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Thread: Pitcher and catcher: Who is responsible for the caught stealing?

  1. #1
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Pitcher and catcher: Who is responsible for the caught stealing?

    Max Weinstein looks at the question at Beyond the Box Score this week.

    He ran several different tests and came to this conclusion:

    As it turns out, the pitcher, and not the catcher, is the player with the higher propensity to influence the running game, whether in a positive or negative way.

    [snip]

    Like in any thing, there will always be extremes. Despite our findings, exceptional talents like Johnny Cueto or Yadier Molna will continue to do what they do best. Generally however, the pitcher's overall and isolated CS% will be highly correlated to the battery's CS%.

    [snip]

    Disregarding one's influence on the other is negligible, much like we do under conventional baseball thinking that the catcher is responsible for CS%. We need to go beyond conventional wisdom and accept that CS% is not a skill directly related to the catcher, but largely a function of the pitcher.

    It was an interesting read for those of you who are interested in things like that.

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  3. #2
    Member Norm Chortleton's Avatar
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    Re: Pitcher and catcher: Who is responsible for the caught stealing?

    Pitcher, definitely. There are some catchers who can't throw anyone out, no matter what. But even the best catcher can't throw out a runner who steals on the pitcher.

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    Red Raindog (07-18-2013)

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    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Pitcher and catcher: Who is responsible for the caught stealing?

    Lou Brock, Maury Wills, Tim Raines and Joe Morgan have always said this. They cared much less who the catcher was, and more who the pitcher was in determining when to steal.

    And it makes intuitive sense. The catcher can only influence how fast and accurate his throw gets to the base. The pitcher can control how quickly he can get the ball to the catcher, but also how big of a lead and how big of a jump the runner can get.

    It's really nice to see research done to back this up with hard evidence. Really good article. Great find
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  6. #4
    Member Norm Chortleton's Avatar
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    Re: Pitcher and catcher: Who is responsible for the caught stealing?

    First-base coaches and others in dugouts have always had stopwatches for a reason -- and it ain't to time the mascot races. If the pitcher takes longer x.x seconds to get the ball to the plate, it's impossible to record a CS.


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    BluegrassRedleg (07-19-2013)

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    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Pitcher and catcher: Who is responsible for the caught stealing?

    This is completely true within the scope of a single battery combination:

    We need to go beyond conventional wisdom and accept that CS% is not a skill directly related to the catcher, but largely a function of the pitcher.
    On a wider scale, though, a catcher's CS% is an aggregate that includes all the pitchers he catches. Right or possibly wrong, there's a presumption that the easy-to-steal-on and hard-to-steal-on pitchers mostly cancel each other out at the team level, leaving the catcher's skill as the primary variable. It would be interesting to see how stable a catcher's CS% tends to be when he changes teams.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    Johnny Footstool (07-19-2013)

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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Pitcher and catcher: Who is responsible for the caught stealing?

    We should have stats on CS% for each pitcher/catcher combo instead of each one individually then.

    I suspect we'd run into the old SSS problem unfortunately.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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  11. #7
    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: Pitcher and catcher: Who is responsible for the caught stealing?

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    This is completely true within the scope of a single battery combination:



    On a wider scale, though, a catcher's CS% is an aggregate that includes all the pitchers he catches. Right or possibly wrong, there's a presumption that the easy-to-steal-on and hard-to-steal-on pitchers mostly cancel each other out at the team level, leaving the catcher's skill as the primary variable. It would be interesting to see how stable a catcher's CS% tends to be when he changes teams.
    My guess is for the average catcher that would erode with age. I think the point of the article though is the relatively small sample size, in season number that is thrown around freely.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.


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