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Spazzrico
01-29-2009, 12:38 PM
Here's a good conversation for the offseason.

My wife and I were talking baseball and the topic of drafting/developing catchers came up (i.e. D. Mesoraco) and she mentioned something about catchers calling a game. I can't remember the context, but I do remember that it brought up the question of also teaching pitchers to pitch.

So my question to you who are more baseball savvy than me....

Who calls the game? We know catchers do right. But why then are we told sometimes that young pitchers need to learn how to use their arsenal better? But if the catcher is calling the game....? See where I'm going?

What's the story here?

bounty37h
01-29-2009, 12:44 PM
Spazz, there has to be a flow between the 2, both be on the same page, knowing the pitchers strengths, as well as batters tendencies/weaknesses. A pitcher has a right to shake off catcher, but needs to know when and why, and trust the catcher is in agreement with it, chemistry.

Orodle
01-29-2009, 03:45 PM
It depends really on who is calling the game based on the team,catcher, pitcher, ect

Some teams will call the game from the bench, coach to catcher to pitcher

others will go over a game plan they want followed and expect the catcher to work with that game plan in mind allowing him to make decisions on the fly from things he observes from a catching perspective that a coach cant pick up from the dugout.

There are some pitchers (Schilling & Maddux) off the top of my head that look at so much tape in preparation that they basically call the game, of course with the catcher briefed beforehand so not a lot of shaking off has to be done.

So I guess so sum it up........it varies.

CRedsLarkin11
01-29-2009, 05:16 PM
All I know is I would love to be talking about a catcher's development with my wife.. congrats my friend you are a lucky man :thumbup:

Rusty the Red
01-29-2009, 05:26 PM
Things seem to have shifted in the last ten years or so. When I was a kid, it was the catcher who was challenged to call the game. Strong pitchers have always had their say. But the tendency now is toward micromanaging where a pitching coach or manager calls pitches from the dugout. Maybe I'm showing my colors, but I like the traditional way - with the catchers making the calls.

Orodle
01-29-2009, 06:47 PM
I too would rather the catcher call the game. There are things the catcher can see that the dugout cant from their perspective.

Kingspoint
01-29-2009, 11:10 PM
I haven't heard of teams these days where the Manager, Catchers, and Pitchers do not sit down before each game and go over exactly how they are going to pitch to opposing hitters (maybe not the pitchers who can't hit). Adjustments are probably made during the game, but I imagine they're committed to what they went over before the game.

The Pitcher is still responsible, though, in the end. The catcher and pitcher both need to gauge the effectiveness of each pitch at any given time in the arsenal of the pitcher, and might have to change their approach based on that. It's pretty rare where a Pitcher's complete arsenal is in sync from the very beginning of the game.

I love watching an intelligent hitter work a pitcher and catcher into throwing him exactly the pitch that he wants. The best I ever saw at this was Edgar Martinez, the greatest DH ever. Most people do not realize that Martinez is the only right-handed batter to win 2 batting titles since Joe Dimaggio. It's very difficult for right-handers to do that.

redsfanfalcon
01-29-2009, 11:16 PM
The catcher has to know where a hitter's weakenesses are as well and where to set up the hitter as well as what pitch to throw. I think this is where a catcher calls a good game.

fitz1
01-31-2009, 08:12 AM
I'm concerned about the Reds seemingly giving the catcher position to Hernandez over Hannigan. Hanigan knows the Reds pitchers, the pitchers commented on liking to pitch to him and his ability to call a good game, he was the AAA defensive player of the year, and hit a solid .271 in September after his call up. Hernandez on the other hand declined last year, had defensive lapses, had attitude problems and was a team disruption. We've heard so much about the need to improve the team defensively, Hanigan certainly is an improvement over Hernandez. If I'm coach the job is Hanigan's to lose with Hernandez as Plan B.

CesarGeronimo
01-31-2009, 12:29 PM
I'm concerned about the Reds seemingly giving the catcher position to Hernandez over Hannigan. Hanigan knows the Reds pitchers, the pitchers commented on liking to pitch to him and his ability to call a good game, he was the AAA defensive player of the year, and hit a solid .271 in September after his call up. Hernandez on the other hand declined last year, had defensive lapses, had attitude problems and was a team disruption. We've heard so much about the need to improve the team defensively, Hanigan certainly is an improvement over Hernandez. If I'm coach the job is Hanigan's to lose with Hernandez as Plan B.

I agree with you, Fitz. I think Hernandez won't play well, but he'll still be the regular starter.

Jerome
01-31-2009, 01:16 PM
I wasn't sure of the answer, so I asked my girlfriend and she told me, "Stop it, can't you see I'm watching a show."

I really enjoy the mental game that goes back and forth between the battery and the batter. Like when a pitcher knows to shake off the first pitch no matter what, and then the catcher flashes the same sign and the pitcher accepts. Beautiful. Just making the batter stand there a second longer and think about this pitch, this situation, this inning, this worthless life he is leading, his deteriorating marraige, the unacceptance of his children, and so on.

A good catcher/pitching coach knows the young pitcher's ability and will call a contained game, but also will give the pitcher room to challenge himself on certain pitches. I think this happened with Cueto a lot last season. As he grows, expect him to take the game more into his own hands. Right now though, he's still learning how to develop some pitches and throw them for strikes. Does that mean I trust Dick Pole. Not really.

Really good thread sir.

http://www.jeromesredscare.blogspot.com

Spazzrico
01-31-2009, 03:20 PM
All I know is I would love to be talking about a catcher's development with my wife.. congrats my friend you are a lucky man :thumbup:

The conversation was kind of a fluke, but she does like baseball. It's the one sport she can tolerate and even talk about with me. So that's cool. Plus she can play catch with me an hit pretty well.


I think it is Cueto's (and Homer's) development that most had me interested in the P & C relationship. I've just seen it a couple of times on here where people have mentioned that Cueto needs to use his change-up more often, because when he does he is dominate. So I question (if this is true) why don't the catchers call for it more often and help teach him.

flash
01-31-2009, 10:02 PM
Sandy Koufax talked about the pitcher catcher relationship a lot in his book. it sounded like he and Roseboro were on the same page almost all the time. They mostly used the shake-off as a decoy.

I think Hannigan was overlooked many times because as I have stated before he wasn't supposed to succeed. he just did. I really hope he gets a lot of playing time because the more he plays the better he hits. He will never hit for a lot of power, but he will work a pitcher. he also has hit .299 or better at every level. A good choice for the 8th slot.

He also knows all of the Reds pitchers.

I actually think he will be the regular by year's end.