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Thread: Should Butera start at Catcher?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer 70charger's Avatar
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    This whole thread seems like a retread. Start reading here: http://twinsdaily.com/showthread.php...efense-of-Drew

  2. #22
    Senior Member Double-A Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=rocketpig;36816]No, it's not worth finding out. QUOTE]

    Would you care to elaborate on why not? You seem to disregard the possibility that players get better, relationships between players become better, and numbers can improve? What if Frankie has more confidence with Butera behind the plate, so he throws harder? What if Butera has spent hours upon hours breaking Frankie down before and after games, and did find a mechanical hitch, and that discovery fostered this confidence? I'm not saying either of those things are true, I'm just saying they very well could be.

    I state it again. This Twins season is going nowhere. Can anyone give me a reason other than "Butera isn't good", or "Butera was bad in the past" as to why this isn't worth looking into. If we went only off of prior years results, Danny Valencia would be starting at 3B, not Trevor Plouffe. Michael Cuddyer would be in right field instead of Josh Willingham in left. At some point, ESPECIALLY if you're just playing out the string, find out which players have gained in value, and which have not.

  3. #23
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    The real question we need to ask ourselves is Mauer Overpaid?

  4. #24
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    The real question we need to ask ourselves is Mauer Overpaid?
    Yes, he isn't even capable of whispering sweet nothings into Frankie's ear.
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ballÖ and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  5. #25
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    Catcher ERA has been studied and debated for several years and is seen as a problematic in measuring catcher performance. Current research using pitch f/x data may lead to better results. If you are interested in this stuff, you can read a comparison of Rays catchers below.

    http://theraysway.com/articles/jose-...-ex-machina--2

    It would be interesting to see a similar comparison of the three Twin catchers at the end of the season. It could be that Butera has significant value that has gone unmeasured.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Piranha View Post
    Before you laugh, consider the following--
    I didn't laugh before...or after. I did kind of sadly shake my head from side to side in a bit of dazed wonder, though.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Double-A Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
    I didn't laugh before...or after. I did kind of sadly shake my head from side to side in a bit of dazed wonder, though.
    Any particular reason? Or is this nothing more than an attempt to pad your post count total, for whatever reason?

  8. #28
    Did Gardy start this thread?

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Piranha View Post
    Any particular reason? Or is this nothing more than an attempt to pad your post count total, for whatever reason?
    As precious as my post count is to me...OK, wait, now I'm laughing because that is pretty funny...but as precious as that is, no, that's not it. It was some of the shakiest "analysis" I've seen (and that's saying something), and THEN the terrible "analysis" got you to the conclusion that Drew Butera should be the most frequent starting catcher on a team that includes Joe Mauer. And Ryan Doumit.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Double-A Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
    As precious as my post count is to me...OK, wait, now I'm laughing because that is pretty funny...but as precious as that is, no, that's not it. It was some of the shakiest "analysis" I've seen (and that's saying something), and THEN the terrible "analysis" got you to the conclusion that Drew Butera should be the most frequent starting catcher on a team that includes Joe Mauer. And Ryan Doumit.
    Then pray tell me, what part of my analysis was shaky? Do you dispute the numbers I presented? Am I inaccurate in concluding (in the SSS of 2012 I'm using) that the starting pitching has been historically awful with either Mauer or Doumit behind the plate, but playoff-caliber with Butera behind the plate? And did I not state that all I was interested in was expanding the sample size to see if the current disparity of staff performance based on starting catcher would bear out over a large sample size?

    Again I ask, since no one seems to have an answer, what is the problem with using the last 67 games of this lost season (we're 11 behind Baltimore and Oakland, who are tied for the second wild card. If even one of them goes 33-34, we would have to go 44 and 23 just to tie them. And that's assuming Toronto, Tampa or Boston don't heat up) to explore this? Especially since the worst case scenario (the staff doesn't maintain these numbers with Butera behind the plate, leading to us losing a ton of games) actually helps us, as we get a better draft pick.

    I'll ask one more time--what is a tangible, feasible downside to starting Butera at catcher 3-4 times a week?

  11. #31
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Well, for one thing, those numbers for each of Mauer, Doumit, and Butera are skewed because they're not catching the same pitchers.

    Butera's caught every game Liriano has started since he was promoted from the bullpen. I think Gardy keeps putting Butera behind the plate for Liriano's starts as one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" things.

    I think Butera has about as much to do with Liriano's recent success as the "M" logo caps do.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Drew Butera hasn't caught Nick Blackburn once this season. That may result in some unfair catcher ERA numbers for Doumit and Mauer.

  13. #33
    Super Moderator All-Star ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketpig View Post
    Drew Butera caught lots of games last season and the Twins were 29th in ERA.
    Maybe if you say this enough times people will actually read it and understand it. Ever feel like you are beating a dead horse?

  14. #34
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    Because 67 games is not enough of a sample size to draw accurate conclusions using statistical analysis. Because you are ignoring all the data that does not support your conclusions (years of data prior to those 67 games). Because you are drawing causal relationships, where there is no evidence of causation, making perhaps the most common logical fallacy in existence.
    Lighten up Francis....

  15. #35
    Senior Member Double-A Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    Well, for one thing, those numbers for each of Mauer, Doumit, and Butera are skewed because they're not catching the same pitchers.

    Butera's caught every game Liriano has started since he was promoted from the bullpen. I think Gardy keeps putting Butera behind the plate for Liriano's starts as one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" things.

    I think Butera has about as much to do with Liriano's recent success as the "M" logo caps do.
    If you noticed on page 1, I gave Butera's numbers minus Liriano. Still ridiculously better than Mauer/Doumit. I also provided the numbers for Diamond and Pavano, who are the only pitchers all 3 guys have caught. While Pavano's numbers are largely a wash. Diamond's are much better with Butera, especially versus Mauer. This also doesn't address the question of why not let Butera catch some more of these guys to find out? What if Blackburn can be a serviceable starter when pitching to Butera? There's only one way to find out...

  16. #36
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    Drew Butera hasn't caught Nick Blackburn once this season. That may result in some unfair catcher ERA numbers for Doumit and Mauer.
    Nonsense, Blacksie would have had a sub-4 era all season if Butera had been catching him. Butera is also fully responsible for Liriano throwing harder, more accurately, and with a monster slider. He even single-handedly willed Deduno into having a decent start, which couldn't have happened with anyone else behind the plate.
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ballÖ and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  17. #37
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Piranha View Post
    If you noticed on page 1, I gave Butera's numbers minus Liriano. Still ridiculously better than Mauer/Doumit. I also provided the numbers for Diamond and Pavano, who are the only pitchers all 3 guys have caught. While Pavano's numbers are largely a wash. Diamond's are much better with Butera, especially versus Mauer. This also doesn't address the question of why not let Butera catch some more of these guys to find out? What if Blackburn can be a serviceable starter when pitching to Butera? There's only one way to find out...
    I'm not convinced that, even if Butera turned Blackburn into a serviceable starter, that the difference would offset the offensive hit the lineup would take from removing either Mauer or Doumit and inserting Drew.

    I get what you're saying, and I admit that Butera is a better defensive catcher than Mauer and a much better catcher than Doumit. I do think there is some truth to catchers' ERA, but I don't think it's nearly as big a difference as the numbers you've presented would posit to suggest.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Mr. Ed's Avatar
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    When the Twins trade Liriano and he does well for someone else, am sure the FSN broadcasters will continue to credit Drew for Liriano's level of success as well.

  19. #39
    Senior Member Double-A Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Because 67 games is not enough of a sample size to draw accurate conclusions using statistical analysis. Because you are ignoring all the data that does not support your conclusions (years of data prior to those 67 games). Because you are drawing causal relationships, where there is no evidence of causation, making perhaps the most common logical fallacy in existence.
    So obviously you skipped over my post where I asked when coincidence becomes causation. So obviosuly you've missed all my points where I'm asking why not expand the sample size. So obviosuly you didn't notice where I said this was only in the context of this year. So obviously you believe players can't improve or worsen from the year prior--after all, it's not like Andrew McCutcheon, MVP candidate, hit .259 last year. Jose Reyes clearly is the best-hitting shortstop in either league, since he was last year. Melky Cabrera's ceiling is obviously a guy who's going to hit around .270/.320/.370 with single digit homers, since those are his approximate numbers over FIVE years.

    I'm not saying any of those three instances mean Butera is suddenly the greatest catcher to pitch to ever. I'm just saying there is an incredible statistical anomaly that has now hit a level where it moves beyond short-lived blip on the radar, and becomes, let's see if there's anything to this.

    Oh and by the way, I used 95 games, or about 60% of the season. If 60% of something is not a large enough sample size to draw a conclusion, why is 40% of something enough to wreck a conclusion?

  20. #40
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Cap'n Piranha;36827]
    Quote Originally Posted by rocketpig View Post
    No, it's not worth finding out. QUOTE]

    Would you care to elaborate on why not? You seem to disregard the possibility that players get better, relationships between players become better, and numbers can improve? What if Frankie has more confidence with Butera behind the plate, so he throws harder? What if Butera has spent hours upon hours breaking Frankie down before and after games, and did find a mechanical hitch, and that discovery fostered this confidence? I'm not saying either of those things are true, I'm just saying they very well could be.

    I state it again. This Twins season is going nowhere. Can anyone give me a reason other than "Butera isn't good", or "Butera was bad in the past" as to why this isn't worth looking into. If we went only off of prior years results, Danny Valencia would be starting at 3B, not Trevor Plouffe. Michael Cuddyer would be in right field instead of Josh Willingham in left. At some point, ESPECIALLY if you're just playing out the string, find out which players have gained in value, and which have not.
    How about a breakdown of the quality of lineups that Butera's pitchers have faced? He seems to get the 'day game after night game' starts fairly often, along with the other scrubs of both the Twins and their opponents. Maybe it's just me.

    As for being useful as Liriano's personal catcher, well, the idea that Liriano needs a replacement-level catcher to be effective sounds like another reason to trade Liriano, not elevate Butera to near-everyday status.

    That leaves the 10 starts with non-Liriano pitchers. Given that CERA is already suspect at best for career-sized samples, those 10 starts represent no discernible analytical value to me.

    I agree with you the Twins are out of it. I even agree with you that Butera should catch more, though not for the reason you suggest, and not nearly to the same extent. I'd just like to see Butera out there a little more just to save wear and tear on Mauer and even Doumit.

    That being said, the idea that there's no risk to elevating Butera to near-regular status isn't really true. The Twins still need to put butts in the seats, and it's not going well. Selling already disenchanted fans on Butera catching more than Mauer based on what's likely no more than a statistical anomaly would be an ugly PR undertaking.

    But let's say you throw attendance caution to the winds, keep running Butera out there the rest of the season, and get similar non-Liriano numbers. Now you're going to dump Morneau, convert an already-expensive Mauer to a much less valuable position , and insert a replacement-level bat into the starting lineup based on what's still a microscopic sample size of one of the weakest predictive stats in baseball? Pass.

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