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A stat that's officially started to bother me


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Catcher ERA. As in, the ERA pitchers have depending on who the catcher is. This isn't a stat that I see people pay much attention to, probably because it's dependent so much on the quality of that catcher's pitching staff, and it's rare that there are sample sizes for it to be particularly useful beyond comparing performance of catchers on the same team. Teams usually have an everyday catcher, and they'll accumulate so many innings that comparing them to the backup is usually not terribly useful. This team, however, is a bit of an exception, as our starting catcher has been hurt enough times that the backup has accumulated close to the same amount of plate appearances caught. According to baseball reference, Castillo has caught 1,711 plate appearances to Caleb's 1,431, which is close enough that you should probably expect an overall pitcher ERA to be somewhat close. But that isn't the case:

Pitchers ERA with Castillo catching: 6.08

Pitchers ERA with Caleb catching: 4.08

I'll be the first to admit that there's probably some degree of bad luck involved with this, but I'm having a progressively more and more difficult time dismissing this after seeing Gausman and Jimenez go out and throw their best two games of the season with Caleb behind the plate, and then see Miley go out and get absolutely destroyed with Castillo behind the plate. This stat isn't purely because of those three games, either, I've been following this stat differential for a while now and there's been a notable gap between pitcher ERAs depending on who is catching, but it's starting to get harder and harder to chalk up to bad luck. A lot of guys just pitch better to Caleb.

Miley is a great example. It's awfully hard to muster anything positive to say about the guy right now, but he's been a fundamentally useful pitcher at times this season. It's rarely ever been pretty, but this is a guy who had an ERA under three as late as June 1st. I don't frankly know why they even let Castillo catch for him, as his ERA pitching to Caleb is actually 3.08 compared to Castillo's 10.22. He's actually given up more runs with Castillo catching even though Caleb has caught over thirty more innings. One game didn't do this, either, as Miley's ERA to Castillo was still over 8 coming into the game.

I'm not going to outline the totality of how this breaks out for every pitcher, but there's a persistent trend here with our pitching, particularly our starting pitching. A couple guys throw about the same, Givens is inexplicably throwing about a run better to Castillo, but when there's a notable difference, it's always pitchers throwing dramatically better to Caleb.

I dunno. Take this as you will, might just be luck, but a two run difference has gotten difficult for me to ignore. Roger McDowell has begun catching some flak for how badly the pitching staff has performed, but I'm starting to think Castillo should be shouldering much of the blame here. Caleb's 4.08 ERA would put the Orioles at fifth place in the American League. Castillo's 6+ ERA makes me start to understand why Arizona non-tendered him.

Apologies if this is something others have been yammering on and on about, but it's not something I've seen anybody bringing up. Oh, and if you're curious to see where baseball reference buries these stats for nerds like me to find, check the advanced fielding stats page for catchers, and the seasonal splits page for pitchers(then scroll almost all the way to the bottom, just above performance by umpire).

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2 minutes ago, wildcard said:

Where are you getting the catchers CERA per pitcher?

I don't actually know of a place that breaks down catcher performance by the pitcher. It's a pretty non-standard statistic, after all. I actually just opened the baseball reference seasonal splits page for every Orioles pitcher and scrolled down.

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CERA is pretty damning for Castillo.  All the starters but Bundy have significantly high CERAs with Castillo.


Castillo 3.90;  Joseph  4.19


Castillo 6.47; Joseph 4.25


Castillo 10.22: Joesph 3.09


Castillo 7.55;  Joesph 4.68


Castillo 11.37;  Joseph 7.98 

There doesn't seem to be a significant difference in the relievers CERA with either catcher.

Considering that Joesph OPS (765) is better that Castillo's OPS(722) there seems to be no reason to play Castillo over Joseph.

I think Buck should pair Joesph with Gausman, Miley and Jimenez and see what happens

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Catcher                Name    PA          BA          OBP       SLG        OPS       

Caleb     Logan Verrett    11           0.200     0.273     0.200     0.473    

Beef      Logan Verrett    36           0.300     0.382     0.667     1.049

Caleb     Mike Wright       23           0.217     0.217     0.261     0.478    

Beef      Mike Wright       13           0.333     0.385     0.750     1.135

Caleb     Brad Brach          59           0.196     0.237     0.286     0.523    

Beef      Brad Brach          78           0.157     0.244     0.314     0.558

Caleb     Darren O'Day     64           0.193     0.266     0.281     0.546    

Beef      Darren O'Day     51           0.186     0.314     0.256     0.570

Caleb     Jimmy Yacabonis              12           0.143     0.417     0.143     0.560    

Beef      Jimmy Yacabonis              20           0.278     0.350     0.500     0.850

Caleb     Gabriel Ynoa      29           0.286     0.310     0.321     0.632    

Beef      Gabriel Ynoa      27           0.360     0.370     0.880     1.250

Caleb     Ubaldo Jimenez                100         0.180     0.253     0.393     0.646    

Beef      Ubaldo Jimenez                223         0.299     0.377     0.557     0.933

Caleb     Donnie Hart        43           0.216     0.326     0.324     0.650    

Beef      Donnie Hart        51           0.283     0.353     0.326     0.679

Caleb     Richard Bleier    63           0.273     0.328     0.345     0.673    

Beef      Richard Bleier    54           0.255     0.340     0.340     0.680

Caleb     Wade Miley        251         0.241     0.331     0.350     0.681    

Beef      Wade Miley        135         0.377     0.467     0.614     1.081

Caleb     Alec Asher          130         0.235     0.292     0.403     0.696    

Beef      Alec Asher          93           0.307     0.435     0.520     0.955

Caleb     Kevin Gausman                158         0.266     0.335     0.385     0.720    

Beef      Kevin Gausman                270         0.340     0.411     0.529     0.941

Caleb     Dylan Bundy       177         0.247     0.311     0.475     0.785    

Beef      Dylan Bundy       244         0.255     0.316     0.450     0.766

Caleb     Mychal Givens  69           0.274     0.348     0.500     0.848    

Beef      Mychal Givens  96           0.170     0.240     0.273     0.512

Caleb     Jayson Aquino   36           0.281     0.361     0.500     0.861    

Beef      Jayson Aquino   4              0.500     0.750     2.000     2.750

Caleb     Miguel Castro    26           0.333     0.440     0.429     0.869    

Beef      Miguel Castro    32           0.214     0.258     0.571     0.829

Caleb     Zach Britton        13           0.417     0.462     0.417     0.878    

Beef      Zach Britton        26           0.304     0.385     0.304     0.689

Caleb     Chris Tillman       76           0.400     0.434     0.543     0.977    

Beef      Chris Tillman       100         0.391     0.470     0.724     1.194

Caleb     Tyler Wilson       37           0.361     0.378     0.611     0.989    

Beef      Tyler Wilson       26           0.333     0.423     0.429     0.852

Caleb     Vidal Nuno          20           0.294     0.400     0.706     1.106    

Beef      Vidal Nuno          57           0.360     0.439     0.800     1.239

Caleb     Stefan Crichton 15           0.500     0.600     0.583     1.183    

Beef      Stefan Crichton 47           0.444     0.447     0.689     1.136

Caleb     Edwin Jackson   19           0.400     0.500     0.867     1.367    

Beef      Edwin Jackson   10           0.556     0.600     0.889     1.489

Caleb     Team Total          1431       0.259     0.328     0.410     0.738    

Beef      Team Total          1711       0.301     0.377     0.517     0.895

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47 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

I told folks that Castillo was going to make Matt look good by comparison.

Of course his defense is what made his contract so affordable.

Well thankfully we're in the AL so he can DH some....

....if DH isn't blocked ¬¬

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Remember early in the season when Dempsey was falling all over himself saying what a great defensive and game calling catcher Castillo was?    He's been awfully quiet about that lately.    

I'm ready to buy into the idea that Castillo is partially to blame for our poor pitching performance.    Those numbers are pretty striking.    It'll be interesting to see how Buck divvies up the catching duties going forward.  

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