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Friday, July 18, 2014

Rangers replace Carlos Pena with J.P. Arencibia to play at first

Tell ‘im, Wash.

J.P. Arencibia hit his way back to the majors with the Rangers…  Arencibia replaced first baseman Carlos Pena, who was designated for assignment after hitting only .136 in 59 at-bats.

Arencibia opened the season as the Rangers’ front-line catcher but hit only .133 in 60 at-bats… Arencibia fared better against Pacific Coast League pitching, hitting .279 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 190 at-bats…

Arencibia said that while in the minors, he decided to go “back to what makes me J.P’’ and stop worrying about bad at-bats…

The addition of Arencibia created an odd roster in which the Rangers have four players whose primary position is catcher.

Manager Ron Washington said Geovany Soto and Robinson Chirinos will do the majority of the catching. Arencibia and Chris Gimenez could be used at catcher but are more likely to appear at first base and designated hitter.

The District Attorney Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: carlos pena, j.p. arencibia, rangers, transactions

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   1. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4753608)
Over the past 365 days, J.P. Arencibia is hitting .141/.174/.252.
   2. Ron J2 Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4753609)
Arencebia at first? Yeah I know the Rangers aren't playing for anything, but ...
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4753612)
Pretty clear Texas is tanking for Andrew Wiggins.
   4. JE (Jason) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4753613)
When asked to comment on the Rangers move, Hillary Clinton responded: "What difference ... at this point ... does it make?"
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4753614)
Arencibia said that while in the minors, he decided to go “back to what makes me J.P’’ and stop worrying about bad at-bats


This makes sense. He doesn't say he's going to stop having bad at bats, just that he's going to stop worrying about them. It's not going to help him hit better but he'll probably be happier so that's nice.
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4753615)
Surely Alex Gonzalez or Yuniesky Betancourt would be a better option.
   7. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4753619)
Surely Alex Gonzalez or Yuniesky Betancourt would be a better option.


I laughed at that - then realized that it was true. Then I laughed even more, because Rangers.
   8. JE (Jason) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4753623)
This makes sense. He doesn't say he's going to stop having bad at bats, just that he's going to stop worrying about them. It's not going to help him hit better but he'll probably be happier so that's nice.

It's too bad he won't look good in pinstripes.
   9. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4753629)
Over the past 365 days, J.P. Arencibia is hitting .141/.174/.252.

Plus 279/320/542 this year in a limited sample size for a AAA team that's hitting 254/319/409 overall. Arencibia has going for him all three of "catchers' hitting develops late", "now that he doesn't have to worry about catching he might hit better", and "AAAA guys sometimes have a flukey career year at 27 or 28". In his AAA run he spent about half of the time at DH or 1B, something I think he's never done elsewhere. And he hit, so maybe there's something there.

Not that I'd bet on him being much better than replacement level, but there's a nonzero chance that he'll turn into a useful low-OBP slugger for a few years. If you're 21 games out of first and the only possible choices for your first baseman are J.P. Arencibia and Carlos Pena (or Alex Gonzalez or Yuniesky Betancourt), you have to choose Arencibia.
   10. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4753632)
Aren't all PCL numbers supposed to be taken with a grain of salt as they say? Or is that just Albuquerque and Las Vegas?
   11. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4753635)
Arencibia has hit better in AAA, but it's not like he's exactly tearing the cover off the ball, the way you'd expect a 28 year-old who's been playing against Major Leaguers for the past 4 years would.

Splitting time between C, 1B and DH, he is hitting .279/.320/.542; however, he's struck out 53 times in 200 plate appearances while drawing just 7 walks. This sure doesn't look like a guy who's changed his approach; he's just getting to face more bad pitchers in Round Rock than he was in Arlington.

EDIT: Made this post before seeing #9--I didn't make it just to counter your argument, so I apologize if it comes off that way. I agree that if your only choices are Arencibia and Carlos Pena, you need to go with Carlos Pena. (Though purely as a fan, I would really love it if they went with Joey Gallo. )
   12. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4753639)
By the way, guys, they're playing in Toronto tonight.
   13. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4753655)
"Rangers replace Carlos Pena with J.P. Arencibia to play at first" is just about the perfect one-sentence description of a lost season.
   14. Ziggy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4753656)
#10: all of them, but some more than others. On the other hand, he's slugging better than his team average, so there's some hope there. (And then on a third hand, a 320 OBP in the PCL does sound like trouble.)
   15. The Good Face Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4753660)
(Though purely as a fan, I would really love it if they went with Joey Gallo. )


I have a mighty man-crush on Joey Gallo, but I actually hope Texas takes their time with his development and doesn't rush him. Although he's such an odd and unique player I could see it being tough to figure out when he's "ready".
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4753667)
If you're 21 games out of first and the only possible choices for your first baseman are J.P. Arencibia and Carlos Pena....


...then you find a GM who realizes those aren't your only possible choices.
   17. The District Attorney Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4753668)
It's a better idea to convert a bad-hitting C (especially when he's also a bad-fielding C...) to 1B than it is to convert a bad-hitting SS to 1B. That is for sure. Which only proves that the Brewers utterly lost their minds that year.

I wouldn't even disagree that if you went and got Tyler Moore or Nick Evans or whoever else is tearing up AAA, they wouldn't necessarily have a much better projection than J.P.¹ (If you're curious how J.P.'s .862 OPS at AAA ranks, it's tied with Andy Marte, and .005 ahead of Mike Jacobs.)

J.P. is a consummate jerk, however, which, when you're talking about players on the very margins of the majors, both usually is -- and should be -- a big deal.

But sure, try it. (And yet, as #13 says, it is nonetheless amusing.)

¹ Anyone know if Fangraphs' rest-of-season ZiPs considers minor league performance? I suppose I'd guess it doesn't, if I had to guess. But anyway, it has Moore at 234/287/422, Evans at 241/297/401, J.P. at 218/262/410.
   18. catomi01 Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4753682)
It's a better idea to convert a bad-hitting C (especially when he's also a bad-fielding C...) to 1B than it is to convert a bad-hitting SS to 1B. That is for sure. Which only proves that the Brewers utterly lost their minds that year.


I think I disagree there....neither is a good option, but I would think you are more likely to at least luck into getting some positive contribution defensively from the SS...and adequate SS moving that far down the spectrum stands a pretty good chance of being above average defensively. If neither option is going to hit at all, might as well try to get some runs back somewhere.

If those are my only two options though, I probably call around the Atlantic league and sign whoever has had the best last 6 weeks before I start fitting Brendan Ryan or Arencibia or anyone like that with a 1B mitt.
   19. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4753688)
So there's no chance Michael Young could be talked out of retirement?
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4753693)
Anyone know if Fangraphs' rest-of-season ZiPs considers minor league performance?


To the best of my knowledge, it does not.
   21. 'Spos stares out the window, waits for spring Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4753694)
So there's no chance Michael Young could be talked out of retirement?


Nolan Ryan could probably play a comparable 1B for the weekend.
   22. joeysdadjoe Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4753703)
Rangers wanted The Band Perry girl back in the wives section.
   23. joeysdadjoe Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4753704)
As a Yankees fan this makes me thank God for Lyle Overbay. Never thought I'd say that.
   24. DA Baracus Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4753708)
Over the past 365 days, J.P. Arencibia is hitting .141/.174/.252.


Dan Uggla is hitting 147/272/231. He can be had for nothing.
   25. formerly dp Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4753713)
Can Alfonso Soriano play 1B? I read somewhere that he's available...
   26. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4753716)
So there's no chance Michael Young could be talked out of retirement?


About the same chance that Kinsler could be talked into playing first base.
   27. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4753719)
So there's no chance Pete O'Brien could be talked out of retirement?
   28. BDC Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4753728)
Eddie Robinson could be talkable-out.
   29. boteman Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4753731)
Tyler Moore, huh? At age 27 isn't he close to turning into a minor league pumpkin? He's had some big cups o' coffee with the Nats and his bat did not translate to the bigs, which is why he's back down to AAA. I guess Rizzo would listen if the Rangers called, but Moore would be one guy who has proven that he can't hit versus another guy who's proven that he can't hit. Meh.
   30. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4753749)
his AAA run he spent about half of the time at DH or 1B, something I think he's never done elsewhere. And he hit, so maybe there's something there.


and he hit .279/.320/.542 which is remarkably similar to his career AA mark of .269/.320/.532

Plus 279/320/542 this year in a limited sample size for a AAA team that's hitting 254/319/409 overall.

in a league that's hitting .274/.343/.426

The league is at 5.02 r/g, Round Rock has scored 4.85, Round Rock has given up 5.23

His AAA OPS+ is about 120
The MLB equivalent to that is 90-95?

JP has hit .269/.320/.532 in AAA and has a career MLB PS+ of 75
John Bowker hit .313/.386/.528 in AAA and has a career MLB OPS+ of 74
Kila Ka'Aihue hit .281/.407/.511 in AAA, has a career MLB OPS+ of 89
Xavier Paul hit .311/.370/.497 in AAA, has a career MLB OPS+ of 90

Nelson Cruz hit .313/.399/.597 in AAA, has a career MLB OPS+ of 118

If you're 21 games out of first and the only possible choices for your first baseman are J.P. Arencibia and Carlos Pena....

...then you find a GM who realizes those aren't your only possible choices.


Yep.
Why JP and not Brad Snyder?
Why not ask Arizona for Nick Evans, the Dodgers for Clint Robinson, the Angels for Brennan Bosch

If you are gonna replace your 1B with a AAAA slugger you can find better ones than JP
   31. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4753771)
Freakin' J.P. Arencibia!
   32. formerly dp Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4753789)
Remember when it looked like the Jays were going to be set at catcher forever with Arencibia and d'Arnaud in the system? Now they've got Dioneer Navarro and Josh Thole.
   33. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4753807)
J.P. is a consummate jerk, however, which, when you're talking about players on the very margins of the majors, both usually is -- and should be -- a big deal.
I always thought he'd hit enough to be the next A.J. Pierzynski. He's certainly jerk enough for it.
   34. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4753827)
Now they've got Dioneer Navarro and Josh Thole.


Who are two once upon a time catching prospects I thought were really going to be good?

Thole's OPS+ by year:

101
99
94
64
37
72

obviously there's time for him to go ofer 30 and continue that trend line

Navarro seems to cycle between actually good and gutwrenchingly sub-replacement awful with very few stops in between


   35. mathesond Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4753828)
J.P. is a consummate jerk


is he really, though? I know he had issues with the vicious Toronto media, but chalked that up to arrogance and having a thin skin. He apparently has done a lot of work with children's charities, surely that should offset the way he dealt/deals with the media. Unless of course, his charity work is overblown
   36. RJ in TO Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4753830)
*Points at Texas and laughs*
   37. RJ in TO Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4753838)
Also, I wouldn't say that Arencibia is a jerk, but he does seem to have a bit of a problem of dealing with criticism and/or recognizing his limitations.
   38. formerly dp Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4753842)
Who are two once upon a time catching prospects I thought were really going to be good?
I thought Thole was a nice buy-low snag when the Jays grabbed him in the Dickey deal. One more reason I'd make a bad GM.

He and Tejada profile oddly similarly (high walks, no power) as hitters; the lineup was weird with both of them in it.
   39. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4753843)
All this JP Arencibia talk got me to check on our old pal Jeff Francoeur, who strikes me as a pretty reasonable comp for Arencibia:

He's spent the whole year for San Diego's AAA team, hitting a very Francoeur-esque .298/.328/.476 in 400 PAs.
   40. The District Attorney Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4753861)
Hey, at least Frenchy can pitch also.
   41. snowles Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4753862)
#getusedtoit
   42. catomi01 Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4753867)
I thought Thole was a nice buy-low snag when the Jays grabbed him in the Dickey deal. One more reason I'd make a bad GM.


I remember thinking the same thing when the Padres fleeced the red sox of josh bard to get back mirabelli....I was right about the fleecing, but looks like cla meredith was the real jewel in that deal...bard did have a decent 2 years in 06/07 for the padres, but just about cratered with the bat after that.

   43. Dale Sams Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4753868)
Meanwhile the Sox have Nava, Carp, Napoli, Holt...I'll bet Gomes could play 1B too.
   44. shoelesjoe Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4754075)
This is the same Rangers organization that developed Mark Teixeira, Chris Davis, and Adrian Gonzalez and then traded for Prince Fielder, right? And now they're reduced to sticking J.P. Arencibia at 1st?

Makes sense.
   45. snowles Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4754099)
And then he hits a 3-run homer in his first game back to seal the game for the Rangers and send the Jays to 3rd place in their division. #*$@
   46. #6bid is partially elite Posted: July 19, 2014 at 12:16 AM (#4754145)
Too bad this wasn't posted by Repoz, we'd find out if he'd ever listened to Frank Black:


They're waving hi from some gazebo
Waving on to Arecibo to me

   47. Walt Davis Posted: July 19, 2014 at 12:54 AM (#4754163)
Seriously? Repoz probably brought Frank Black his first beer. :-)

This is the same Rangers organization that developed Mark Teixeira, Chris Davis, and Adrian Gonzalez and then traded for Prince Fielder, right? And now they're reduced to sticking J.P. Arencibia at 1st?

Only because Mitch Moreland fell victim to his own curse.

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