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Article: The Importance of Jason Castro

jason castro mitch garver willians astudillo
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#21 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 07:10 PM

Castro's OPS is awesome.
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#22 Thieres Rabelo

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 07:13 PM

 

I'm not advocating dumping Castro (at least for the present), but the data here are skewed. The Twins were a bad team last year and Garver and Wilson had the misfortune of being the catchers for most of the year. If Castro had been healthy would the Twins have won many more games? Not very likely, so his numbers would have dropped precipitously.

Neither of the scenarios will ever be answered, but, the same way that you feel like the team wouldn't have won more games, I think the opposite. I do believe that pitchers perform better with Castro. If that's true, it's plausible to believe that instead of 78 wins, this team could have won some more games. Not enough to make the postseason, but still.

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#23 Thieres Rabelo

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 07:16 PM

 

If we are going to argue that the Houston series skewed his fielding/defense numbers, then we can also argue that the Houston series inflated his offensive numbers.

In any case, good article. My beef with Castro was never so much about Castro, than it was with other people claiming Castro was a league average hitter. Castro is good behind the plate and anything he gives us at the plate in 2019 is a bonus.

 

If we are going to argue that the Houston series skewed his fielding/defense numbers, then we can also argue that the Houston series inflated his offensive numbers.

Hi, Hosken! Not really. I posted a version of this article on my blog on Sunday, just before the Houston series. His offensive numbers didn't change as much as you think after the games against the Astros. You can check them here: http://twinsdaily.co...ance-of-castro/

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#24 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:00 PM

I'm not advocating dumping Castro (at least for the present), but the data here are skewed. The Twins were a bad team last year and Garver and Wilson had the misfortune of being the catchers for most of the year. If Castro had been healthy would the Twins have won many more games? Not very likely, so his numbers would have dropped precipitously.

The Twins won 78 games last year. They weren’t exactly terrible.
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#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:02 PM

If we are going to argue that the Houston series skewed his fielding/defense numbers, then we can also argue that the Houston series inflated his offensive numbers.

In any case, good article. My beef with Castro was never so much about Castro, than it was with other people claiming Castro was a league average hitter. Castro is good behind the plate and anything he gives us at the plate in 2019 is a bonus.

Is anyone claiming Castro is a league average hitter or are they claiming he’s a league average hitter for a catcher?

Big difference there.
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#26 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:17 PM

As a hitter for a catcher... I have no issues with Jason Castro at all. He hits like a Catcher. Bobby Wilson couldn't even hit like a catcher so I had issues with Wilson. 

 

Now if you compare how Garver and Astudillo are hitting "For a Catcher". 

 

No matter how good Castro is defensively. The offensive numbers have to be strong consideration for surpassing the defensive benefits. 

 

But again... I'm not moving Castro... we are not deep enough behind the plate to move him. 

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#27 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:21 PM

 

The Twins won 78 games last year. They weren’t exactly terrible.

 

We had to finish the season 11-3 to get to 78-82. 

 

We may not have been exactly terrible... but I wouldn't have tried to correct anyone who used the adjective "terrible" to describe it. 

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#28 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:36 PM

We had to finish the season 11-3 to get to 78-82.

We may not have been exactly terrible... but I wouldn't have tried to correct anyone who used the adjective "terrible" to describe it.

Yet Castro wasn’t a part of any of it past the first ~25 games so it doesn’t really matter how they played the stretch or if they finished strong.
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#29 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:40 PM

 

Yet Castro wasn’t a part of any of it past the first 17-18 games so it doesn’t really matter how they played the stretch or if they finished strong.

 

According to that winning percentage data.

 

It's all Garver's Fault. 

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#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:43 PM

According to that winning percentage data.

It's all Garver's Fault.

I don’t agree with the usage of win percentage data for a catcher but you’re barking up the wrong tree here. I simply replied to a statement the Twins were a bad team in 2018; they were not.

#31 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:44 PM

Is anyone claiming Castro is a league average hitter or are they claiming he’s a league average hitter for a catcher?
Big difference there.

Catchers. Straw man not intended.

Even among catchers, however, the data doesn’t really support him being near mid-point or average, at least as I interpret it. Here is the list, sorted for 500 PAs and OPS since 2017. Castro rings in about 28 out of 40, and glancing up the list you might be reminded there are a lot of good hitting catchers in the league. However, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind because I think he’s the right guy for the right moment and he’s off to a good start in 2019, and the team is winning.

https://www.fangraph...ers=0&sort=10,d
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#32 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:48 PM

 

I don’t agree with the usage of win percentage data for a catcher but you’re barking up the wrong tree here. I simply replied to a statement the Twins were a bad team in 2018; they were not.

 

And so ends the conversation. 

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#33 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 09:15 PM

Catchers. Straw man not intended.

Even among catchers, however, the data doesn’t really support him being near mid-point or average, at least as I interpret it. Here is the list, sorted for 500 PAs and OPS since 2017. Castro rings in about 28 out of 40, and glancing up the list you might be reminded there are a lot of good hitting catchers in the league. However, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind because I think he’s the right guy for the right moment and he’s off to a good start in 2019, and the team is winning.

https://www.fangraph...ers=0&sort=10,d

That seems about right to me. Castro had an atrocious start to 2018 before getting injured and in today's game, catchers are often platooned favorably. Castro was an everyday catcher who didn't get platooned hardly at all. His career L/R splits are .739/.568.

Do I want Castro as a traditional "starting catcher"? Hell no.

But he's a good defensive catcher who can teach some pretty bad/mediocre defenders the ropes while also providing a good platoon split on the strong side of the platoon.

Frankly, the "get rid of Castro" crowd seems to be treating catcher as if it’s just another position on the diamond and not a highly specialized defensive position that can sink a team. Castro is a capable hitter from from the strong side of a platoon, he's a good defender, and he has the capability to teach some defensively questionable younger catchers (who also hit from the other side of the platoon) how to catch in the modern game.

So, yeah, let's just get rid of that guy.
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#34 jorgenswest

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 10:31 PM

A catchers defense can have a huge impact. They are involved with calling and receiving every pitch. A difference in 40 points of on base percentage is about 1 extra time on base for a full week of play. There are so many opportunities for a good defensive catcher to make up for that deficit and much more in a week of play.
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#35 rv78

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:44 AM

Giving catchers the credit for winning games based on pitch calling is pure BS. A lot of pitches are called from the bullpen and relayed to the catcher and a lot of pitches are shaken off by the pitcher. Most pitchers know what they want to throw and when. The majority of the time the signs from the catcher are just to get both he and the pitcher on the same page so the catcher knows what is coming.


#36 Doomtints

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:55 AM

By showing winning records by catcher this article is tacitly assuming that catchers are the most valuable players in baseball. Fine, but we can't use win-loss records to prove this. We need a CIBB stat, catching independent batted balls, similar to FIP for pitchers. The catcher can't control what happens once the bat hits the ball.

 

Get on this and let us know if this proves your hypothesis.

Edited by Doomtints, 28 April 2019 - 08:59 AM.

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#37 ashbury

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 12:22 PM

But again... I'm not moving Castro... we are not deep enough behind the plate to move him. 

If Castro moves any deeper, the umpire will stop giving the borderline calls, on the grounds that he can not see.

 

The importance of Castro lies almost entirely in the rules, namely how guys without minor-league options can not be treated the same way as those who do still have them. Had we dispensed with Castro earlier in 2019, we'd be feeling uncomfortable now, with Astudillo dinged up. Had Astudillo been optioned (the other main alternative if that spot on the roster was needed), and then got dinged up at Rochester, we still have two MLB-caliber catchers - and if one of the other two catchers was dinged instead, likewise with a quick call-up.

 

It boils down to not doing the irreversible roster move until you have to.

 

 

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#38 USAFChief

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 01:06 PM

Castro is miles and miles better behind the plate than either of the other two Twins catchers. That's why he will continue to get a large percentage of the playing time.

 

Garver isn't this good a hitter, either.

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#39 KirbyDome89

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 01:40 PM

 

As a hitter for a catcher... I have no issues with Jason Castro at all. He hits like a Catcher. Bobby Wilson couldn't even hit like a catcher so I had issues with Wilson. 

 

Now if you compare how Garver and Astudillo are hitting "For a Catcher". 

 

No matter how good Castro is defensively. The offensive numbers have to be strong consideration for surpassing the defensive benefits. 

 

But again... I'm not moving Castro... we are not deep enough behind the plate to move him. 

I think this is where a vast majority of us are at, the only difference being varying degrees of comfort with moving on from Castro. 

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#40 Riverbrian

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 02:52 PM

 

If Castro moves any deeper, the umpire will stop giving the borderline calls, on the grounds that he can not see.

 

The importance of Castro lies almost entirely in the rules, namely how guys without minor-league options can not be treated the same way as those who do still have them. Had we dispensed with Castro earlier in 2019, we'd be feeling uncomfortable now, with Astudillo dinged up. Had Astudillo been optioned (the other main alternative if that spot on the roster was needed), and then got dinged up at Rochester, we still have two MLB-caliber catchers - and if one of the other two catchers was dinged instead, likewise with a quick call-up.

 

It boils down to not doing the irreversible roster move until you have to.

 

Agreed

 

And this is coming from the guy who was more than willing to banish either Astudillo or Garver to Rochester to start the season to preserve that depth knowing they were a phone call away.

 

I just never saw all 3 of them on the roster and especially not this long.

 

 

And I really didn't see Garver improving so much defensively and hitting two home runs every AB.:)

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