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Jose v. Jorge

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Joe G. took some of the fire out of this as word has leaked out that Molina will catch AJ Burnett at least during the first round.

One man has an OPS+ of 130 (.285/.363/.522), meaning he was 30% better than average at getting on base and hitting the ball far enough for him to run around the bases.  The other has an OPS+ of 49.  If he qualified, his .217/.292/.268 would place his OPS behind 4 pitchers with at least 50 ABs (sorry Mike Hampton, you missed the cut).

To me, it's not a rational debate.  My great fault is that I want to engage all people rationally, even the irrational.

So I've been thinking about the value of defense in a single game vs. the value of offense in a single game.  How much would Posada's defense (or the perception of his game calling/ pitch framing) have to hurt the team to outweigh the obvious merits of his bat?  Can the value of Molina (d over o) be greater than the inverse value of Posada?

Jorge will record an out 64% of the time.  Jose will record an out 71% of the time.  When Jorge reaches base, he averages 2.09 bases; Jose averages 1.07.  Assuming that the catchers will get their ABs with one out and none on (when their damage to the Yankees' ability to score is minimized), we can figure out the value of the average Posada hit (about half a run) vs. the average Molina run (about a quarter run).

With Jorge behind the plate, AJ allowed 56 runs in 106 innings pitched, or 0.176 runs/out.  With Jose framing the unframable, AJ allowed 23 run over 61 innings pitched, or 0.126 runs/out.  Assuming, first and foremost, that the difference in AJ was directly related to who was squatting behind the plate we can give Jose and Jorge credit for the batteries' respective performances.  Then, assuming that AJ will pitch six innings regardless of who his catcher is, we know that Molina behind the plate is worth -2.27 runs, while Jorge behind the plate is worth -3.17 runs.

Now we'll just graph out the offensive addition of Jorge and Jose going 0-fer, 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4.

And my math teacher told me she didn't think I could pass the Regents exam (true story).

Graph_medium

So, if the numbers are believable, then Jorge would need to reach base twice to outperform Jose's (nearly inevitable) 0-fer.

The stats are skewed by Posada catching AJ in his disasters at Fenway.  I am repulsed by the idea of grading a catcher worthy or unworthy based on the pitcher's performance rather than his own.  

Furthermore, I submit for your anecdotal approval that the Yankees' worst stretch of offensive performance coincided with the loss of Posada's patience in the back of the lineup.

I would never let Molina start in the postseason.  But Joe G. is following the logic that correlation indicates causation: AJ has performed better while Jose was behind the dish; therefore, the Jose-AJ battery must be better than the Jorge-AJ battery.

All we can do is hope that Friday's performance follows the season average.