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VR
04-25-2007, 02:25 PM
Tough to quantify one's defensive prowess behind the dish compared to other positions....but the early stats on Ross have him at or near the top of every available catching metric.

Valentin, not so much.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/fielding?groupId=9&season=2007&seasonType=2&split=78&sortColumn=rangeFactor

Do we have a gem on our hands?

Razor Shines
04-25-2007, 02:31 PM
Tough to quantify one's defensive prowess behind the dish compared to other positions....but the early stats on Ross have him at or near the top of every available catching metric.

Valentin, not so much.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/fielding?groupId=9&season=2007&seasonType=2&split=78&sortColumn=rangeFactor

Do we have a gem on our hands?

Ross can be "lazy" in terms of blocking balls, and he has trouble on plays at the plate. But he has a very strong accurate arm and gets rid of the ball as quick as any catcher in the league. He should have one error on a play at the plate, but they gave the error to BP.

But IMO if he starts to hit a little bit he is worth starting every game, because of the way he throws and the way he handles the pitchers.

noskill27
04-25-2007, 02:45 PM
I think the stat in the Enquirer this morning was the most telling - With Ross catching, the pitchers have a 3.14 ERA, with Valentin it's 5.37...

UC_Ken
04-25-2007, 02:50 PM
As bad as Ross' bat has been based on those numbers Valentin hurts the Defense way more than Ross hurts the offense.

remdog
04-25-2007, 02:57 PM
Both the Dodgers and the Padres cut Ross lose in part due to defensive shortcomings. The games I've seen him catch this year he's looked decent and I certainly like him back there better than Javy.

That said, I don't put all that much stock in catcher era. It's possible, or even likely, that it's simply the pitchers throwing the ball better this year. And before I hear 'but, but, but Javy is catching the same pitchers', no, he's not. They are catching a different mix and it's never a matched comparison since they aren't pitching against the same guys on any given day.

Let the bashing begin.....I'm sure it will be the usual suspects. :p:

Rem

UC_Ken
04-25-2007, 03:01 PM
That said, I don't put all that much stock in catcher era. It's possible, or even likely, that it's simply the pitchers throwing the ball better this year. And before I hear 'but, but, but Javy is catching the same pitchers', no, he's not. They are catching a different mix and it's never a matched comparison since they aren't pitching against the same guys on any given day.

I agree but there's a huge disparity so while some of what you said is a factor I don't think you can discount the fact that Ross is a much better defensive catcher than Valentin. Valentin's so bad I'm not sure he should be back there at all. Not because of catcher's ERA, because my eyes and the numbers tell me he's awful.

Razor Shines
04-25-2007, 03:06 PM
Both the Dodgers and the Padres cut Ross lose in part due to defensive shortcomings. The games I've seen him catch this year he's looked decent and I certainly like him back there better than Javy.

That said, I don't put all that much stock in catcher era. It's possible, or even likely, that it's simply the pitchers throwing the ball better this year. And before I hear 'but, but, but Javy is catching the same pitchers', no, he's not. They are catching a different mix and it's never a matched comparison since they aren't pitching against the same guys on any given day.

Let the bashing begin.....I'm sure it will be the usual suspects. :p:

Rem
I agree that Ross is bad at blocking balls, his numbers aren't as bad this year, but I haven't really seen him change anything. But he's one of the best in the league at throwing the ball, and he was last year. So between him and Javy, who is bad in both areas, I agree I'll take Ross.

As far as CERA, I don't really know how much that means. But it does seem like the pitchers have a lot more difficulty getting on the same page when Javy is catching. It seems like he and the pitcher are regularly getting crossed up or Javy is having to run out to the mound when they can't decide on a pitch. Those things matter, IMO, at least they did to me when I was pitching. I know, I know college is much different than MLB, I'm just saying I thought it made a difference, but maybe it doesn't to the pros.

Natty Redlocks
04-25-2007, 03:57 PM
Ross has caught all of Milton's and Arroyo's starts this year, so I can only compare the three starting pitchers they've both caught:

Harang/ Ross (3 starts) -- 20.2 IP, 2 ER
Harang/ Valentin (2 starts) -- 9.2 IP, 10 ER

Lohse/ Ross (2) -- 15 IP, 0 ER
Lohse/ Valentin (2) -- 13.1 IP, 6 ER

Belisle/ Ross (2) -- 12 IP, 2 ER
Belisle/ Valentin (2) -- 10.1 IP, 9 ER

That comes out to 4 ER in 47 innings caught by Ross. The same pitchers, caught by Valentin, gave up 25 earned runs in 33.1 innings.

It's not a great big sample size but the disparity is so freaking huge it can't be ignored. Interesting to see how Lohse does tomorrow if Valentin starts the day game after a night game.

jojo
04-25-2007, 04:08 PM
Range factor for catchers is basically meaningless. Catchers get credited with a put out for Ks (that's why their range factors are so high). As it happens, the Reds staff is 4th in the majors with the strikeout total so far....

Bill James himself (he was the one that created range factors afterall) has indicated that RF is meaningless for catchers, pitchers, and firstbaseman (for what I think are fairly obvious reasons).

A recent thread about catcher ERA (cERA) pretty much revealed the flaws in that metric too. Evaluating defense is much harder for catcher than for other positions.

membengal
04-25-2007, 04:11 PM
Is there really no way to measure whether a particular catcher is simply a better "handler" of pitchers (for lack of a better word)? The whole Ausmus/YadiMolina thing? That perhaps there really are catchers who help a staff, on balance, pitch better (more effectively) when they are behind the plate than others? Not saying Ross is one of those, just wondering if that is a baseball myth or actually exists...

dfs
04-25-2007, 04:53 PM
Is there really no way to measure whether a particular catcher is simply a better "handler" of pitchers
Yup.

Too many assumptions get violated for any numeric measurement to hold true.

texasdave
04-25-2007, 05:11 PM
This question was posed:


Is there really no way to measure whether a particular catcher is simply a better "handler" of pitchers?

It was answered:


Yup.

Too many assumptions get violated for any numeric measurement to hold true.

Does that dispel the myth of one catcher being able to 'handle' a pitching staff better than another? Or is there simply no way to measure it? I am still confused.

Razor Shines
04-25-2007, 05:14 PM
This question was posed:



It was answered:



Does that dispel the myth of one catcher being able to 'handle' a pitching staff better than another? Or is there simply no way to measure it? I am still confused.

I didn't answer it but I don't see how anyone could dispel the myth of one catcher being able to handle a staff better than another. I don't think it's a myth. There may be no way to measure it, I don't know.

VR
04-25-2007, 05:17 PM
I do like the fact that opponents have barely tried to run on Ross...perhaps that speaks to a growing reputation?

I thinkt the cERA is extremetly flawed.....but over a course of a season or a career it tough to ignore, one way or the other.

Natty's comparative is pretty frightening.

remdog
04-25-2007, 08:33 PM
Maybe Javy is giving the signs in Spanish! :)

Rem

dfs
04-25-2007, 10:15 PM
Does that dispel the myth of one catcher being able to 'handle' a pitching staff better than another? Or is there simply no way to measure it?

Sorry I wasn't clearer. Just because you can't measure it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

People are going to believe what they want. There are folks who believe that batting average is the best way to measure offence.