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Green Bay, Ariz. -- If there's been one particular constant to Nick Hundley's early spring, it's his morning video sessions with Padres assistant gm A.J. Hinch and their interactions about catching mechanics, such as pitch framing.

'It's helped a great deal,' Hundley said.

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Harry Pavlidis and David Brooks of the web site Softball Prospectus recently published an article relating to a new study that has drawn lots of attention to measuring catcher defense referred to as: 'Framing and Blocking Pitchers: A Regressed, Probabilistic Model' of which attempts to quantify how many extends a catcher saves by converting balls to strikes.

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The analyze covered six seasons (2008-13) and also revealed that, in terms of framing runs, Hundley ranked in the bottom five in minus-55 over that span. The top was Brian McCann (plus-127). The lowest-rated catcher in that stretch was Ryan Doumit (minus-124).

Hence the other work this spring, not simply on the practice fields together with Padres coaches, but having Hundley plus the other catchers work with Hinch, exactly who spent parts of seven conditions catching in the big leagues, on improving mechanics on the subject of receiving the ball.

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'You're always repairing your game. But I think a single part of my game containing needed work the most will be pitch framing,' Hundley stated. 'That has been my main concentration. As a catcher, you always want to get those borderline calls for your pitchers. It's a very important part of the game.'

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Hinch said that is by no means a new topic, though early something that's getting awareness, especially this past winter, because the organization has looked carefully helping their catcher get better routinely.

'The partnership of the pitcher and catcher in terms of strike throwing has existed forever,' Hinch said. 'I don't believe it's a brand-new topic that's getting introduced. It's a little more of a topic these days because of the info and the information that's available.'

'There's also been more of a focus for us, by [manager Bud Black] to the front place of work. Because of the 150 or so pitch that we are going to call, implement and receive each game, every one of them we have to work hard in.'

That starts with some catching principles, Hinch said.

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'We have to put inside us the good position to receive. We should give a good target, work together with the pitcher to expand home plate the best His can and also provide the umpire a good look and a possibility to call it a strike,' Hinch said. 'That's our primary concentration.'

But, as Hinch said, that's not simple when you have a pitching staff with a diverse repertoire.

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'Most of what's being worked on with having with our catchers is getting the glove in a good situation to catch the ball effectively, but it's a little more difficult to do when Andrew Cashner is putting in the upper 90s, along with Tyson Ross and his movement, Josh Johnson with the exceptional angle,' Hinch said.

'Each some of those guys, their ball really does a little something different. But the 1 constant we preach becomes your glove in the proper position at the beginning, then we could react and see the basketball.'

A lot of the discussions having Hundley are about 'surrounding' the try to sell and also not having such a business and straight arm to capture with, using more fold at the elbow so he's not as rigid.

'With Nick, it's a little more anticipation ... loading his target, being able to surround your ball and make the plate slightly wider,' said Hinch, who noted that 'surrounding' a toss is more working outside-in, bringing pitches back into the strike zone and also doing so subtly.

'With [Yasmani] Grandal, it's a lot more focusing on the low pitch. With [Rene] Rivera it's allowing him somewhat relaxation. Buddy preaches focus on so with [Austin] Hedges, we to raise his target to give the pitcher a little better look.'

In addition to Hinch, Triple-A El Paso manager Pat Murphy and a handful of others have been dealing with the catchers in get away.

It's a work in progress, as Hinch said. But Hundley feels like he's produced some significant inroads.

'I'm trying to end up being quiet and not make it this type of big event,' Hundley said. 'I'm seeking to surround the ball, getting from the outside in, being sleek and quiet so no-one recognizes it.'

Green Bay -- Ryan Howard and many of their Phillies teammates made the most of their down day on Monday.

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Autographed keepsakes lined the walls in the cocktail reception and violet and blue hues fixed the mood in Franklin Hall for a night dedicated to promoting children's reading and writing as Howard and his wife, Krystle, hosted their second annual 'Stand Up For Literacy' event at The Franklin Company to benefit The Ryan Howard Huge Piece Foundation.

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Howard's teammates including Jimmy Rollins, Follow Utley, Cole Hamels and Marlon Byrd were in attendance to get a plated dinner, live and also silent auctions, music as well as a comedy set by Funny Central's Tommy Johnagin, one of the stars of NBC's 'Last Comic book Standing.'

'It's huge for us,Inches Howard said. 'Especially on an off day time, to be able to have my teammates shell out their off day to arrive and help to support. All of the sponsors and everybody else that comes. It's huge.'

The Foundation's website gives a quote from Main Range Media News on the front page to make clear what's at stake: 'Every state prison throughout PA is required to have a selection and a librarian with a Master's Degree, but there is no such necessity for our schools. Next year, virtually all Green Bay elementary school children may return to school without a library.'

The Howards' background in education provides dictated their passion compare unique car features in the lives of children who're prone to illiteracy.

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'Education's always been first and foremost in my family and it's always recently been first foremost with Krystle,In Howard said. 'If a child isn't able to read by the third grade, the probability of them being able to graduate secondary school are much less likely. So it's an opportunity to give back and we cherish that.'

Krystle is a former second class teacher and Howard grew up in a home that had an education-first mindset. Understanding just how important it is to obtain children reading at an early age introduced the way for the Foundation's pilot program -- Ryan's Reading Challenge -- last fall

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At the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, The Ryan Howard Big Piece Base paired with Vare-Washington Elementary of the Chicago School District to concern students -- ages kindergarten by way of third-grade -- to read 20 minutes a day, one week a week.

'Our goal was to go into a school and find out what they're lacking or what they're in need of. In such cases, the school was missing a library,' Krystle said.

The children from Vare-Washington successfully completed the challenge in addition to were rewarded with a $75,1,000 academic grant that journeyed toward the creation and also completion of a new library how the Foundation named Howard's Homeroom. The Foundation's website describes the library to be a 'special oasis' within that school that's an 'interactive, American football-themed reading room loaded with hundreds of books, comfortable examining nooks, desktop computers, and apple ipads for students to read, create, in addition to dream.'

'For us, it was anything to try and help give them people building blocks to achieve at the next level,' Howard said.

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But this is only the first stage for Ryan and Krystle, whom, with more events like Friday night's 'Stand Up For Literacy event,' envision the particular The Ryan Howard Big Portion Foundation continuing to raise awareness, funds and action when it comes to engaging children with literature.

'The 1st year we were so proud of,In Krystle said. 'All the students were truly into the program, and everyone became supportive. We'll just take it as it comes and hopefully we could continue this for years to come.'

'Hopefully it could possibly continue to blossom and just develop a little bit each year,' Howard said. 'We can hopefully take it from just one school to the next and hopefully even venture into other declares.'