Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.

The Forums

Waiting in the Wings

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 06:06 AM
The Twins are playing well right now and so are their affiliates.A quick glance at milb.com shows that Rochester and Chattanooga are lead...
Full topic ›

Article: Reasons For Optimism

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:57 AM
On Monday, the Minnesota Twins topped the Boston Red Sox by a score of 7-2. The win, coupled with the Tigers loss, puts the Twins in seco...
Full topic ›

Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/25): Kernels Roll

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:16 AM
Happy Memorial Day! There's nothing like baseball on Memorial Day.For the second week in a row, left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone was hono...
Full topic ›

Gibson + Change-up + Confidence = Ace?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:24 AM
If you saw Kyle Gibson's performance today (Sunday) against the White Sox, you saw an ace pitcher on the mound. I remember when the Twins...
Full topic ›

How Many Lookouts Have a MLB Future?

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:11 AM
How many Lookouts have a chance to play in the MLB?  Probability?       Example: Joe Mauer -  100%   D.J. B...
Full topic ›
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email


Kurt Suzuki - Signed to be the starter?

Attached Image: Suzuki_Kurt_Face_US_720.jpg Mike Berardino reported this weekend that Terry Ryan expected Kurt Suzuki to start this year for the Minnesota Twins at catcher. At the time of the signing, it appeared that Suzuki was signed to give the Twins a veteran backup. On this site, there were certainly questions about his defense and concern about the workload he carried early in his career. At the time, the best available options other than Suzuki were John Buck or retaining Doumit. While Suzuki has been a poor pitch framer, Doumit and Buck are at the bottom.

Does it matter that Suzuki is a poor at framing pitches? Perhaps he makes up for it in working with pitchers and pitch selection.

If a catcher has an impact on pitcher performance, how might it show up in the stats? FIP uses the defense independent stats of strikeouts, walks and home runs. I am not sure how much a catcher might impact home runs, but if he impacts anything it will be strikeouts and walks. Suzuki's has worked for two clubs in each of the last two years. Add 2011 and there is a sample of over 12000 batters faced. How does he compare to the 12 other catchers who caught for Oakland or Washington in the last three years?

[TABLE="width: 576"]

Year
Team
Suzuki
Others
Suzuki
Others
Suzuki
Others





k/bb
k/bb
K%
K%
BB%
BB%
BF


2013
OAK
1.86
2.84
17.06%
19.66%
9.19%
6.91%
381


2013
WSN
2.78
3.31
19.68%
21.15%
7.08%
6.38%
2795


2012
WSN
2.6
2.69
20.88%
21.80%
8.02%
8.13%
1547


2012
OAK
2.15
2.75
17.54%
19.32%
8.16%
7.04%
2720


2011
OAK
2.13
2.67
18.46%
20.18%
8.67%
7.51%
4811













3yr
TOT
2.31
2.84
18.79%
20.45%
8.13%
7.20%
12254

[/TABLE]

Over the last three years, the other 12 catchers have a 23% better strikeout walk ratio, a strikeout rate that is 9% better and a walk rate that is 11% lower.

Every year over the last three and on every team, pitchers who happen to be throwing to Suzuki strike out fewer batters and walk more batters. Small sample size? It is over 12000 batters. Maybe he has had teammates who are very good catchers? It was 12 different guys on two different teams.

The Twins needed a backup catcher. The free agent and trade market for catchers dried up quickly and only the catchers with poor framing numbers remained. Suzuki appears to be the best of what was left. Signing a veteran catcher to start in 40-50 games seemed a good move. Before spring training, Ryan has said he expects him to start. It seems the plan all along was to seek a starter. If that is the case, is Suzuki the right guy?


  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

0 Comments