Ring: Is pitch-framing cheating?

From Sheryl Ring at FanGraphs on July 27, 2018:

Remember Ryan Doumit? I’m dating myself by saying it, but back in 2005 and 2006, I was obsessed with him. He was an oft-injured catcher who could really hit. He approached a .200 ISO in back-to-back years of part-time duty in 2006-07 and absolutely destroyed the minor leagues.

But the Bucs were steadfastly against making Doumit their starting catcher, sticking him at first base and in the corner outfield. At the time, I thought the Bucs were making a serious mistake by not playing Doumit behind the plate every chance they got. I mean, the guy posted three wins on the back of a 123 wRC+ in 2008, his first full year of play. How could a team not stick that bat behind the plate?

What I didn’t appreciate at the time were the Pirates’ concerns. Ryan Doumit was an extraordinarily bad pitch-framer, a fact the Pirates knew and I didn’t. And as pitch-framing has become an increasingly important part of the game, an interesting question has emerged: is pitch-framing even legal?

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/is-pitch-framing-cheating/

Originally published: July 27, 2018. Last Updated: July 27, 2018.