Originally Posted by coachpipe
I love hanigan. One of my favorite players on the team. I was a catcher in high school and college and spent 2 years as a high school assistant instructing pitchers and catchers and I just have a love and respect for the catcher position some people can't find. Some say the catcher ERA is a worthless stat and I couldn't disagree more. Hanigan is the glue that keeps are pitchers in tact and I respect everything he has done for this team
Catchers ERA sucks. I can't stress that enough. Heck, pitchers ERA kind of sucks when you really think about it. The pitcher gets all of the credit, good or bad. What about his defense? What about the ballpark(s) he gets to pitch in? What about a few poor scorers decisions on errors/non-errors throughout the season that lead to 5 earned runs showing up instead of being unearned (That is a quarter of a run of ERA right there)?
So, first, you have to deal with all of the stuff that makes a pitchers ERA iffy. Then you add in trying to credit the catcher with all of those things as well as which pitchers he happens to be catching? Talk about a terrible stat.
Again, that isn't to say catchers can't improve/hurt a pitchers ERA. They absolutely do. But catchers ERA doesn't tell us which ones are good at it. Put any catcher with the Reds staff or the Rockies staff (even if you take them out of Coors) and they are going to look a lot better or a lot worse because the pitchers are pretty darn good or pretty darn bad.
You want to know which catchers are helping and hurting their pitchers? Learn how to use Pitch F/X data and find out which pitchers can frame pitches the best/worst. Both of our guys are good at it, though Hanigan is very good at it. Look at who throws out a good amount of runners (though even this can also be partially placed on the pitchers on the mound too.... some guys hold runners much better than others). When you figure out those two things, you will start to get a good idea of which catchers are the best and which are the worst. Catchers ERA can't begin to come close to telling you anything close to that.