunk, heck I doubt he ever makes much of an impact on any mlb team. However, when a catcher grades as solid defensively while maintaining an OPS close too .900...Hes worth atleast looking at imo.

Lavarnway hit better in 2009-2013 (A-AAA) than Butler. You just got done showing success in the Minors doesn't always translate to the Majors. Why should anyone assume anything about Butler - in particular since Lavarnway jumped Butler in the Minors. Lavarnway made it to the Majors 3 seasons ago, and Butler hasn't had a single PA there yet.

Also, Lavarnway has thrown out a higher % of base stealers, better fld %, and better range in the Minors than Butler. Also Lavarnway is 10 months younger than Butler.

Lavarnway HR/PA: 88 - 2137
Butler HR/Plate A: 41 - 1562

bagwell368
08-08-2013, 08:39 PM
Another note on Lavarnway, he's faced murderous pitchers in 2013:

Verlander
Felix
Price
Weaver
Colon
Moore
others as well

Pretty tough in 16 starts...

Nomar
08-08-2013, 08:55 PM
Salty is gonna be worn out in the playoffs at this rate

RedSoxtober
08-09-2013, 09:27 AM
Salty is gonna be worn out in the playoffs at this rate



APR: .232/.231/.435
MAY: .282/.346/.479
JUN: .271/.319/.447
JUL: .268/.346/.408
AUG: .238/.333/.476

Unfortunately it won't take that long. His AUG OPS is boosted by his walks (10%!... but only 3) and a HR but I anticipate that dropping along with the BA. I think Ross is eligible to return Sunday (8/11) and given Farrell's apparent lack of confidence in Lavarnway I don't think the Sox will wait too long to act on that.