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Thread: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

  1. #1
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    http://reds.enquirer.com/2000/08/27/...ue_making.html

    REDS NOTEBOOK

    LaRue making pitchers better


    By Chris Haft
    The Cincinnati Enquirer


    MIAMI — Jason LaRue's status continues to rise as the pitchers' earned run average continues to shrink.

    The Reds began Saturday with a 4.41 team ERA, sixth-best in the league and their lowest since the second game of the season. A primary source of this improvement is LaRue, who caught his third shutout in 14 starts Friday night in Cincinnati's series-opening 6-0 victory over the Florida Marlins. The Reds have only four shutouts in their 114 other games.

    The statistical evidence of LaRue's impact doesn't end there. Entering Saturday, Reds pitchers have recorded a 2.79 ERA when he's behind the plate, compared to 4.44 with Benito Santiago and 4.71 with Eddie Taubensee.

    This maintains a trend LaRue established as a rookie last year. His 3.81 “catcher's ERA” compared favorably with Taubensee's 3.78 and eclipsed Brian Johnson's 4.93.

    With a .156 batting average in 14 games, LaRue is still developing his offensive skills. But as long as he plays well defensively, staying employed shouldn't be a problem. Though LaRue began the season with Triple-A Louisville, he may never see the minor leagues again at the current rate.

    “He follows Gully's game plan pretty closely,” Reds manager Jack McKeon said of LaRue, referring to pitching coach Don Gullett's supervision. “When (LaRue) needs guidance, he looks over.”
    Last edited by Matt700wlw; 08-25-2006 at 05:21 PM.

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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    This year LaRue passed Taubensee for 10th all time in at bats for a Reds catcher.

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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    This maintains a trend LaRue established as a rookie last year. His 3.81 “catcher's ERA” compared favorably with Taubensee's 3.78
    Read that closely folks. ....And they say numbers lie.

    Nobody at the time thought Taubensee was a defensive catcher. That's kind of like saying....Chris Denorfia's outfield defense is just about as good as Adam Dunn's. It's technically true, but so what?

    (In fact, yeah, if we're just talking defense, I would surely rather have dino out there.)

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    Member BigREDSfaninKY's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Anyone know what the "catchers ERA" for the trifecta of LaRue, Ross and Valentin?

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    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    CERA is a silly stat.
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

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    1st pick 2022 B.B. draft George Foster's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Quote Originally Posted by BigREDSfaninKY
    Anyone know what the "catchers ERA" for the trifecta of LaRue, Ross and Valentin?
    Well since these are the only Reds catchers....it would be the team ERA...right?
    Not this year...maybe a Wild Card

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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Quote Originally Posted by George Foster
    Well since these are the only Reds catchers....it would be the team ERA...right?
    I think he is talking about each cather individually.

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    Davey BuckWoody's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Quote Originally Posted by wheels
    CERA is a silly stat.
    Agreed. Most of the stats that are held dear on RedsZone are ones that take the performance of others out of the equation as much as possible. You can't get an RBI if your teammates aren't on base (except for a tater), you can't score a run if your teammate doesn't knock you in etc. etc.

    Catchers ERA is probably the stat MOST dependent on the performance of your teammates and not directly attributable to the performance of the individual in question. You may be able to use it for individual pitcher's ERAs while pitching to different catchers but the way things are in the game today, most pitchers are pitching to the same catcher every start.

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    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Quote Originally Posted by BigREDSfaninKY
    Anyone know what the "catchers ERA" for the trifecta of LaRue, Ross and Valentin?
    LaRue: 4.50
    Ross: 4.55
    Valentin: 5.11
    Makes all the routine posts.

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckWoody
    Agreed. Most of the stats that are held dear on RedsZone are ones that take the performance of others out of the equation as much as possible. You can't get an RBI if your teammates aren't on base (except for a tater), you can't score a run if your teammate doesn't knock you in etc. etc.

    Catchers ERA is probably the stat MOST dependent on the performance of your teammates and not directly attributable to the performance of the individual in question. You may be able to use it for individual pitcher's ERAs while pitching to different catchers but the way things are in the game today, most pitchers are pitching to the same catcher every start.
    So you are saying the way Johnny Bench called a game had nothing to do with the pticher's success? The BRM pitchers would have done just as well if, say, Sandy Alomar was behing the plate? I don't buy that argument. There is something to be said for CERA if it is used in context.

  12. #11
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsland
    LaRue: 4.50
    Ross: 4.55
    Valentin: 5.11
    LaRue has had the advantage of being Harang's personal catcher this year. Valentin the "disadvantage" (CERA-wise) of working closely with EZ.

    Is Harang better because Jason is catching him? Or are LaRue's stats inflated because Harang is the Reds best pitcher?

    I don't know how to make the stats tell me; someone better with handling stats, especially defensive stats, could probably do that for us, though.

    My educated guess is that defensively, LaRue>Ross>Valentin.

    Handling pitchers? again, my guess: LaRue>Ross=Valentin

    Hitting? Ross>Valentin>LaRue, at least for this year. Career norms, based on career OPS, show Ross(.793) slightly better than LaRue(.736), both better than Valentin(.697). Javier is on this team because of his versatilty and L handed pop off the bench, obviously.

    Interesting conversation. All three of these guys have different strengths, which is why all three are still with the club.

    I'm not one of those who wants to release LaRue. He's having a rough year, that is patently obvious. I think next year he'll be back to his career norms, which will be an above average big league catcher. It's not Jason's fault that OB signed him to the big contract; in fact, that was the market price for LaRue at the time, and good for him for getting that out of the Reds FO. If Ross continues hitting this well, and catching at least to a big league average defensively, then I'd go with Ross as much as possible. That makes me Mr. Obvious!

    Can Ross do that? I hope so, but I'm not convinced just yet. But much like Ryan Freel, I'd put him in there as often as possible, until he shows that he can't do it anymore. And when, and if, LaRue returns to his normal production, that gives Kriv another bargaining tool to swap for more pitching. Buy low, sell high? Trade Ross while he's looking better than he ever has? Tough decision. Makes me glad I'm just talking about it, and not having to execute a decison on this which would leave me wide open to second guessing and stone throwing.

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    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Herd Fan
    So you are saying the way Johnny Bench called a game had nothing to do with the pticher's success? The BRM pitchers would have done just as well if, say, Sandy Alomar was behing the plate? I don't buy that argument. There is something to be said for CERA if it is used in context.
    I don't want to answer for someone else, but I would think the question isn't really about whether or not catchers have an effect on pitchers' performance, it's about how well CERA measures that effect when the catchers aren't catching the same pitchers, at the same time, against the same opponents, with the same defenses, or in large enough samples. Some of those variables might be similar sometimes, but not often enough to make CERA particularly useful, IMO. I personally believe that catchers can have a huge effect, but there doesn't seem to be a very good way to measure it yet.

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    Davey BuckWoody's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Herd Fan
    So you are saying the way Johnny Bench called a game had nothing to do with the pticher's success? The BRM pitchers would have done just as well if, say, Sandy Alomar was behing the plate? I don't buy that argument. There is something to be said for CERA if it is used in context.
    No. Are you saying that if Johnny Bench would have caught Dave Williams he'd be a Cy Young candidate? I doubt you are.

    My main point was that "catchers ERA is probably the stat MOST dependent on the performance of your teammates and not directly attributable to the performance of the individual in question." Like blumj pointed out, there are many other factors at play with CERA that are out of the catcher's control.

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: 6 years ago.....the Jason LaRue debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Herd Fan
    So you are saying the way Johnny Bench called a game had nothing to do with the pticher's success? The BRM pitchers would have done just as well if, say, Sandy Alomar was behing the plate? I don't buy that argument. There is something to be said for CERA if it is used in context.
    I always heard that Bench called a great game, but in all honesty, the pitcher has a lot of say in that. Bench knew his pitchers and was on the same page with most of them. They trusted him. The greatest quality a catcher can have is the confidence of his pitchers. They have to know that if they throw that nasty slider or split finger with men on base that the man behind the plate is not going to let it go to the backstop. There was no better receiver for a pitcher to throw to than Johnny Bench. He was the backstop. I don't think that Larue will ever evoke that kind of confidence from a pitching staff. Chances are always good that Jason is going to be chasing one to the backstop.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden


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