Orioles Will Stop Speed
Okay, we all know that the Kansas City Royals are great at running, and will try and small-ball their way to victory against the Baltimore Orioles, but, it is not going to work against the Orioles. Chris Tillman has only allowed 1 runner to steal a base against him this year out of four tries, making for a 75% caught stealing rate. Sacrifices? Sure, what about them? Tillman has also only allowed one sacrifice bunt against him and five sacrifice flies for the 2014 season.
As for behind the plate, Nick Hundley has a paltry 19% caught stealing percentage, compared to Caleb Josephs’ 40%, which puts Joseph at first in the American League for SB% and second in all of baseball, only behind the St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. Joseph has also caught 23 runners in the regular season this year, with Alex Avila of the Detroit Tigers having the American League lead with 36, 13 above Joseph with 44 more games played during the regular season behind home plate.
Joseph has also, for the steals that he has allowed, allowed steals in less important situations than what Hundley has allowed, with the caught stealing situations with comparable situations(difference of .06 with Hundley having runners caught stealing in slightly higher pressure situations).
But, but you may say, what about the offense? You are right, Joseph does not provide as much offense as Hundley does or has, with a career .207 AVG/.264 OBS/.345 SLG/.618 OPS compared to Hundley’s career .238/.294/.386/.680. That being said however, Joseph is still more valuable at the plate with a RAA(Runs Above Average) of 1 compared to Hundley’s -6 and a WAR(Wins Above Replacement) of .6 compared to 0 for the American League season of 2014.
Even without the offense, the defensive skills of Joseph make him the ideal starting catcher, and the reason why the Royals will have no chance of running on the Orioles, no matter if it is Tillman pitching or anyone else with Joseph behind the plate.
(All stats via Baseball Reference)
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