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05-11

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8

Baseball Therapy: The Even Slightly More Convincing Argument Against the Shift
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-03

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10

Baseball Therapy: The Pretty Good Case That the Shift Doesn't Work
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-03

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0

Rubbing Mud: Stop What You're Doing And Consider The Cubs' Incredible Defense
by
Matthew Trueblood

04-29

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20

Fifth Column: The Shift: I Am Girardicus
by
Michael Baumann

02-09

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13

Baseball Therapy: The Crack in the Defensive Spectrum
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-04

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5

Ducks on the Pond: The Kiermaier Can
by
Chris Mosch

09-23

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21

Baseball Therapy: Will Statcast Cure Our Defensive Metric Blues?
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-23

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0

What You Need to Know: September 23, 2014
by
Daniel Rathman

08-28

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12

Moonshot: On Regressing Defense
by
Robert Arthur

07-21

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0

The Weekend Shift
by
Chris Mosch

07-11

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1

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of June
by
Sam Miller

07-11

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0

BP Unfiltered: Cat-and-Mouse with Kevin Kiermaier
by
Chris Mosch

07-08

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9

Notes About Baseball, 7/8
by
Rocco DeMaro

07-02

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2

Overthinking It: June in Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-04

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2

Overthinking It: May in Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-02

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11

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of May
by
Sam Miller

05-23

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1

BP Unfiltered: This Week in Bunting to Beat the Shift, 5/23
by
Ben Lindbergh and Chris Mosch

05-19

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6

Overthinking It: The Way in Which the A's Are Still Old-School
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-16

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3

BP Unfiltered: This Week in Bunting to Beat the Shift, 5/16
by
Ben Lindbergh and Chris Mosch

05-07

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13

Overthinking It: Catcher Framing: The Season So Far
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-02

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11

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of April
by
Sam Miller

03-31

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4

Framing the Future
by
Harry Pavlidis

03-03

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47

Framing and Blocking Pitches: A Regressed, Probabilistic Model
by
Harry Pavlidis and Dan Brooks

11-26

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37

Pebble Hunting: Extrapolating the Breakdown of Traditional Defense
by
Sam Miller

11-25

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38

Baseball Therapy: The Corner-Outfield Inefficiency
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-22

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 335: Your Questions, Our Answers
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

10-25

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6

Skewed Left: Shane Victorino and the Hunt for the Elusive 9-3 Putout
by
Zachary Levine

09-16

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2

BP Unfiltered: Carlos Gomez Hates Homers, and Other 2013 Exploits in Individual Defense
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-11

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3

Transaction Analysis: The Anti-Jeter Joins Jeter
by
Ben Lindbergh

08-21

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14

Pebble Hunting: Appreciating Andrelton Simmons
by
Sam Miller

08-07

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21

The Stats Go Marching In: Is it Time to Lift the Ban on Left-Handed Catchers?
by
Max Marchi

07-15

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12

Baseball Therapy: I Thought He Was Gonna Get It
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-03

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 237: Stats That Won't Last/No-Hitters and No-Walkers/The Worst Shortstop Ever/A Pitcher Who Can Hit/The All-Bunting Team/Trading Top Prospects for Trout/Pint-Sized Power Hitters
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

06-27

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3

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 233: Munenori Kawasaki and Clubhouse Chemistry/The Tigers, Strikeouts, and Defense
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

06-25

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5

Baseball ProGUESTus: The Defensive Brilliance of Brendan Ryan
by
Ryan Divish

06-18

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4

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Fielding Penalty?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-13

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3

The Stats Go Marching In: Measuring Catcher Framing in the Minor Leagues
by
Max Marchi

06-05

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 217: Umpires, Catchers, and Home Field Advantage/Forming a Wall/The Anti-DH Movement/Lengthening Games
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

06-01

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Russell Martin and Ryan Hanigan
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-24

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5

BP Unfiltered: Chris Stewart and Miguel Montero on Catcher Receiving Skills
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-23

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3

BP Unfiltered: An AL Scout on Evaluating Catcher Receiving Skills
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-22

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1

BP Unfiltered: Kevin Towers on Catcher Receiving Skills
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-21

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7

BP Unfiltered: Former MLB Umpire Jim McKean on Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-21

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12

Skewed Left: The Shift's PR Problem
by
Zachary Levine

05-20

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1

BP Unfiltered: Brandon McCarthy on Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-20

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0

Prospectus Q&A: The College of Coaches on Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-16

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18

The Stats Go Marching In: Catcher Framing Before PITCHf/x
by
Max Marchi

05-14

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51

Manufactured Runs: Listen to What the Heyman Said
by
Colin Wyers

04-25

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 189: Should Chad Billingsley Have Had Surgery Sooner?/Brendan Ryan, Robert Andino, and the Mariners
by
Ben Lindbergh and Paul Sporer

04-24

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7

Overthinking It: Yadier Molina's Maybe-Amazing Powers of Defensive Positioning
by
Ben Lindbergh

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Russell Martin talks catching, and a look at outliers around the league.

Formerly the pregame/postgame radio host for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Rocco is now a freelance writer, broadcaster, and podcaster. You may remember him from Episode 31 of the Up & In podcast. Follow his tweets here.

Given the roster of talented baseball researchers and essayists here at BP, most of whom pen 1,500-word theses on this inefficiency or that, there would seem to be an opportunity for some counter-programming—something more bite-sized and consumable. A piece to balance out the menu, to diversify our portfolio.


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The best and worst receptions, with glorious GIFs and graphs.

At the end of April, I brought back my weekly catcher framing series from 2013 in a new, monthly form (and came back for more after May). I mentioned this then, but as a refresher, here's where you can find catcher receiving stats at Baseball Prospectus:

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Framing leaders, best and worst receptions, and a bunch of glorious GIFs.

Earlier this year, I brought back my weekly catcher framing series from 2013 in a new, monthly form. I mentioned this then, but as a refresher, here's where you can find receiving stats at Baseball Prospectus:

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June 2, 2014 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of May

11

Sam Miller

Featuring extreme exploits at second base.

Last month, we started a thing: Trying to identify, and then appreciate, the single best defensive game any player had that month. Partly an excuse to make sweet moving pictures, mostly an attempt to put excellent short-burst defense in perspective, so that we can intuit the value of a great defensive game just as easily as we can process Chris Davis’ 4-for-5 with three home runs. To do that we had to turn these defensive plays into something like numbers, and to do that we turned to Inside Edge, provider of defensive data to major-league clubs, media outlets, and elsewhere. Inside Edge rates each defensive opportunity thusly:

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More brave bunters fight the good fight against the defensive shift.

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At one position, the A's are still Moneyballing like it's 1999.

For the most part, pitch receiving operates on a level that’s easy to overlook. Over thousands of pitches, certain catchers establish an edge, and those edges add up in a way we can’t see without looking at a leaderboard. Every now and then, though, framing on a small scale comes to the fore, usually when it leads to a larger event. Brett Lawrie, let’s say, strikes out looking out a pitch that appears to be outside, hurls his batting helmet at the home plate umpire, and gets ejected from the game. Our first impulse, like Lawrie’s, is to blame the umpire who blew the call. After reviewing the video, though, we realize that the real culprit was Jose Molina, in the catcher’s box, with the catcher’s glove. The ump was a red herring, a patsy, or maybe an unwitting accomplice.

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Bunts against the shift: up 100 percent since last season.

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Framing leaders, best and worst receptions, and a bunch of glorious GIFs.

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May 2, 2014 6:15 am

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of April

11

Sam Miller

Involving an unexpected source.

Good days at the plate are pretty easy to identify. If you’re looking for the best game any hitter had in April, you can look at total bases (as in Ryan Braun’s three-homer game) or at hits (as in Charlie Blackmon’s 6-for-6 game) or at win probability added (as when Kyle Seager hit two homers, including a walk-off, for a one-game .906 WPA); or, simply RE24, which would lead you back to Blackmon, who produced more than five runs all by himself. Similarly, for pitchers, pretty easy: Andrew Cashner’s 9/1/0/0/2/11 was the month’s best game score, though you might opt for Jose Fernandez’s 8/3/0/0/0/14 for dominance or Julio Teheran’s 1-0 shutout for value.

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March 31, 2014 6:00 am

Framing the Future

4

Harry Pavlidis

The best receiving catchers (and the best receiving teams) of the upcoming season.

One of the benefits of our recently released catching defense metrics is they’re essentially ready-to-project, thanks to the regression feature of the model (the "R" in RPM). RPM also gives us two ways to assign value to framing, one using context (the ball-strike count) and one using a flat value (recently adjusted* to ~.155 runs).

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The best blockers and receivers, revealed.

[T]he expected runs produced from each plate appearance starting with a strike decreases by .029 runs and increases by .040 for every ball thrown on a first pitch. In other words, having as many of those 0-0 'striballs' called strikes can greatly impact the outcome of the game.

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November 26, 2013 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: Extrapolating the Breakdown of Traditional Defense

37

Sam Miller

Infield shifts are just the beginning.

One of the most interesting things about extreme infield shifts is how unextreme they are. They are like some lame grownup’s idea of extreme, a little bit of flash and inconvenience but ultimately very safe. The shift was invented by sane people. Real extreme comes from insanity, and it makes us deeply uncomfortable.

Everybody’s talking about the football coach who never punts​—4th and 15 at his own five-yard line, he’s going for it. That’s fearless. It’s hard to think of a baseball equivalent, one that would work or even one that might work. Russell Carleton this week explored the listener-suggested idea of having the left and right fielders swap, depending on batter handedness, to make sure the better defender gets more attempts to field the ball. The gory math supports the use of the relatively conservative proposal, but Carleton concludes what we can't help but conclude:

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