AL Managers can stop testing Jorge’s shoulder

Are Mariano's stats really in decline?
Game 65: A long 367 days for Wang

One major concern for the Yankees entering the 2009 season was the health of Jorge Posada‘s shoulder. The Yanks’ catching situation wasn’t pretty last year after Jorge went down with a torn labrum, and the last thing they needed in 2009 was a repeat. As expected, the AL has been running wild on Jorge, well more than they have on any other catcher. As Jay at Fack Youk notes, they can probably knock it off. Of the 47 steal attempts on Jorge, 15 have resulted in an out. Five of those were apparently pick-offs, but that still gives Jorge a 21.2% caught stealing rate. That’s double the rate of the next most-ran-on guy, Jason Varitek. Maybe AL managers should focus more on A.J. Pierzynski, who has thrown out just one runner this year (plus two pitcher pick-offs) to 37 successful attempts. They’ll run into far fewer outs than they would running on Jorge.

For those interested in the catcher data, you can find it here.

Are Mariano's stats really in decline?
Game 65: A long 367 days for Wang
  • Mike HC

    Nobody gives Jorge any respect. Even opposing managers think they can run all over Jorge. I’m happy he is throwing em out.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Maybe AL managers should focus more on A.J. Pierzynski, who has thrown out just one runner this year (plus two pitcher pick-offs) to 37 successful attempts.

    Or, maybe they should focus even more on the aforementioned Jason Varitek, who is the guy who gave up 9 stolen bases to the Rays on May 3rd, including those 6 SB’s to Carl Demonte Crawford.

    Way to lead by example, SuperCaptain.

  • Drew

    Kind of surprised, I guess because they run so often I didn’t realize he had a good CS%. Considering how off some of his throws have been, I’d say that % will only get better as the shoulder strengthens.

  • Anyone

    Hip Hip Jorge!

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    you think Andy’s move keeps any of those leads shorter, aiding his CS%?

    it would be interesting to see that by pitcher…

    i also wonder if Andy (or other vets) are coaching/mentoring them more on pick off moves to keep those leads short, which in turn will make all the catchers more efficient.

    • whozat

      Well, Jorge has caught Andy for years, so he’d always have that advantage once every five days.

      Frankly, most bases are stolen on the pitcher anyway, so I’ve never really been that worried about Jorge being behind the plate to control the running game. He just wasn’t going to really get a shot at throwing guys out with a lot of the pitchers we’ve had over the last five years anyway.

      But, hey…if they’re going to get thrown out 30% of the time, by all means…keep giving us those free outs :-)

      • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “Frankly, most bases are stolen on the pitcher anyway, so I’ve never really been that worried about Jorge being behind the plate to control the running game.”

        You know, clearly pitchers have a big effect on the opposing team’s running game, but I think sometimes people tend to actually give too much responsibility to pitchers and maybe not enough to catchers for the opposing team’s success on the basepaths. I just think you’d expect to see bigger fluctuations in a catcher’s CS% if the pitcher was so much more important than the catcher, and you don’t really see that. I just quickly looked at the stats for a bunch of active catchers who have been around a while, and the rates seem to fluctuate, as you’d expect with any stat that counts something that happens so relatively rarely, but really they seem to stay in the same range through most catchers’ careers and they tend to show a tailing-off period towards the end of the catchers’ career when they get older and less effective. Just from that quick review, I’d think the catcher bears a lot of responsibility for the opposing team’s running game. The tailing-off period, especially, seems to point to that conclusion, as it shows a correlation between the catcher’s age/health and his effectiveness in dealing with opposing base-stealers.

        • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Meh, maybe I’m overstating the case. There’s really only a few catchers who have been around long enough and are old enough to be relevant to the “tailing off” period thing.

          I just think people sometimes overstate the importance of the pitcher to the running game. I mean, speedy players lick their chops when they have the Indians on the schedule because they get to run on Victor Martinez, not the Indians’ pitchers.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I mean, speedy players lick their chops when they have the Indians on the schedule because they get to run on Victor Martinez, not the Indians’ pitchers.

            It’s probably both.

            Speedy players scout both poor throwing catchers and slow to the plate pitchers, and lick their chops for both of them.

            • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Yeah, no doubt. But don’t you think it’s a little more “oh no, they have 2001 Pudge, or 2009 Kenji Johjima, behind the plate” and a little less “oh no, one of the guys on their staff is quick to home?”

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                We could split and resplit this hair over and over again for 50 comments, or we could just cut to the logical conclusion of it:

                I’m more handsome and attractive to the ladies than you are.

                There, it’s settled. Pleasure working with ya.

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  It always ends somewhat like that. Sigh.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Don’t worry. You’re a perfectly acceptable fallback option for the ladies if I’m unavailable/tied up/passed out/in Vegas/dead.

                  You’re like Wes Mantooth, you’re a solid #2.

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  YOU’RE a solid number 2.

                  Meh, yawn. I’m over it, blast away.

    • CB

      Pettite isn’t particuarly good at preventing stolen bases.

      He has a very good pick off move. But he’s very slow to the plate.

      So if you’re running and he doesn’t pick you off then there’s a very good chance you’ll swipe the bag.

      On the whole the yankees staff is easy to run on. Joba, Burnett, and Pettite are very slow to the plate. Joba and Hughes aren’t good at holding runners either, as is the case with most young pitchers.

      • FL Yank

        I would have to say that his pick off move more than makes up for his being slow to the plate. Since the pick off stat first started being tracked in 1974 he owns the record. That has to count for something.

        • whozat

          Oh, it does count for something…but not helping Jorge throw out hitters :-)

          It helps control the running game, though, by making guys take shorter leads because they need to hedge their bets more.

  • Lanny

    It’s also the pitchers helping out by keeping runners on and having quick moves home.

  • daneptizl

    Damn Pierzynski is terrible.

  • all Michael Kay talked about was babies and sinkers

    With Posada behind the dish our pitchers have a 6.19 ERA…and Cervelli a full 2 runs better at 4.11. I know it’s been talked about…and pitchers like him catching. Now I’m not saying Posada should take a seat to Cervelli…but at least keep Cervelli in the Bronx and have Molina giva piggy back ride to Kevin Cash, Angel Berroa to the A’s or something. Personally I like watching Cervelli catch…he calls a great game, has tons of energy and is holding his own with the bat and has come up with some big hits n the clutch. It will be very exciting to see the Tandem of Cervelli and Montero/Romine.

  • all Michael Kay talked about was babies and sinkers

    in the future.