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Thread: Article: Drew Butera and Defensive Prowess

  1. #81
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
    How about 2010 when he was better with Mauer behind the plate than he was with Butera?
    I can only look at the two periods where it was clear that Butera was being requested as personal catcher, and in both cases, the results were very good. The other period being July 2010 - Sept 2011 where Butera was Pavano's PC. I do think there is a rhythm that some batterymates can get into. Liriano and Mauer were in rhythm for all of 2010. It certainly helped that Mauer was healthy enough to catch all those starts. When these periods of sustained pitching success happen, you don't fiddle with it, even when the guy's bat is as lousy as Butera's. And, for what its worth, nobody on the staff achieved a similar period of sustained success with Doumit catching him. then again, maybe guys like PJ Walters and Cole DeVries, just aren't capable of achieving a similar, prolonged period of success with any catcher. Its difficult to tell.
    Last edited by Willihammer; 01-20-2013 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    I know its SSS-flawed, but, Liriano's turnaround midseason last year coincided perfectly with taking on Butera as personal catcher. It started on May 30 and went through his trade in late July. Only 1 lousy start in the mix. He also had his worst games when Doumit caught him:
    Does Liriano play for the Twins?

  3. #83
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    Listened to Gleeman and the Geek and they referenced Butera's catching ability with respect to framing pitches. They had him saving several runs a year. They may have a different source for data, but I did find data here.

    To summarize for Twins catchers.

    Name Pitches Runs 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Per 150
    Joe Mauer 33903 24 6 8 4 4 1 0.11
    Drew Butera 11762 -3 1 -1 -3 NA NA -0.04
    Ryan Doumit 27070 -69 -16 -8 -2 -10 -33 -0.38

    The last column is mine to try to add some context. It is runs saved per 150 pitches which is about the number the Twins averaged per game last year. Edit - Presumably if a catcher is getting more strike calls and saving runs, he is not seeing as many pitches per game and the figure is lower. On the other hand, if a catcher is not getting strikes called the number of pitches will be greater.

    Butera is above average at other aspects of defending the catcher position. I haven't seen evidence that framing pitches is something he does well. He appears to be league average but with his bat doesn't he need to be an elite defensive catcher?
    Last edited by jorgenswest; 01-21-2013 at 06:00 PM.

  4. #84
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Great, now we have a meaningful starting point for comparison that includes Butera and 2012 data.

    If you use fangraphs' weight runs created, Butters is worth .04 runs per PA. Doumit is worth .13 runs per PA, and Mauer, .16. If you assume 4 PAs per game, that works out to .16 against Doumit's .52, and Mauer's .64. Subtract defensive runs cost due to pitch framing, and youre looking at something like

    Butera: 0.12 net runs
    Doumit: 0.16 net runs
    Mauer: 0.75 net runs

    Obviously that's before you add in any runs saved or lost by catching baserunners.

    edit: math
    Last edited by Willihammer; 01-21-2013 at 02:37 PM.

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