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chisoxfanatic
07-21-2009, 02:17 PM
I was thinking of this during last night's game when AJ threw out TWO runners trying to steal. I'm not so sure I want to put more blame on AJ than the pitchers (except for Buehrle and Danks) for getting the ball to him with little time to throw out the base thief.

What do you think?

gobears1987
07-21-2009, 02:20 PM
It's the pitcher. Back in 2004 or 2005, Buehrle wrote a guest column for Yahoo Sports and talked about holding runners. He said it is 95% on the pitcher and 5% on the catcher. I think if you look at AJ's numbers for runners and each pitcher, you will find that he doesn't have any problems when Buehrle is on the mound. Just look at pitchers like Jose who have a long delivery that is easy to steal on whereas Buehrle has a quick delivery and a dangerous pick-off move.

BigP50
07-21-2009, 02:24 PM
I guess it depends, if the pitcher doesn't throw over at all then I think it's the catcher. But if the pitcher throws over, over and over again then it has to be the pitcher because he limited the lead that he the runner had.

nug0hs
07-21-2009, 02:25 PM
Some stats for you

As a team, runners have successfully stolen 74 bases out of 81 attempts thi season. Thats a success rate of 91.4%! This is the worst rate in the league, and is 2% worse than team #29 (Boston). Seattle currently leads this category with runners succeeding only 62.5% of the time. Our division opponents are as follows:
Detroit - 2nd in MLB - 65.2%
KC - 14th in MLB - 77.9%
Min - 25th in MLB - 83.6%
Cle - 27th in MLB - 85.6%

There have been a total of 13 pickoffs by Sox pitchers this season in addition to 8 pitcher caught stealing. This combined number is significantly better than most teams, which leads you to believe the pitchers have no problem doing this (see Danks/Buehrle), but the catchers struggle throwing guys out.

-nug

RedHeadPaleHoser
07-21-2009, 02:25 PM
Contreras and Garcia are noticably slower to the plate. Baserunners go on them all the time.

Buerhle is dangerous for a runner not only for his pick off move, but his quick delivery to the plate. AJ does not have the best arm in the majors, but his overall ability to control a pitcher and a game are crucial for us.

Chez
07-21-2009, 02:25 PM
Definitely Greg Walker's fault.

khan
07-21-2009, 02:26 PM
I believe it to be more on the Pitchers than on the catchers. Some of the pitchers don't even seem to make any effort whatsoever to hold on the runners.

For example, in the 8th inning of last night's game, I don't believe that Linebrink even bothered to throw over to 1st with a runner on base. Of course, Bartlett stole 2nd. Even a token throw, without a GREAT move to first can help keep the runner honest.

gobears1987
07-21-2009, 02:28 PM
The pick-off stats for the Sox will always be high as Buehrle has what is undisputed as the best pick-off move in baseball. The steals are still on the pitchers. How many stolen bases are against Buehrle or Danks and how many are against everyone else? That just proves the point.

khan
07-21-2009, 02:29 PM
There have been a total of 13 pickoffs by Sox pitchers this season in addition to 8 pitcher caught stealing. This combined number is significantly better than most teams, which leads you to believe the pitchers have no problem doing this (see Danks/Buehrle), but the catchers struggle throwing guys out.

-nug
I tend to think that the pickoff numbers are more reflective of the SOX having 3 lefty starters than a product of pitchers doing a good job holding runners on.

hi im skot
07-21-2009, 02:33 PM
There have been a total of 13 pickoffs by Sox pitchers this season in addition to 8 pitcher caught stealing. This combined number is significantly better than most teams, which leads you to believe the pitchers have no problem doing this (see Danks/Buehrle), but the catchers struggle throwing guys out.

-nug

Interesting stats you mentioned, but I think all it shows us is that we have a few guys on our staff (Buehrle, Danks and Richard) with very good pick-off moves.

wulfy
07-21-2009, 02:40 PM
Coop will fix 'em.

bigdommer
07-21-2009, 03:12 PM
I am a former catcher so I am biased, but MB is right: it's 95% on the pitcher. To the pitcher's defense, he has a lot to worry about: when to throw over, making a good throw to first, not falling in a pattern, not balking, pitch selection, pitch location, etc. The catcher just has to catch and throw.

That being said, the 1st inning last night was a great example. Yeah, AJ threw Crawford out, but Gavin came set very quick and gave him a slide step, and the pitch was a fastball in the perfect location for AJ to throw. On the flipside, Pods was reading Price like a book, and as soon as he saw that long leg get in the air, he was off. Price is so lanky and deliberate that, even if he throws over or pitches out, guys like Pods can get an extra half second or so just on mechanics alone. Sure, Hernandez did not make a good throw, but he was so rushed that he had to overcompensate with a quick exchange, which leads to the short arm and short throw, which lead to the error and the run.

TDog
07-21-2009, 03:29 PM
Richard is pretty good at holding runners on as well, considering his lack of experience. Some people say he has a balk move.

It isn't always the catcher's fault, and it isn't always the pitcher's fault. Sometimes both are to blame for a stolen base. You really can't tell by looking at stats.

Wilbur Wood had a lot of pickoffs. It wasn't as much because he had a great move as much as it was that people wanted to run on his knuckleball, even though Ed Herrmann had a very good arm. Runners would be overanxious, and he could exploit that.

Similarly, the high rate of pickoffs on this year's Sox team isn't simply a product of good moves. Often runners are so anxious to run on the pitcher and catcher that they run when the ball is thrown to first.