Originally Posted by dfs
Thanks for pointing that out, SteelSD. I clearly missed it and it's a pretty clear indicator that something has changed. We go back to previous years and Jason end up with numbers like 45 or 56 or 62. Really horrible numbers. Something is different and I missed it. I don't see it in technique.
I long postulated that Gullet was encouraging pitchers to throw in the dirt and that was the cause of the inflated number of wild pitches/past balls we saw. I wonder.
...turned on their heads, those numbers also still indicate that it's not something he's particularly GOOD at either. While I'm fully willing to conceed that Jason may not be as bad as I may observationally put him, the notion that Jason is some sort of star defensive catcher who helps the team defensively is shaky at best.
Valentine is right at league average at 124. Ross is off the charts having caught 380 innings without a single passed ball. Ratios do funny things.
I've always been of the opinion that catching bad pitchers tends to enhance Passed Ball totals as bad pitchers might be more likely to cross up their catchers and/or lack command.
That being said, he's got other defensive advantages even if his PB rates are average. He's like a cat out of the box. His arm is so good that only SB specialists try to run on him. Is he a tier one defensive specialist like Yadier Molina or what Brad Ausmus and Mike Matheny used to be? No. But he's a high tier two guy who, IMHO, has long been underappreciated for what he does well due to the perception (partly fueled by PB totals in years prior) that he's a bad receiver.
Now if he'll just start hitting again...