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Article: Video: Slowing Things Down To See Jason Castro’s Silent Skill

jason castro trevor hildenberger dan gladden taylor rogers
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#21 Parker Hageman

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 10:01 AM

 

The term "pitch framing" is a misnomer that euphemizes its true nature. The correct term is "faking out the home plate umpire". The fact that there are metrics for it and that it's a topic of discussion on this web site strongly reflects the need for the implementation of a good automated pitch calling system ASAP.

 

Incorrect. Most catchers I've spoken to hate the term "pitch framing". The correct term is "receiving the ball the right way". 

 

That doesn't just mean "stealing strikes". It also means keeping pitches in the zone from being called balls. This was as significant problem for the Twins from 2014-2016: They'd lose more pitches in the strike zone than any other teams. 

 

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The Astros were one of the best at the "framing" statistic in that time. Here's what Castro said about what the Astros' focused on:

 

“Keeping strikes in the strike zone,” he explained. “Not doing anything to the pitch to take away from its quality. If it is on the corner and it is breaking one direction, you are trying to counteract the break so it doesn’t, by the time you catch the ball, pull your arm out of the zone.”

 

It's not about yanking a glove back across the plate -- it's about receiving the ball in a manner that maximizes the pitcher's intent. 

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"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#22 gil4

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 11:29 AM

 

- Let the ump see the pitch.

- During the catch, always move your glove back towards the center of the zone.

- Don't jab or yank your glove. Be smooth, use small movements. 

 

Am I missing something complicated or subtle?

There are some subtleties, like slight turns of the body or the wrist on certain pitches, or not rising up too high to catch a pitch near the letters.But for the most part it's just difficult to actually do it at a top level while also worrying about so many other things.

 

That said, I know that there are MLB catchers that are better than others at framing. The seemingly recent discover surprises me though.

There always were guys who had the reputation as being good receivers. What's new is the attempt to actually quantify the advantage (or disadvantage, depending on the catcher.)


#23 ashbury

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 11:37 AM

But for the most part it's just difficult to actually do it at a top level while also worrying about so many other things.

Yeah, you're not going to earn a lot of brownie points with the umpire if you allow a pitch to smack him right in the facemask, all in the name of not reaching up too high and depriving your pitcher of a called strike. :)

If your attack appears to be going well, then you're in an ambush.


#24 Parker Hageman

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 12:05 PM

 

Yeah, you're not going to earn a lot of brownie points with the umpire if you allow a pitch to smack him right in the facemask, all in the name of not reaching up too high and depriving your pitcher of a called strike. :)

 

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#25 h2oface

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 04:49 PM

When a catcher hits like Castro, you have to go elsewhere to give some props and love. I too long for the day that a skill to cheat the balls and strikes from being what they are is not a part of the game. Until then, I hope Castro is the best at the cheat for the next two years.

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#26 nmcowboy

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 06:15 PM

oh Castro tricksie little hobbit he is!

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#27 snepp

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 09:20 PM

 

When a catcher hits like Castro, you have to go elsewhere to give some props and love. I too long for the day that a skill to cheat the balls and strikes from being what they are is not a part of the game. Until then, I hope Castro is the best at the cheat for the next two years.

 

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#28 Nine of twelve

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:43 AM

Incorrect. Most catchers I've spoken to hate the term "pitch framing". The correct term is "receiving the ball the right way". 
 
That doesn't just mean "stealing strikes". It also means keeping pitches in the zone from being called balls.


You can call it whatever you like, but the objective is to convince the umpire that a pitch is a strike whether the pitch is in the strike zone or not. This is not how things should be. If a pitch is in the strike zone it should be called a strike. If it is not it should be called a ball. If automated systems perform this task better than umpires, and they do, the umpires should be replaced and this aspect of catching would properly be rendered moot.
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#29 Teflon

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:42 PM

This is exactly how the Russians would rig baseball if they couldn't do it through Facebook. 

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#30 Parker Hageman

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 09:50 AM

 

You can call it whatever you like, but the objective is to convince the umpire that a pitch is a strike whether the pitch is in the strike zone or not. This is not how things should be. If a pitch is in the strike zone it should be called a strike. If it is not it should be called a ball. If automated systems perform this task better than umpires, and they do, the umpires should be replaced and this aspect of catching would properly be rendered moot.

 

Until the day they release the flying cars and automated strike zones*, a catcher who receives the ball the right way is going to be more valuable than those that do not. Like it, lump it, make your mind up to it because it's here to stay. 

 

*Baseball Prospectus today just published a detailed look at why this is too complicated to roll out any time soon. https://www.baseball...t-simple-think/

 

 

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#31 Nine of twelve

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 01:10 PM

Until the day they release the flying cars and automated strike zones*, a catcher who receives the ball the right way is going to be more valuable than those that do not. Like it, lump it, make your mind up to it because it's here to stay. 
 
*Baseball Prospectus today just published a detailed look at why this is too complicated to roll out any time soon. https://www.baseball...t-simple-think/

What this article fails to discuss is the actual accuracy of automated systems vs accuracy of MLB umpires. I don't have a citation off the top of my head but I have read previously on this site that the automated systems, while far from perfect, have a higher percentage of correct calls than umpires.



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