If I told you that Austin Hedges has allowed just two passed balls this year, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. Hedges has long been touted as a defensive prodigy at backstop, with good athleticism, good footwork, good hands, good just about anything you’d associate with defense at catcher; passed balls, on the other hand, are for slow, stone-handed handed catchers, save for the occasional cross-up or knuckleball. You probably also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Hedges has allowed the second-fewest amount of passed balls in baseball among regular catchers this season, just one ahead of Buster Posey and nine behind the league leaders, Yasmani Grandal and Gary Sanchez.

At this point, you might think, okay, big deal.

Sciambi’s tweet got me thinking, though: what if more passed balls is actually a good thing?

The idea here is that good framing catchers are worried more about presenting the pitch correctly over securing the ball 100 percent of the time. And that the actions associated with good framing—staying quiet, sneakily moving the glove back toward the strike zone on the catch, occasionally catching the ball outside the pocket of the catcher’s mitt, etc.—are the kind of skills that might also lead to more passed balls. A passed ball, in isolation, is never a good thing. But if five extra passed balls a year lead to five extra runs in pitch framing, you’ll take it in a heartbeat.

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So … we’re back. Still mostly confused.

Last year when A.J. Preller took over as GM, he inherited a roster with a slight logjam at catcher. There was Rene Rivera and Yasmani Grandal at the major-league level, and Austin Hedges waiting on the farm. Then, like 17 trades later, the Padres had a more manageable logjam: Derek Norris as the main guy with Tim Federowicz as the (soon-to-be-injured) backup, and Hedges still on the farm. Rocky Gale‘s always around.

You wanna talk about logjams? Check out the current catcher situation. After a solid season, Norris is still the main guy. Hedges, who was called up last year, is also there and so is new guy Josmil Pinto. That’s a lot of catchers; certainly don’t need anymore, no no.

Oh, okay. Another catcher. That’s interesting.

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