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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


The impact of an offensive catcher

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 25, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

First, an admission that this comparison is far from perfect, but it’s the first thing I thought about when Mike Napoli hit that game-changing double for the Rangers last night.

When a guy can hit like that, do you think the Rangers care that minor league scouting reports said he’d never be able to catch at the big league level?

Of course I ask this question because of Jesus Montero, and of course it’s not a fair comparison because Montero is a far bigger prospect than Napoli ever was, but even so… Back in 2005 — when Napoli had just finished his fifth professional season, like Montero just did — this is what Baseball America wrote in its Napoli scouting report for the prospect handbook:

Napoli has a polished, professional hitting approach and obvious power. He has natural loft in his swing and drives the ball well from center to the opposite field… The biggest question surrounding Napoli is whether he’ll be able to catch at higher levels. His catch-and-throw skills are adequate, but his flexibility and footwork are poor. He doesn’t move well behind the plate — or on the bases, for that matter — and several Cal League observers didn’t think he’d be able to serve as a backup catcher in the majors.

Sounds fairly familiar, doesn’t it?

Back in 2005, Napoli was ranked as the 29th-best prospect in a loaded Angels system. He was 23 years old, had never played above Class-A ball and had just come back from a torn labrum. He was no Jesus Montero.

But Napoli also just finished a season in which he hit .320/.414/.631 and actually did a pretty nice job of throwing out base runners (36 percent caught stealing). He has four straight seasons of at least 20 home runs, and he’s played more than 114 games in only one of them. He’s a heckuva hitter, and hitters like that find a way to stay in the lineup.

If Montero hits like that — he’s been a better minor league hitter than Napoli was — how good would his defense have to be to earn a job as an everyday catcher in the big leagues? When you see a guy having an offensive impact like Napoli’s having in the World Series, it makes you forget about defensive scouting reports a little bit.

One other quick note about Napoli and the 2005 Prospect Handbook: That list of Angels prospects is/was incredibly deep. A few highlights from the Top 25:

1. Casey Kotchman; 2. Dallas McPherson; 3. Erick Aybar; 4. Jeff Mathis; 5. Kendry Morales; 6. Brandon Wood; 7. Ervin Santana; 8. Howie Kendrick; 9. Albert Callaspo; 11. Mark Trumbo; 13. Joe Saunders; 14. Sean Rodriguez; 15. Dustin Moseley; 16. Maicer Izturis; 19. Kevin Jepsen; 20. Nick Adenhart; 24. Reggie Willits

Big leaguers Alexi Casilla and Bobby Wilson were also in the Angels system at the time but couldn’t crack the Top 30, and Jered Weaver had been drafted but hadn’t signed yet, so he was Angels property without being eligible for the rankings.

Associated Press photos

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115 Responses to “The impact of an offensive catcher”

  1. MTU October 25th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    The minimum standard for Montero is the Piazza level behind the plate.

    He should be able to do that much and probably more.

    The Napoli comparison does sound familiar only Montero has the potential to be an even better hitter.

    How stupid do the Angels look about now ?

  2. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 9:08 am

    MTU-

    I’m slow typist and thinker! Responded just before you. None of your proposals would entice me if I was Kenny Williams. Don’t want any part of Cervelli or Pena even if you take Matt Thornton’s contract on.

    In fact he might want Gardner and expand the trade by including Carlos Quentin.

  3. Villa Nova-Ya October 25th, 2011 at 9:08 am

    blake -

    (from last thread)

    Washington rubs me the wrong way these days. Probably because of last season. (Sour grapes?? )

    I know players seem to love playing for him, and he is one of the few managers that wear their emotions for all to see.

    I so don’t want the Rangers to win – and it’s mainly because I’m sick of seeing Nolan Ryan’s face.

    Yankee Trader -

    Ooops. Misunderstood. I guess most of those west coast teams don’t have the payroll flexibility for a CC Sabathia. But still, I wonder if there is some friction working out a deal, if some WC team doesn’t try to figure out a way to make it work. The Angels had wanted CC had one point, right? they might be the only team out there for him.

  4. Shame Spencer October 25th, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Jesus Saves.

  5. upstate kate October 25th, 2011 at 9:11 am

    My concerns regarding Montero catching have nothing to do w/ his defense. The Yankees have had an offensive catcher for many years in Posada, and that has worked out just fine.

    My concerns are keeping that bat out of the line up for the days off that catchers require. My further concerns are the potential of injury/concussion that go along w/ the job. See Buster Posey and Joe Mauer to name a few in recent memory.

    I would like to see Montero as BUC/DH, even after Martin is gone.

  6. Villa Nova-Ya October 25th, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Chad -

    I didn’t know that about Napoli. Sure hope the Yankees are watching.

    Montero may start out a little raw behind the plate, but he can get better, and his bat should certainly be worth a slight loss in defense.

    I think the key is getting to know the pitchers in ST, letting the pitchers get comfortable with him.

  7. MTU October 25th, 2011 at 9:13 am

    YT-

    response at the end of the last thread.

  8. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 9:14 am

    How stupid do the Angels look. Bad trade but remember Napoli was carted off 4 days later from the Blue Jays to the Rangers for Francisco a sore armed pitcher.

    From a blog called Blue Jay Hunter:

    Here’s the part that stings about Mike Napoli’s season in Texas: although he didn’t get the minimum 502 at bats due to some injuries, Napoli still put together a career year in just 113 games played.

    His .410 on base percentage ranked third in the American League behind only Miguel Cabrera and Jose Bautista (among batters who had at least 430 plate appearances). Napoli also ranked second in home runs per at bat with a ratio of 12.3 HR per AB (minimum 425 PA’s).

    Pro-rate those numbers to a 500 AB season and Mike Napoli could have possibly hit upwards of 40 home runs for the Texas Rangers. But who’s to say he would’ve had the exact same season with the Toronto Blue Jays?

  9. MTU October 25th, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Kate-

    I like your idea. Seems like the best of both worlds.

    ;)

  10. Erin October 25th, 2011 at 9:15 am

    A boy went back to Napoli?

    ;)

  11. MTU October 25th, 2011 at 9:18 am

    YT-

    The Scioscia/Girardi comparison on what they value in Catchers seems interesting and somewhat wrong-headed.

    It seems that both place an overemphasis on D and an underemphasis on O.

    Always happy when the Halos eff up.

    :)

  12. blake October 25th, 2011 at 9:25 am

    One thing scouting reports can’t project is a guy’s will…..catching just like many other things is a lot about how badly a player wants to make it happen. If Montero comitts to doing what it takes then I certainly think he can be good enough back there for a few years anyway.

    Its about maximizing the lineup…..the more Montero’s bat can be in the lineup at a non-DH position then the stronger the lineup is going to be.

    The Yankees have always won by getting more offense from the up the middle positions than their opponent.

  13. blake October 25th, 2011 at 9:29 am

    The Vernon Wells trade has to be considered one of the worst in the history of the sport……it was clearly awful to everyone when it went down…..but its even worse now looking back.

    First the Angels agreed to take on roughly 80 million dollars for a player that a lot of folks thought was toast…..and he was…..then on top of that just as a throw in they included Napoli just because Scocsia considered him excess since they have JEFF MATHIS.

    Incredible

  14. LGY October 25th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    The Angels, deservedly, get blasted a lot for the trade but AA shouldn’t completely escape criticism as well.

    I have no idea why he turned around and traded Napoli for Frank Francisco.

  15. pat October 25th, 2011 at 9:36 am

    17 of the Angels Top 25 prospects contributing on a ML level is impressive.

  16. blake October 25th, 2011 at 9:37 am

    LGY,

    True….but they so have a future catcher that’s pretty good….and they wanted to add to their pen. My guess is that the Jays didn’t extensively scout or consider Napoli as a catcher either since the Angels didn’t. Hindsight I think we can critique the Jays for letting him go…..but at the time their main goal was getting Wells off their books.

  17. Erin October 25th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    JimBowdenESPNxm Omar Minaya is one of top candidates for Angels GM job because of Scouting background and big market experience according to Angels source

  18. blake October 25th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    “17 of the Angels Top 25 prospects contributing on a ML level is impressive.”

    They still can’t score….contributing is one thing……being good enough to win is another. A bunch of Pirates and Astros prospects played this year also…..

  19. blake October 25th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Omar Minya? Seriously…..please sign him

  20. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    LGY-

    Probably because the Blue Jays already had Lind and Encarnacion to handle most of the DH/1B duties. They also got Juan Rivera in that trade with the Angels.

  21. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Back to CC for a moment. Hopefully if he opts out the Yankees get him signed soon. If Darvish decides he wants to come to the states the posting auction will start soon after. I’m not sure the Yankees will want to outlay the top posting bid if they sign CC for big bucks, but it’s not my money!

  22. djsunyc October 25th, 2011 at 9:46 am

    it still hurts thinking about those martin at bats in game 5 with montero just sitting there watching…

  23. pat October 25th, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Blake

    2 out of every 3 people on that list making it to the majors long enough for me to know their names was impressive to me.

    If 17 of the 25 actually contributed to winning, I would be shocked and impressed.

  24. blake October 25th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Pat,

    Yea I understand….but I know Brandon Wood’s name….that doesn’t mean he’s any good. The point was that the Angels can’t score……and they threw in a player that would be their best hitter to take on Vernon Wells. Their GM got fired because of it……

  25. Villa Nova-Ya October 25th, 2011 at 10:04 am

    pat -

    Exactly – I recognized almost all the names. Pretty decent results.

  26. Joe from Long Island October 25th, 2011 at 10:06 am

    ‘morning –

    What a game last night, and what a bad job by the Cards, in every facet.

    Nice to see that even the greatest hitter on the planet is still capable of swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, in the clutch, and striking out. Swish has some company. These guys need to relax….and concentrate :)

    I don’t think Omar is a disaster as a GM. A big part of the problem was that they were focused on winning now, which is ok by itself. But, they did not pay enough attention to the whole organization/farm/player development, not investing near enough there. It then becomes even more expensive to stock your ML roster, via FA, and trades that bring back less and less.

    I think some of the Mets’ mess had to do with the Wilpons being increasingly strapped for cash, and taking money out of the team to prop up their Madoff losses. That, and Jeff Wilpon not knowing how to run an organization.

  27. talltenor October 25th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Incredibly good point, Chad!

    Thanks for pointing this out. I mean, keeping Montero out of the lineup because of perceived defensive liabilities is “old” thinking, akin to preparing an army to fight the last war, not the war(s) to come.

  28. Erin October 25th, 2011 at 10:11 am

    BryanHoch Remember Tom Selleck bragging about 9th inning August doubles in Mr. Baseball? ~ RT @mikeaxisa: Jorge Posada hit .352/.400/.556 on Tuesdays.

  29. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    You’ll enjoy this short article-The 5 Best and Worst Trades in MLB History

    Posted Friday 06/24/2011 by Ed Condran

    Now this was written before the 1/21/2011 trade that sent Wells to the Angels!!

    http://www.maxim.com/amg/SPORT.....LB+History

  30. djsunyc October 25th, 2011 at 10:13 am

    would you guys be up for a trade like this:

    2 of our pitching prospects (banuelos + ???), romine and gardner for mccutchen?

  31. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Woops my bad. It was written after the Wells trade.

  32. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 10:18 am

    djsunyc-

    Daniel or Andrew McCutchen? :)

    No Banuelos

  33. 108 stitches October 25th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Montero will bring a confidence level to Tampa in February knowing that all he needs to do is work hard under Tony Pena and Butch Wynegar and he goes north without a predetermination of getting sent down in late March.

  34. djsunyc October 25th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    daniel of course :)

  35. Pat M. October 25th, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Where is Jerkface ???? This topic is a BP Fastball for him……

  36. Irreverent Discourse October 25th, 2011 at 10:27 am

    You guys are so over-enamored with this Napoli/Mathis situation… completely forgetting that Mathis was completely outhitting Napoli at the time of the trade.

  37. blake October 25th, 2011 at 10:29 am

    “You guys are so over-enamored with this Napoli/Mathis situation… completely forgetting that Mathis was completely outhitting Napoli at the time of the trade”

    Huh?

  38. Irreverent Discourse October 25th, 2011 at 10:32 am

    blake – I dont know why i keep confusing that trade, it clearly happened in the offseason :p

  39. Irreverent Discourse October 25th, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Regardless, Napoli batted .238/.316/.468 in 2010, this is why they didn’t care about trading him.

  40. Irreverent Discourse October 25th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Napoli was also batting about .200 in the playoffs before this season, something you all would have killed him for.

  41. Erin October 25th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Jerkface probably hasn’t had his bacon yet.

  42. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Second Blake’s Huh!

    http://www.baseball-reference......2010.shtml

  43. blake October 25th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Mathis hit .195/.219/.278 in 2010.

    Napoli also hit 26 homers last year and has a much longer track record of actually being able to hit.

  44. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Trade was made January 21st 2011, after the Angels for some unknown reason passed on signing FA Beltre.

  45. Joe from Long Island October 25th, 2011 at 10:42 am

    the angels have made it a habit to make strange deals, and to pass on signing fa players who can actually help them.

  46. Irreverent Discourse October 25th, 2011 at 10:42 am

    blake – With a .316 OBP, I don’t care how many home runs you hit. You are not good.

    How many players have 100 points swings in their OBP from year to year that are consistant and good?

  47. blake October 25th, 2011 at 10:46 am

    ID,

    You’re using a 1 year sample. His career OBP is .359 and he’s never really gotten consistent playing time until this year. Career OPS. 873.

    Mathis career OBP is .257 and career OPS is .557

    Mathis is one of the worst hitters in baseball

  48. trisha - true pinstriped blue October 25th, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Here I come to save the day!

    :)

    CC isn’t going anywhere but back to the Bronx, because that’s where he wants to be.

  49. blake October 25th, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Beltre would have helped the Angels a ton…..much more than Crawford

  50. yankeefeminista October 25th, 2011 at 10:53 am

    ID, Mathis’s offense from 2007 through currently, annually included OBP’s under .300 and SLG’s under .400. Napoli had a triple slash of .273/.374/.586 in 2008 and OPS over .800 in subsequent years. Are you really comparing their offense? If so, Napoli crushes Mathis in every category.

  51. blake October 25th, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Actually…….Beltre would have helped the Red Sox a ton also……much more than Crawford.

  52. yankeefeminista October 25th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    blake October 25th, 2011 at 9:25 am
    One thing scouting reports can’t project is a guy’s will…..catching just like many other things is a lot about how badly a player wants to make it happen. If Montero comitts to doing what it takes then I certainly think he can be good enough back there for a few years anyway.

    Its about maximizing the lineup…..the more Montero’s bat can be in the lineup at a non-DH position then the stronger the lineup is going to be.

    The Yankees have always won by getting more offense from the up the middle positions than their opponent.
    ______
    Montero absolutely *transformed* his body and became more agile as a result of sheer desire to catch. Look at his body now and a couple years ago and the change is stunning. Kid desperately wants to catch and he will catch, either here or elsewhere.

  53. Stottlemyre68 October 25th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    There are so many aspects of a catcher’s defense that are hard to quantify that it makes statistical analysis very unreliable. Most important is the role of a catcher as a partner to the pitcher in planning and executing a game plan — calling, locating, and framing pitches — as opposed to simply acting like a pitch-back screen. My impression of Martin was that he excelled in that aspect of the game. On any number of occasions, he made hitters look like monkeys, one of the most memorable being Adrian Gonzalez in the last game at Fenway with the bases loaded. This was an aspect totally lacking from Posada’s game and one can understand why alot of very fine pitchers (Pettitte, Mussina, Randy Johnson) didn’t want Posada to catch them, much less the erratic AJ Burnett. Then there’s the question of blocking the plate, something that Posada has never done. I wouldn’t be surprised if pitchers appreciated having someone like Martin who has the guts to block the plate on their side, as opposed to Posada who doesn’t. So when we get a bit frustrated over a particular at bat by Martin, we should ask ourselves what a better hitting catcher might have done when Martin makes a good defensive play. Let’s also remember that Martin got some good clutch hits as well (hello Daniel Bard!) and that nobody pinch hits at 1.000.

    Don’t get me wrong — I’m a huge Montero fan and have no idea how he will develop defensively. The good news is he has shown that he wants to learn. But, other than Posada, the Yankee catchers who hit well were all superb defensively, from Bill Dickey, whom many consider to have been the greatest of all time, to Yogi, who absorbed what Dickey taught him to become a great catcher, to Ellie Howard to Thurman Munson. If Montero can follow in their footsteps, then he should catch. If not, he will still be very valuable as a DH and part-time catcher. And let’s also remember that sharing time behind the plate extended the careers of Yogi and Elston, whereas Thurman was starting to show the effects of too much catching at the time of his tragic death.

    The idea of Montero and Cano in the middle of next year’s lineup along with Granderson is pretty awesome, especially if Tex can hit for a bit higher average and ARod can be fully healthy . . . .

  54. J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Nice to see that even the greatest hitter on the planet is still capable of swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, in the clutch, and striking out. Swish has some company. These guys need to relax….and concentrate
    ///

    I didn’t see anything from Albert to indicate he was jumpy. More like he was trying to protect the runner.

    I’m sure I don’t need to say that Swisher & Pujols operate in different universes, but let’s also take into account that Swisher is swinging out of the zone with the bases loaded.

    I still can’t believe that the same guy was going twice in the same game with Pujols at the plate, effectively killing St. Louis’ offense.

    Anyone see Feliz in the bullpen? He was nearly hyperventilating, and he was out of control enough that they could have pinned a big enough inning on him to swing the game back their way. Just unbelievable stupidity from the Cardinals, who are now in a big, big hole. Can they sweep the home pair? I doubt it, but with that middle order – if the manager doesn’t take the bat out of their hands – it’s certainly possible.

  55. trisha - true pinstriped blue October 25th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    If Texas pulls this out, it shouldn’t be surprising (not that I want it to happen; I’m still pulling for the Cards and still believe the Cards can win it).

    If there were a balanced schedule, you can bet your bottom dollar that St. Louis wouldn’t be in the postseason.

    Funny the teams that manage to creep in because of the unbalanced schedule.

    I spend the entire season watching baseball because I am interested in seeing the best teams compete for the prize that used to actually mean something – the World Series trophy.

  56. trisha - true pinstriped blue October 25th, 2011 at 11:00 am

    And isn’t it interesting that the Yankees most recent dynasty ended the year the unbalanced schedule was introduced.

  57. blake October 25th, 2011 at 11:01 am

    YF,

    Very true

  58. Erin October 25th, 2011 at 11:02 am

    YankeesPR Happy Birthday to Yankees Bullpen Coach Mike Harkey! Mike turns 45 today.

  59. LockDown October 25th, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Stottlemyre68 October 25th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Nice post

  60. J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Montero absolutely *transformed* his body and became more agile as a result of sheer desire to catch. Look at his body now and a couple years ago and the change is stunning. Kid desperately wants to catch and he will catch, either here or elsewhere.
    ///

    Yea, stunning is the word for it. Have writers other than Chad I wonder missed the Napoli irony in regard to the Yankees? Of course, Chad gets his best stuff from this community ;).

    Speaking of stunning physical transformations, I am still very hopeful about Joba’s role when he returns based on how svelte and limber he’s looking….I still think something much more interesting is in store for him, giving him the incentive to really take stock and get himself together (not that I buy that he’s a slacker in general, but he really looks in incredible shape). He also knows his “freedom” isn’t far off, & wants to start, naturally, where ever he pitches…

  61. pat October 25th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    “Kid desperately wants to catch and he will catch, either here or elsewhere.”

    It’s great that he’s working hard toward a goal but he’ll do what they tell him to for the next 6 years whether it lines up with what he wants or what fans want.

  62. blake October 25th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    JAP,

    I was listening to the radio this morning and Jim Memello was talking about Napoli…..and he said something like “makes you wonder if this will cause the Yankees to stop worrying so much about Montero’s defense and just get that bat in the lineup”

  63. J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    This was an aspect totally lacking from Posada’s game and one can understand why alot of very fine pitchers (Pettitte, Mussina, Randy Johnson) didn’t want Posada to catch them, much less the erratic AJ Burnett. Then there’s the question of blocking the plate, something that Posada has never done. I wouldn’t be surprised if pitchers appreciated having someone like Martin who has the guts to block the plate on their side, as opposed to Posada who doesn’t.
    ///

    When exactly did Pettitte say he didn’t want Posada to catch him? He had a thing going with Leyritz, hardly a GG, when Girardi was the catcher. Pettitte became annoyed with Cervelli – not Posada, who you may remember caught him en route to the latter pitching the clincher in the 2009 World Series, along with every other start he made that postseason.

    Martin has the “guts” to block the plate, but Posada doesn’t have “guts”?

    Right, Posada is gutless. That really describes him well. Get lost.

  64. J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    LockDown October 25th, 2011 at 11:02 am
    Stottlemyre68 October 25th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Nice post
    ///

    Which part did you like? THe part where he essentially calls Jorge Posada “gutless”? No accounting for taste, I guess.

  65. J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:14 am

    blake October 25th, 2011 at 11:08 am
    JAP,

    I was listening to the radio this morning and Jim Memello was talking about Napoli…..and he said something like “makes you wonder if this will cause the Yankees to stop worrying so much about Montero’s defense and just get that bat in the lineup”
    ///

    Haha. Well, that’s nice to hear. Hopefully we hear a lot more of that…I’d add to that: makes you wonder if the Yankees would still be playing if…..

  66. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Haha. Well, that’s nice to hear. Hopefully we hear a lot more of that…I’d add to that: makes you wonder if the Yankees would still be playing if…..
    —————-
    if………………………………..we had one timely hit & it was Montero who saved the day!!

    Pruf-I don’t want to be reminded! :)

  67. LockDown October 25th, 2011 at 11:19 am

    J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:12 am
    LockDown October 25th, 2011 at 11:02 am
    Stottlemyre68 October 25th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Nice post
    ///

    Which part did you like? THe part where he essentially calls Jorge Posada “gutless”? No accounting for taste, I guess.

    —-

    I know you adore Posada. So I think you’re taking this way too personally. And any criticism of Posada (no matter how small) is overblown by your sensitivity due to you adoration of the man.

    I have no problem discussing with people, but if you’re going to behave like this then I would appreciate you not responding to me.

  68. yankeefeminista October 25th, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Montero doesn’t have to be a great defensive catcher, he just has to be adequate. And Posada is anything but gutless.

  69. 86w183 October 25th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I think “gutless” is an unfair categorization for Posada, but the fact is he rarely blocked the plate in mre than a decade back there.

    He has an annoying habit of field throws before the plate, making it easier for runners to score. I don’t want to see violent collisions, but it was a weakness in his game.

    I think the era of a top flight offensive catcher being behind the plate 140+ games is over. the breakdown of Mauer and injury to Posey is going to terrify every team about putting an elite bat at such physical risk day in and day out.

    I’d have Martin catch 108 and Montero 54. Have Jesus DH about half the time and that’ll get him 500 AB in his rookie season.

    If Montero does DH that much a utility guy capable of catching a few innings becomes a must. Any ideas?

  70. J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 11:18 am
    Haha. Well, that’s nice to hear. Hopefully we hear a lot more of that…I’d add to that: makes you wonder if the Yankees would still be playing if…..
    —————-
    if………………………………..we had one timely hit & it was Montero who saved the day!!

    Pruf-I don’t want to be reminded!
    ///

    Haha, it’s painful, isn’t it? But we must suffer, in order to remind the YANKEES! Cash does read the blogs…got to counter all that “every decision the Yankees make is the right one and how dare you question the manager’s decisions’ contingent among us…;).

  71. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 11:24 am

    From MLBTRs on Predicting posting fee for Yu Darvish:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....tract.html

  72. J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I know you adore Posada. So I think you’re taking this way too personally. And any criticism of Posada (no matter how small) is overblown by your sensitivity due to you adoration of the man.

    I have no problem discussing with people, but if you’re going to behave like this then I would appreciate you not responding to me.
    ///
    He called him “gutless”. I’d say overblown doesn’t apply. The man suffered how many concussions being “gutless?” Please.

  73. Joe from Long Island October 25th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Man, if anyone wants their head to hurt, read Tom Verducci’s column on si.com today, as he tries to explain what in the %^&* LaRussa was doing last night.

  74. J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    & if you think that calling Posada “gutless” merits praise, I’m fine with not talking to you at all. Consider it done.

  75. yankeefeminista October 25th, 2011 at 11:27 am

    what was the guesstimated posting fee for Darvish?

  76. blake October 25th, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Maybe not blocking the plate was a reason Jorge was able to be a huge bet for so long while still catching.

    Having your catcher healthy and productive offensively is WAY more valuable longterm than the chance of a run not scoring every now and then. Blocking the plate is all well and good until you lose Buster Posey for the season.

  77. LockDown October 25th, 2011 at 11:32 am

    J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:24 am
    I know you adore Posada. So I think you’re taking this way too personally. And any criticism of Posada (no matter how small) is overblown by your sensitivity due to you adoration of the man.

    I have no problem discussing with people, but if you’re going to behave like this then I would appreciate you not responding to me.
    ///
    He called him “gutless”. I’d say overblown doesn’t apply. The man suffered how many concussions being “gutless?” Please.

    —–

    His post is more about Martin’s aggressiveness behind the plate. He’s got a goalie mentality. Martin actually talked about not having enough plate plays several days before the cubs game where the collision came & Martin showed Pena the ball.

    The post was more about Martin’s “daredevil” mentality, as well as his other skills. Posada never had the daredevil mentality. (of course you’ll blow this last sentence as a major insult to posada’s manhood or whatever, because that’s how you are)

    You made the entire post about him inferring that Posada is gutless. If you can’t see that your response was based on your obsessive adoration for the human being named Posada, then there’s no help for you. You’re going to have a rough 2012 when he’s gone.

    But you keep overblowing post. ;)

  78. LockDown October 25th, 2011 at 11:34 am

    J. Alfred Prufrock October 25th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    & if you think that calling Posada “gutless” merits praise, I’m fine with not talking to you at all. Consider it done.

    That’s your sensitivity striking as you overblow things up & cut people off due to your adoration for Posada.

    I don’t like childish behavior. Dislike me because I agreed with a post… Silly really….

    Let’s never respond again to each other then… no problem

  79. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Verducci-

    “Really, my head hurts trying to figure out what La Russa did to this game but mostly how he tried to explain it away. It was like being stuck in a gigantic corn maze. Blindfolded. At midnight. After getting spun around 38 times. Every explanation led to another turn that led to another dead end or false exit. The bottom line is he lost the game having a matchup he didn’t want — a left-hander pitching to red-hot Napoli — and he lost his last opportunity by getting a runner thrown out who, while down two runs, didn’t mean anything. I’ve never seen a game even close to this one and I hope never again to have to try to explain one like it.”

    Full article-Thanks Joe

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....=hp_t11_a1

  80. Pat M. October 25th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Lockdown……I thought that Stott’s post was outstanding and I can understand JAP’s complaint and I think gun shy would have served as a better description of Jorge’s mindset regarding the plate coverage rather than gutless….I think Jorge hasn’t been the same since Texeria blasted Jorge some years ago in a very ugly plate collision……I think Jorge will make his way to Cooperstown someday as a hitting catcher…..

  81. upstate kate October 25th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    None of all the crazy LaRussa decisions would have mattered if the Cards would have scored when they had the opportunity. They had 12 LOB, some of the time w/ Holliday up to bat.

  82. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Yankeefem-
    Darvish guesstimate posting fee from MLBTR article posted above:

    Last week, I polled five agents and one team executive about Darvish’s potential posting fee and contract. Guesses on the posting fee ranged from $30-55MM, with the team executive making the highest prediction. The average of the six guesses was $45MM. As for the contract, most people predicted a five or six-year deal in the $72-75MM range. One agent wondered if the winning team will “try to force some options down his throat,” especially if it’s the Blue Jays.

  83. LockDown October 25th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I would love to add Darvish to the rotation. I’m not interested in CJW, though he pitched well yesterday considering he didn’t seem to have his best stuff, a lot of 3-2 counts, but didn’t have a meltdown.

    But I’m leaning toward Darvish. :D

  84. Erin October 25th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    FakePeteGammons Woke up today realizing Theo’s gone. Conflicted. Cherington better give me my Xmas goose early. Hungry like the wolf, this is Peter Gammons.

  85. djsunyc October 25th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    imho, i think the angels traded for wells b/c they’ve been burned many times by FA’s. they saw an opportunity to buy low on a guy signed long term. granted, it probably wasn’t the best gamble but i could somewhat understand it from their POV.

  86. pat October 25th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I had never heard of a batter putting on a hit and run from the batters box before last night.

    Is that a Pujols only thing?

  87. yankeefeminista October 25th, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Thanks, YT. I hope we win the bid and go all out to sign Darvish.

    Pat, yes, gun-shy has a whole different meaning than gutless. The post otherwise was fine, but the choice of “gutless” was curious, offensive and no doubt intended to elicit a response.

  88. djsunyc October 25th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    what’s the shelf life for japanese starters? 3 years tops?

  89. blake October 25th, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Whoever wins the posting will have some leverage….how much depends on how badly Darvish wants to come to the states now. If the Yanks won the posting they coukd hold firm on a contract they deem fair ……and if he doesn’t like it he can go back to Japan for another year.

  90. yankeefeminista October 25th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Pat M. October 25th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I think Jorge hasn’t been the same since Texeria blasted Jorge some years ago in a very ugly plate collision.
    ______
    I was at that game and felt the impact of that collision all the way up in Tier 1. It was brutal.

    blake October 25th, 2011 at 11:31 am
    Maybe not blocking the plate was a reason Jorge was able to be a huge bet for so long while still catching.

    Having your catcher healthy and productive offensively is WAY more valuable longterm than the chance of a run not scoring every now and then. Blocking the plate is all well and good until you lose Buster Posey for the season.
    ____________
    Agree about offensive value. Look at BP’s metrics on defensive catching. They had Mathis rated at something like a +19 in run prevention and Napoli at a -24. Yeah, right.

  91. blake October 25th, 2011 at 11:55 am

    As Mcarver explained last night….hitters can have a sign to signal a Hit and run to the guy on 1B…..if Albert did that on his own you have to wonder what in the heck he’s thinking there. Maybe he’s been around Tony too long.

  92. MTU October 25th, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Lockdown-

    If that was CJW pitching well when he didn’t have his good stuff I’d hate to see him when he was really bad. He walked 5 guys in almost as many innings. I found his performance underwhelming to say the least.

    I hope the Yankees pass on his level of mediocrity.

    If the Cards bats were awake he would have and should have been in the showers by the 2nd or 3rd inning.

    In a nutshell, I thought he sucked.

    JMO.

  93. Villa Nova-Ya October 25th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    pat -

    I had a similar thought this morning. How can it be that I’ve been following baseball for as long as I have, and while I’ve heard of players stealing bases on their own and bunting on their own, I have absolutely never heard of any player calling a hit and run from the batter’s box??

    And on MLB after the game, Harold Reynolds I think was saying that Cal Ripken Jr. did this, too.

    Can’t happen all that often, I’d guess. Can’t imagine many managers being comfortable with that.

  94. blake October 25th, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Wilson was awful last night…..he should have given up a bunch of runs.

    Im starting to wonder if the innings are finally catching up with him as his stuff just doesn’t look crisp at all and he can’t locate anything.

  95. yanks61 October 25th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I think that Posada was probably thought by most baseball people to be an adequate catcher defensively – not great, not bad.

    Posada certainly was a very good to excellent hitting catcher. Where exactly in the pantheon of great hitting catchers Posada resides is for those with better analytical skills than I (the saber wizards to the rescue?) to determine.

    On the other hand, Stottlemyre68 is quite correct, in my opinion, regarding the superior defensive skills of Dickey (who I never saw, but whose skills were well documented), Yogi, Howard and Thurman. I saw them all play on numerous ocassions at YS and, of course, a multitude of times on TV.

    If I had to choose among them (disregarding Dickey because I didn’t see him play), Yogi would be my first choice. Had Thurm lived I think he would be my second. But since we can’t evaluate how he would have aged, I would take Jorge as my second choice among Yankee catchers. Howard was a wonderful defensive backstop – certainly better than Jorge, but did not have the hitting talent of Posada (even though Ellie was no slouch at hitting.)

    Of course this is perhaps my own Yogi basis, just as JAP has his Jorge man crush.

  96. ac1 October 25th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Darvish over Wilson.
    Asked last night: Now that Philly declined Oswalt’s option, is he worth a look to add to the rotation?

  97. blake October 25th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Id consider Oswalt for one year…..but Im thinning the Phillies are probably going to offers him enough that it wouldn’t make sense for the Yanks.

  98. Villa Nova-Ya October 25th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    blake -

    In all the games I’ve watched over the years, including Mets, Yankees, Braves, Cubs local broadcasts (or regional), as well as Game of the Week, ESPN, Fox, and MLB, I have NEVER heard it come up before.

    And many of those games were broadcast by McCarver.

    I’m more dumbfounded by the idea that that kind of play exists than I am that the three pitchers for the Red Sox ordered in fried chicken and drank bud lights.

  99. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    djsunyc October 25th, 2011 at 11:51 am
    what’s the shelf life for japanese starters? 3 years tops?
    ————————————————-
    Hideo Nomo was still effective in his 9th year with 16 wins in the majors and ERA of 3.09 at age 34.

  100. ac1 October 25th, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Wilson is NOT worth a 5 year deal.

    We are in the middle of a five year contract that has not worked out with a guy that only had one really good year with AJ.

  101. LockDown October 25th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    MTU October 25th, 2011 at 11:56 am
    Lockdown-

    If that was CJW pitching well when he didn’t have his good stuff I’d hate to see him when he was really bad. He walked 5 guys in almost as many innings. I found his performance underwhelming to say the least.

    I hope the Yankees pass on his level of mediocrity.

    If the Cards bats were awake he would have and should have been in the showers by the 2nd or 3rd inning.

    In a nutshell, I thought he sucked.

    JMO.
    —-

    And yet he only gave up 4H and 2R, only 1 of which is earned

    He walked a lot true, but I’m guessing Pujols was intentional.

    I haven’t seen a lot of his games, but to have those numbers & not have a dominating inning, makes me believe he gritted it out.

    Do I want CJW? No, never did.

    But I give him credit for limiting damage last night when he didn’t have his stuff.

  102. blake October 25th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Villa,

    Don’t think its real common as it takes a veteran and star player to make that call….and be given the leeway to do it. It was dumb whether Pujols or Larussa called it.

  103. Pat M. October 25th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    yankeefeminista…..Jerkface and I went round and round about the Napoli / Mathis merits ….Living on Orange County allows me to see The Angels quite a bit and the primary issues that Mikey Scocsia had with Naps was his in game management…..Naps always had a power stick and the one thing that changed in his approach this season was he no longer has that uppercut swing and backed off his pull happy mentality….Basically he’s a different hitter in some key areas…..He’s still not very good with the glove and the Agels gave him a firstbaseman glove a few years back to maximize his stick in the lineup more often……What he’s done this season has been remarkable and it’ll be forever remembered, but I doubt it’s something the Rangers should count on moving ahead….

  104. blake October 25th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    The cubs are presenting their savior today ….Theo press conference on now.

  105. yankeefeminista October 25th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    djsunyc October 25th, 2011 at 11:51 am
    what’s the shelf life for japanese starters? 3 years tops?
    _______
    I don’t think you can compare Darvish to other Japanese starters. He is young, physically strong/big and durable, repeats his delivery extremely well and can make in game adjustments. He is supposedly his own pitching coach. Darvish is not your “typical” Japanese pitcher, if there even is such a thing.

  106. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    ac1 and Blake-

    From ESPN:

    Oswalt will be paid a $2 million buyout as the Phillies have declined his 2012 option, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports. (Mon Oct 24)

    Spin: They will still attempt to re-sign him as a free agent, but the 34-year-old Oswalt made just 23 starts in his 2011 due to a back injury. The results were as bad as we’ve seen from him in his big league career. His K/9IP dipped to 6.02. He was victimized by a .324 BABIP, however, and it was only accompanied by a moderate increase in his line drive rate (from 17.6% in 2010 to 19.3% in 2011). Regardless of where he pitches, it’s unlikely he’ll collect as much as the $16 million he was paid in 2011.

  107. upstate kate October 25th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Pujols definitely said he called the first H&R…which set up the IBB and took the bat away from himself.

    Villa
    just to be clear…are you dumbfounded that the red sox pitchers drank bud light b/c they were drinking beer, or b/c they weren’t drinking Sam Adams?

  108. MTU October 25th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Lockdown-

    No problem. You are entitled to your opinion.

    Guess that’s what makes the world go round.

    Me. I do not want him anywhere near the Yankees.

    I’d rather have Danks or Buerhle.

    And yes, I know he is a FA and Danks is not.

    ;)

  109. ac1 October 25th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Buherle could be an option too.
    Would he ever want to come to NY is the question.

  110. Erin October 25th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    New Post- Report: Royals on verge of naming Eiland pitching coach

    :arrow:

  111. Bronx Jeers October 25th, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I say roll those dice with Darvish and I’m basing that only on what I read from the good people in here.

    And what’s the downside? Igawa part II? We’re already trained for that.

    The only drawback is that Darvish is a much better looking lad than Igawa so comically we could take a hit.

  112. Yankee Trader October 25th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    MTU-

    Buehrle’s stats last year were almost identical to Garcia’s stats from the right side. Other than Wilson and Buehrle the other FA lefty starters are Chen, Bedard, Francis, Capuano, Willis, Maholm, Davis.

    I hope they go after Darvish. Montero and Darvish. Like the enthusiasm and energy they would bring to the team and fan base!

  113. yankeefeminista October 25th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Pat, while Napoli may have improved his swing mechanics, he could always hit. I too don’t think Texas is counting on him being this good going forward. As for his defense, no he isn’t very good, and certainly you therefore may want to get his bat in at a few positions. However, again the debate continues to be, does catcher defense when that catcher has no bat whatsoever at all compensate for taking an offensive catcher’s bat out of the lineup? I still resoundingly say, no. You get the catcher with the big bat in there, even if you sometimes DH him. Especially when we are talking about a bat of Montero’s caliber. He is more valuable as a catcher than your Joe average supposed run prevention catcher is. Unless that catcher is not only stellar defensively but also has some decent hitting ability/pop.

  114. austinmac October 25th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    MTU.

    I disagree that Wilson sucked. He pitched 5 1/3 inning and gave up four hits and one earned run. He did have five walks, but two were intentional. What Yankee starter pitched that well?

    I would rather give Darvish or Danks a go, but Wilson does not stink. He has been better than any Yankee not named CC over the last two years–by far.

  115. Dill Pickler October 25th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Great post, Chad. Imo, Russell Martin needs to do better than .230 to be our starting catcher. You just can’t afford to carry someone that bad offensively in your lineup in the AL East.

    As to Darvish, he is not Kei Igawa. The only comparison is that they are both Japanese. Scouts here almost unanimously panned Igawa and said the Yankees paying that much for him was inexplicable. Darvish is another world talent-wise from Igawa.

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