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Thread: Reds catching 2013 and after

  1. #16
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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by swaisuc View Post
    At the risk of sounding overconfident, this season will likely be defined by October, not by whether we win 97 or 93 games. If Hanigan plays 60% of the time and Mes gets tons of chances in the reg season, I don't see the harm. You keep Hanigan fresher for the playoffs and Mes can better develop and possibly even break out offensively.

    Now, if we get to July/August and we're in a dead heat to even make the playoffs, we can reevaluate.
    The harm is to Mes, who will not get consistent at bats and will not get consistent work behind the plate.

    40% of the time means 60% on the bench.

    At this point, I don't see what Mes gains from this arrangement. He's already had "exposure" to the big leagues. What he needs now is playing time.

    Mes is also coming off a very rocky year in 2012. Let him gain confidence at AAA. Let him work on his defense down there.

    When does he come back up? We see how it goes for Mes, for the ballclub. Are there injuries? Does someone (Hanigan, Olivo, Mes) have a bad year, a great year. Lots of variables.

    But to start things out, I don't see the advantage of the 60/40 arrangement. I'd send Mes to AAA, let him catch 80 percent of the games, let him hit third and get a lot of at bats. Then take it from there.
    Last edited by Kc61; 02-28-2013 at 11:39 AM.

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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    The Reds could literally cut Ryan Hanigan from the team today and they would still be the easy favorites on paper to win this division. Ryan Hanigan is not the reason this team is going to be successful. He is a very good catcher, don't get me wrong, but he isn't so much more valuable than a guy like Mesoraco, or any other "average" level catcher that it is what will keep this team from winning.

    If the issue is "game calling" then your coaches and scouts aren't doing their job.

    Mesoraco rated out as an above-average defender last year. He had some moments that weren't good, but overall, he was solid.

    Personally, I don't think sending Mesoraco to AAA will really do much good for him at this point.

    I also believe that the strict Hanigan/Mesoraco catching their "guys" does a disservice to both catchers and the pitchers. Both catchers need to know the pitchers in case there is an injury. How terrible would it be if somehow Hanigan got hurt on October 1st and then Mesoraco had to catch Cueto/Latos/Chapman/Bailey (pick your group that he hasn't caught from there) for the first time all year long in the playoffs? Sounds like a terrible plan doesn't it?

    Go 50-50. Give Mesoraco an actual chance to survive. Last season, he had back to back starts twice in the first three months of the season. That isn't giving someone a chance. Mix and match the catchers. Let them both catch everyone. Let them both get a few starts in a row here and there. Keep both guys fresh. They aren't the reason our pitching staff is so good.

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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The harm is to Mes, who will not get consistent at bats and will not get consistent work behind the plate.

    40% of the time means 60% on the bench.

    At this point, I don't see what Mes gains from this arrangement. He's already had "exposure" to the big leagues. What he needs now is playing time.

    Mes is also coming off a very rocky year in 2012. Let him gain confidence at AAA. Let him work on his defense down there.

    When does he come back up? We see how it goes for Mes, for the ballclub. Are there injuries? Does someone (Hanigan, Olivo, Mes) have a bad year, a great year. Lots of variables.

    But to start things out, I don't see the advantage of the 60/40 arrangement. I'd send Mes to AAA, let him catch 80 percent of the games, let him hit third and get a lot of at bats. Then take it from there.
    Then what happens in 2014? What happens in 2015? It isn't like Hanigan is an offensive force at all, and is turning 33 this year. Olivo has no plate discipline at all, and still had more XBH than Hanigan last year. Mesoraco is a (former) top-10 prospect in MLB, and (obviously) has the highest potential value of the trio.

    I understand the idea that Mesoraco brings a lot of value to the table in his handling of the pitching staff, but at some point the idea of passing the torch needs to be brought up in a more material way than it is currently. Mesoraco in the minors to re-establish his value is a net loss for the Reds. He had a BABIP of .234 last year, and .188 the year before. Simply adjusting his BABIP makes him a more effective offensive player than either Hanigan or Olivo, so if the idea is to have an offensive catcher to compliment Hanigan's defense, then Mesoraco is the answer there.

    However, the way it is currently set up I feel that the Reds are allowing a potential middle of the order catcher to be blocked by a player who is "good enough to not be replaced" rather than critically analyzing the situation and trying to figure out the best situation going forward for the team as a whole. At some point Hanigan is going to need to be replaced, and leaving Mesoraco in the minors until that happens in one, two, three years because Hanigan is a great game-caller and defensive catcher seems like a poor plan from my point of view.
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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    They aren't the reason our pitching staff is so good.
    They aren't THE reason, but they are "A" reason. Catchers do matter.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The Reds could literally cut Ryan Hanigan from the team today and they would still be the easy favorites on paper to win this division. Ryan Hanigan is not the reason this team is going to be successful. He is a very good catcher, don't get me wrong, but he isn't so much more valuable than a guy like Mesoraco, or any other "average" level catcher that it is what will keep this team from winning.

    If the issue is "game calling" then your coaches and scouts aren't doing their job.

    Mesoraco rated out as an above-average defender last year. He had some moments that weren't good, but overall, he was solid.

    Personally, I don't think sending Mesoraco to AAA will really do much good for him at this point.

    I also believe that the strict Hanigan/Mesoraco catching their "guys" does a disservice to both catchers and the pitchers. Both catchers need to know the pitchers in case there is an injury. How terrible would it be if somehow Hanigan got hurt on October 1st and then Mesoraco had to catch Cueto/Latos/Chapman/Bailey (pick your group that he hasn't caught from there) for the first time all year long in the playoffs? Sounds like a terrible plan doesn't it?

    Go 50-50. Give Mesoraco an actual chance to survive. Last season, he had back to back starts twice in the first three months of the season. That isn't giving someone a chance. Mix and match the catchers. Let them both catch everyone. Let them both get a few starts in a row here and there. Keep both guys fresh. They aren't the reason our pitching staff is so good.
    I don't understand this at all. Mes isn't the future. The future is NOW, & its not about 1 player, its about production at every position. Right NOW, Hanigan is the clear cut favorite, rid him 3~4 starts per rotation. If he is the future of the catcher spot, send him to AAA to survive, to produce for the long term. Hanigan is a reason the Reds will be successful in 2013.
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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by Plus Plus View Post

    However, the way it is currently set up I feel that the Reds are allowing a potential middle of the order catcher to be blocked by a player who is "good enough to not be replaced" rather than critically analyzing the situation and trying to figure out the best situation going forward for the team as a whole. At some point Hanigan is going to need to be replaced, and leaving Mesoraco in the minors until that happens in one, two, three years because Hanigan is a great game-caller and defensive catcher seems like a poor plan from my point of view.
    Yeah, I guess I just don't agree. I doubt that many contending teams would take a catcher as good as Hanigan and limit his games to advance somebody like Mes who performed pretty poorly last year.

    If the Reds made the World Series last year, then maybe they would move on to Mes. Or if Mes had a better major league season in 2012, then yes.

    But right now you are asking the Reds to reduce the time of an excellent defensive catcher who gets on base (albeit without power) in favor of a still raw prospect who had lots of problems last year. I think few contending teams would do so, particularly since the Reds are obviously dying to have a successful playoff run at long last.

    I do think Mes would have a lot to gain from AAA this year -- he could gain back some confidence at the plate and could be coached more on his defense.

    If Mes performs, his time will come sooner rather than later. But I wouldn't hand him 50 percent of the major league games to find out.
    Last edited by Kc61; 02-28-2013 at 12:57 PM.

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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    The 2/27 Baseball Tonight Podcast with Buster Olney has a few minutes of Hanigan discussing game calling. (Kind of towards the end)

    Thought it was kind of cool.

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=8995297

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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by swaisuc View Post
    At the risk of sounding overconfident, this season will likely be defined by October, not by whether we win 97 or 93 games. If Hanigan plays 60% of the time and Mes gets tons of chances in the reg season, I don't see the harm. You keep Hanigan fresher for the playoffs and Mes can better develop and possibly even break out offensively.

    Now, if we get to July/August and we're in a dead heat to even make the playoffs, we can reevaluate.
    I agree. Also, has Hannigan ever caught more than 60%the of the time since he's been up here? Catching too much might affect him at season's end.
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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    They aren't THE reason, but they are "A" reason. Catchers do matter.
    Sure, they matter. But Mesoraco is a major league quality defender back there. He isn't Neftali Soto back there. Put a major league quality catcher back there and the Reds staff is going to still be outstanding.

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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou1990 View Post
    I don't understand this at all. Mes isn't the future. The future is NOW, & its not about 1 player, its about production at every position. Right NOW, Hanigan is the clear cut favorite, rid him 3~4 starts per rotation. If he is the future of the catcher spot, send him to AAA to survive, to produce for the long term. Hanigan is a reason the Reds will be successful in 2013.
    I really don't believe that Hanigan is the clear cut favorite unless we look at what the manager wants. Mesoraco projects to be the better hitter, this year. Hanigan is the better defender. Both guys rated out as above-average last year. So the question becomes, is the advantage that Hanigan has defensively worth more than the offensive value Mesoraco could have? I don't know, that depends on the playing time split and what exactly it is that you think the value of the defense/offense is for each guy. But I really don't think it is some clear cut choice if you really break it down.

    Hanigan is a reason the Reds will be successful in 2013. But he isn't the reason. He is replaceable. He isn't Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips or even Jay Bruce. He is Zack Cozart or Todd Frazier. Except he doesn't play every day.

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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The Reds could literally cut Ryan Hanigan from the team today and they would still be the easy favorites on paper to win this division. Ryan Hanigan is not the reason this team is going to be successful. He is a very good catcher, don't get me wrong, but he isn't so much more valuable than a guy like Mesoraco, or any other "average" level catcher that it is what will keep this team from winning.

    If the issue is "game calling" then your coaches and scouts aren't doing their job.

    Mesoraco rated out as an above-average defender last year. He had some moments that weren't good, but overall, he was solid.

    Personally, I don't think sending Mesoraco to AAA will really do much good for him at this point.

    I also believe that the strict Hanigan/Mesoraco catching their "guys" does a disservice to both catchers and the pitchers. Both catchers need to know the pitchers in case there is an injury. How terrible would it be if somehow Hanigan got hurt on October 1st and then Mesoraco had to catch Cueto/Latos/Chapman/Bailey (pick your group that he hasn't caught from there) for the first time all year long in the playoffs? Sounds like a terrible plan doesn't it?

    Go 50-50. Give Mesoraco an actual chance to survive. Last season, he had back to back starts twice in the first three months of the season. That isn't giving someone a chance. Mix and match the catchers. Let them both catch everyone. Let them both get a few starts in a row here and there. Keep both guys fresh. They aren't the reason our pitching staff is so good.

    This is pretty much how I see it as well.

  14. #27
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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The Reds could literally cut Ryan Hanigan from the team today and they would still be the easy favorites on paper to win this division. Ryan Hanigan is not the reason this team is going to be successful. He is a very good catcher, don't get me wrong, but he isn't so much more valuable than a guy like Mesoraco, or any other "average" level catcher that it is what will keep this team from winning.
    I disagree.

    Hamilton's ability at the plate and behind it is one reason why Reds' pitchers had the years they had last season. Look at his numbers as opposed to those of Mesoraco/ other Red catchers in catchers' ERA (3.05 v. 3.80). Look at his framing ability. He's been a 2.5-ish WAR guy for three years now. That means he's basically Todd Frazier over the course of 60% of the season.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    If the issue is "game calling" then your coaches and scouts aren't doing their job.
    Perhaps.

    IMO, game calling/ framing pitches is extremely underrated among catchers. It's one reason Cardinal pitchers post numbers as good as they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Mesoraco rated out as an above-average defender last year. He had some moments that weren't good, but overall, he was solid.
    According to whom?

    Both Baseball-Reference and fangraphs show Mesoraco as not only poor defensively, but decisively so.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Personally, I don't think sending Mesoraco to AAA will really do much good for him at this point.

    I also believe that the strict Hanigan/Mesoraco catching their "guys" does a disservice to both catchers and the pitchers. Both catchers need to know the pitchers in case there is an injury. How terrible would it be if somehow Hanigan got hurt on October 1st and then Mesoraco had to catch Cueto/Latos/Chapman/Bailey (pick your group that he hasn't caught from there) for the first time all year long in the playoffs? Sounds like a terrible plan doesn't it?

    Go 50-50. Give Mesoraco an actual chance to survive. Last season, he had back to back starts twice in the first three months of the season. That isn't giving someone a chance. Mix and match the catchers. Let them both catch everyone. Let them both get a few starts in a row here and there. Keep both guys fresh. They aren't the reason our pitching staff is so good.
    I cannot understand why anyone would want to give more playing time to a guy who:

    1) hasn't earned it
    2) has shown he can't field the position well
    3) hasn't shown an ability to hit at the major league level.
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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    I disagree.

    Hamilton's ability at the plate and behind it is one reason why Reds' pitchers had the years they had last season. Look at his numbers as opposed to those of Mesoraco/ other Red catchers in catchers' ERA (3.05 v. 3.80). Look at his framing ability. He's been a 2.5-ish WAR guy for three years now. That means he's basically Todd Frazier over the course of 60% of the season.



    Perhaps.

    IMO, game calling/ framing pitches is extremely underrated among catchers. It's one reason Cardinal pitchers post numbers as good as they do.



    According to whom?

    Both Baseball-Reference and fangraphs show Mesoraco as not only poor defensively, but decisively so.



    I cannot understand why anyone would want to give more playing time to a guy who:

    1) hasn't earned it
    2) has shown he can't field the position well
    3) hasn't shown an ability to hit at the major league level.
    Catchers ERA means nothing to me. Hanigan got to catch Cueto and Mesoraco got to catch Leake. That alone is going to really swing "catchers ERA" and has nothing at all to do with the catchers ability. With that said, I do believe that Hanigan is a better defensive catcher than Mesoraco. Still, I fully believe that the Reds staff would be outstanding with either guy catching them because the pitchers are very good almost across the board (I am looking at you Mike Leake, Logan Ondrusek and Jose Arredondo).

    One of the reasons the Cardinals post the numbers they do is a huge ballpark that people haven't grasped onto as being a huge ballpark yet. Molina does make a difference though. But there are a lot of reasons that team gets the pitching it does and it isn't all because of their catcher.

    Baseball Reference and Fangraphs don't really take a full look at "defense" behind the plate when they look at WAR. Hanigan gets bonus points for the running game. Does is account for the fact that Johnny Cueto supplies him with a ton of pickoffs and no one tries to steal against him? Nope. Does it account for Devin Mesoraco having to catch Bailey, who generally speaking, doesn't do well with the running game because of his move to first and slightly slow time to the plate? Nope. Does it account for pitch framing at all? Nope. Of course, Hanigan would get plenty of boost there, because he is really good at it. But Mesoraco was also above-average at it, and he doesn't get any credit from either site for it. And then there is the biggest part of it all, where Mesoraco had so little playing time that on an at bat basis, he almost still qualifies for the 2013 ROY award, so his defensive "value" at this point by the numbers, is highly questionable. Just like his offensive value should be. He got about 6 weeks worth of at bats all season long.

    So, going with your numbers:

    1. Every rookie in baseball, every year, hasn't "earned" it. They are usually given an actual chance though, and I will argue all day long that Mesoraco was never actually given that chance. Never playing back to back days is not being given a chance. Playing 2-3 times a week isn't being given a chance. Especially when unlike other "platoon" guys, you aren't going up against guys who favor your skills. He got to go out there against whoever happened to be pitching that day because his manager stuck with a terrible plan of "this is your guy Mesoraco" and "this is your guy Hanigan".

    2. Disagree. Multiple catching performance articles that look at all things the catcher does behind the plate (running game control, blocking pitches, framing pitches, avoiding passed balls) suggest he was slightly above-average, despite limited playing time.

    3. He barely has 200 at bats, split up into two seasons, where he hardly started back to back at all. He also has an insanely low BABIP in that time. Maybe he will never hit. But his peripherals are fine and he has a very limited sample size that is broken up into crazy chunks because of the way he has been handled. I don't think for a second we know that he can't hit. I don't believe he has been given any kind of actual shot to show what he can do. He is a platoon usage guy, who doesn't get to benefit from an actual platoon usage. He never starts back to back, which means good luck finding a groove at any point in the season.

    Just my opinion, but I don't believe he has been given any kind of fair shake by the Reds at this point in his Major League career to show what he is capable of and don't believe continued usage in that manner will be beneficial for him or the Reds future at the position. If the Reds had another team in the division that was neck and neck with them, maybe I get playing the position the way they did last year. But they don't. No one, on paper, is close in our division. Give the guy a chance who two years ago was the top prospect in baseball at his position to show what he can do.

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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Yeah, I guess I just don't agree. I doubt that many contending teams would take a catcher as good as Hanigan and limit his games to advance somebody like Mes who performed pretty poorly last year.

    If the Reds made the World Series last year, then maybe they would move on to Mes. Or if Mes had a better major league season in 2012, then yes.

    But right now you are asking the Reds to reduce the time of an excellent defensive catcher who gets on base (albeit without power) in favor of a still raw prospect who had lots of problems last year. I think few contending teams would do so, particularly since the Reds are obviously dying to have a successful playoff run at long last.

    I do think Mes would have a lot to gain from AAA this year -- he could gain back some confidence at the plate and could be coached more on his defense.

    If Mes performs, his time will come sooner rather than later. But I wouldn't hand him 50 percent of the major league games to find out.
    I agree with everything that you said, except that I'm not advocating a reduced role for Hanigan, just a more "real" role for Mesoraco, who deserves to do more than catch one game in a row and get 184 PAs in 80% of a season, and had a ridiculously low BABIP. Mesoraco, even after his poor showings so far at MLB, is projected for a higher OPS, wOBA, and WAR than Hanigan by every metric that I have seen. Basing the entire positional philosophy of the catchers around an abstract concept (albeit real) like pitcher preference or game calling seems like a poor approach given the caliber of prospect that Mesoraco is/was.

    This would be like sending Frazier back to AAA because Rolen wanted to come back, and feeling that the leadership and defense that Rolen shows is more valuable than the potential increase that Frazier would provide. At some point players need a chance to perform, and I feel that it is time for Mesoraco to get that opportunity. Not in single game chances, not in pinch hitting, and not in AAA- in a real, live, MLB opportunity.
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    Re: Reds catching 2013 and after

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    I cannot understand why anyone would want to give more playing time to a guy who:

    1) hasn't earned it
    2) has shown he can't field the position well
    3) hasn't shown an ability to hit at the major league level.
    Yeah - what he said

    I would give playing time to absolutely no AAA / AAAA guy who hasn't earned it on the field, outside of a total phenom, like at the Chapman and Hamilton level, not the Mes level. Perhaps Mes should have spent last year at AAA to be more ready this year. I just think he needs more time, and I'd rather see it at Louisville than in Cincy.
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