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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:39 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
NSMaster56 wrote:
Lastly, I am curious to know your opinion, since you seem to believe that Doumit over Barajas would have been a better move/signing: If so, how/why did the Bucs win more games post-Doumit (79) than with him (72 in 2011, 65.7 AVG in his 7 years with the team)?


I'm 109% sure Barajas was not the reason for the seven game improvement from last season. Having McCutchen improve his OPS by well over 100 points and his BA by 75 points may have been a big factor in this.


That and having a legitimate top two pitcher (in our division at least) who won 16 games.


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:25 pm 
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Okay I guarantee this team would have made it to at least .500 if they had Doumit instead of Barajas this season. Doumit performed equally on defense and significantly better on offense.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:05 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
Okay I guarantee this team would have made it to at least .500 if they had Doumit instead of Barajas this season. Doumit performed equally on defense and significantly better on offense.


What are you basing that thesis on though?

It's true he was better offensively, but defensively? By every personal account this is not true and by nearly every statistical measure (except for SB%) it is also not true:

WP/PB (non-adjusted):
Doumit (59 games @ C): 2/22
Barajas (99 games @ C): 7/25

WP/PB (adjusted for 99 games):
Doumit: 3/37
Barajas: 7/25

Catcher ERA:
Doumit: 5.07
Barajas: 3.73

So if you swap Doumit for Barajas, yes, you do get more offensive production, but you cannot guarantee that Doumit would equal or better Barajas' defensive stats, especially given that he was worse. Therefore you must add 12 more passed balls and a 1.34 higher ERA to the Bucs over the course of a season... So how can you guarantee they would be better?

Like I previously said, any offensive benefits added by Doumit could have very well been offset by his defensive liabilities and stats support this (granted, the Bucs probably had a better pitching staff than the Twins, but how can you guarantee that Doumit would have the same repore with the Pirates pitchers as Barajas did and/or that he would have called an equally effective game which led to the low 3.73 ERA???).

This is not an isolated measure either, as since 2008 Barajas has had a sub-4 ERA in all but one year (2009 with TOR) whereas Doumit has never had a sub-4 ERA (in fact, he has never had a sub-4.8 ERA!):

http://www.baseball-reference.com/playe ... ield.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/playe ... ield.shtml

It's quite possible that you are not considering the numerous factors involved with the catching position (heck, even I can't consider them all, I'm just looking for the most obvious!). Doumit was undoubtedly better than Barajas offensively and throwing out runners, but otherwise worse. And there are other factors (like catcher-pitcher relationship and in-game calling) that really can't be measured or rated.

And, in all acuality, even if my theories are true, there's probably no way to accurately measure how many wins added/lost the Doumit/Barajas swap caused. However, based on that data, it's unlikely that it would be anything more than a push at best.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:42 pm 
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I'm not saying that Barajas isn't better for pitchers than Doumit (I have no idea), but I don't think you can compare team ERAs in 2012 in a vacuum, regardless of what they have both done in past seasons, also in different situations. Barajas had a sub-4 ERA catching Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in Arizona? No way!

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:44 pm 
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AND, LAD had a lower ERA this year than they did last year with Barajas.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:18 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Ryann wrote:
Okay I guarantee this team would have made it to at least .500 if they had Doumit instead of Barajas this season. Doumit performed equally on defense and significantly better on offense.


What are you basing that thesis on though?

It's true he was better offensively, but defensively? By every personal account this is not true and by nearly every statistical measure (except for SB%) it is also not true:

WP/PB (non-adjusted):
Doumit (59 games @ C): 2/22
Barajas (99 games @ C): 7/25

WP/PB (adjusted for 99 games):
Doumit: 3/37
Barajas: 7/25

Catcher ERA:
Doumit: 5.07
Barajas: 3.73

So if you swap Doumit for Barajas, yes, you do get more offensive production, but you cannot guarantee that Doumit would equal or better Barajas' defensive stats, especially given that he was worse. Therefore you must add 12 more passed balls and a 1.34 higher ERA to the Bucs over the course of a season... So how can you guarantee they would be better?

Like I previously said, any offensive benefits added by Doumit could have very well been offset by his defensive liabilities and stats support this (granted, the Bucs probably had a better pitching staff than the Twins, but how can you guarantee that Doumit would have the same repore with the Pirates pitchers as Barajas did and/or that he would have called an equally effective game which led to the low 3.73 ERA???).

This is not an isolated measure either, as since 2008 Barajas has had a sub-4 ERA in all but one year (2009 with TOR) whereas Doumit has never had a sub-4 ERA (in fact, he has never had a sub-4.8 ERA!):

http://www.baseball-reference.com/playe ... ield.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/playe ... ield.shtml

It's quite possible that you are not considering the numerous factors involved with the catching position (heck, even I can't consider them all, I'm just looking for the most obvious!). Doumit was undoubtedly better than Barajas offensively and throwing out runners, but otherwise worse. And there are other factors (like catcher-pitcher relationship and in-game calling) that really can't be measured or rated.

And, in all acuality, even if my theories are true, there's probably no way to accurately measure how many wins added/lost the Doumit/Barajas swap caused. However, based on that data, it's unlikely that it would be anything more than a push at best.

So wait? ERA determines how good the catcher is not the pitching??? Barajas had a much improved pitching staff maybe that is why his ERA was better...

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:46 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
Okay I guarantee this team would have made it to at least .500 if they had Doumit instead of Barajas this season. Doumit performed equally on defense and significantly better on offense.


Doumit had a 1.6 WAR in 2012 playing only 59 games at C. His defense was -0.6 WAR in 59 games. If he hit exactly the same and caught all year for us he'd likely have been a 1 to 1.5 WAR player.

Barajas had a -0.2 WAR for us. So maybe Doumit gives us 1 to 2 wins to get to 81. I wouldn't "guarantee" it. That said, there is little doubt that we wouldn't have been better with Douie. Ryan was even cheaper than Rod.



Also, catcher ERA hasn't been shown to be useful at all in measuring catcher game calling, pitch framing, etc. I wouldn't put much stock in it.


Also, also, I always liked Maholm, but he was not going to stay here for less than his $9 million option and that was not a good price to pay. I prefer the type of gamble on Bedard. NH made two gambles, one on AJ, one on Bedard, he hit .500.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:01 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
I'm sorry, but dWAR is close to worthless as a measure of defensive play, in my opinion, and more than worthless for catchers. Among all the other problems I have with that stat, I'll note a couple of problems that apply directly to this comparison.

Does dWAR take into account the fact that Pirates pitchers were instructed to virtually ignore baserunners? Does it take into account all of the times that a catcher makes no throw at all, because he hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell in getting the runner?

Does dWAR measure the effect of pitchers being willing to bounce a breaking ball in the dirt with runners on third? When Doumit was here, a bounced curveball with a man on third was pretty much a guarantee that a run was going to score. With Barajas they didn't have to stick with fastballs when they got in trouble, and the difference was very noticeable to me.


You may be right; I surely wouldn't doubt it.

Personally, I too doubt there is a quantifiable way to measure defense, especially at a position like catcher.

Still, I was just pointing out how one of the better measures currently available demonstrates greater defensive ability over a previous option.

I don't think that there will ever be a way to measure defense down to the last run, and that's what most of the newer metrics claim to do. Measuring defense for catcher, well, I think that day will never come. There are just way too many variables, and some of them are unmeasurable, like the one I mentioned above.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:03 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
doug frobel wrote:
No, I'm not telling you all to put on your jock strap, but I would like to hear what kind of package you think it would take to pry Justin Upton from the D-Backs. It is likely he will be dealt, and I think he is poised for a big year (just a hunch). He's just the kind of bat we need to complete this lineup.

I'd offer:

Taillon
Tabata
Jones

No Marte for now.

I'd offer a couple of dubious prospects from State College. Justin Upton is an illusion created by playing in a ballpark that loves hitters. Granted, he's only 24 and he might show a ton of improvement over the next three or four years, but if the Pirates traded Taillon or Tabata for Upton I'd lead the march on Federal Street to depose the current management team.


You said you wouldn't want a trade Tabata for Upton...

Right, and in a later post, I said why. Arizona isn't going to give Upton up for just Tabata, and I'm still not convinced that Upton would be any better playing in Pittsburgh until his contract runs out than Tabata play in Pittsburgh.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:05 pm 
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JollyRoger wrote:
IA Pirate wrote:
NSMaster56 wrote:
Lastly, I am curious to know your opinion, since you seem to believe that Doumit over Barajas would have been a better move/signing: If so, how/why did the Bucs win more games post-Doumit (79) than with him (72 in 2011, 65.7 AVG in his 7 years with the team)?


I'm 109% sure Barajas was not the reason for the seven game improvement from last season. Having McCutchen improve his OPS by well over 100 points and his BA by 75 points may have been a big factor in this.


That and having a legitimate top two pitcher (in our division at least) who won 16 games.

Who repeatedly credited Barajas as being important to his success.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
So wait? ERA determines how good the catcher is not the pitching??? Barajas had a much improved pitching staff maybe that is why his ERA was better...


I mentioned the likelihood of P dependence for something like Catcher ERA, but I also recognize that stats like RBI are [situational] dependent. For example: Doumit hit 35 of his 75 RBI's from the DH position... how do you account for those if he's on the Pirates, an NL team with no DH capabilities? What happens to those 35 RBI's (and would they affect his WAR)???

Also, I'm just throwing out stats for consideration. It's easy to say, 'Doumit hit more RBI, ergo he would have been an upgrade over Barajas!', but that ignores a slew of factors involved in the X vs. Y case.

I had about 10 minutes of free time at work, so I dug up these stats for consideration:

2012 Stats:

TWINS:
Age PA ERA RAvg
Joe Mauer 29 2712 4.9 5.3
Ryan Doumit 31 2173 5.08 5.64
Drew Butera 28 1253 4.04 4.37
Chris Herrmann 24 76 3.79 3.79

PIRATES:
Age PA ERA RAvg
Rod Barajas 36 3481 3.73 4.05
Michael McKenry 27 2616 4.05 4.4

DODGERS (Barajas' former team for comparison vs. 2011):
Age PA ERA RAvg
A.J. Ellis 31 4797 3.31 3.56
Matt Treanor 36 1234 3.55 4.4
Tim Federowicz 24 37 0.9 0.9

2011 stats:

PIRATES:
Age PA ERA RAvg
Michael McKenry 26 2118 3.75 4.1
Ryan Doumit 30 2043 4.74 5.36
Chris Snyder 30 1113 3.39 3.52
Dusty Brown 29 341 4.15 4.5
Jason Jaramillo 28 320 3.54 3.67
Eric Fryer 25 271 3.21 3.65
Matt Pagnozzi 28 68 9 9
Wyatt Toregas 28 43 3.6 3.6

DODGERS:
Age PA ERA RAvg
Rod Barajas 35 3085 3.56 3.73
Dioner Navarro 27 1768 3.41 3.87
A.J. Ellis 30 930 3.53 4.02
Tim Federowicz 23 169 3.15 3.38
Hector Gimenez 28 45 10 10

...so... Doumit had the highest Catcher ERA of his peers (among regular starters) the last two years. Barajas had the lowest for teh Bucs and 2nd lowest for the Dodgers (although he caught nearly twice as many innings as Navarro). Now, the Dodgers Catchers' ERA's were in line with Barajas' last year, and likewise Barajas 2012 ERA was similar to most of the Bucs catchers from 2011, so it might be a product of their pitching staff as opposed to the Catcher, but then why are Doumit's ERA's >4 each year? And why is his ERA >1 higher than his peers in 2011 and the highest also on the Twins??? I didn't have time to check and compare his ERA's for every year (I will later when I have more time), but it's still food for thought.

I'm not saying that all defensive metrics are iron clad. In fact, it's their ambuguity which makes the case for Doumit/against Barajas rather difficult to make either way.

That said, what defensive metrics are readily available show that Barajas may very well be better defensively (or that there is a higher probabilty that he is).

I'm not saying Barajas isn't/wasn't bad or that Doumit was horrible, I'm just saying that, when considering the variety of factors which go into playing the position of Catcher, I cannot say for certain that a Doumit-for-Barajas swap would guarantee better results.

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Last edited by NSMaster56 on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:31 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
I don't think that there will ever be a way to measure defense down to the last run, and that's what most of the newer metrics claim to do. Measuring defense for catcher, well, I think that day will never come. There are just way too many variables, and some of them are unmeasurable, like the one I mentioned above.


I agree.

Which is why I don't think it's wise to say, 'swapping Doumit for Barajas would guarantee equal defensive production while improved offensive output' when only 1/2 of that statement is true.

There are too many factors at play to simply assume that one catcher is as good as another defensively, especially when available metrics show otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:07 am 
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McKenry and Barajas didn't catch the same pitchers.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting the Maholm and Doumit Decisions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:25 pm 
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SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
McKenry and Barajas didn't catch the same pitchers.


That doesn't explain why Doumit's ERA was a full run higher than any 2011 Pirates catcher not named Matt Pagnozzi.

When I get time tomorrow I will find the data which compares Barajas' and Doumit's ERA's to their peers from year to year.

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