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Kc61
08-24-2007, 10:15 PM
Hitting .297 catching most days, team is winning, he seems to be doing ok defensively. The pitchers are doing ok with him behind the plate. Javy showed tonight that he's not an automatic out right handed. Gets clutch hit after clutch hit. 15 doubles in 170 at bats.

I don't see him catching 140 games or anything, but I'll take him for 100 games. I've always thought he is an excellent hitter, particularly lefty. His numbers may not tell the whole story because he always played so sporadically. When Ross comes back, I'm happy with a platoon, Javy against all righty starters, Ross vs. lefties.

Maybe I should have put this in the unpopular ideas thread. Fire away.

fearofpopvol1
08-24-2007, 10:35 PM
Hitting .297 catching most days, team is winning, he seems to be doing ok defensively. The pitchers are doing ok with him behind the plate. Javy showed tonight that he's not an automatic out right handed. Gets clutch hit after clutch hit. 15 doubles in 170 at bats.

I don't see him catching 140 games or anything, but I'll take him for 100 games. I've always thought he is an excellent hitter, particularly lefty. His numbers may not tell the whole story because he always played so sporadically. When Ross comes back, I'm happy with a platoon, Javy against all righty starters, Ross vs. lefties.

Maybe I should have put this in the unpopular ideas thread. Fire away.

I agree with you. He also extended his hitting streak tonight (which is a personal best).

It shouldn't be a surprise. When LaRue and Javy split time in 2005, Javy was producing. A lot of people have been down on him, but I'm not sure why. He's not great defensively, but he's alright. He's a good hitter. He pulls the ball very well. He is a bit older, but he's cheap. Considering how deprived the Reds system is of catching, Javy is fine in my book as a platoon catcher.

mbgrayson
08-24-2007, 11:13 PM
I liked seeing him push Keppinger away from yelling at the ump, I think it was last night. That showed real leadership, and you like to see the veterans do that with the younger guys.

TheBurn
08-25-2007, 12:41 AM
-mlb.com

"To me, Javier can hit left-handers," Mackanin said. "He hit that ball like a Tiger Woods two-iron stinger. It was a rocket." :D

mth123
08-25-2007, 03:53 AM
I was actually thinking of starting a similar thread. Javy has an option for 2008 for $1.3 Million. I've been an advocate of scraping together as much as possible to put into the pitching staff including the thought of skimping on the back-up catcher to league minimum. But Javy is probably worth the money and the Reds would not be overpaying to bring him back. Catchers who hit lefty and actually are a threat up there are pretty valuable. The Ross/Javy combo is way down the list of problems on this team.

The problem that Javy creates is more due to the situation. If Javy is going to be a useful bench bat, he can't be the guy the team saves as the back-up catcher. That leads to the thinking that 3 catchers are required. With 12 pitchers, which almost seems a necessity with this poor staff, carrying a third catcher to free-up Javy really leaves the team short in other areas. One solution is to make Javy the starter (enjoying the use of his bat more often), trade Ross and bring in a minimum guy for back-up. The question is whether or not Javy will cost the pitching staff too much by being back there regularly. This is one area that I really have no idea.

Assuming Javy is feasible behind the plate as the regular, Ross becomes a pretty pricey back-up. He'll make $2.52 Million in 2008. I'm guessing we'll see more of the same next year with Javy/Ross splitting time somehow, but Ross getting the bulk. If so, Javy's bat is wasted if he's held back as the back-up catcher.

GAC
08-25-2007, 04:31 AM
I look at the catching situation around MLB (availablity) - after all, didn't LA snatch up Moeller? - and I have no problem whatsoever with the catching tandem of Ross/Valentin. So in '08 the both of them will cost a total of around 3.8 Mil? Again, I have no problem with that.

Javy has always been able to hit. It has always been his defense, calling a game, handling of pitchres, that has been a huge question mark. But he has done an admirable job since Ross went down.

camisadelgolf
08-25-2007, 05:24 AM
Javy Valentin is a horrible catcher, in my opinion. I think he has trouble throwing out base-runners, he doesn't have particularly good technique, he doesn't handle pitchers too well, and to an extent, I even question his role in selecting pitches. The guy can hit, though. I'm not criticizing him, but I think if he worked on his figure a bit, he could be a much more valuable player.

Kc61
08-25-2007, 09:38 AM
I was actually thinking of starting a similar thread. Javy has an option for 2008 for $1.3 Million. I've been an advocate of scraping together as much as possible to put into the pitching staff including the thought of skimping on the back-up catcher to league minimum.

Assuming Javy is feasible behind the plate as the regular, Ross becomes a pretty pricey back-up. He'll make $2.52 Million in 2008. I'm guessing we'll see more of the same next year with Javy/Ross splitting time somehow, but Ross getting the bulk. If so, Javy's bat is wasted if he's held back as the back-up catcher.

If the team has a $1.3 million option on Javy, I'd exercise it in a heartbeat. That's an excellent deal for the club. I think you also need a Ross type to go along with him, so I would pay the price for DR. I don't think they have a choice on Ross, who is signed for 2008 if I recall.

icehole3
08-25-2007, 11:57 AM
a year ago we were waiting for LaRue to get his swing back, now one year later the catching situation is like night and day.

fearofpopvol1
08-25-2007, 12:58 PM
Javy Valentin is a horrible catcher, in my opinion. I think he has trouble throwing out base-runners, he doesn't have particularly good technique, he doesn't handle pitchers too well, and to an extent, I even question his role in selecting pitches. The guy can hit, though. I'm not criticizing him, but I think if he worked on his figure a bit, he could be a much more valuable player.

The Reds' team record since Ross has been on the DL says :wave:

mth123
08-25-2007, 02:03 PM
If the team has a $1.3 million option on Javy, I'd exercise it in a heartbeat. That's an excellent deal for the club. I think you also need a Ross type to go along with him, so I would pay the price for DR. I don't think they have a choice on Ross, who is signed for 2008 if I recall.

Agree $1.3 Million isn't a bad deal. The problem is to take full advantage of his bat the team either needs to let him start or carry 3 catchers to make him freely usable off the bench.

camisadelgolf
08-25-2007, 02:04 PM
The Reds' team record since Ross has been on the DL says :wave:

Fortunately, when you hit .382 with seven RBIs over nine games, defense becomes less important. :)

RedsManRick
08-25-2007, 02:06 PM
It comes down to how you weight offense and defense. I think a general platoon of Ross vL and catching Arroyo with Javy vR makes a whole lot of sense.

Kc61
08-25-2007, 02:16 PM
Don't want to belabor the point but Javy is one of my favorite Reds. His pinch double on 8/19 against Linebrink with the bases juiced and a full count was one of the most outstanding Reds at bats this season. After strike two I was concerned that this would be a lost opportunity, but Javy just smoked his hit off a tough reliever to bring in the tying and lead runs.

Unfortunate that his throwing has fallen off -- it used to be good. There still is a need for a Ross on the team. But I think that, in terms of pure hitting ability, Javy is vastly underrated and if he continues to catch decently he should be out there much of the time.

fearofpopvol1
08-25-2007, 02:25 PM
Fortunately, when you hit .382 with seven RBIs over nine games, defense becomes less important. :)

Sure that helps, but think of how many innnings he's caught with that bullpen (in which games were very close by the game). If he's truly calling terrible games and has bad pitch calling, don't you think that would've caught up for this run?

I'm not disputing the fact that his arm is weak and I do think overall Ross calls a better game behind the plate. BUT, I don't think his game calling is as bad as you're making it out to be.

DoogMinAmo
08-25-2007, 02:32 PM
Agree $1.3 Million isn't a bad deal. The problem is to take full advantage of his bat the team either needs to let him start or carry 3 catchers to make him freely usable off the bench.

That is why Hattie becomes the first leftie off the bench, and Valentin can be saved for late inning heroics. Ross can start vs. lefties and/or for Aroyo & Harang, Valentin vs. righties and/or for EZ & Cueto.

mth123
08-25-2007, 02:41 PM
That is why Hattie becomes the first leftie off the bench, and Valentin can be saved for late inning heroics. Ross can start vs. lefties and/or for Aroyo & Harang, Valentin vs. righties and/or for EZ & Cueto.

Maybe Javy should catch when Arroyo and Harang pitch. If calling a game is his problem, I'd guess the veteren successful guys pretty much throw what they want and don't rely much on the catcher. That would seem to minimze one of his main flaws.

Patrick Bateman
08-25-2007, 03:08 PM
With Valentin, we now have a pretty good sample size of what to expect from him. Here's his 3 year splis from 2005-2007:

.342/.465/.807

Pretty impressive numbers for a catcher. Considering he is extremely weak against lefties (and I don't care what Mackanin says, he can't hit them, and 17 at-bats doesn't change that, carerr .557 OPS vs. lefties) he is a perfect platoon player. I think his above average hitting abilities makes up for what he loses on defense. I'd be fine with him getting the bulk of the starts against righties.

In regards to Ross, he can indeed hit lefties. Even this season he has a line of .286/.480/.766, which is good enough in a platoon role. His 3 year splits before this season saw him post a line of .313/.494/.807.

If used correctly, I think this can be a decent enough platoon. not much on base ability, but at the end of the line-up, it would be some decent power to have. the main problem is if Mackanin does deviate away from the platoon, the offensive numbers will get really ugly. He needs to keep to the platoon as strict as possible.

Valentin has an affordable option for next season, and considering the Reds will already be paying Ross to hit against lefties next season, they may as well bring Valentin back next season since he represents a very cheap solution to the other side of the platoon.

What the Reds lose in defense with Valentin will be more than gained by Valentin's massive advantage at hitting right handed pitching (Ross' career line against righties: .296/.422/.718)

PuffyPig
08-25-2007, 03:10 PM
Javy showed tonight that he's not an automatic out right handed.

I don't think that 2 hits vs. Willis (over .900 OPS vs. RH hitters) suddenly overcomes a lifetime of mediocre hitting vs. LH pitching.

Javy will have to prove it over 100 AB's or so before I'll be convinced. Because he was, more or less, flailing away vs. Willis notwithstanding the 2 hits.

mth123
08-25-2007, 03:19 PM
With Valentin, we now have a pretty good sample size of what to expect from him. Here's his 3 year splis from 2005-2007:

.342/.465/.807

Pretty impressive numbers for a catcher. Considering he is extremely weak against lefties (and I don't care what Mackanin says, he can't hit them, and 17 at-bats doesn't change that) he is a perfect platoon player. I think his above average hitting abilities makes up for what he loses on defense. I'd be fine with him getting the bulk of the starts against righties.

In regards to Ross, he can indeed hit lefties. Even this season he has a line of .286/.480/.766, which is good enough in a platoon role. His 3 year splits before this season saw him post a line of .313/.494/.807.

If used correctly, I think this can be a decent enough platoon. not much on base ability, but at the end of the line-up, it would be some decent power to have. the main problem is if Mackanin does deviate away from the platoon, the offensive numbers will get really ugly. He needs to keep to the platoon as strict as possible.

Valentin has an affordable option for next season, and considering the Reds will already be paying Ross to hit against lefties next season, they may as well bring Valentin back next season since he represents a very cheap solution to the other side of the platoon.

What the Reds lose in defense with Valentin will be more than gained by Valentin's massive advantage at hitting right handed pitching (Ross' career line against righties: .296/.422/.718)

I think I agree with this from an offensive standpoint. But...

The whole pitcher catcher relationship has always perpelexed me a little. The plate is the same size, the hitter is the same guy and the distance doesn't change no matter who is catching. But some guys just don't pitch as well without their preferred catcher back there. For a young pitcher who may be relying on his catcher to call the right pitches to set-up the hitter (although this can be, and has been done from the dugout) I could see more importance being placed on who is catching, but it makes less sense for a vet. I think some pitchers just get it in their heads that they can't pitch to certain catchers. Unfortunately, if its in his head, it will end up in his performance and that trumps offensive considerations IMO. I think that issue makes it hard to stick to a strict platoon at the catcher spot.

Patrick Bateman
08-25-2007, 03:29 PM
I think I agree with this from an offensive standpoint. But...

The whole pitcher catcher relationship has always perpelexed me a little. The plate is the same size, the hitter is the same guy and the distance doesn't change no matter who is catching. But some guys just don't pitch as well without their preferred catcher back there. For a young pitcher who may be relying on his catcher to call the right pitches to set-up the hitter (although this can be, and has been done from the dugout) I could see more importance being placed on who is catching, but it makes less sense for a vet. I think some pitchers just get it in their heads that they can't pitch to certain catchers. Unfortunately, if its in his head, it will end up in his performance and that trumps offensive consideratrions IMO. I think that issue makes it hard to stick to a strict platoon at the catcher spot.


You may be right. I really don't know the exact effect of how important the catcher behind the plate is for each pitcher. I've always felt that it's really quite overstated, and from a pitch calling standpoint, I'm not really sure if Valentin is really all that bad. At times with Arroyo, I have come away unimpressed with Ross' pitch selection. Valentin may not be great defensively, but I haven't heard too many complaints about Valentin's pitch calling and comfortability with his pitchers.

I do remember that valentin has been a calming presence for foreign pitchers like Elizardo Ramirez. So there may need to be some fine tuning in who exactly each catcher is playing with. However, what needs to be remembered, that if you deviate away from the platoon to get a more comfortable match for the pitcher you are also going to lose a ton in offense.

Pairing Valentin with vets and perhaps guys like Ramirez makes sense to me, but for the most part my focus would be to maintain what I do know for sure, and that from an offensive standpoint the platoon is the obvious solution. I just don't know enough about the other side of a catcher's game to make much of an informed opinion.

Kc61
08-25-2007, 03:39 PM
I don't think that 2 hits vs. Willis (over .900 OPS vs. RH hitters) suddenly overcomes a lifetime of mediocre hitting vs. LH pitching.

Javy will have to prove it over 100 AB's or so before I'll be convinced. Because he was, more or less, flailing away vs. Willis notwithstanding the 2 hits.

Whatever they get out of Javy right handed is a bonus. At this stage I don't see him catching every single game, so sitting Javy against most lefties is just fine. He is primarily a lefty bat and I'm not arguing otherwise.

Just that his righty hitting may not be quite as bad as folks usually say. But it's not that big a point, his value is primarily as a lefty bat.

PuffyPig
08-25-2007, 05:03 PM
Just that his righty hitting may not be quite as bad as folks usually say. But it's not that big a point, his value is primarily as a lefty bat.


Yes, he's everybit as bad as people are saying. Betweeen 2004-2206, he's OPS'ing .450 against them.

He has 5 hits in 17 AB's against them this year.

It's doesn't change a lifetime of bad.

Kc61
08-25-2007, 06:01 PM
Yes, he's everybit as bad as people are saying. Betweeen 2004-2206, he's OPS'ing .450 against them.

He has 5 hits in 17 AB's against them this year.

It's doesn't change a lifetime of bad.

2004-2006. My quick count shows Valentin with 102 at bats righty over that three year period. That's an average of 34 at bats per year right handed.

Not what I would call a definitive sample. If given a chance right handed, he might do better.

PuffyPig
08-25-2007, 07:08 PM
2004-2006. My quick count shows Valentin with 102 at bats righty over that three year period. That's an average of 34 at bats per year right handed.

Not what I would call a definitive sample. If given a chance right handed, he might do better.

You only have to watch him to see that his approach (basically closing his eyes and swinging hard) won't translate to consistent success against LH pitchers.