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#21 mcrow

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:40 AM

Did you really just compare Doumit and Kubel to Drew Butera?

Flawed players are just that, flawed. If they weren't, they'd be "superstars". Guys like Doumit and Kubel are vital to the success of an organization. You litter a lineup with those guys and throw in a Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer at the core of the team and you have a playoff contender. Complementary players are important, even if they have flaws. The key is that the player does something significant to help the team win. Kubel and Doumit do that with the bat. Butera... doesn't.


They are comparable in that they are pretty one dimensional players. Kubel wasn't very good at all in the field but could hit, same for Doumit. Butera is a good defensive catcher but coulding hit the ball to save his life. Butera is a more extreme example but the basic comparison is true.

#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

They are comparable in that they are pretty one dimensional players. Kubel wasn't very good at all in the field but could hit, same for Doumit. Butera is a good defensive catcher but coulding hit the ball to save his life. Butera is a more extreme example but the basic comparison is true.


Except that Butera is so completely one dimensional that any good he brings to the team is so overshadowed by the rest of his game that he's still a terrible baseball player. Doumit offsets his bad catching by playing a lot of DH and hitting at an .800 OPS (the average catcher hits around .680). Kubel's defense was bad but it was at a corner outfield spot where it had a minimal impact on the team and his hitting offset his deficiencies.

On second thought, Drew Butera is closer to a zero-dimensional player because what he does well is so completely overshadowed by what he does at a historically awful level (basically, every part of his game that doesn't involve putting on a mask and crouching behind the plate). He's not just bad at hitting, he's one of the worst hitters in the history of Major League baseball.

#23 mcrow

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

Except that Butera is so completely one dimensional that any good he brings to the team is so overshadowed by the rest of his game that he's still a terrible baseball player. Doumit offsets his bad catching by playing a lot of DH and hitting at an .800 OPS (the average catcher hits around .680). Kubel's defense was bad but it was at a corner outfield spot where it had a minimal impact on the team and his hitting offset his deficiencies.

On second thought, Drew Butera is closer to a zero-dimensional player because what he does well is so completely overshadowed by what he does at a historically awful level (basically, every part of his game that doesn't involve putting on a mask and crouching behind the plate). He's not just bad at hitting, he's one of the worst hitters in the history of Major League baseball.


Like I said, Butera is a more extreme example.

#24 twinsnorth49

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

Wilson Ramos...we hardly knew ye. Matt Capps continues to haunt my dreams.

#25 worm33

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

Back to the original article....Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation

If you go right under the first big table with all the qualifying catchers there is a link that says "data for all catchers is available here".

Scroll down to #68

#26 mcrow

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

Wilson Ramos...we hardly knew ye. Matt Capps continues to haunt my dreams.


Ramos, good example of a bad trade. Ramos could have been the perfect backup for Mauer.

#27 Willihammer

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:03 PM

Except that Butera is so completely one dimensional that any good he brings to the team is so overshadowed by the rest of his game that he's still a terrible baseball player. Doumit offsets his bad catching by playing a lot of DH and hitting at an .800 OPS (the average catcher hits around .680). Kubel's defense was bad but it was at a corner outfield spot where it had a minimal impact on the team and his hitting offset his deficiencies.


How can you say that? Are you just not buying these negative defensive takes on Doumit's defense, and neutral or positive takes on Butera's? I admit, I don't know how much confidence to put in a stat like CERA, but there is aalmost 1/2 run difference between Doumit's 4.91 and Butera's 4.50. That's 67 runs difference, over the course of a 1440 Inning season.

Now, bring in the offense. Butera's career wRC is .040 runs / PA. Doumit's is .128 / PA. Assume there are about 700 PAs per 1440 innings caught. Multiply that out and you have for Butera

wRC: 28.0
Doumit: 89.6

A difference of 61.6

A wash.

#28 mcrow

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:07 PM

How can you say that? Are you just not buying these negative defensive takes on Doumit's defense, and neutral or positive takes on Butera's? I admit, I don't know how much confidence to put in a stat like CERA, but there is aalmost 1/2 run difference between Doumit's 4.91 and Butera's 4.50. That's 67 runs difference, over the course of a 1440 Inning season.

Now, bring in the offense. Butera's career wRC is .040 runs / PA. Doumit's is .128 / PA. Assume there are about 700 PAs per 1440 innings caught. Multiply that out and you have for Butera

wRC: 28.0
Doumit: 89.6

A difference of 61.6

A wash.


Yes, he seems to be over estimating Doumit's catching and under estimating Butera's catching. I still think Doumit is clearly the better overall player but I think Butera being on the roster is justified given Doumit's lack of catching ability and lack of better defensive options on the roster or in the minors.

#29 70charger

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:09 PM

How can you say that? Are you just not buying these negative defensive takes on Doumit's defense, and neutral or positive takes on Butera's? I admit, I don't know how much confidence to put in a stat like CERA, but there is aalmost 1/2 run difference between Doumit's 4.91 and Butera's 4.50. That's 67 runs difference, over the course of a 1440 Inning season.

Now, bring in the offense. Butera's career wRC is .040 runs / PA. Doumit's is .128 / PA. Assume there are about 700 PAs per 1440 innings caught. Multiply that out and you have for Butera

wRC: 28.0
Doumit: 89.6

A difference of 61.6

A wash.


Very interesting, and exactly the kind of analysis I was hinting at in my earlier post (not that I was gonna do it...).

Your skepticism of CERA is probably well-founded; I think it's pretty well accepted that hitting is easier to comprehend, and thus easier to create meaningful stats for. Butera doesn't really pass the eyeball test, and until we have some more reliable defensive metrics, and some better way of accounting for the randomness inherent in the defensive game, I think I'd prefer Doumit as the regular backup catcher, with Butera used only in a time of extreme need.

#30 Willihammer

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:10 PM

Back to the original article....Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation

If you go right under the first big table with all the qualifying catchers there is a link that says "data for all catchers is available here".

Scroll down to #68


This is newer: Subjectively Speaking: Catcher Framing Runs, Part 1

Its probably impossible to place a value on Butera at this point. But what we can say with a high degree of confidence, I think, is that Doumit is bad, and possibly really bad. If Butera is even average, then the difference between these two overall, at least starts to approach zero and may even favor Butera.

#31 70charger

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

This is newer: Subjectively Speaking: Catcher Framing Runs, Part 1

Its probably impossible to place a value on Butera at this point. But what we can say with a high degree of confidence, I think, is that Doumit is bad, and possibly really bad. If Butera is even average, then the difference between these two overall, at least starts to approach zero and may even favor Butera.


The other, and perhaps more important part of the Doumit-Butera equation is the fact that Doumit is useful otherwise. When Butera isn't catching, he's less useful than the Gatorade jug (his relief pitching stats notwithstanding). Doumit DHs, and is valuable there. He can also play outfield in a pinch, although I hate to rely on him to do it. And when he isn't playing, you can put him in in the 8th or 9th inning as a pinch hitter and not want to kill yourself.

If it's strictly catching we're talking about, the balance is far closer to be sure, but Doumit is head and shoulders above Butera as a whole player.

#32 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

This is newer: Subjectively Speaking: Catcher Framing Runs, Part 1

Its probably impossible to place a value on Butera at this point. But what we can say with a high degree of confidence, I think, is that Doumit is bad, and possibly really bad. If Butera is even average, then the difference between these two overall, at least starts to approach zero and may even favor Butera.


Not this again. Hey, I believe there is a difference in run prevention in good catchers versus bad but that list is so comically slanted that no one can look at it and honestly believe it's anything close to accurate.

On that list, the difference between Jose Molina and Ryan Doumit is 155 runs.

155 runs. Think about that for a second. On a good team, that's 1/4th of all runs allowed over the course of a season. All done by the catcher framing a few pitches. Nothing to do with the pitcher, the defense's range, pitches called, defensive shifts, preventing the running game, the ballpark... Just the catcher and where he puts his mitt.

*head explodes*

#33 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:43 PM

The other, and perhaps more important part of the Doumit-Butera equation is the fact that Doumit is useful otherwise. When Butera isn't catching, he's less useful than the Gatorade jug (his relief pitching stats notwithstanding). Doumit DHs, and is valuable there. He can also play outfield in a pinch, although I hate to rely on him to do it. And when he isn't playing, you can put him in in the 8th or 9th inning as a pinch hitter and not want to kill yourself.

If it's strictly catching we're talking about, the balance is far closer to be sure, but Doumit is head and shoulders above Butera as a whole player.


Ding ding ding. Doumit played 71 games last season where he wasn't behind the plate. That's the value Ryan Doumit brings the team. In a perfect world, you're not relying on Ryan to sit behind the dish 60 times a year... But put him behind the plate 40 times a year combined with his slightly above average bat at DH and OF and you're looking at a valuable player to almost any team, particularly an AL team.

On the other hand, Butera has zero value if he isn't behind the plate. Zero. It's not a "well, he's below average" argument, it's that he literally brings zero value to the team when he's not catching.

Actually, you can make the argument that he's a negative value player when he's not catching because his bat is so below replacement level that he even detracts from the bench by simply existing.

#34 mcrow

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

I'm not sure how this became an arguement about who has more value. There is no contest Doumit has a ton more value than Butera. It's not even debatable. Seems we all agree that Doumit isn't a very good catcher so that seems settled.

Seems to me the only real topic left here to discuss is the vailidity of Butera being on the roster.

#35 twinsnorth49

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:51 PM

I'm not sure how this became an arguement about who has more value. There is no contest Doumit has a ton more value than Butera. It's not even debatable. Seems we all agree that Doumit isn't a very good catcher so that seems settled.

Seems to me the only real topic left here to discuss is the vailidity of Butera being on the roster.


The mere fact that we would have to the discuss the validity of Drew Butera being on the roster, is more than enough to evidence to be deepy despondant about the upcoming season.

#36 Willihammer

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:52 PM

I will admit, I don't know why its taking so long for someone to mull through the actual pitchf/x data and break it down that way. Compare what is truly a strike, and how often a catcher is getting those called (or how often he's getting true balls to to go his pitchers' way). That would be much more convincing than this. What we have here is a very general observation and I don't put absolute confidence in the run values, but I accept the conclusions that the guys at the top of the scale are probably better than the guys at the bottom.

And also, just from watching games. How many times do you see an umpire shift like he's going to raise his hand, and not? or call a late strike and the batter gets ticked off - more by the lateness of it and less by the actual call? It happens every game, it probably happens more than we even realize. Data like this just tells us there's a pattern to it. These things aren't totally random. And, really, over the course of 1440 innings, we're talking about less than a run per game separating the absolute best from the absolute worst.

Its not like other defense, where you might, on a good day, field 4 or 5 balls. Although even there, you have something like 40 runs separating the absolute best from the worst. And to consider, catchers field 150+ balls every single game. I think its very plausible that they would have a greater impact.

edit:words

#37 mcrow

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

The mere fact that we would have to the discuss the validity of Drew Butera being on the roster, is more than enough to evidence to be deepy despondant about the upcoming season.


That's a little over the top don't you think? The status ove the back up catcher is worthy beind despondant about?
:roll:

I would save your energy put toward being despondant toward the rotation.

#38 Willihammer

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:59 PM

Ding ding ding. Doumit played 71 games last season where he wasn't behind the plate. That's the value Ryan Doumit brings the team. In a perfect world, you're not relying on Ryan to sit behind the dish 60 times a year... But put him behind the plate 40 times a year combined with his slightly above average bat at DH and OF and you're looking at a valuable player to almost any team, particularly an AL team.


I don't know if this is dircted at me. I was only responding to this notion that Doumit's bat makes up for his awful catching when really, none of the evidence suggests that he and Butera are anything more than a total wash.

I do think there may be something to Pavano's and Liriano's stretches of success pitching to Butera, but that's a separate point, pretty much impossible for me to backup and possibly irrelevant now that both pitchers are off the team.

I don't know much about Burroughs but I am in total agreement that he should probably be the backup catcher instead of Butera or Doumit.

#39 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:02 PM

, really, over the course of 1440 innings, we're talking about less than a run per game separating the absolute best from the absolute worst.


Except that we're not. Ryan Doumit caught about 60 games last season. Jose Molina caught 102. The difference between the two is 155 runs. Expand those numbers to a 162 game season and you're looking at a difference of well over 300 runs.

For the record, that is 60% of the runs allowed by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012. From pitch framing.

#40 twinsnorth49

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:06 PM

That's a little over the top don't you think? The status ove the back up catcher is worthy beind despondant about?
:roll:

I would save your energy put toward being despondant toward the rotation.


Having Butera in the lineup is definitely worth being despondant about. The rotation has me in full fledged depression.....thanks for bringing it up. Posted Image



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