|Kurt Suzuki applies the tag to Adam Jones of Baltimore|
to complete a strikeout earlier this season.
But Pinto is regarded as a raw receiver at best. The Twins broadcasters have raved all season about Suzuki's skills at blocking pitches in the dirt.
Last September I offered this examination of the 2013 Twins catchers and their abilities (or problems) at preventing passed balls and wild pitches. As I said at the time, the two events have the same outcome on the game: base runner(s) advances, or a batter reaches base on a strikeout. Passed balls are blamed on the catcher, wild pitches on the pitcher — but as the praise aimed at Suzuki suggests, a good catcher can prevent wild pitches a lesser one will allow.
Suzuki so far this year has caught 269.1 innings. He has not been charged with a passed ball, but there have been 10 wild pitches with him behind the plate, .33 per nine innings, or about one every three games. That's a better-than-league rate (.35 entering Monday), but not up to Joe Mauer's career standard (.27).
Pinto: 112 innings caught, five wild pitches and three passed balls. That's .40 WP/9, but .64 WP+PB/9.
Pinto is allowing a wild pitch or passed ball about twice as often as Suzuki. That certainly fits the belief that Suzuki is the superior defensive catcher.
There are complications, of course, and one complication that may ultimately make directly comparing their numbers futile is that it appears that Ron Gardenhire is going to make Pinto the personal catcher for Sam Deduno, who is probably the Twins' most difficult pitcher to catch.