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Thread: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

  1. #571
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    You assume that there is no skill in calling a game?
    Doug's respect for the catching position seems uncommonly low for a guy who has his head in the game... at least from my perspective.

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  4. #572
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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Certainly it is a small sample size, but if Mesoraco were some poor game caller or catcher and was making some kind of difference with the pitchers, those numbers wouldn't be there.

    Being able to call a game isn't a skillset that is going to go from good to bad in a sample size. Being able to catch a game isn't going to go from good to bad in a sample size. Either it is or it isn't there.
    Just to be clear, I for one, was never saying the pitching staff was better with Hanigan...I'm saying he's better defensively by a long margin. And small sample size or not, I've yet to see anything to change my opinion on that one. And like it or not, defense is the biggest part of a catcher job IMO.

    And in regards to game calling...the only time that becomes an issue with a Reds catcher is when the pitcher shakes off the initial pitch. Because from what I see, the pitches get called from the bench so the catcher isn't really dictating what gets thrown and when.

    Also, just out of curiosity, since you saw him so much in the minors, have you noticed any changes in Mesoraco's mechanics defensively? I thought I'd heard that he'd improved so much over the past 2 years in the minors, but up here I've seen some really sloppy techniques.
    Last edited by _Sir_Charles_; 04-25-2013 at 03:12 PM.
    2014 predictions:
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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    At what point does someone get credit for being a good game caller then? How can you even tell who is one? Do we simply just take the word of someone else (the pitcher, a manager, a scout) who is likely making their statement based on the results of what happened rather than the process that went into what happened?
    Yes I am strictly basing it on other people's opinion on their ability to call a game. Mainly the amount a Manager plays him. Even more so than what they say about them. Actions speak louder than words. We are so far removed from knowing what is happening between pitcher and catcher I don't trust anything else besides Pitcher, Catcher and Manger's feeling on the issue.

    I love numbers too and I love the ability to dissect the game that way. In this aspect though I don't feel there will ever be a way to correctly value what is going on fully in this dynamic.

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    At what point does someone get credit for being a good game caller then? How can you even tell who is one? Do we simply just take the word of someone else (the pitcher, a manager, a scout) who is likely making their statement based on the results of what happened rather than the process that went into what happened?
    For me, what I look for is a decent result from the pitcher AND very few pitches shaken off. It's very hard to get into a rhythm pitching when you're constantly having to shake off the catchers' signs. I could be wrong here, but I'm under the impression that Dusty calls the pitches from the bench. So once a pitch is shaken off, this is where it's up to the catcher to know the hitters and know what his pitcher is wanting to do AND what pitches are working well for the pitcher on that specific day. Most of those last points are ONLY going to come with reps working with each individual pitcher to learn his patterns.
    2014 predictions:
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    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I didn't say that. I am saying that the sample size isn't likely needed to be large to determine if the skill is there or not.
    I think everyone is right here. I don't think it would take months of him catching to prove that he isn't "terrible" at calling a game (so in this I agree with Doug) but I agree that the sample size is a little small since the teams that we have been beating would probably have a tough time scoring runs against the Reds pitching staff from 2003 (with this I agree with the small sample group).
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    My best case for difference a great catcher can make would be Puerto Rico's run in WBC.
    That team had hardly any top level arms yet managed to only allow 27 runs in 9 games. That is with playing all star lineups from USA and DR 5 times. I find it hard to believe Molina didn't impact that somehow. I don't believe Napoli gets even close to the same results. No way to prove that I know, just what I believe.
    Last edited by RadfordVA; 04-25-2013 at 03:27 PM.

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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Doug's respect for the catching position seems uncommonly low for a guy who has his head in the game... at least from my perspective.
    From my perspective, people give the catcher entirely too much credit for things that the pitcher is responsible for.

    Studies have shown that if there is an actual difference made in calling a game, that it is so insignificant that it doesn't show up in the stats (this also assumes that the guys who are actually so poor at it that they don't stick around long enough to amass enough innings behind the dish).

    So then we get to controlling the running game. This is two parts (three actually, but I will get to the other one later). First is arm strength. You need a strong arm in order to get the ball to the bag quick enough. Second is arm accuracy. The pitcher has as much to do with the running game as the catcher does. Can they hold runners on? Do they have a good move that keeps them a step closer to the bag? Are they quick enough to the plate? Both sides of the battery are responsible here.

    Then there is the athleticism behind the plate. This is about blocking the ball in the dirt or saving the truly wild pitch that is 2-3 feet outside. This kind of gets into the running game as keeping a ball in front of you can keep a runner at their original bag. Both of the problems start with the pitcher, but a catcher can save his pitcher from time to time here.

    Then there is the dreaded pitch framing. It works, unfortunately. But, all situations aren't equal. Studies have shown that being quiet behind the plate gets you extra calls (still head, still glove/catching arm). The catcher can control his head movement. Sometimes he can control his glove/arm movement, but that is entirely dependent on the pitcher being able to hit the target. Catching Homer Bailey for example on a day when he has his good fastball command makes framing pitches easy. The mitt doesn't move and the ball is right there. Catching Homer Bailey on a day when his fastball command isn't there isn't going to lead to anyone framing pitches for strikes because you are setting up outside and catching inside. You can't keep your glove/arm still on days like that unless you want 25 passed balls. Now, without question there are catchers who regardless of the situation present are more quiet than others. With that said, studies have shown that the difference between the best and the worst "pitch framers" (and I still have issues with the studies to begin with because they don't account at all for where the original target was set up, thus will benefit catchers who tend to catch command pitchers who can pound the target versus catchers who catch guys who are a little bit more wild in the zone) is still about 1.5 pitch per game (150 pitches). It means something, but just how much?

    The last thing that jumps out to me is being a pitching coach in the sense of being able to see that someone is out of whack with their mechanics.
    Last edited by dougdirt; 04-25-2013 at 03:28 PM.

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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Agreed 100% Doug.
    2014 predictions:
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    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    From my perspective, people give the catcher entirely too much credit for things that the pitcher is responsible for.

    Studies have shown that if there is an actual difference made in calling a game, that it is so insignificant that it doesn't show up in the stats (this also assumes that the guys who are actually so poor at it that they don't stick around long enough to amass enough innings behind the dish).

    So then we get to controlling the running game. This is two parts (three actually, but I will get to the other one later). First is arm strength. You need a strong arm in order to get the ball to the bag quick enough. Second is arm accuracy. The pitcher has as much to do with the running game as the catcher does. Can they hold runners on? Do they have a good move that keeps them a step closer to the bag? Are they quick enough to the plate? Both sides of the battery are responsible here.

    Then there is the athleticism behind the plate. This is about blocking the ball in the dirt or saving the truly wild pitch that is 2-3 feet outside. This kind of gets into the running game as keeping a ball in front of you can keep a runner at their original bag. Both of the problems start with the pitcher, but a catcher can save his pitcher from time to time here.

    Then there is the dreaded pitch framing. It works, unfortunately. But, all situations aren't equal. Studies have shown that being quiet behind the plate gets you extra calls (still head, still glove/catching arm). The catcher can control his head movement. Sometimes he can control his glove/arm movement, but that is entirely dependent on the pitcher being able to hit the target. Catching Homer Bailey for example on a day when he has his good fastball command makes framing pitches easy. The mitt doesn't move and the ball is right there. Catching Homer Bailey on a day when his fastball command isn't there isn't going to lead to anyone framing pitches for strikes because you are setting up outside and catching inside. You can't keep your glove/arm still on days like that unless you want 25 passed balls. Now, without question there are catchers who regardless of the situation present are more quiet than others. With that said, studies have shown that the difference between the best and the worst "pitch framers" (and I still have issues with the studies to begin with because they don't account at all for where the original target was set up, thus will benefit catchers who tend to catch command pitchers who can pound the target versus catchers who catch guys who are a little bit more wild in the zone) is still about 1.5 pitch per game (150 pitches). It means something, but just how much?

    The last thing that jumps out to me is being a pitching coach in the sense of being able to see that someone is out of whack with their mechanics.
    So let me get this straight... you think catchers are given too much credit for their ability to work a game, but you think Mesoraco's ability to work a game can be seen after a week's sample despite suggesting catchers are given too much credit? It seems you're not holding Mesoraco to the same standard as Hanigan.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    The biggest thing I hear from my son, who is a high school pitcher, is that he wants to have the confidence to throw all his pitches to someone that he knows will receive the ball well and block any pitches in the dirt. Beyond that, he wants someone with enough arm to be a threat to throw the runners out.

    In his last outing, he threw four very good innings to a catcher who is very familiar with him, and that he is very familiar with. This kid does a pretty good job behind the plate, receiving, blocking and throwing. It was a blowout and they switched catchers in the 5th inning. I noticed that his curveball was not nearly as good when a runner got on base I asked him about it and he said he just didn't have the confidence that the kid would block the ball with runners on base. It does have an effect on the pitcher's mind and his ability to do the things he wants to do with the baseball.
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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    So let me get this straight... you think catchers are given too much credit for their ability to work a game, but you think Mesoraco's ability to work a game can be seen after a week's sample despite suggesting catchers are given too much credit? It seems you're not holding Mesoraco to the same standard as Hanigan.
    I am saying that I think catchers are given too much credit for what the pitcher is responsible for. I am not entirely sure what you mean by "their ability to work the game", so I can't answer that.

    What I am also saying is that our pitchers are good and they, not the guys behind the plate, are why the pitchers results are good. I would say the same thing about almost every catcher/pitcher combo in baseball. There are very few catchers that are being allowed to catch in the Major Leagues that are so bad that they are enough of a problem to cause real issues with the pitching staff.

  15. #582
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN INDY View Post
    The biggest thing I hear from my son, who is a high school pitcher, is that he wants to have the confidence to throw all his pitches to someone that he knows will receive the ball well and block any pitches in the dirt. Beyond that, he wants someone with enough arm to be a threat to throw the runners out.

    In his last outing, he threw four very good innings to a catcher who is very familiar with him, and that he is very familiar with. This kid does a pretty good job behind the plate, receiving, blocking and throwing. It was a blowout and they switched catchers in the 5th inning. I noticed that his curveball was not nearly as good when a runner got on base I asked him about it and he said he just didn't have the confidence that the kid would block the ball with runners on base. It does have an effect on the pitcher's mind and his ability to do the things he wants to do with the baseball.
    Below the Major League level, I am sure that it absolutely can play with a pitchers head because the guys catching below that level aren't all good enough to actually catch at the Major League level. Guys that can't block the ball (looking at you Miguel Olivo the other day who let one bounce under the knee instead of dropping to the ground and taking it off the protector) certainly can be an issue. Very few of those guys exist in the Major Leagues for any amount of time though while also receiving actual playing time.

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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I am saying that I think catchers are given too much credit for what the pitcher is responsible for. I am not entirely sure what you mean by "their ability to work the game", so I can't answer that.

    What I am also saying is that our pitchers are good and they, not the guys behind the plate, are why the pitchers results are good. I would say the same thing about almost every catcher/pitcher combo in baseball. There are very few catchers that are being allowed to catch in the Major Leagues that are so bad that they are enough of a problem to cause real issues with the pitching staff.
    So why, then, are you arguing Mesoraco's numbers are indicative of something after one week?
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Below the Major League level, I am sure that it absolutely can play with a pitchers head because the guys catching below that level aren't all good enough to actually catch at the Major League level. Guys that can't block the ball (looking at you Miguel Olivo the other day who let one bounce under the knee instead of dropping to the ground and taking it off the protector) certainly can be an issue. Very few of those guys exist in the Major Leagues for any amount of time though while also receiving actual playing time.
    With the way pitchers think, one bad experience can be hard to get out of your head. Catchers are way better at the big league level, but, some are better than others, defensively. It isn't unusual for a pitcher to be selfish and want the best one, or the one he has the most confidence in.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

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    Re: Mesoraco makes team, Olivo down or gone

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    So why, then, are you arguing Mesoraco's numbers are indicative of something after one week?
    I am not arguing that Mesoraco's numbers are anything. I am arguing that the pitchers are darn good regardless of who is back there between the Reds catching options because both guys are Major League quality catchers.


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