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91
Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Cubs in '22
« Last post by craig on September 28, 2022, 01:20:28 pm »
"If you're curious what the Cubs may be looking for in a catcher going forward, I think this piece on Yan Gomes that I wrote the other day sums up the qualities many teams now look for in their backstop." 

I think it's also interesting that while he "sums up the qualities many teams now look for", it's interesting that over the last four years, 3 teams have been willing to let him go.  And I don't perceive Cleveland, Washington, or Oakland as all necessarily being dumb-head team.  No team has ever valued him enough to give more than a $6 or $7 deal.  And only twice has a team give him >390 PA in a season.  (Perhaps not surprisingly, those two seasons being .785 and .762-OPS good-offense seasons.)

I'm not at all trying to devalue Gomes or what he contributes.  I'm just kinda contextualizing Sharma's "qualities teams look for" statement.  Perhaps the league demand for Gomes-ish qualities is more on the $6M scale than on the preferred-primary-starter scale?   

92
Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Cubs in '22
« Last post by ticohans on September 28, 2022, 01:12:30 pm »
Almost feels like the role of C is being evaluated as part of the pitching development infrastructure, rather than a traditional position player role.

If the impact of a Gomes-type on our pitching infra is that significant, I can definitely understand the logic.

Not sure anyone here has the expertise or data to evaluate whether or not that's a reasonable strategic view.
93
Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Cubs in '22
« Last post by craig on September 28, 2022, 01:05:25 pm »
"If you're curious what the Cubs may be looking for in a catcher going forward, I think this piece on Yan Gomes that I wrote the other day sums up the qualities many teams now look for in their backstop." 

I think there are kinda 5 areas of defensive catching.  Catching-throwing-fielding are three.  (By catching, I'm thinking preventing wild pitches and passed balls; throwing preventing stolen bases; fielding preventing infield hits and successful sac bunts.). The more important two are pitch-framing and "working with pitchers", which involves calling pitches, game-planning, etc.. 

I wonder how important/essential the latter will be moving forward?
1.  When robo-umps arrive, that should obviate the pitch-framing factor, no?  If a catcher's glove sweeps outside on the catch inside of pulling into the heart, who cares?  So long as he's catching the ball and not compromising his catching or throwing?  How soon might robo-umps happen?

2.  Handling pitchers.  So, Gomes noticed Smily tick, and adjust game-plan mid-stream based on what he's seeing from Smily's game-to-game stuff and hitter responses.  With modern video and communication technology...  Can't you get pretty good video so that coach-Yan can see ticks, and see how hitters are responding?  Does it HAVE to be the live catcher behind the plate doing that?  Or could coach Yan see and respond to those things from the bench, the things that catcher-Yan is processing now?  The Cubs obviously aren't cutting-edge enough to fully maximize communication technology.  But won't many smart teams soon be using PitchCom technology? 

Won't progressive smart teams soon have their video and whatever technology watching each pitch (and each better) from the bench?  Noticing tics?  Noticing that today's cutter or curve isn't cutting or curving as well as normal, so maybe we should use it less?  And making pitch calls from the bench?  Why does the behind-the-plate catcher need to do all of that if PitchCom can do all of that from the bench? 

If in future a coach Yan can do from bench what catcher-Yan does now, in future will the smart teams still prioritize pitch-framing and pitch-calling catchers, when robo-umps and bench coaches can control those things? 

I guess I'm kinda wondering whether, as we project in the 2024-2028 contention window, whether it's strategic to focus on targeting 2010-2022-era priorities from catchers? 

Or will there continue to be lots of things that the behind-the-plate catcher can do and see and communicate, important things that bench-available technology simply cannot see and do and communicate?  Maybe so, I'm sincerely asking!  What are the intangible "working with pitchers" qualities that a catcher contributes that bench-coach-Yan won't be able to do from the bench? 
94
Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Cubs in '22
« Last post by Reb on September 28, 2022, 01:00:41 pm »
232/259/360

That’s the catcher we want…

Oy vey!

Gomes is kind of similar to the Indians long-time catcher Jim Hegan, a highly regarded catcher with a career slash line of    .228   .295   .344.  Had 5 career WAR and was around close to 20 years.

Many other guys like this in baseball history. Clubs have loved these guys forever. Even in these days of analytics that probably don’t measure their worth—whatever it is—they seem to find a home.
95
Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Today's Game - 2022
« Last post by Dave23 on September 28, 2022, 12:54:01 pm »
Neither Quiroz nor Schwindel had anything to lose…they were long past prospect status.

Get your chance and go balls out…and what happens, happens…
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Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Cubs in '22
« Last post by Dave23 on September 28, 2022, 12:45:46 pm »
232/259/360

That’s the catcher we want…

Oy vey!
97
Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Today's Game - 2022
« Last post by Reb on September 28, 2022, 12:35:29 pm »
And, once in a while with a SSS fluke, he turns into The Real Thing.

And we know why this happens:

That’s Baseball!
98
Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Today's Game - 2022
« Last post by Reb on September 28, 2022, 12:23:40 pm »
I thought they were crazy to call up Quiroz, and he still has almost no chance to be with the team next year.  But I have been surprised by his performance, both offensively and defensively, since joining the team.

You are surprised by what a solid AAA player does during 9 games and 30 PAs in the majors?

We just saw Frank Schwindel put up a 1002 OPS during 239 PAs—joining about a million other SSS flukes in MLB history.

The explanation for Quiroz is clear:

That’s Baseball!
99
Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Cubs in '22
« Last post by Reb on September 28, 2022, 12:12:22 pm »
With regards to the issue of Willson's game calling, it does seem on the surface that the starting pitching results have been better without Willson behind the plate (at least recently).  Don't know if the data would back this up over the course of the season(s).

Let’s put Contreras-resign with Cubs aside for a moment and just focus on the topic of catchers working with a pitching staff.

Working with the staff is one of the few non-quantifiable components of baseball still out there. For sake of discussion, let’s assume that Contreras is deficient there. And, let’s assume Sharma is right about Cubs disinterest in Contreras.

Doesn’t it say a lot about catchers working with a pitching staff that this component seems to trump all the other good things that Contreras does?  He hits; he’s a good mechanical catcher; he throws well; he’s a good clubhouse guy; he’s coming off a good season.

Pretty much everything he does is really good but the “working with pitching staff” is the death knell, apparently.

So, when we evaluate catchers generally, perhaps this should be viewed at the top of the heap? If you’re not good at this, your value is greatly diminished, notwithstanding framing, hitting, etc.

Because, look at the Contreras situation. Can’t really quantify, but it makes all the difference in the world.
100
Bleacher Bums Forum / Re: Today's Game - 2022
« Last post by Playtwo on September 28, 2022, 11:58:31 am »
Agree.  He seems to have a high baseball IQ and is making the most of his opportunity.
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