Happy Labor Day! Regularly Scheduled Articles Will Resume on Tuesday, September 2.
July 1, 2013
This Week in Catcher Framing, 6/29
2013 League Leaders (Out-of-zone strikes and in-zone balls, not adjusted for other factors)
The Best (min. 140 OZoneStrikes+ZoneBalls)
The Worst (min. 140 OZoneStrikes+ZoneBalls)
This Week in Jose Molina, 6/20-6/26
"This Week in Jose Molina is So Slow" might've been a better idea for a series. In the second inning on Sunday, Molina hit a ball that bounced on the warning track, and he ended up on first:
In the sixth, he grounded into one of the slowest-turned double plays you'll ever see. Robinson Cano ran around Kelly Johnson's takeout slide, took his time to release the ball, and still got Molina by two steps:
The best part: in the eighth inning of the same game, Molina stole second.
This pitch is breaking away from the plate, but Molina intercepts it and brings it back toward the batter before it can get too far from the strike zone.
Molina has to move the glove to get to this one, but once he catches the pitch, the movement stops.
1. Date: 6/26
After over two months on the disabled list, Jose Reyes was thrilled to be back in the batter's box. Then Molina reminded him why hitting sucks sometimes.
This Week in Jonathan Lucroy, 6/20-6/26
Weekly Net Strikes: 4
A good week for Lucroy, whose two best frames were also among the week's top five.
It seems like Lucroy never has to move his glove to get to the pitch. Then you look a little more closely, and you realize that he does, sometimes—it just doesn't look like it. It doesn't look like it to umpires, either.
Figaro pitches low in the zone, so he shows up here almost every week. If I pitched for the Brewers, I'd try to do what Figaro does.
At 15.2 inches off the ground, the lowest called strike of the week.
Best Frames of the Week
Cruz doesn't care for this call.
4. Date: 6/23
Same as the second Lucroy frame above.
3. Date: 6/22
Same as the top Lucroy frame above.
2. Date: 6/21
Slightly lower and farther outside than the first Yadier Molina frame above. The expanded zone on 3-0 helps here.
Another 3-0 count call, though Grandal rates well overall and seems to have sound receiving skills.
Worst Frames of the Week
Not every call went Lucroy's way this week. He does a double-take when he realizes that there's no strike call forthcoming, then tosses the ball back to the pitcher like he can't bear to touch it.
Aoki's crouch is pretty pronounced, which might have something to do with why this shows up as one of the worst of the week.
Rosario seems to catch this one with his glove turned up, then brings it back to a more horizontal orientation. That may have made the pitch look a little higher than it was.
Coming up for the throw may have cost Stewart this call. It was worth it, though: he got the runner.
Another one where throwing to to second seems to cost a catcher a strike. To compound the problem, Corporan throws the ball into center, allowing the runner to advance to third.
Bonus Worst Ryan Doumit Frame of the Week
Doumit seems surprised that he didn't get this call. You'd think he'd be used to it by now.