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Articles Tagged Defense 

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07-21

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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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12

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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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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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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0

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

04-12

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4

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 180: Carlos Quentin vs. Zack Greinke/Why Catcher Height Matters for Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

02-18

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3

Painting the Black: Martin Maldonado and Learning to Love Defense-First Catchers
by
R.J. Anderson

11-16

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 84: Jose Molina and What the Quantification of Catcher Framing Might Mean
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-13

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25

Overthinking It: The 50-Run Receiver
by
Ben Lindbergh

11-07

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 78: Quantifying Coaches/Why Some Fielders Look Better Than They Are/How Do We Know What Pitchers Should Weigh?
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

10-31

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 73: Did the Dodgers Overpay for Brandon League?/Are Gold Glove Voters and Defensive Stats Learning to get Along?
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

10-14

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7

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Game One Recap: Tigers 6, Yankees 4
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-14

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8

Raising Aces: The Man in the Ironic Mask
by
Doug Thorburn

09-13

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13

In A Pickle: Defense in the 2012 Pennant Races
by
Jason Wojciechowski

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Ben and Sam talk about whether Kawasaki being sent to the minors tells us anything about chemistry, then discuss how much the Tigers' defense hurts them.

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A Mariners beat writer explains why Ryan is the most interesting Mariner he's covered.

Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Ryan Divish is in his seventh season of covering baseball and the Seattle Mariners for the Tacoma News Tribune. He played baseball collegiately at Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota, where he was recruited as a second baseman and ate himself into the starting catching position. Even now, he’s still better defensively and much faster than Jesus Montero. He is a drinker of Crown Royal and Maker’s Mark and a reader of Steinbeck. You can read his writing at The News Tribune and the News Tribune’s Mariners Insider blog and follow his snarky blatherings on Twitter @RyanDivish.

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June 18, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Fielding Penalty?

4

Russell A. Carleton

Do substitute defenders perform worse in the field than starters?

I have a fascination with super-utility players, the guys who can play anywhere on the diamond. Players like Tony Phillips, Ben Zobrist, or even Denny Hocking. They're so handy to have around because a manager can fill out a lineup with a little more flexibility and know that he has someone to fill whatever hole is left. He's a wild card that gives a general manager more choices when putting together a roster. He's the type of player who adds a little extra value that the box score— and WARP—don't really capture.

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Extending the quantification of catcher framing to a new frontier.

In my last article, I presented the results of using Retrosheet pitch-by-pitch data for measuring catchers’ framing performance. After showing that the alternate method fared quite well, despite not relying on pitch location data, I went on to provide historical leaderboards (Brad Ausmus is tops among catchers of the past quarter century) and explore the issue of aging (Father Time seems not to take much of a toll on framers).

I left you with one teaser: while it was nice to have some of the retired catchers ranked, the most valuable byproduct of that research was that it made ranking active catchers at lower levels possible. That’s the topic I’ll tackle today.

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Ben and Sam answer listener emails about umpires, catchers, and home field advantage, a wall in front of home plate, game length, and the anti-DH movement.

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June 1, 2013 7:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Russell Martin and Ryan Hanigan

0

Ben Lindbergh

A video walkthrough of framing technique with two talented receivers.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a feature on framing for Grantland. I also spoke to Pirates catcher Russell Martin and Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan for a pair of Q&A companion pieces in which I showed the two catchers GIFs of borderline pitches that they'd caught over the past few years, and they explained their strategy for getting extra strikes. Martin's is here, and Hanigan's is here. The conversations ran so long that much of the text was left on the editing room floor. Rather than let it remain unread, I've collected the best previously unpublished excerpts below, omitting any material that appeared at Grantland.

Russell Martin

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Talking to Chris Stewart and Miguel Montero about framing pitches.

Yankees catcher Chris Stewart has never had the bat to be a first-stringer, though until a recent groin injury, he was getting the bulk of the playing time behind the plate for the Bombers with Francisco Cervelli out with a fractured hand. But when Stewart does start, he adds value on defense, combining a strong arm with excellent receiving skills. According to Max Marchi, Stewart’s framing over the past five-plus seasons has been worth nearly 20 runs, an impressive total considering his sporadic playing time. Stewart stopped reading A Storm of Swords on a couch in the Yankees clubhouse long enough to answer some questions about how he receives so well. 

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An AL scout weighs in on the evaluation of catcher receiving skills.

I asked a former catcher and current pro scout for an American League team what he looks for when evaluating a catcher’s receiving skills. Due to team policy, he wished to remain anonymous.

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The Diamondbacks GM on the importance of catcher receiving skills.

A former minor league pitcher, pitching coach, and scout, Kevin Towers served as the General Manager of the San Diego Padres from 1995-2009. After spending 2010 as a special assignment scout for the Yankees, he was hired as the GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a role in which he remains today.

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A former umpire and umpire supervisor weighs in on the influence catchers have over calls.

Jim McKean worked as an MLB umpire from 1973-2001, serving on three World Series crews. He became one of MLB’s umpire supervisors after retiring from active duty and has since served as an umpiring consultant for ESPN. He offered his thoughts on the influence a catcher’s receiving skills can have on an umpire’s calls.

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May 21, 2013 5:00 am

Skewed Left: The Shift's PR Problem

12

Zachary Levine

The shift is here to stay, but to be embraced, it has to be rebranded.

In 50 years, and that may be a conservatively distant estimate, we will hear much less talk about defensive shifts.

First of all, there might not be baseball in 50 years. It’s why I’m always hesitant to answer questions that start with “will we ever see,” because “ever” is a really, really long time compared to the current lifespan of baseball (unless it isn’t).

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What the cerebral Diamondbacks starter thinks about the importance of framing pitches.

Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy is known as one of baseball’s most thoughtful, analytical pitchers; two years ago, he famously embraced advanced statistics and remade himself as a pitcher by perfecting a two-seamer that helped him get groundballs more often. As a result, he’s pretty popular on the internet. I asked him to provide the pitcher’s perspective on the importance of pitch framing and receiving skills.

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