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Pitch Framing - Real or Fake Measurement


terrydactyls

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I was watching a game today and paid extra attention to the catcher.  He is considered one of the worst pitcher framers in the game.  He wasn't too fluid in his motions but he also did not have much to work with.  How is good pitch framing defined?  Is it the number of strikes called by the umpire that technology determined were not really in the strike zone?  If that is a true statement, then I think there is an inherent problem.  If a pitch is slightly out of the zone and the catcher pulls it into the zone and it’s called a strike, he gets credit for pith framing.  But what about the catcher that is behind the plate for a pitcher that always misses by three inches instead of a half inch?  He gets no credit for pitch framing.  But is he really worse at it?  The best pitch framers might be the catchers on teams that have the pitchers with the most control.  I don’t know the answer so everyone can enlighten me.

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You make a valid point. It is much easier to be good at framing pitches if your pitchers live on the edges of the plate. Another thing that affects the "framing" is what strike zone the ump is calling. As we all have seen, some umps call wider zones (in and outside) and some call taller zones (high and lower). Of course, some umps are all over the place with their calls. A good catcher (and hitter) adapts as best he can to what the ump is calling that day. IMO that is why the ABS that they are trying in the minors would be a good thing.

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"Stealing a strike" is great, getting a strike call when it is out of the zone. But a poor catcher may lose some strikes that are in the zone because of how they caught the ball. 

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I find it sad that pitch framing is a thing that does actually impact baseball games. I'll be extremely happy when the automated strike zone is put into place at the major league level. I'm just not a fan of the pitch framing "skill", where the whole objective is to try and trick the plate umpire.

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I think they should start experimenting with ABS in MLB. Not make it part of the game but instant feedback to umpire as to whether they called it correctly. A learning tool, over time umpires would learn appropriate strike zone and zone would become more uniform between umpires. Now they get some feedback after the game, not timely enough feedback.

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I absolutely hate " pitch framing ".  I think it's unprofessional and demeaning to the home plate umpire.  And believe me I'm no fan of major league home plate umpires.  I've talked to college and high school umpires that don't like it either.  Some of them have told me that if the catcher is "pulling" pitches in the strike zone it only proves the pitch is a ball.  I've been told and have seen in the past that a catcher is more likely to get a questionable close pitch if he holds glove steady and pitcher hits the glove.  Ball and strikes are difficult.  I am not in favor of computerized ball and strike calling.  I am in favor of getting rid of pitch framing and it's stats.  Also shame on the umpires that are fooled by these catchers.  

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I'm an advocate for fairness so I'm an advocate for computerized strike calling. With covid 2020 people were very careful and went great lengths for social distancing yet people fought against robo umps and won (even though for health reasons it made sense to distant home umps from the catchers) because there were players & teams who benefit from the old way. 

I like computerized strike zone because it standarizes the zone so pitchers and hitters know exactly what to expect, eliminates human error & bias and promotes fairness.

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11 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

I like computerized strike zone because it standarizes the zone so pitchers and hitters know exactly what to expect, eliminates human error & bias and promotes fairness.

There's a good argument that a robo-ump will favor the hitter more than the pitcher.  Hitting is about timing, pitching is about disrupting timing.  Anything that decreases uncertainty in the batter's mind has to help lock in on the pitch - the category of pitch that's "too close to take with two strikes" will become smaller, for instance.  So, the term "fairness" may be interpreted differently by a pitcher than by a batter.

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