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   1. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 28, 2011 at 02:17 AM (#3811483)
Is that headline a play on "That’s When I Reach For My Revolver" by Mission Of Burma? Cause that's how I feel. Something HAS to be done - this is insane. Could have had Martin - I mean they were wiling to pay 40 million per year for AG and Crawford but ###### around on Martin? #### that - Tek was a disgrace tonight as was Saltycrap the other night. If a runner gets on - it's basically a guaranteed run now
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 28, 2011 at 02:26 AM (#3811511)
It's me misremembering an Airplane line. The actual line, that I just looked up - "That's what led to my drinking problem" - wouldn't work anyway, so I'm gonna leave that up as a mostly meaningless thread title.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 28, 2011 at 03:48 AM (#3811630)
In defense of Varitek it looked like he was crossed up. He clearly reached up as if to catch a fastball and the pitch was a slider.

Of course the cross up could have been his fault.

Right now Varitek seems to be the best option. Studies be damned right now the pitchers are doing a much better job with him behind the plate, may as well get something out of this mess. I wouldn't hate giving McKenry a look. My guess is there isn't much there but really, how much worse than .143 with negative defense can he be?

More useful solutions...Bengie Molina? Ivan Rodriguez? I think there is a reasonable chance that any solution won't be a significant upgrade. I heard Chris Snyder's name mentioned today but Robothal says the Pirates are asking a lot.

Might the Angels finally be ready to give up on Jeff Mathis? He sucks but he sucks with tolerable defense and maybe you get lucky and he gets a little pop from the Monster and hits 10-12 homers.

I'm setting my sights low here because I think that's the only option. Teams just don't give up on good catchers.
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 28, 2011 at 03:50 AM (#3811634)
Just to expand on my frustrated and incoherent rant of a moment ago, my fear is not that the Sox go through the season with disgraceful catching, it's that they give up something useful to move from disgraceful to poor. I'd rather see 450 PA from Saltalamacchia with him hitting .129 than the Sox trade a Yamaico Navarro for a guy who comes in and hits .180. At some point just throwing Exposito to the wolves and praying heavily makes more sense than anything else.
   5. Ron J Posted: April 28, 2011 at 03:59 AM (#3811654)
#3 I'd think the more viable option with the Pirates might well be Doumit. Not a wonderful player, and no bargain either. I'd think the price could be right for him though.
   6. Ron J Posted: April 28, 2011 at 04:03 AM (#3811663)
MCOA you could have gone with, "I picked the wrong week to give up major league catching" (Or something close)
   7. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 28, 2011 at 04:23 AM (#3811695)
Let us not forget the fact that bunts that are dropped at Varitek's feet are a hassle for the old corpse - it is embarrassing watching these two behind the plate. Teams are being given too many free bases on simple steals, bunts and passed balls.

What's McHendry like? Something has to be done, these ####### idiots can't even catch a fastball and Salty gets up every time from the crouch like he has just taken a hit from a bong. He has no idea where the ####### ball is.

How many more games are they going to throw away till something gets done?

Salty is toast - Tek should not be allowed to play more than two times a week , pretty simple really.
   8. Dan Posted: April 28, 2011 at 04:55 AM (#3811713)
Let us not forget the fact that bunts that are dropped at Varitek's feet are a hassle for the old corpse - it is embarrassing watching these two behind the plate. Teams are being given too many free bases on simple steals, bunts and passed balls.


That bunt tonight by Andino was about 6 feet in front of Varitek. He made no play for it and made Youk come in for it, when he obviously had no shot at throwing Andino out after coming in that far for it.


What's McHendry like? Something has to be done, these ####### idiots can't even catch a fastball and Salty gets up every time from the crouch like he has just taken a hit from a bong. He has no idea where the ####### ball is.


I have a slightly bigger tolerance for Saltalamacchia's #### ups because the guy is clearly a work in progress, as opposed to Varitek who is simply too far in decline to play in MLB. If the FO and coaching staff think that they can make Salty into a useful player, then I'll give them some slack. But no one is turning back the clock on Varitek; he's done. So at least get us one catcher who can throw.
   9. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 28, 2011 at 05:21 AM (#3811719)
Of course we all know what happened the last time the Red Sox panicked with a crappy catcher. They traded Cla and Bard for Mirabelli, which wound up looking horrible that year, but then Bard went back to being lousy and Meredith fell back to earth. Anywho, I bet Kevin Cash is available. If the Sox are going to have a catcher who truly sucks and sucks hard, he may as well be able to field the position.

It still amazes me that none of Taylor Teagarden, Max Ramirez, or Saltalamacchia have thus far turned out to be even a slightly below-average ML catcher.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: April 28, 2011 at 05:23 AM (#3811720)
What the pitching staff thinks in a perceived crisis mode like this is more important than FO and coaching staff...
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: April 28, 2011 at 05:47 AM (#3811723)
It still amazes me that none of Taylor Teagarden, Max Ramirez, or Saltalamacchia have thus far turned out to be even a slightly below-average ML catcher.

It seems like just yesterday the Rangers were blessed with three blue-chip can't-miss catching prospects.
   12. tfbg9 Posted: April 28, 2011 at 01:02 PM (#3811798)
TINSTAACP?
   13. Big fan Posted: April 28, 2011 at 01:10 PM (#3811802)
maybe trade for Posada? He's gotta be avaialbe :)
   14. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 28, 2011 at 01:15 PM (#3811804)
TINSTAACP?

THE YANKEES ARE DOOOOMED!
   15. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 28, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3811823)
If the Red Sox acquire Jeff Mathis, I will use the F word. A lot.
   16. Mattbert Posted: April 28, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#3812301)
I'll use it now. #### Jeff Mathis. If he's the answer, the question had better be, "Oh ####, who can we get now that every catcher in our organization just died of gout overnight and the Angels are the only team willing to trade with us but won't give up Conger?"
   17. Dale Sams Posted: April 28, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3812330)
Crawford for Conger. Saves money for Pujols.
   18. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 28, 2011 at 09:46 PM (#3812390)
A study posted at BBPro and linked here a bit ago suggested that from 2008-2009 Mathis was more valuable than Posada (see post #10). It sounds absurd, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

Plus, Mathis is going to outhit Kevin Cash and at least half of all NL pitchers.
   19. Darren Posted: April 28, 2011 at 09:54 PM (#3812397)
Of course we all know what happened the last time the Red Sox panicked with a crappy catcher. They traded Cla and Bard for Mirabelli, which wound up looking horrible that year, but then Bard went back to being lousy and Meredith fell back to earth...


All in all, though, they were worth a thousand times more than Mirabelli. The problem was that the Red Sox panicked and traded for someone bad. If they had traded for someone good, it'd have been no big deal.

The Red Sox have run sort of a clinic in recent years on how to have good catchers (and SS) pass through your system without actually helping your team. There was Shoppach in 05, Bard in 06, and Ross in 08. That may not compare to the Renteria-Hanley scenario, but it's impressive.
   20. Hugh Jorgan Posted: April 29, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#3812759)
I reckon with a lineup like theirs, they should go the defensive whiz and hope he OPS's over 650.
   21. RollingWave Posted: April 29, 2011 at 02:46 AM (#3812790)
Gustavo Molina will be avalible about 2 days from now..... he even hit a double today!
   22. tfbg9 Posted: April 29, 2011 at 02:48 AM (#3812792)
Salty got an RBI base knock tonight. Pants pissers.
   23. ptodd Posted: April 29, 2011 at 07:40 AM (#3812858)
iterally, a catching problem in which our 800-year-old catcher lost a game because he couldn’t catch the ball when it was thrown to him


He called for a FB and Bard threw a breaking pitch. Crossed up.

Of course, Tek has no business catching as much as he has been since physically he won't be able to handle it for long. His value seems to be in getting Beckett and Daisuke pitching decent games again, even if thats all in these pitchers heads.

Looks like sink or swim with Salty, or give up some top prospects for a real catcher after the june draft.
   24. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 29, 2011 at 09:00 AM (#3812861)
Yerah, read about the crossed up pitch after my rant - we still have two below replacement level catchers though which is really scary
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM (#3812870)
I heard Chris Snyder's name mentioned today but Robothal says the Pirates are asking a lot.


Depends what you mean by "a lot". We'd like actual talent back in return, not just salary relief. You willing to give up an actual prospect to fix this catching problem of yours?
   26. Textbook Editor Posted: April 29, 2011 at 12:14 PM (#3812879)
You willing to give up an actual prospect to fix this catching problem of yours?


Depends on what you mean by "actual prospect."
   27. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 29, 2011 at 12:43 PM (#3812886)
Depends what you mean by "a lot". We'd like actual talent back in return, not just salary relief. You willing to give up an actual prospect to fix this catching problem of yours?


Rosenthal's words, not mine. I don't know what he meant by "a lot."

I like Snyder and think he's the type of guy the Sox should be targeting. I just don't want to see the Sox overpay 2006 style for a guy who profiles fairly similarly to Mirabelli.

Looking him up though and it's interesting (to me at least) that the Sox originally acquired Mirabelli when he was the same age as Snyder and for all the snark Dougie was very good for four years.

Ultimately my thing is, as much as I hated going into the year with Saltalamacchia, the Sox obviously saw something that made them think he was ready for prime time. A month of poor play is hardly the time to pull the plug on a still young player.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2011 at 01:28 PM (#3812909)
Depends on what you mean by "actual prospect."


Let's take this out of the theoretical. What would you offer for him, if you were in the big chair?
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 29, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#3812921)
Pick one;

MLB Ready - Michael Bowden - RHP - Profiles as a good middle reliever, still just 24 years old. Not great stuff but generally good control and keeps the ball down.

or

Lottery Ticket Type - Derrik Gibson - 2B - High draft pick, hasn't hit much but very good speed and glove. Could improve and become a Luis Castillo type but could bust.
   30. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 29, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3812924)
To be clear. I'm not sold that I want to make this trade if I'm the Sox. Bowden could be a repeat of the Meredith deal though I'm lower on him than most and think his value to the club is as a trade chip. Gibson I think is just blocked by what is looking like a fairly crowded middle infield situation particularly if Honus Lowrie keeps this up. Among Pedroia, Lowrie, Iglesias, maybe Navarro/Spears and longer term Coyle I feel like the Sox are in good shape up the middle.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2011 at 02:13 PM (#3812943)
MLB Ready - Michael Bowden - RHP - Profiles as a good middle reliever, still just 24 years old. Not great stuff but generally good control and keeps the ball down.

or

Lottery Ticket Type - Derrik Gibson - 2B - High draft pick, hasn't hit much but very good speed and glove. Could improve and become a Luis Castillo type but could bust.


Not really interested in Bowden. Not knowledgable enough about Gibson to make a call there, though the numbers would have me leaning toward a no on him as well.
   32. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 29, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3813007)
Vlad - What (if any) players in the Sox system/MLB roster would interest you? I'm curious to see where we are respectively in valuing Snyder.

Would you do it for Gibson if I agreed to have someone shuffle Jim Tracy loose from this mortal coil?
   33. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#3813063)
What (if any) players in the Sox system/MLB roster would interest you? I'm curious to see where we are respectively in valuing Snyder.


Oh, jeez, I dunno. Will Middlebrooks, maybe, or Oscar Tejeda, or Jeremy Hazelbaker?
   34. tfbg9 Posted: April 29, 2011 at 06:23 PM (#3813241)
How good is Snyder's D?

(heh-Dee Snyder?)
   35. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 29, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3813245)
Interesting. I'll do it for Hazelbaker, you call Neal, I'll call Theo, we'll do lunch. :-)

Seriously, if the Pirates are thinking that type of player (and from my perspective they are all in a reasonable area code with Bowden/Gibson) a deal could get done pretty easily I would think. Rosenthal's piece suggested that the Pirates were thinknig a step up to a bit more certainty in the prospect they got back.
   36. Pingu Posted: April 29, 2011 at 06:38 PM (#3813266)
I hope this hasnt come as a suprise to people? Oh, wait, it has. If I recall, Salty was projected to be a perfectly capable catcher, and Tek wouldnt be so bad if only starting once or twice a week, which were both absurd things to think.

Theres a reason Salty was free.

And pardon me for bringing this up, but I am sick and tired of ANYTHING REMOTELY POSITIVE that Salty does gets highlighted by NESN. It started in the beginning of the season. He got an RBI seeing eye single after starting 1 for 38 or something....NESN plays the highlight for a week. I remember getting shown a highlight of him lining out to center. He sure looks like he's coming around now. Oh boy, just wait until he heats up.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but I dont like being spoon fed reasons to like a guy who was so clearly a mistake. I cant recall someone getting that kind of a treatment before. If you guys dont believe me, start paying attention. The mfer hasnt done much to cause celebration, but when he does, just wait for NESN to roll out the hero music.

The guy belongs in AAA.

At this point, Varitek is a bench coach.

This is a situation that needed addressing this offseason, and it needs addressing even more so now.
   37. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 29, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#3813301)
I think MCoA laid out several reasons to think Saltalamacchia would be perfectly fine. We went round and round on it but his arguments were solid. Varitek had a .766 OPS as a reserve last year, more than acceptable for a backup playing 40-50 games.

Now I didn't buy into Saltalamacchia but I think there were reasons to think he woud be a reasonable backstop.
   38. Dale Sams Posted: April 29, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3813308)
The guy belongs in AAA


You're talking about the automotive service, right?
   39. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3813369)
Seriously, if the Pirates are thinking that type of player (and from my perspective they are all in a reasonable area code with Bowden/Gibson) a deal could get done pretty easily I would think. Rosenthal's piece suggested that the Pirates were thinknig a step up to a bit more certainty in the prospect they got back.


It's possible that they're looking for more than that. There hasn't really been any word on the ground here at all, as far as what they want. All the coverage to date on Snyder has been national, which suggests to me that there haven't been any really serious contacts with interested teams yet.

It's also possible that they're trying to deflect inquiries about Snyder onto Doumit (who has, in fairness, also played pretty well this year - even on D).

Bowden wasn't all that far off on value, I don't think. He's just not a good fit for the organization's needs right now, since we've got a whole gaggle of AA/AAA pitchers who are going to be up by the roster expansion (Lincoln, Owens, Morris, Locke, etc.)

How good is Snyder's D?


Seems pretty good to me, from what I've seen. Moves fairly well behind the plate, and has a 30% career CS rate (33% so far this year). He does have a history of back problems, which might cut into his defensive value if they flare up again, but at this point I have no reason to expect that they will.
   40. Pingu Posted: April 30, 2011 at 04:09 AM (#3813799)
I think MCoA laid out several reasons to think Saltalamacchia would be perfectly fine. We went round and round on it but his arguments were solid. Varitek had a .766 OPS as a reserve last year, more than acceptable for a backup playing 40-50 games.

Now I didn't buy into Saltalamacchia but I think there were reasons to think he woud be a reasonable backstop.


Varitek hasnt hit like an acceptable backup for years. His OPS last year was driven by flukyish spattering of HRs early in the year.

That said, Varitek is ok as a backup if your full time catcher is Victor Martinez and he only ends up with 150 ABs.

I'm not trying to have an "I told you so" moment, but I looked at the projections from MCoA and I laughed. Salty is not a major league hitter. It was wishcasting to think otherwise.

Furthermore, while I'm in angry old scout with a grudge mode, Okajima is no longer a capable major league reliever. I buried him last year, and I dont think there was any reason to dig up those bones. Praying that he'll return to what he was is going to be exactly like the Mike Timlin sunset. He may not have many high leverage innings while we figure this out, but theres no effin reason to have him on the big club.
   41. Darren Posted: April 30, 2011 at 02:13 PM (#3813901)
I think you're wrong about Okajima. His stuff never looked overpowering and was effective for quite a while.

On Salty, I dunno. His projections were what they were and amateur scouting is usually more harm than good. What surprises me is that he looks pretty poor on defense. I could see the Sox missing on his offense, but I would think they'd have been able to tell if he was going to be bad defensively.
   42. Dan Posted: May 01, 2011 at 02:20 AM (#3814348)
Tonight's game was an appropriate way to bookend the month of April 2011. Nothing else really needs to be said.
   43. tfbg9 Posted: May 01, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3814463)
A robust record of 1-5 in one run games...fun!
   44. tfbg9 Posted: May 01, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#3814735)
Wake pitches well against an abysmal hitting team. Yea.

No we get to worry about what's wrong with Beckett and Yooks. And whether we ought to lead
Bobby J. by the weird beard out behind the shed and put him out of his misery.

2-5 in one runs games now.
   45. chris p Posted: May 01, 2011 at 10:06 PM (#3814780)
What surprises me is that he looks pretty poor on defense. I could see the Sox missing on his offense, but I would think they'd have been able to tell if he was going to be bad defensively.

there were two parts here. the first was that he had some sort of injury that turned him into the catching version of chuck knoblauch meets keith olbermann's mom. apparently he couldn't get it within 10 feet of the target or something absurd like that. the red sox were convinced that this was fixable. however, the epic meltdown defense hid the ordinary terrible defense--although, like you say, it shouldn't have.

what salty shows us is that when you're big (he's 6'4"), you can't be a relatively ordinary athlete. it just takes too long for him to uncoil and get off a throw and he's not quick enough to get down on the ball. there are a few exceptions--joe mauer of course, but sandy alomar jr also comes to mind--but they are/were great athletes ... exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
   46. Dan Posted: May 02, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3815750)
Varitek is starting again tonight against a RHP. Apparently they want him catching Buchholz for a while or something. I think it's stupid. There's no chance that Varitek will contribute anything positive tonight and Salty seems to call games fine, whatever his other shortcomings may be. Salty's swing from the left side has also been looking pretty decent, which is another reason I don't like this.
   47. karlmagnus Posted: May 02, 2011 at 08:00 PM (#3815780)
I agree. It looks as if Salty is coming round, whereas Varitek has nowhere to come around to. By messing him around you risk destroying Salty's confidence and wrecking a decent cheap option at catcher. he should play at least 2/3 of the games.
   48. Darren Posted: May 03, 2011 at 04:27 AM (#3816293)
Buchholz has pitched so well to Tek that it makes sense.
   49. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 03, 2011 at 01:23 PM (#3816413)
I don't believe that catchers have a huge effect on the pitcher throwing to them. But at the same time, when the results between Salty and Tek have been so sharply in contrast, it's hard to put Tek on the bench.
   50. Nasty Nate Posted: May 03, 2011 at 02:14 PM (#3816467)
There's no chance that Varitek will contribute anything positive tonight


1-3 with a BB

aught-seveners, mount up! The winning surge starts now! Beating the unbeaten is the sign...
   51. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 04, 2011 at 01:57 PM (#3817696)
I'm still a Saltlamacchia skeptic but I thought he had a strong game blocking pitches last night. He made a couple of real good plays. He's hitting a bit also. I'd still prefer a better option but he seems to be advancing towards "tolerable" which I actually mean as a compliment.
   52. OCD SS Posted: May 11, 2011 at 11:19 AM (#3824043)
Varitek hasnt hit like an acceptable backup for years. His OPS last year was driven by flukyish spattering of HRs early in the year.


Just out of curiosity, what do yo think an acceptable back up C hits?
   53. Nasty Nate Posted: May 11, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3824184)
Good god why won't Francona use Papelbon with the game on the line?!?

It doesn't usually make sense to not pitch your closer on the road in the 9th or 10th of a tie game even if you are the staunchest proponent of the "proven closer" dogma. If you need the guy with the right mentality to pitch when the game is on the line, then use him when the game is on the line - and there is no more 'game on the line' situation than when a single run by the opponent will instantly lose the game.

That's twice in the past week where Papelbon has been up loosening late in close games, but another pitcher was brought in who gives up runs. They lost both games. It will be great tonight when Papelbon pitches tonight in a 9-4 game to give him some work.
   54. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 11, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#3824196)
I don't agree with the idea that you have to go to your closer/best pitcher on the road in a tie game. You need six outs and if he can only give you three (and that was the case after 25 pitches on Monday I suspect) then it probably makes as much sense as anything to wait until you've got the lead to go to him. If the Sox had brought him in in the 9th they still would have needed Albers for the 10th AND the 11th.
   55. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 11, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3824199)
To tack onto that I don't think it's necessarily wrong to go to the closer in that spot either. I just don't think it's the no brainer that people seem to think it is.

I think the move Tito made that deserves criticism is pinch running for Lowrie in the 8th. In the 9th I would have done it and I liked the move Monday night but to do it in the 8th when there was a fairly decent chance that that spot would bat again was a mistake I thought.
   56. Nasty Nate Posted: May 11, 2011 at 02:35 PM (#3824209)
To tack onto that I don't think it's necessarily wrong to go to the closer in that spot either. I just don't think it's the no brainer that people seem to think it is.


I think because Papelbon was up and was presumably ready, it was a no-brainer to pitch him in the 9th. After he doesn't come in, I understand sending Albers back out for the 10th.

I admit that there definitely are situations in which you don't use your closer in the 9th.
   57. tjm1 Posted: May 18, 2011 at 10:13 PM (#3831746)
When Scutaro comes back from the DL, what about:

Scutaro + cash + mid-level prospect to Cincinnati for:
Ramon Hernandez + someone who can be a utility infielder?

Doesn't this almost make too much sense for both teams not to happen? Both teams get a short term fix where they need it. The Reds get Scutaro, who's solid both ways, instead of the good field, no hit, Paul Janish. The Sox get a solid starting catcher who's currently only starting for the Reds because Hanigan's hurt. Devin Mesoraco is killing the ball at AAA in the Reds organization. Hanging on to Hernandez doesn't make much sense for them, unless they think he's the piece they need to win a championship this year.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 23, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#3835768)
Player A: 237/290/398, 87 OPS+
Player B: 227/299/367, 88 OPS+

That's Jarrod Saltalamacchia (A) and the league average for catchers hitting in 2011 (B).
   59. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 23, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#3835772)
He is definitely coming around. I still think he is poor defensively but at least the Sox aren't playing a giant black hole anymore. If he can stay at this level all year, I can live with this.
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 23, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3835774)
Yeah, the defense is a problem, and at his strikeout rate he's unlikely to hit much better than .240. But he's not a black hole any longer.

by the way, I sent you an email about the Tito post. No rush, just wanted to confirm you received it?
   61. The District Attorney Posted: May 23, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#3835785)
The Sox get a solid starting catcher who's currently only starting for the Reds because Hanigan's hurt.
Hernandez joined the Reds in '09... he played more than Hanigan that year, and more than Hanigan in '10... and now he has a 961 OPS, to Hanigan's 729.

Also, Hanigan isn't hurt.

Other than that, you nailed that one ;)
   62. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 23, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3835791)
What surprises me is that he looks pretty poor on defense. I could see the Sox missing on his offense, but I would think they'd have been able to tell if he was going to be bad defensively.


??? My perception has always been that Salty wasn't going to be able to catch in the MLB- the Braves didn't think so, and the expectation after the trade to Texas was that his future was 1B...

Well he was never switched, his bat has obviously stalled- although his bat is perfectly acceptable for a back up C- the problem coming in was that he couldn't catch and he can't catch and he's 26
   63. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 23, 2011 at 09:13 PM (#3835795)
Just out of curiosity, what do yo think an acceptable back up C hits?


define acceptable, and after you do that, there's still the question of Dee. Salty has a career PS+ of 83, Napoli is at 52...

I'd take Salty over Mathis- but it's a close call

seriously, ignoring defense and pitcher handling- looking at 2008-2010- top 180 catchers (2 per team) by OPS+- #90 has an OPS+ of 85. So in my mind 85 is the line- a catcher hits under 85 and he's NOT an acceptable STARTING catcher- (hitting 85 may make him an "acceptable" starter- but certainly not a good one- he'd still be someone I'd want to replace)

the "back ups"? The median is 67- that's where I'd peg acceptable for a back up (average glove) (also 67 is where catcher #60 on a multi-year basis tends to hit) - Tek is at 77 2008-2011. (2008-2011- Catcher number 45- the median backup hit 83)
   64. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 23, 2011 at 09:44 PM (#3835804)
At this point, catcher is only the team's third biggest offensive problem, behind Crawford and Pedroia.
   65. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 23, 2011 at 10:02 PM (#3835814)
??? My perception has always been that Salty wasn't going to be able to catch in the MLB- the Braves didn't think so, and the expectation after the trade to Texas was that his future was 1B...
Saltalamacchia was trade to Texas in 2007. During 2007 in both Atlanta and Texas he split his time between C and 1B. In 2007, it was a reasonable conclusion that Salty's future was at first base. However, that wasn't what happened - Jarrod Saltalamacchia hadn't played a single inning at first since 2007 until one game for the Pawtucket late last year, and the vast majority of his time has been spent at C. Now, it might be that the Braves had it right - Saltalamacchia's just too big to release the ball quickly, and he's never going to be an acceptable defensive catcher. However, just based on his usage after the Braves trade, it seems that most clubs have been looking at Saltalamacchia as a catcher, and certainly the Red Sox had no interest in Salty as a first baseman.

Salty's thrown out 10 of 41 attempted base-stealers in 27 games. The problem isn't the rate of success - 75% isn't that far above break-even - it's the overall rate. Everyone thinks that Salty can't throw them out, and he's not doing enough to change their minds.

So, the needle I'm trying to thread here is this - I don't think it was crazy of Red Sox fans to hope that Salty should be an ok catcher. He'd been a catcher for years, and the Red Sox front office committed to Salty as a catcher. The usage of Saltalamacchia in Atlanta was pretty well ancient history by the time the Sox picked him up. However, it appears that the Braves may well have been right - shocking that, Bobby Cox making a correct player evaluation - as Saltalamacchia looks to be a defensive liability for the Red Sox.
   66. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 23, 2011 at 10:58 PM (#3835844)
60 - Just got it. I changed e-mails recently but didn't update BTF (it's updated now). I hadn't checked the old one for a week. You'll have my response soon.
   67. Darren Posted: May 24, 2011 at 05:29 PM (#3836458)
Salty's thrown out 10 of 41 attempted base-stealers in 27 games. The problem isn't the rate of success - 75% isn't that far above break-even - it's the overall rate.


But as long as he's throwing them out at a break-even rate, who cares if they steal 25 or 250 bases? They may think they can run on him, but they can't (effectively).
   68. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 24, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#3836693)
I said "isn't that far above", not "at". But I should try to quantify it - the breakeven rate for steals is somewhere between 65% and 72%, from what I remember. By The Book's linear weights, Salty's throwing has cost the Red Sox only half a run this season. By the extrapolated runs linear weights, he's cost the club a little over two runs. If you extrapolate out to a full season (say, 120 games caught), that's between two and nine runs. Two runs isn't a problem, nine is - if Salty's the marginally acceptable bat he's been and he projects to be. So, the question are (a) whether this is his true talent throwing level, (b) which weighting of SB runs is correct, and (c) are stolen bases against Salty coming in more or less leverage situations, and (d) are the Sox pitchers better or worse than average pitchers at controlling the running game.

Overall, it's hard to conclude from the data we have that Salty's defense is unacceptable. It might be, and I'm worried about how slow his time from receiving to releasing looks, but the data is inconclusive.
   69. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: May 25, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3837600)
With 4 homers in his last 6 games, Salty's brought his OPS from .516 to .716. Out of AL catchers with 100 ABs, only Avila, Martin, Arencibia, and Wieters have been better. I think we're safely out of the black-hole-of-offense woods; the question now is if he'll be merely solid or an actual asset. A .250/.330/.470 line wouldn't shock me.
   70. Darren Posted: May 25, 2011 at 11:10 PM (#3837610)
It's really hard to believe the guy we see now is the same one from a couple weeks ago. In May, he's hitting .244 .292 .511 + today. Add that to Tek's .303 .395 .455 May and you've really got something.

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