PDA

View Full Version : Did Wayne Really Keep the Wrong Catcher?



Ltlabner
06-27-2007, 03:56 PM
Ross has certinally been stinking it up at the plate this year. No argument there (however, he's been warming up latley). I fully admit that this discussion is largely choosing death by hanging versus firing squad. Also, if we could wave a wand and bring Pudge to town, then this is mostly wasted bandwidth. But lets look at what we had to work with.

But between Ross, Javy and LaRue, did we really give up the wrong guy? Let's start out behind the plate.


E FPCT RF ZR PB SB CS CS% Salary
Ross 3 .993 7.52 .867 5 18 17 .486 $1,600,000
LaRue 1 .993 5.54 .000 1 13 5 .278 $5,450,000
Javy V 1 .988 6.14 1.000 1 11 0 .000 $1,250,000

LaRue was on a 15 day DL and has cost KC just under twice as much as Javy and Ross combined. Ross has 3 errors but considerably more playing time than either LaRue or Javy. Ross's biggest asset this year is gunning down 48.6% of attempted base runners this year. While I'm not sure what that's worth to the team with the reduced amount of stealing realitive to past eras, it's not a bad thing. LaRue's CS% is way down from his normal and Javy flat out sucks at nailing base runners. Ross has had a fair number of pass balls, and his FPCT refects his occasional inability to hold onto a ball when thrown to him. It's hard to compare Javy and LaRue to Ross because of their reduced playing times, so....how does this compare to other folks around the NL?


E FPCT RF ZR PB SB CS CS% Salary
Ausmus 1 .998 8.01 1.000 1 22 10 .313 $4,000,000
Paulino 5 .987 6.82 1.000 4 31 19 .380 $ 401,000
Lo Duca 4 .990 6.98 1.000 1 34 13 .277 $6,600,823
Estrada 5 .988 7.29 .875 0 37 9 .196 $3,400,000
Barrett 5 .989 7.63 .818 9 37 10 .213 $4,533,333

In terms of CS% and sallary Ross is a steal. He's keeping the other teams running game in check and mostly holding his own in errors and FPCT. People claim Ross works well with the pitchers but I don't know how you would quantify that (not to mention, "they" seem to say that about most catchers who are going though a rough patch). Three other guys have higher ZR's than Ross, but his ZR isn't totally out of wack.

At the plate, obviously, is a totally different story.


OBP SLG VORP
Ross .255 .394 -2.9
LaRue .247 .318 -3.9
Javy .317 .375 0.9

It's pretty ugly, no doubt about that. Over the remainder of the year you are betting that LaRue, who is older and is starting to have injury problems is going to out-hit Ross who is younger and is able to go deep when he's in the groove. FWIW, Pecota predicts Ross to end up at a 8.6 VORP over 2007 while they have LaRue -.5. I'll still go with Ross at the plate over the course of the year. Javy has some value as a PH (not much, but some).

When you look at the random folks I selected, forget it. At the plate, with the exception of one, they are all outproducing all three of Ross, LaRue and Javy combined.


OBP SLG VORP
Ausmus .341 .372 5.2
Paulino .270 .347 -4.3
Lo Duca .326 .363 6.3
Estrada .307 .437 9.1
Barrett .307 .427 5.2

So I guess my point is, between the rat poison and the noose, I'd have to choose Ross and think Wayne made the right call. Contact extenison or no, he's cheeper, better behind the plate and better at the plate than LaRue.

Defensivley, Ross is pretty decent compared to some other big name catchers around the NL, especially considering his salary. Offensivley...well, unless he gets last year's magic back, he's pretty offensive right now.

BRM
06-27-2007, 04:04 PM
KC is only on the hook for $2.5M of Larue's salary in 2007. The Reds are paying the other nearly $3M. Ross is at $1.6M and Val is at $1.25M for 2007. The Reds are the ones paying nearly twice as much for the choice to keep Ross as KC is for taking Larue.

flyer85
06-27-2007, 04:05 PM
all three of them.

Ltlabner
06-27-2007, 04:09 PM
KC is only on the hook for $2.5M of Larue's salary in 2007. The Reds are paying the other nearly $3M. Ross is at $1.6M and Val is at $1.25M for 2007. The Reds are the ones paying nearly twice as much for the choice to keep Ross as KC is for taking Larue.

You know what? I totally forgot about that. Don't I feal silly now.

:laugh:

remdog
06-27-2007, 04:18 PM
I was going to post that, in effect, the Reds are paying about $4.6M for Ross since they sent $3M to KC in the LaRue deal in order to keep Ross but I see someone beat me to it.

So, not to beat up on ya' LilAbner, I will say this: Ross has performed much better than I expected, at least defensively. And, having seen him both with the Dodgers and Pads I didn't expect much. He's actually been fairly solid this year defensively. (Still needs work on blocking the plate.)

Let's face it, catching is a crying need everywhere in the Reds system and all we can hope to do is find someone in a trade to fill that need in the immediate future.

Rem

Danny Serafini
06-27-2007, 04:28 PM
Even though Ross has been disappointing at the plate, bottom line is Ross at $4.6M is better than LaRue at $5.5M this year. The deal still works out.

fearofpopvol1
06-27-2007, 04:33 PM
Yeah, don't forget to mention the power that Ross has in his bat. He may not connect often, but he's on pace to hit over 20 HR's this year, which isn't bad at all. If he can get his batting average up to 235 (which I believe is his career average), I'd be totally fine with Ross.

BRM
06-27-2007, 04:36 PM
I'm not particularly enamored with any of the catchers that have been discussed in this thread. That said, Ross is probably the better bargain...which isn't saying much.

camisadelgolf
06-27-2007, 04:38 PM
I believe the Reds are still owed a PTBNL for LaRue, though. Maybe that will make a difference in this (but probably not).

flyer85
06-27-2007, 04:48 PM
I'm not particluarly enamored with any of the catchers that have been discussed in this thread. That said, Ross is probably the better bargain...which isn't saying much.kind of like asking what type of shoes you want someone to put on before they kick you in the nuts.

Ltlabner
06-27-2007, 05:00 PM
kind of like asking what type of shoes you want someone to put on before they kick you in the nuts.

What catchers are floating around out there that would provide a better offensive and defensive output for a reasonable cost?

I'm not saying there aren't any, but I don't recall any real FA's floating around last year that made sense. This year one would have to be acquired via trade. With pitching and a RH power bat being a higher priority, unless we pick up a "Brandon Philips" of the catching world as a throw in on a trade, I'm not sure it makes lots of sense to put catching high up on the priority list.

Red Heeler
06-27-2007, 05:52 PM
From an offensive production standpoint, all three are aweful this year, so that is a wash. The Reds are saving about $1 million this year with Ross + Valentine versus Larue + ??? OTOH, they could have traded Val and Ross in the offseasons following their career years. Would Larue + ??? + return for Val and Ross be more valuable?

remdog
06-27-2007, 06:07 PM
From an offensive production standpoint, all three are aweful this year, so that is a wash. The Reds are saving about $1 million this year with Ross + Valentine versus Larue + ??? OTOH, they could have traded Val and Ross in the offseasons following their career years. Would Larue + ??? + return for Val and Ross be more valuable?

Good post, RH. And, of course, therein lies the rub. Krivsky made a judgement call. Personally, I wouldn't have done it the way Wayne did but (shrug) at this point, it may not be a big deal. The Reds would still be very thin at catcher and still be in last place. The only "plus" I can see by moving Ross and 'Stach' is that we would probably have only two catchers on the roster but, in all honesty, that's just a guess.

Rem

Always Red
06-27-2007, 06:12 PM
I believe the Reds are still owed a PTBNL for LaRue, though. Maybe that will make a difference in this (but probably not).

With the way LaRue has hit this year, the Reds might just end up owing the Royals a PTBNL??? ;)

Actually, Jason has hit much better this month, .286 in 35 AB's thus far, bringing his season average up to .182. I think LaRue is at the end of his career, unless he wants to continue on in a Chad Moeller type of role with another team. Not sure if his ego could handle that, as he was put-off last year with his diminished role; not sure how he's handling it in KC this year.

http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_gamebygamelog.jsp?c_id=kc&playerID=150178&statType=1

I'm OK with Ross's catching, throwing, and power. Less sure of his ability to call and manage a game, and am absolutely sure of his inability to not make an out.

Ross is a good 2nd catcher/PH. This position needs an obvious upgrade. :laugh:

remdog
06-27-2007, 06:21 PM
I think (a large) part of LaReu's unhappiness last year was due to the fact that he felt that he lost his job because of injury and wasn't given the chance to win it back. I tend to agree with that perception but, OTOH, Ross was having the year of his life so I can understand going with the 'hot hand'.

Rem

Mario-Rijo
06-27-2007, 06:32 PM
People claim Ross works well with the pitchers but I don't know how you would quantify that (not to mention, "they" seem to say that about most catchers who are going though a rough patch).


How about a CERA of 4.28 (479 IP), that's how I would quantify it. However the stat is a bit misleading in that the better staff you have to work with the likelihood you will have a lower CERA (Catchers ERA).

But you can get some idea based on the other catchers you employ. Moeller is supposed to be one who does a good job of calling games and Javy is usually thought of oppositely.

Moeller (in only 76 IP) has a CERA of 7.37, so much for the idea he helps out in that regard?

Valentin (in only 122 IP) has a CERA of 4.73.

Hmmmm, Squash that myth I did!!! :D

'07
LaRue: 231 IP - 4.71 CERA
Ausmus: 483 - 4.58
Paulino: 515 - 4.13
Lo Duca: 525 - 3.75
Estrada: 509 - 4.25
Barrett: 502 - 4.14

Again this isn't saying the CERA isn't flawed but it's interesting to note that Ausmus and Ross have nearly the same IP and Ausmus (Ya might even toss Estrada into this picture) pitchers are supposed to be the better overall staff. What gives?

Another question that begs asking is for as bad as the Cubs and Mets staff seemingly are LoDuca and Barrett (I know he's a Padre but most IP have been with Chi.) have pretty solid "s here. Makes me want to inquire about Barrett's availibility.

Always Red
06-27-2007, 07:05 PM
However the stat is a bit misleading in that the better staff you have to work with the likelihood you will have a lower CERA (Catchers ERA).



CERA is really only a useful stat if the catchers are all catching the same pitchers, IMO. There's no control, no point of comparison.

For instance, Ross's CERA looked good last year because for a large part of the year, he was catching mostly Arroyo, who was having his career year.

It's become one of my least favorite stats.

M2
06-27-2007, 07:49 PM
It's not that Wayne kept the wrong catcher. He failed to trade the right catcher. What he had with Ross this past year (and with Valentin before the 2006 season began) was an opportunity to sell high.

Chip R
06-27-2007, 08:33 PM
I think (a large) part of LaReu's unhappiness last year was due to the fact that he felt that he lost his job because of injury and wasn't given the chance to win it back. I tend to agree with that perception but, OTOH, Ross was having the year of his life so I can understand going with the 'hot hand'.

Rem


I think that's pretty accurate.

Mario-Rijo
06-27-2007, 09:02 PM
CERA is really only a useful stat if the catchers are all catching the same pitchers, IMO. There's no control, no point of comparison.

For instance, Ross's CERA looked good last year because for a large part of the year, he was catching mostly Arroyo, who was having his career year.

It's become one of my least favorite stats.

I agree, but it's all we have at this point. At least that I am aware of, of course that doesn't mean that much as I know of few stats-related ways to determine much in the way of baseball.

Guacarock
06-28-2007, 01:56 AM
I'm OK with Ross. True, he hasn't gone on an offensive tear like he did in '06, but he's now collected 28 RBI, or 3 ahead of Hamilton. That's no small feat with Ross having fewer plate appearances, hitting eighth and not exactly proving to be an .OBP machine. Like other Reds' batters, Ross is a feast-or-famine hitter, whose slugging (11 HR) helps to mask his inconsistencies.

With his strong arm, improved defense and rapport with the pitchers, he's an acceptable alternative for now, certainly an upgrade over Valentin, Moeller or the declining Larue.

If we're looking for an understudy to partner with Ross, perhaps we can trade the Indians for one of their two hot-hitting catcher prospects from the High A Kinston Indians -- Gimenez or Ramirez. Gimenez has a 1.028 OPS with 16 HR in 181 AB, while Ramirez has a .944 OPS with 10 HR in 205 AB. With Martinez and Shoppach ahead of them, and with two flashy prospects on the same squad, seems like we could pry one away from the Indians.

The knock against Gimenez and Ramirez: They are both converted 3B, still learning how to defend home plate. That said, they seem to be smart, skilled and improving, so I'd take the risk one could develop as Ross' tandem mate or eventual replacement.