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Dunner44
04-17-2007, 08:29 PM
Some people over in the game thread were requesting stats for catcher's ERA so I thought I would oblige:

Here's some Catcher's ERA stats from the young season, as well as last year:

This season: Ross is 2nd among qualified NL players with a 2.68 CERA (11 games total, 9 started). The only catcher with a lower CERA is Paul LoDuca.

Javier doesn't qualify this season, but if he did, he's be at 4.74 (6 total, 4 started - not counting today).


Last season: Ross had a 4.25 CERA, Javy's was 5.18 (LaRue was 4.43).

There's definitely a difference with them behind the plate. However, it begs the question concerning how much of LaRue's CERA was a function of him catching Harang and how much was Ross' was a function of catching Arroyo.

Yet Ross was also Milton's personal catcher, and thats an easy way to inflate the 'ol CERA.

ESPN tracks all sorts of fun stats, including outfield assists and CERA. Use 'em at your own risk.

Clicky (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlbhist/stats/fielding?groupId=8&season=2006&seasonType=2&split=78&sortOrder=true&sortColumn=catcherERA&qualified=0)

jojo
04-17-2007, 08:38 PM
Some people over in the game thread were requesting stats for catcher's ERA so I thought I would oblige:

Here's some Catcher's ERA stats from the young season, as well as last year:

This season: Ross is 2nd among qualified NL players with a 2.68 CERA (11 games total, 9 started). The only catcher with a lower CERA is Paul LoDuca.

Javier doesn't qualify this season, but if he did, he's be at 4.74 (6 total, 4 started - not counting today).


Last season: Ross had a 4.25 CERA, Javy's was 5.18 (LaRue was 4.43).

There's definitely a difference with them behind the plate. However, it begs the question concerning how much of LaRue's CERA was a function of him catching Harang and how much was Ross' was a function of catching Arroyo.

Yet Ross was also Milton's personal catcher, and thats an easy way to inflate the 'ol CERA.

ESPN tracks all sorts of fun stats, including outfield assists and CERA. Use 'em at your own risk.

Clicky (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlbhist/stats/fielding?groupId=8&season=2006&seasonType=2&split=78&sortOrder=true&sortColumn=catcherERA&qualified=0)



yuck....bluck....me no likey stat....

:cool:

Basically catcher's ERA is a pretty empty meaningless stat..... ERA is a lousy stat for pitchers so translating it to a catcher is like two orders of magnitude lousy....then there are several studies that have failed to actually detect a true effect of the catcher on pitcher performance...

Redsland
04-17-2007, 09:03 PM
I like the idea of CERA as a way to try to quantify that "great at handling pitchers" thing you're always hearing about guys like Moeller, for instance.

But it falls apart quickly when certain pitchers have personal catchers, as noted above.

Unless everyone is catching similar proportions of games across the whole staff, CERA doesn't tell you as much as it could.

(And then there's the teams that call pitches from the dugout...)

Rex Argos
04-17-2007, 09:06 PM
yuck....bluck....me no likey stat....

:cool:

Basically catcher's ERA is a pretty empty meaningless stat..... ERA is a lousy stat for pitchers so translating it to a catcher is like two orders of magnitude lousy....then there are several studies that have failed to actually detect a true effect of the catcher on pitcher performance...

Why do you think that ERA is a lousy stat for pitchers?

Dunner44
04-17-2007, 09:08 PM
I like the idea of CERA as a way to try to quantify that "great at handling pitchers" thing you're always hearing about guys like Moeller, for instance.

But it falls apart quickly when certain pitchers have personal catchers, as noted above.

Unless everyone is catching similar proportions of games across the whole staff, CERA doesn't tell you as much as it could.

(And then there's the teams that call pitches from the dugout...)

Yeah, the problem with CERA is that there are no controls. If you have two catchers playing in a platoon, you are likely to see personal catchers like the Reds have. So its not as useful for within orginization comparisons.

But the quality of a pitching staff also determines a catcher's ERA, so its not so useful for between orginizations either.

The best use of CERA in my mind would be on a team where the catchers are truly in a platoon, one catcher for lefties, one for righties. That way they both catch the staff. And that almost never happens. But its interesting to follow never the less. You can also use it to look at the catcher year to year if the SP remains unchanged.

Dunner44
04-17-2007, 09:10 PM
Why do you think that ERA is a lousy stat for pitchers?

ERA is a lot better when used in conjunction with WHIP or some other such stat.

Rex Argos
04-17-2007, 09:14 PM
ERA is a lot better when used in conjunction with WHIP or some other such stat.

I suppose. I can see the value of WHIP, but it seems the goal of the pitcher is to keep (earned) runs from crossing the plate. As long as the guy doesn't score, who cares if he gets on base?

RedsManRick
04-17-2007, 09:38 PM
I'd be more interested in a pitcher's ERA with different catchers than a "catcher's ERA" given different pitchers.

TC81190
04-17-2007, 09:48 PM
I suppose. I can see the value of WHIP, but it seems the goal of the pitcher is to keep (earned) runs from crossing the plate. As long as the guy doesn't score, who cares if he gets on base?

No joke. Saying ERA is a dumb stat is one of the least intelligent things I've ever heard, I don't just mean in baseball terms, either.

jojo
04-17-2007, 10:03 PM
Why do you think that ERA is a lousy stat for pitchers?

Here's (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1296318&postcount=21) just one of many posts on the zone that discusses why ERA and WHIP are lousy ways to evaluate a pitcher...

RedsManRick
04-17-2007, 10:07 PM
If you'd prefer the Socratic approach, you can start by defining "earned".

jojo
04-17-2007, 10:08 PM
No joke. Saying ERA is a dumb stat is one of the least intelligent things I've ever heard, I don't just mean in baseball terms, either.

I think evaluating a pitcher by using a stat that is dramatically influenced by things that are completely out of a pitcher's control is one of the least intelligent things I've heard. This is especially so when far superior ways are available.

No joke. Really.

Rex Argos
04-17-2007, 10:11 PM
Here's (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1296318&postcount=21) just one of many posts on the zone that discusses why ERA and WHIP are lousy ways to evaluate a pitcher...

I can understand your point about relievers. Of course, ERA is misleading for a reliever--because they inherit so many base runners. But, what about starters? Don't you agree that ERA is completely valid for a starter?

jojo
04-17-2007, 10:13 PM
Don't you agree that ERA is completely valid for a starter?

No. There are much better ways. ERA is inherently flawed for evaluating a pitcher because in reality ERA is measuring a host of influences including the contributions of 8 other teammates....

Rex Argos
04-17-2007, 11:04 PM
Jojo:

I'm going through some of the stuff you linked. Here's my question, and I want to make clear that I'm not trying to get into a p!ssing match with you. At the end of the day, isn't the best measure of a successful pitcher one who keeps runs off the board? For a starting pitcher, it seems that ERA is a valid measure of this. Wouldn't you certainly agree that there is a STRONG correlation between ERA and the success of a starting pitcher?

My other argument is with the example you cited in a linked thread comparing Weathers with Rick White. It seems after looking at a variety of statistics, and not being able to discern why Weathers is "effective", and Rick White is shown the door--then the conclusion is that Weathers is simply "lucky" because of certain situations he may have faced vs. the situations that White inherited. The whole rationale seems flawed. Explain at your convenience.

Thanks.

blumj
04-17-2007, 11:15 PM
No. There are much better ways. ERA is inherently flawed for evaluating a pitcher because in reality ERA is measuring a host of influences including the contributions of 8 other teammates....
More than 8, really, because starters leave baserunners behind for relievers, too.

bucksfan2
04-18-2007, 09:30 AM
IMO Catchers are important in how they handle pitchers. There is a very important mental aspect of pitching. When a good catcher is calling a good game he takes that mental aspect away from the pitcher and lets him focus on throwing the ball. Or if there is a runner on base and the pitcher doesn't hesitate to throw an out pitch that ends up in the dirt because the catcher will block it. I dont know how you quantify it if it is CERA or something else but the good catchers make it easier on the pitchers that average catchers.

Rex Argos
04-18-2007, 09:38 AM
The value of good game calling is an interesting point. Brad Ausmus is always given credit for being an intelligent player, and a "great teammate". I'm sure his relationship with his pitchers has prolonged his career beyond what his offensive numbers would normally allow. Can a fellow Redzoner pop up the CERA on Ausmus, just out of curiosity?

Dunner44
04-18-2007, 09:53 AM
The value of good game calling is an interesting point. Brad Ausmus is always given credit for being an intelligent player, and a "great teammate". I'm sure his relationship with his pitchers has prolonged his career beyond what his offensive numbers would normally allow. Can a fellow Redzoner pop up the CERA on Ausmus, just out of curiosity?


I'll post Houston's team ERA, followed by Ausmus' ERA for past seasons just to make the stats more relevant:

2007: Houston - 3.58 Ausmus - 3.40
2006: Houston - 4.08 Ausmus - 3.81
2005: Houston - 3.51 Ausmus - 3.15
2004: Houston - 4.05 Ausmus - 4.08
2003: Houston - 3.86 Ausmus - 3.66
2002: Houston - 4.00 Ausmus - 3.82
2001: Houston - 4.37 Ausmus - 4.02

2004 was the only season out of the past seven where his CERA was higher then the team's ERA, which says something about his game calling skills I believe.

For comparison's sake, here is LaRue's CERA vs. Cincinnati's team ERA from 2001-2005:

2005: Cincinnati - 5.15 LaRue - 5.26
2004: Cincinnati - 5.19 LaRue - 4.92
2003: Cincinnati - 5.09 LaRue - 5.08
2002: Cincinnati - 4.27 LaRue - 4.64
2001: Cincinnati - 4.77 LaRue - 5.07

dfs
04-18-2007, 09:57 AM
Last season: Ross had a 4.25 CERA, Javy's was 5.18 (LaRue was 4.43).

There's definitely a difference with them behind the plate.

Right.

LaRue caught Harang. Javy cought the Lizard and Ross got everybody else.

That was the difference.

The whole notion of CERA is that you're catching the same staff so the numbers are comparable. That has certainly not been the case since Valentine came to the reds. He's always been given a pitcher whose starts he gets. This year for the first time, they seem to be going with a righty/lefty platoon.

texasdave
04-18-2007, 10:07 AM
1)While it is true that some catchers caddy their own particular starting pitcher(s); this is not the case with relievers. All catchers, for the most part, catch all relief pitchers. Is it then valid to look at CERA with respect only to the relief corps to make a comparison among catchers?
2)Does the catcher make a difference at all in the first place? And, if so, if CERA is not the proper measuring stick, what is?

Dunner44
04-18-2007, 10:09 AM
Right.

LaRue caught Harang. Javy cought the Lizard and Ross got everybody else.

That was the difference.

The whole notion of CERA is that you're catching the same staff so the numbers are comparable. That has certainly not been the case since Valentine came to the reds. He's always been given a pitcher whose starts he gets. This year for the first time, they seem to be going with a righty/lefty platoon.



Nice selective quoting. Notice below the chunk you took out of my original post that I noted something similar to what you are complaining about:


There's definitely a difference with them behind the plate. However, it begs the question concerning how much of LaRue's CERA was a function of him catching Harang and how much was Ross' was a function of catching Arroyo.

Yet Ross was also Milton's personal catcher, and thats an easy way to inflate the 'ol CERA.

Rex Argos
04-18-2007, 10:23 AM
In regards to Javy's numbers--how much relationship is there between CERA, and the catcher's ability to throw out base stealers? Granted, a big part of the catcher's numbers relate to the pitchers ability to hold the runner. But I think most of us could probably steal a bag or two with Javy behind the plate. Thoughts?

Dunner44
04-18-2007, 10:27 AM
In regards to Javy's numbers--how much relationship is there between CERA, and the catcher's ability to throw out base stealers? Granted, a big part of the catcher's numbers relate to the pitchers ability to hold the runner. But I think most of us could probably steal a bag or two with Javy behind the plate. Thoughts?

It depends. You'll see games like Harang's last start where between him and Javy they could not hold a single runner on base. That puts a lot more runners in scoring position, and inflates the pitcher's era. A single turns into a run producing play when the pitcher/catcher combo can't hold men on. I'll go look up Javy's SB stats and report back.


EDIT: Ok, I'm going crazy or something. Last season, Javy was 4th among catchers with at least 30 GS with a 44.4 CS percentage. Ross was second with 45.2%. I always thought the knock on Javy was he couldn't throw runners out. Maybe the Lizard had a good pick off move or was adept at holding runners on?

Johnny Footstool
04-18-2007, 10:33 AM
Jojo's point about ERA not being the best stat is true. ERA is the result of the pitcher's WHIP, K/9, K/BB, but the team's defense also has a big influence.

It would be better to simply measure CK/9, CBB/9, and CWHIP.

Dunner44
04-18-2007, 10:40 AM
Jojo's point about ERA not being the best stat is true. ERA is the result of the pitcher's WHIP, K/9, K/BB, but the team's defense also has a big influence.

It would be better to simply measure CK/9, CBB/9, and CWHIP.

True, but we're using the tools available to us. Anyone want to track cWHIP? Seriously. I'd be interested, even if it was just for Javy and Ross.

bnancs
04-18-2007, 10:47 AM
Wouldn't it be CWHIC?

:evil:

coachw513
04-18-2007, 11:43 AM
I'd be more interested in a pitcher's ERA with different catchers than a "catcher's ERA" given different pitchers.

good point :thumbup:

Johnny Footstool
04-18-2007, 11:47 AM
Wouldn't it be CWHIC?

:evil:

Actually, yeah, it would be.


True, but we're using the tools available to us. Anyone want to track cWHIP? Seriously. I'd be interested, even if it was just for Javy and Ross.

I'm sure teams like the A's, Red Sox, and Blue Jays are paying good money for CWHIC, CK/9, and the like.

jojo
04-18-2007, 11:53 AM
I'm going through some of the stuff you linked. Here's my question, and I want to make clear that I'm not trying to get into a p!ssing match with you.

I typically don’t have the energy for peeing contests so don’t worry about that. I come here to learn, have fun and to try and contribute. If my posts sometimes seem snarky, it’s mostly because I’m typing something hurriedly. I try to post as if talking to a friend across the table but often that intent can get lost when all there is to go on is text. I'm trying the best I can. Basically you have to look beyond (and hopefully forgive) my flaws.



At the end of the day, isn't the best measure of a successful pitcher one who keeps runs off the board?

No. Well yes. No. All kidding aside, the devil is in the details. Just how exactly were those runs kept off of the board and who deserves the credit? It's a simple question to ask but not an easy one to answer in actuality.


For a starting pitcher, it seems that ERA is a valid measure of this. Wouldn't you certainly agree that there is a STRONG correlation between ERA and the success of a starting pitcher?

The issue really is how much did the pitcher’s skill set actually contribute to the earned run total. With a metric as blunt as ERA, there are a lot of influences (many quite significant) that incorrectly get attributed to the pitcher. This is evidenced by the fact that a pitcher’s ERA is not a good predictor of his future ERA. So as pointed out earlier in the thread, if the goal in pitcher evaluation is to accurately assess the true level of repeatable effectiveness of a pitcher, one should try to look at metrics that speak directly to the pitcher’s repeatable skillset.

Looking backward, ERA can in a rough, general way give an indication of how effective a pitcher was (especially at the extremes) but even that is wrought with peril. For instance, let’s look at recent real life examples using starting pitchers. Compare these numbers:

Pitcher A: IP: 177; ERA: 3.20
Pitcher B: IP: 180: ERA: 4.40

Only considering ERA, pitcher A clearly was more effective over the course of a season than pitcher B (to the tune of roughly 25 runs better). However, let’s look at the two seasons with more context:

Pitcher A: IP: 177; ERA: 3.20; 184 H; 94 K; 51 BB; 19 HR;
Pitcher B: IP: 180: ERA: 4.40; 184 H; 101K; 52 BB; 22 HR;

It’s striking how virtually identical the seasons really were at similar points with the exception of ERA. By the way, pitcher A and pitcher B is actually Jarrod Washburn circa 2005 and 2006 so the differences in ERA truly can not be blamed on differences in pitcher skillsets.

So even for starting pitchers, ERA is a flawed metric. Simply put, there are much better ways to evaluate a pitcher than by how many runs were scored while he was on the mound.


My other argument is with the example you cited in a linked thread comparing Weathers with Rick White. It seems after looking at a variety of statistics, and not being able to discern why Weathers is "effective", and Rick White is shown the door--then the conclusion is that Weathers is simply "lucky" because of certain situations he may have faced vs. the situations that White inherited. The whole rationale seems flawed.

It wasn’t a matter of not being able to discern why Weathers was effective while White wasn’t. That issue can be explained largely by the dramatic differences in their BABIPs. It wasn’t due to certain situations they faced but rather to what happened to their pitches once they were put into play. It’s important to note that pitchers can't control whether a ball will be a hit or an out once it is put into play (that’s one reason why a high k/9 is so desirable in a bullpen arm or any arm really). Weathers’ very low BABIP last year therefore was not due to a repeatable skill. He basically benefited from a good string of luck. The Weathers/White and the Washburn examples indicate that two pitchers can have essentially similar skillsets yet have dramatically different ERAs. In the Weathers/White example BABIP was the culprit while in the Washburn example, it was largely due to differences in another non-repeatable skill-LOB%.

That’s why I suggest ERA is useless. A metric that is so susceptible to influences that are out of a player’s control is inherently flawed and should be ignored when better ways exist IMHO.

So if ERA is lousy for pitchers, is it really a good way to evaluate catchers? IMHO, CERA is mostly irrelevant. I’d also like to ask this question: if the catcher can influence pitcher performance, why has it been so difficult to detect an effect? There are many studies that have looked directly at this question. There simply isn’t any statistical evidence that a catcher’s game calling ability can influence pitcher performance to any significant extent. It’s not a *quality* I would pay for when constructing a roster…

jojo
04-18-2007, 11:59 AM
I'm sure teams like the A's, Red Sox, and Blue Jays are paying good money for CWHIC, CK/9, and the like.

My guess is that they really aren't. Certain pitchers may be accommodated when they really like a catcher (or in the case of language barriers), but I seriously doubt many GMs are signing catchers for their game calling abilities.

Cyclone792
04-18-2007, 12:17 PM
It would be better to simply measure CK/9, CBB/9, and CWHIP.

That's easy for me to track.

Now how much value this information provides or shows us, I'm not really sure, but I can track it easily at least from a game split standpoint depending on which catcher starts the game. Now splitting up innings is much more difficult since Narron likes to do double switches near the end of games, but games started should still be a fairly decent indicator which innings Ross/Valentin have caught.

Here's what we have so far, and I've included DIPS ERA (dERA) ...


Catcher Game Splits

ERA dERA HR/9 K/9 BB/9 K/BB WHIP BABIP

David Ross 3.08 3.42 0.68 7.97 2.85 2.80 1.22 .297
Javier Valentin 4.24 3.70 0.96 6.94 1.93 3.60 1.26 .301


Pitchers Ross (9 GS) has caught: Harang (1), Arroyo (3), Lohse (1), Belisle (2), Milton (2)
Pitchers Valentin (5 GS) has caught: Harang (2), Lohse (2), Belisle (1)

People are free to try to draw whatever conclusions they'd like from the above data, though I'm really not sure how much any of the above indicates how well Ross and Valentin can call/control a game from behind the plate.

blumj
04-18-2007, 12:38 PM
My guess is, teams like the NYYs and Jays are paying their catchers good money because they can hit as well as catch competently, which is relatively rare if you think about it, and the Red Sox are paying their catcher good money because they believed at the time that he'd continue to hit as well as catch competently, too. Are many catchers who can't hit (and never really could) making a lot of money?

Red Leader
04-18-2007, 12:47 PM
Are many catchers who can't hit (and never really could) making a lot of money?

They may not be making a ton of money, but they do seem to stick around awhile as backups after their bats have totally gone quiet. Brad Ausmus, Sandy Alomar, and Benito Santiago come to mind as catchers that were really not good at all offensively towards the end of their careers, but still stayed on either as starters or legit backups because of their defense alone.

Chris Sabowned
04-18-2007, 12:51 PM
This method of evaluating catchers is too reliant on the pitchers to make it credible. For instance Javie caught all of Elizardo's games last year, so naturally his CERA is going to be higher.

jojo
04-18-2007, 01:22 PM
That's easy for me to track.

Now how much value this information provides or shows us, I'm not really sure, but I can track it easily at least from a game split standpoint depending on which catcher starts the game. Now splitting up innings is much more difficult since Narron likes to do double switches near the end of games, but games started should still be a fairly decent indicator which innings Ross/Valentin have caught.

Here's what we have so far, and I've included DIPS ERA (dERA) ...


Catcher Game Splits

ERA dERA HR/9 K/9 BB/9 K/BB WHIP BABIP

David Ross 3.08 3.42 0.68 7.97 2.85 2.80 1.22 .297
Javier Valentin 4.24 3.70 0.96 6.94 1.93 3.60 1.26 .301


Pitchers Ross (9 GS) has caught: Harang (1), Arroyo (3), Lohse (1), Belisle (2), Milton (2)
Pitchers Valentin (5 GS) has caught: Harang (2), Lohse (2), Belisle (1)

People are free to try to draw whatever conclusions they'd like from the above data, though I'm really not sure how much any of the above indicates how well Ross and Valentin can call/control a game from behind the plate.

One of the issues with this type of analysis is sample size and it's really tough to ever overcome that limitation.