Lindholm: The Chicago Cubs and catcher framing

From SABR member Scott Lindholm at Beyond the Box Score on December 29, 2014, with mention of SABR members Sahadev Sharma and Daren Willman:

I was listening to Chicago’s 670 The Score and heard afternoon co-host Dan Bernstein discuss with Sahadev Sharma of Baseball Prospectus the Cubs‘ acquisitions of Miguel Montero and David Ross specifically and catcher framing in general. Sahadev had written about framing on BP (available to subscribers only, and if you’re a subscriber, it’s well worth your time), and I decided to expand and illustrate the notion.

There are over 700,000 pitches thrown every year, and courtesy of Daren Willman‘s, we can tell the outcome of every one of those pitches — these were the pitch results for 2014.


Over 250,000 of those pitches (thirty-six percent) were called balls and over 123,000 were called strikes (eighteen percent). The rest we’re not particularly concerned about, since they were pitches requiring no call by the umpire or framing skill by the catcher. It’s the fifty-four percent of pitches around which the framing issue settles, and more specifically, the called strikes.

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Originally published: January 1, 2015. Last Updated: January 1, 2015.