Who Framed A.J. Ellis?
Pitch framing is all the rage these days, says the cool kids. Can you frame a pitch off the plate to look like a strike? Do you stab at balls and push them out of the zone? These are important questions that math can answer.
StatCorner.com has devised a very simple way of determining who the best framing catchers are. They simply look at the number of pitches outside of the zone called strikes, the number of pitches inside the zone called balls, math them up a little bit and show who’s best and who’s worst. Unfortunately, Ellis falls toward the bottom of the list, ranking sixth to last. The club’s best framing catcher is Drew Butera, who has produced 2.6 runs above average.
So, how do you solve a problem like A.J. Ellis? I’d love to say the Dodgers have in-house solutions, but the list of MLB-ready catchers in the organization reads like a Padres World Series banner.
Speaking of the Padres, they have a glut of catchers and should trade one to the Dodgers. Grandal and Hedges are likely going to be fairly costly, so Rene Rivera makes a lot of sense. That’s probably why I wrote about him before and after the trade deadline.
If you’re looking for a free agent, there’s this kid named Russell Martin that you may have heard of. However, he’s going to be 32 next year and, as we’ve seen with A.J., catchers generally don’t age like fine wine.
Bringing back Martin would lead to some nice opportunities to reminisce about the good old days when he and James Loney and Chad Billingsley and Jon Broxton were going to lead the Dodgers to multiple championships. Ah, good times.
But, with Ellis’ love and respect from his teammates, specifically Kershaw, he’s probably not going anywhere. Time to count the days until Julian Leon makes his major league debut.
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter