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jorgenswest

Framing by Battery

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Baseball Prospectus has pitch framing data organized by battery.

Framing data by battery

The data looks at pitches where the umpire needs to make the call and compares actual strikes with predicted strikes.

While looking at splits creates small sample sizes, I wondered if it would be clear that Josmil Pinto's framing skills are significantly worse than Kurt Suzuki.

The natural place to start is Glenn Perkins.


Chances Predicted Actual +/-
Josmil Pinto 73 24.3 22 -9.5%
Kurt Suzuki 200 73.9 67 -9.3%

Glenn Perkins has lost strikes to each catcher. Pinto cost him 2.3 strikes and Suzuki cost him 7.9. By percent Suzuki has a slight edge.

How about Sam Deduno?

Chances Predicted Actual +/-
Josmil Pinto 369 125.9 106 -15.8%
Kurt Suzuki 257 98.3 88 -10.5%

Josmil Pinto had a much more difficult time with Sam Deduno. That isn't surprising. A young catcher matched with a very difficult pitcher to catch. Deduno is also prone to wild pitches. The Twins have one of the better catchers in the league at preventing wild pitches. It is surprising they didn't use him more often with their wild pitch prone starter.

Listed below are the other starters and relievers where there were at least 100 chances. Ricky Nolasco is not listed. Suzuki has been his catcher for every pitch thrown.

Kevin Correia
Chances Predicted Actual +/-
Josmil Pinto 240 75.1 69 -8.1%
Kurt Suzuki 569 182.7 173 -5.3%

Phil Hughes
Chances Predicted Actual +/-
Josmil Pinto 87 33.6 34 1.2%
Kurt Suzuki 698 265.7 249 -6.3%

Kyle Gibson
Chances Predicted Actual +/-
Josmil Pinto 60 17.6 16 -9.1%
Kurt Suzuki 709 223.8 195 -12.9%

Mike Pelfrey
Chances Predicted Actual +/-
Josmil Pinto 184 60.4 51 -15.6%
Kurt Suzuki 96 27 25 -7.4%

Anthony Swarzak
Chances Predicted Actual +/-
Josmil Pinto 118 26.3 29 10.3%
Kurt Suzuki 230 83.1 83 -0.1%

Casey Fien
Chances Predicted Actual +/-
Josmil Pinto 63 19.9 22 10.6%
Kurt Suzuki 192 84.5 81 -4.1%

Brian Duensing
Chances Predicted Actual +/-
Josmil Pinto 114 34.6 31 -10.4%
Kurt Suzuki 152 48.5 42 -13.4%

In the small samples of a split, Pinto had more difficulty with Pelfrey and Correia and fared better with Duensing, Fien, Swarzak, Gibson and Hughes. Faring better is relative. It is relative to Suzuki. I am not suggesting Pinto is a good pitch framer. He isn't. Neither is Suzuki.

I don't think there is anything in the data to suggest that Pinto's pitch framing is so poor that he shouldn't be a major league catcher. He just turned 25. He will get better. The numbers will improve. When he returns, the Twins might consider matching him up with pitchers who have better command than Deduno. He needs to refine his skill with better confidence that the pitch will end up somewhere near his target.
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Comments

  1. naobermiller's Avatar
    Nice Data
  2. old nurse's Avatar
    There is the theory that pitch framing saves runs. Where is the actual data that proves it. Turkenkopf who was in on the idea from the start stated that there were not the runs saved as projected.
  3. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse
    There is the theory that pitch framing saves runs. Where is the actual data that proves it. Turkenkopf who was in on the idea from the start stated that there were not the runs saved as projected.
    Dan Turkenkopf's work that showed the run value of turning a strike into a ball. I think the change referred to was from the original .16 to .14 due to count. We haven't heard from him in a while because he was hired by the Rays two seasons ago. It is his manager with the famous quote about Molina saving 50 runs. It is his organization that employs Molina in spite of a slash line of 195/239/201.
  4. old nurse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest
    Dan Turkenkopf's work that showed the run value of turning a strike into a ball. I think the change referred to was from the original .16 to .14 due to count. We haven't heard from him in a while because he was hired by the Rays two seasons ago. It is his manager with the famous quote about Molina saving 50 runs. It is his organization that employs Molina in spite of a slash line of 195/239/201.
    It was adjusted because there was a high rate of strikes being called on 0-3 and 1-3 counts. There was no adjustments or consideration ever given to the fact that there are significantly less calls per opportunity in extra innings. There is a decided variation in inning and pitch framing. That there is a variation by the inning would say there are other factors other than pitch framing going into these decisions thus the ability to impact the outcome is less.

    Any manager would say anything to get into the heads of the opponent . If he can convince someone to swing at outside/low pitches and miss, his pitcher is way ahead.

    Molina is having a career bad year at the plate. What are the other options? What is at AAA for the Rays probably would not hit, either. A 2 million contract on a low budget team Maddon has to play him.
  5. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse
    It was adjusted because there was a high rate of strikes being called on 0-3 and 1-3 counts. There was no adjustments or consideration ever given to the fact that there are significantly less calls per opportunity in extra innings. There is a decided variation in inning and pitch framing. That there is a variation by the inning would say there are other factors other than pitch framing going into these decisions thus the ability to impact the outcome is less.

    Any manager would say anything to get into the heads of the opponent . If he can convince someone to swing at outside/low pitches and miss, his pitcher is way ahead.

    Molina is having a career bad year at the plate. What are the other options? What is at AAA for the Rays probably would not hit, either. A 2 million contract on a low budget team Maddon has to play him.
    If you are interested, BP breaks down framing runs by count. The data by battery is linked above. They also have it organized by team and individual catcher in other data sets.

    Many teams value this skill in their rostering decisions. It doesn't appear to be something you value. I think the Twins agree with you.
  6. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
    Good work jorgenswest.. is the league +/- percentage right at 0.0? If so I'd say Pinto is just fine as a pitch framer. (selectively throwing out Correia and Pelfrey, both who will not be around here much longer.)
  7. jorgenswest's Avatar
    I don't think it is set to 0. It happens to be close. The median team is slightly negative, but the 6 top teams weigh the data towards the positive side.

    team data

    Pinto isn't a good pitch framer. Suzuki isn't either. Both are better than Doumit. The Twins rank 30th again.
  8. ericchri's Avatar
    Both lefties on that list showed horrible with both (though so did Gibson and Pelfrey). I'd be curious to see Thielbar, just as an extra data point, though I honestly doubt you could determine anything by that.
  9. old nurse's Avatar
    Your own data could point to other factors affecting the call of the pitches. If it is pitch framing causing the ball to be called a strike you should relatively even numbers for all of the pitchers. That is not the case. Deduno has and Pelfrey had control issues. Their deviation is higher. Umpires are expecting them to be out of the zone and call it that way. Perkins pitches when the game is on the line, he does not get the free strikes. Umpires want to call a fair game when the game is on the line. Swarzak tends to pitch when the game is not on the line, he got more calls. That would support the notion the umpire wants to move the game along.
  10. jorgenswest's Avatar
    It is something that could be studied. The data has been shown to be consistent year to year for catchers. It is also easy for catchers to gather a large sample in a short time.

    How consistent is the data for individual for pitchers? To get a better sample size pitching roles could be compared. Do mop up men do better since they are in low leverage situations? Is it more difficult for closers? Of all the Twins Burton has lost the greatest percentage of strikes this year so I am not sure how that fits.

    Max Marchi, Dan Turkenkopf and Mike Fast are the pioneers in this area. All of them have been hired by major league clubs. Perhaps this is the kind of detail they are doing for their organizations.
  11. Willihammer's Avatar
    Something I've noticed Pinto does with runners on base - wait till the last possible second to setup for a pitch for fear of tipping to the baserunner where the location of the pitch will be. This delays the umpire crouching and I suspect contributes to Pinto losing strikes.

    I hope you're right that he figures it out.

    Nice write-up
  12. old nurse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest
    It is something that could be studied. The data has been shown to be consistent year to year for catchers. It is also easy for catchers to gather a large sample in a short time.

    How consistent is the data for individual for pitchers? To get a better sample size pitching roles could be compared. Do mop up men do better since they are in low leverage situations? Is it more difficult for closers? Of all the Twins Burton has lost the greatest percentage of strikes this year so I am not sure how that fits.

    Max Marchi, Dan Turkenkopf and Mike Fast are the pioneers in this area. All of them have been hired by major league clubs. Perhaps this is the kind of detail they are doing for their organizations.
    As the correlation to pitch framing and ERA is very low, I would doubt it.
    They all share these common traits: They know sabermetrics, they know the latest assessment tools and how to use them, and as writers they can clearly articulate a thought on a subject that is newer to the audience.
    Fast was doing some work with hit f/x when he was hired. The thought being BABIP for a pitcher is not random. They were looking at a bunch of factors. Never found a follow up.
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