“Posey Gets Kudos for Game-Calling Skills”
Today, Cash Kruth (which is an awesome name, in my opinion) wrote a brief blurb about Buster Posey’s game-calling acumen, which was a debated topic heading in to the season. The Giants believed Posey needed work on his game calling, apparently, so they sent him to Triple-A Fresno to start the year. Now Brian Sabean has changed his tune, saying that Posey is a good defensive catcher and that game calling was never really an issue. I don’t think a catcher can go from being “not Major League ready” to “Major League ready” in a few months, but that’s just me. In any case, I found Matt Cain’s comments about Posey rather amusing:
“He’s a guy who’s not afraid to throw different pitches in different counts,” Matt Cain said after Saturday’s game. “He really gets you to go ahead and be comfortable in yourself and go ahead and be aggressive with pitches that might not seem like the best ones at the time, but just be confident and just throw them.”
Now, this can be interpreted in different ways depending on the outcomes. Since the Giants’ pitching staff is doing well as of late with Posey behind the dish, this is read as “this guy is good at mixing things up and his unorthodox patterns have worked wonders.” If the Giants’ staff wasn’t doing well, on the other hand, one could read this line as “he doesn’t really know proper pitch patterns and how to call a good game.” Funny how that works, no?
Anyways, how has Posey been doing behind the plate? Well, if we generate a wOBA formula* specifically for the Giants’ pitching staff (Giants have a wOBA against of .323, since the wOBA against scale = OBP against scale), Bengie Molina has a wOBA behind the plate of .319, Eli Whiteside at .330, and Posey at .323. That’s +5 runs saved for Molina, -5 for Whiteside, and exactly 0 for Posey. Looks like our backup catcher hasn’t been doing as well as the other two backstops Giants pitchers have had this season. Posey’s doing a fine job behind the plate, in my opinion, and that bat of his sure is somethin’ special.
*This wOBA equation includes passed balls, wild pitches, and strikeouts:
(.90*1B + 1.29*2B + 1.67*3B + 2.26*HR +.92*ROE + .69*NIBB + .52*IBB + .72*HBP + .26*SB – .58*CS + .67*PB + .67*WP – .02*K) / PA