08-30-2012, 11:42 PM #1
Article: What has happened to Joe Mauer's defense?
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?98...auer-s-defense@OverTheBaggy
08-31-2012, 12:18 AM #2
08-31-2012, 01:14 AM #3
Great analysis, Parker. That is something that can be worked on (and clearly should have already been addressed if the coaching staff and manager were competent).
The above is harsh, but I have to wonder if the Twins even have this simple video analysis available to them.
08-31-2012, 07:46 AM #4
Great work Parker. I love analysis like this. A couple questions. Is the data that shows Mauer's decline pitcher irrelevant. It seems like compared to Mauer's prime we have had a lot of guys throwing in high 80s low 90s. As opposed to low to mid 90. Santana, Baker, Garza, etc. That seems like it would play a roll. Also it looks like several of our pitchers are slow to very slow to home. Thoughts?
08-31-2012, 08:00 AM #5
But looking at those clips, it's not hard to see Mauer throwing flat-footed. It's probably a combination of things. Slow deliveries, slow pitches, bad pitch control (Deduno), and bad throwing form from Mauer.
08-31-2012, 08:42 AM #6
Can't figure out why he overthru the other Monday. That was so uncharacteristic Mauer. Part of it ahs to be lack of consistent playing time behind the plate. The other, working with nearly a dozen different starters who, on the whole, are pitching from behind and not setting the pace of a game.
08-31-2012, 08:45 AM #7
The pitching has to be a factor -- Mackey also gave numbers showing that Butera's caught stealing rate was down (about 25% if I remember right) as is Doumits (about 10% I think). But neither of those approach Mauer's astronomical decline.
I'm sure there are things he can work on. I'm also sure that in a losing season he probably doesn't want to overwork his knees. But I also have to think that his knees/legs are simply never going to be the same.
08-31-2012, 09:01 AM #8
Over at baseball reference they show Mauer (63) at 49/6, Doumit (48) at 23/6 and Butera (33) at 18/6 for (games played) attempts/caught. The team as a whole has thrown out 17% of base stealers.
Starters are: Blackburn 5/1, Deduno 5/1, DeVries 2/1, Diamond 13/3, Duensing 4/1, Hendriks 5/2, Liriano 13/2, Marquis 2/1, Pavano 7/1, Walters 4/0, Swarzak 0/1.
Relievers have been awful: Burnett 7/0, Burton 5/0, Capps 3/0, Fein 2/0, Gray 5/1, Maloney 2/0, Manship 1/0, Perdumo 1/0, Perkins 2/2, Robertson 2/1.
08-31-2012, 09:31 AM #9
Rosterman, thanks for providing the stats on Doumit and Butera. That appears to indicate Mauer is our worst catcher and throwing out runners and the oppostion has picked up on this as there are more attempts against him if you normalize for the number of games caught. Someone can weigh in on if this is a large enough sample of data to make that assumption. Next we can look at catcher ERA's to see if there is a marked difference in calling games.
08-31-2012, 09:39 AM #10
Rosterman, what those numbers from B-R.com are missing is that those all runners caught stealing INCLUDING pick offs (those are marked in the catchers numbers too). If you dig a bit further, you will find that Mauer actually only "caught" 3 of those runners himself, Doumit caught 5 of 6 and Butera caught 4 of 6.
08-31-2012, 09:53 AM #11
08-31-2012, 09:54 AM #12
08-31-2012, 09:56 AM #13
Baseball is a game of inches. Stolen bases are razor thin from many different factors and they all add up.
The Runner's Jump... The Runner's speed... The Attention paid to the runner by the pitcher. The Quickness of the delivery to the plate. The Catcher's Footwork and the Catcher's accuracy. The SS or 2B catch and tag.
I look at the footwork shown in the video example's and you do see a slight delay in Joe's movement from crouch to throwing position.
The Footwork is consistent and correct. It's a slower start and it could be the body that causes the slow start but I contend it's probably the mind.
Complacency is the #1 enemy of the ball player. Pitch after Pitch... Inning after Inning... Game After Game... Year after Year. It's a slow game... Mental focus comes and goes.
If the case... It's disapointing that it happens at the catcher position. Of all positions... The Catcher and Pitcher are the most involved and should be easily more engaged.
I wish I could have seen his release point on example #1.
From the defensive side... If you want to catch a thief... It's starts with the pitcher perfecting his pickup move to hold runners close... make them second guess... and a quick delivery to the plate once committed. The outcome of the majority of stolen bases are decided right there. It's a game of inches and each inch matters.
Tack on a slow reacting catcher and you got a problem. The runners are getting faster... It's a game of inches. It makes baseball beautiful.
08-31-2012, 10:03 AM #14
And sometimes you just want the pitcher to quit throwing over and let the guy steal if he wants...getting the batter out is more important. Yes, you like to keep a "possible" double-play in order. But, how many of those 90 stolen bases resulted in a run scored is the next question in play.
08-31-2012, 10:33 AM #15
That being said, I haven't really thought of Mauer as a "good" defensive catcher since at least mid-2010. There were times from 2006 to 2010 I felt he was an above average catcher. I think what's particularly alarming for a guy like Mauer, however, is that you look at 6'5" guy who is GIANT for a catcher, and you assume that his problems would be with blocking balls, moving around, etc. You wouldn't expect a former HS quarterback of that size to have trouble throwing out runners, but it's clear that he does.
And when you factor in the part time playing time, and recognize that it's September and Mauer's defense has resulted in only THREE caught runners all year, I think we can put to bed the argument that Mauer's offense has "added value" because of his defense.
08-31-2012, 10:40 AM #16
That was great analysis, clearly he is not moving to get into position to make a throw before he recieves the pitch like he did in the past. As someone mentioned above, this should be easily fixable and I don't know why it hasn't been taken care of by now.
08-31-2012, 10:45 AM #17
I haven't noticed anything major with Mauer's throwing, but I have seen more throws that don't have a lot of zip on them. As was pointed out above, stolen bases are a proposition with small margins all around. The Twins, as a staff, aren't very good at either checking baserunners or getting the ball to the plate quickly, so most of the blame needs to fall there.
08-31-2012, 10:48 AM #18
From a defense side of things.... The Pitcher and Catcher have to beat the stopwatch. If you do that... Very few will go.
Make no mistake... High stolen bases is on the defense.
A more telling stat is not the percentage of throw outs... It would be the amount of attempts.
08-31-2012, 10:54 AM #19
I really want to comment on this because I love analysis like this, but really, the relevant thing here is how long does it take from the time the ball is in Joe's mitt to the time he throws the ball. The footwork analysis is interesting but ultimately what matters is how long the exchange takes.
You have the video. If you have a video editing program it would be an easy matter to get the elapsed times from catch to release point. Can you post those elapsed times? If you don't have one, MS Moviemaker is a free download."Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."
08-31-2012, 10:56 AM #20"Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."