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Thread: Article: Kurt Suzuki - Signed to be the starter?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by S. View Post
    I must be missing something, but what's the point of these 3 game comparisons of Ramos and Suzuki? You can't honestly think comparing 3 games caught for two catchers can give you any sort of worthwhile statistics

    Edit: was missing something: other one was 8 games and 5 games. Still way too small a sample with way too many variables to do an actual comparison though. Different seasons, different opponents, different parks, etc. You're gonna need a lot more games before those comparisons mean anything at all in my opinion.
    By your argument the statistics that are the premise of the article would be eroneous as there would never be a large enough sample size to suit anyone.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Don't we have some overweight, straight-ball-throwing relief pitcher that might be of interest to the Nats for this guy I'm not too familiar with, whatzzhizzname? Ramos?
    You and some guy named Smith have about the same knowledge of Ramos

  3. #23
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    I'm wondering if they're just trying to keep the pressure off of Pinto and in reality expect him to win the job this spring.
    After the Hicks debacle, that'd probably be alright.

  4. #24
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Suzuki literally being the opening day starter is not a big deal . . . because isn't it the White Sox? Do they even have a RH starter???? Pinto can potentially be waiting a bit in AAA. Suzuki getting more than 200 PAs in 2014 . . . yeah, that's bad.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    By your argument the statistics that are the premise of the article would be eroneous as there would never be a large enough sample size to suit anyone.
    The article is 3 years worth of stats compared ("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"). You were comparing 3 games vs 3 games and 5 games vs 8 games. If you want to draw conclusions from ~2-5% of a season, that's fine, I just don't agree with it. Much the same as I wouldn't read too much into a comparison of 10-30 PAs.

  6. #26
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UCLA_YANKEE_COLA View Post
    Gut feelings are obviously less reliable than statistics. That's why we have statistics. I do agree that Pinto will likely earn his time and will "steal" the job but these kinds of moves (assuming Suzuki really does get the job) is what makes it hard to be a Twins fan sometimes. He can't hit and all signs point to him not being a good defender (truthfully, I've seen him play probably less than 30 games in my life, tough to judge defense in that sss). At least Butera had a notable tool.
    The most important thing a catcher can do is manage a pitching staff. The results in Oakland speak for themselves, especially considering the churn they have in that rotation. That's what Suzuki brings. It's also Pinto's weakness. So they complement each other well. And Suzuki hits waaaay better than Drew ever has. Drew's career OPS is below .500. Suzuki's is .685.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by S. View Post
    The article is 3 years worth of stats compared ("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"). You were comparing 3 games vs 3 games and 5 games vs 8 games. If you want to draw conclusions from ~2-5% of a season, that's fine, I just don't agree with it. Much the same as I wouldn't read too much into a comparison of 10-30 PAs.
    In BB% I am not as worried about. The question I would ask does Suzuki call for a pitcher to make a tough pitch. If so, the BB % will go up. SO may not go up, but weakly hit ball % would.
    The % well hit balls would have been a good comparison, but that statistical comparison was not run. If you think it doesn't make a difference, Maddux is in the HOF with a below average k/9, but because batters couldn't make good contact he got outs. On the other hand, there are a few pitchers out of baseball right now because hitters could make good contact.

    In those three seasons, how many times was "other" catching the same pitcher as Suzuki against the same team. Does each pitcher on the team have the exact same K% as the other pitchers on the staff? No. Neither Oakland nor Washington would have had a static staff of pitchers. There is no proof even with the statistics that they were catching the same types of pitchers.
    Now, which catcher got to catch the 4/5 starter or the replacement pitcher for the injured starter more versus the 1/2 starter? If it is skewed one way or the other, the SO % for the catcher will be different. There are so many variables unaccounted for that would change the percentages.
    Lastly there is the significance in the difference in K% between Suzuki and "other" In 3 years the pitchers thrown to Suzuki had a K % of 18.79% versus 20.45. For every 60 batters "other" got one more strikeout. In making an assumption of league average WHIP and double plays are maintained it is not a strikeout per game unless it is a 14 inning game.
    Last edited by old nurse; 01-29-2014 at 03:08 PM.

  8. #28
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Baring injury or implosion of Pinto, I expect Suzuki to start about 60 games this season. I suspect he'll get opening day out of courtesy as well. I expect Pinto to "earn" the job. I don't see him being given the job.. especially given how Hicks and Parmelee handled that the last two seasons. He's going to have to look the part of a major leaguer. His resume to date says that he deserves the job. I don't have a problem making him earn it though.

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  10. #29
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    Call me skeptical, but intrigued...

    First, on the context side of things, don't forget Arencebia. At the time, it was a Buck vs. Arencebia vs. Suzuki vs. Doumit debate; in that pool, I'd still take Suzuki.

    Second, I like your overall argument as you have a good sample size and it's centered on K/BB ratio, not on pitch framing- though you do toss that in there. Of all the advanced stats out there, pitch framing has to be one of the most debatable/ questionable, and personally don't find it all that persuasive.

    However, finding such a large disparities between Suzuki and 'the other 12' is hard to accept at face value, so I'd like to encourage you to keep digging. Seems like you're on to something, but it sure feels like there must be more to the story that these stats aren't capturing or revealing.

    Finally, my take on the Suzuki signing is that Pinto has promise behind the plate, but needs mentoring. Suzuki is noted for his game calling (do we have a good stat for that yet?) so that's where I see his value. I'd speculate that the door will be open to Pinto to prove whatever he can, but we're likely to see more Suziki starts in the first half of the season, and more Pinto starts in the second half- timetable determined by how he does at AAA.

    That's just my speculation, but it does seem to fit the facts as we know them, and certainly seems like a reasonable approach.
    Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

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  12. #30
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigTrane View Post
    Finally, my take on the Suzuki signing is that Pinto has promise behind the plate, but needs mentoring. Suzuki is noted for his game calling (do we have a good stat for that yet?) so that's where I see his value.
    This. The best stat is staff FIP, which, admittedly is not a good measure if you're Mike Aviles catching the best staff in baseball. But over a 10 career with a staff full of pre-arbitration pitchers, it works for me in Suzuki's case.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  13. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    This. The best stat is staff FIP, which, admittedly is not a good measure if you're Mike Aviles catching the best staff in baseball. But over a 10 career with a staff full of pre-arbitration pitchers, it works for me in Suzuki's case.
    FIP is based on strike outs, walks and home runs. I am not sure how much a catcher has an influence on home runs or whether there would be enough home runs to distinguish between the catchers.

    Suzuki does not compare well when comparing strike outs and walks with the other catchers on his 5 previous teams. He would not compare well according to FIP either.

    It might be possible to use the actual home runs or normalize the home runs and come up with a FIP number, but I don't think that is necessary. The strike outs and walks are self explanatory. No one would argue that fewer strike outs and more walks is better.

    In fact, if pitch framing has any meaning at all it would have to show up in those defense independent numbers. You would expect a catcher with below average pitch framing numbers to have a negative effect on a pitcher's k/bb ratio.

    ... as I write this I do wonder about home runs which I ignored. Are more home runs given up when a pitcher is behind in the count? If so, catchers may have an effect on home run rate. There is still no way to do it with just Suzuki's three seasons. Too few home runs are it in that sample.

  14. #32
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    FIP is based on strike outs, walks and home runs. I am not sure how much a catcher has an influence on home runs or whether there would be enough home runs to distinguish between the catchers.

    Suzuki does not compare well when comparing strike outs and walks with the other catchers on his 5 previous teams. He would not compare well according to FIP either.

    It might be possible to use the actual home runs or normalize the home runs and come up with a FIP number, but I don't think that is necessary. The strike outs and walks are self explanatory. No one would argue that fewer strike outs and more walks is better.

    In fact, if pitch framing has any meaning at all it would have to show up in those defense independent numbers. You would expect a catcher with below average pitch framing numbers to have a negative effect on a pitcher's k/bb ratio.

    ... as I write this I do wonder about home runs which I ignored. Are more home runs given up when a pitcher is behind in the count? If so, catchers may have an effect on home run rate. There is still no way to do it with just Suzuki's three seasons. Too few home runs are it in that sample.
    All I know is that the A's are consistently near the top of the league in pitching. Bean has traded more good pitchers than the Twins have developed over that span. Suzuki has to be doing something right.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  15. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    FIP is based on strike outs, walks and home runs. I am not sure how much a catcher has an influence on home runs or whether there would be enough home runs to distinguish between the catchers.

    Suzuki does not compare well when comparing strike outs and walks with the other catchers on his 5 previous teams. He would not compare well according to FIP either.

    It might be possible to use the actual home runs or normalize the home runs and come up with a FIP number, but I don't think that is necessary. The strike outs and walks are self explanatory. No one would argue that fewer strike outs and more walks is better.

    In fact, if pitch framing has any meaning at all it would have to show up in those defense independent numbers. You would expect a catcher with below average pitch framing numbers to have a negative effect on a pitcher's k/bb ratio.

    ... as I write this I do wonder about home runs which I ignored. Are more home runs given up when a pitcher is behind in the count? If so, catchers may have an effect on home run rate. There is still no way to do it with just Suzuki's three seasons. Too few home runs are it in that sample.
    If you are saying that the catcher is responsible for the balls and strikes then why didn't you run the numbers for ERA and win/loses? Swinging strikeouts versus called strike 3? That there is or isn't a stikeout is not always on the catcher. What is the difference in how the games are called. Yes you can state with 100% certainty that There are more strikeouts when others were catching, and more ball 4 when Suzuki was catching.
    If you wish to say there are outcomes based on K% and BB% consider that Suzuki's numbers are better than the Twins over the last three years

  16. #34
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jay's Avatar
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    For those who don't seem to think that Suzuki is responsible in some way, shape, or form for the differences in K%/BB% (call it framing, game calling, farting, whatever you want) compared to a large number of other catchers in a significantly large sample size... please, share with us why you think it is occurring.

  17. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    For those who don't seem to think that Suzuki is responsible in some way, shape, or form for the differences in K%/BB% (call it framing, game calling, farting, whatever you want) compared to a large number of other catchers in a significantly large sample size... please, share with us why you think it is occurring.
    The premise was that a lower K% and higher BB% were somehow bad. I asked for proof. There is how you call a game. There is what you are trying to do with each pitch. There have been long threads on shifting. Are you doing shifts because of the pitch you are throwing is going to strike him out? There are many different goals with each pitch.

    Prove the outcome of a game is different with Suzuki in there. That is my point.

  18. #36
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Huh, ESPN has a catcher stat CERA (catcher ERA) but it seems to be broken for Suzuki (the stat is arguably broken anyway). 650 innings for Oakland without allowing an earned run obviously isn't right.

    Baseball-reference has some catcher stats including RerC which stands for BIS Catcher Pitch Calling Runs Above Average. I don't know how its calculated but Suzuki has typically scored around league average or a few runs below.

    EG. http://www.baseball-reference.com/te...fielding_c::16

  19. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    The premise was that a lower K% and higher BB% were somehow bad. I asked for proof.
    I can't see how it possibly wouldn't be bad, but I do get what you're asking now. I'm not sure where or if that data exists, maybe someone else does. If you want to look at runs allowed for Suzuki vs others, you run the risk of introducing other variables such as if he generally caught certain members of the staff. I liked the original analysis because it stays simple and broad enough to be pretty definitive.

  20. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    I can't see how it possibly wouldn't be bad, but I do get what you're asking now. I'm not sure where or if that data exists, maybe someone else does. If you want to look at runs allowed for Suzuki vs others, you run the risk of introducing other variables such as if he generally caught certain members of the staff. I liked the original analysis because it stays simple and broad enough to be pretty definitive.
    It is broad but not definitive in the big picture of the game. It show that Suzuki needs a little work. If he didn't, he wouldn't be signed for what he was paid. In the analysis. Is he better than "others" catcher? Probably not as it was he who was traded and not "others". Not exactly high level prospects either. He will start as the starter because he was probably the best available option after AJ signed elsewhere.
    If runs allowed when he caught are not allowed because of the variations in staff, how could balls and strikes be?
    Lower K and higher BB is not bad if it also means there were less well hit balls. Joe Niesse has a worse K% and BB% than Jermey Hefner yet had .5 lower ERA. Something happened as each had about the same number of starts.
    Last edited by old nurse; 01-31-2014 at 06:26 PM.

  21. #39
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    I could have compared other data. One could compare runs given up or OPS against. It is there for anyone to assemble and comb through.

    Strike outs and walks are thought to be defense independent. It seemed the place to start. If they did not show a difference, I don't think anything else could have meaning.

  22. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    I could have compared other data. One could compare runs given up or OPS against. It is there for anyone to assemble and comb through.

    Strike outs and walks are thought to be defense independent. It seemed the place to start. If they did not show a difference, I don't think anything else could have meaning.
    The ability to strike out or walk batters is not catcher depedent but pitcher dependent. The variabilty of a pitcher from day to day to strike people out is highly variable. The variability from pitcher to pitcher to strike people out is large. you assume over time that the catchers would catch each pitcher an equall number of times. You would appear to me to then also assume that a pitcher's good day and bad days are catcher dependent.
    You see a differnce in the numbers, you have to ask yourself why. You blame the Suzuki, but do not control for any other variable. The other variables have meaning. They do influence % for the catcher.

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