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Ben and Sam answer listener email questions about players who take pitches, catcher defense, spotting terrible teams a run, tool grades, and more.

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onearmedecon
6/18
In terms of the always 15 pitch batter with the automatic out, wouldn't you prefer that the guy be a catcher rather than a shortstop? A league average defense shortstop is almost certainly an above average athlete in general and so would figure to have above-average speed (this point relates to the question about how to distribute 300 points). On the other hand, most catchers are often the slowest baserunners in the lineup. Since both C and SS have approximately the same batting replacement-level, wouldn't you rather have the slowest runner on your team be the one who never gets on base?

In terms of IBB, if that were permitted, then it would present an interesting strategy question for the pitcher: do you give up an automatic out for a guaranteed man on first in order to save 15 pitches? It seems to me that it depends on the quality of the pitcher: if it's a really good pitcher, then you would be more likely to give the IBB since the likelihood of that runner scoring would be lower. Also, by definition you get the most value from innings thrown by the best pitchers. On the other hand, getting an extra inning or so out of a Ryan Vogelsong (PECOTA projects at ~0 WARP) literally has no value (other than saving a little wear and tear on a team's mopup man), so you'd probably just prefer to bank the out.