I imagine most of you have seen/read this series on Fangraphs, but I think it's relevant to the discussion:
I think the value of pitch framing is absolutely up for debate. Whether it has an impact at all, on the other hand, seems to me to be a resolved question.
Why did they have an outfielder pitching in the playoffs!??
Originally Posted by Riverbrian
Honestly, whether or not the catcher has an affect on pitch framing, they should automate it.
So do these stat guys take into account the pitcher and hitter? We always hear a young hitter is less likely to get the close pitch, if it's Mauer he has a great eye so it must be a ball. However, the pitcher has pin point control so it must be a strike.
Is the umpire really thinking who is pitching and who is hitting and if the catcher is a good or bad framer or is he just watching the ball cross the plate?
I umpired when I was younger and I didn't pay any attention to the catchers glove. I would hope guys at the major league level would do the same.
I don't think anyone is saying that MLB umpires consciously discriminate in their calls. If it was a conscious effect, it probably wouldn't exist. The immense amount of research done on this shows clear differences in the number of strike calls based on the count in particular. If every single call is truly and solely based on watching the ball, as you seem to propose, how does this exist?
Originally Posted by Winston Smith
That same effect causing differences, whatever it is, has been measured across pitchers, batters, umpires, and catchers. The pitcher has the largest effect while the batter has the smallest, umps and catchers are in the middle. Pitch framing attempts to measure the differences due to the catcher. You can even find many video examples that highlight mechanical differences between catchers on each end of the spectrum.
The valuation efforts are commonly questioned (by me as well). I'm not certain, but I don't think the existing attempts are able to remove the pitcher, batter, umpire, or even count effects and instead rely on averages. The batter and umpire effects become null over a large enough sample, but the pitcher and count effects matter a lot. Question and debate the value of the effect, but I'm not sure how one can question whether it exists.
All that said, I'm incredibly glad that Ryan Doumit will not wear a catcher's mitt for the Twins again.
Turn on your audio, you'll get your answer.
Originally Posted by Willihammer
Oh, and Brian. I've long contended that the umpires continually squeezed Ankiel. Your video provides the proof I've been looking for. I've got a call in to the umpires office now.