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Thread: The Catching Problem

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  1. #1
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    The Catching Problem

    The general consensus among Reds fans is that while David Ross plays some fine defense his bat only hurts the Reds, while Javy Valentin can hit alright but can't field to save his life. So if you're Wayne Krivsky what do you do about our catchers in the offseason? Do you stick with what we have, trade for someone, or sign one of the many catchers available?

    Here is the list of catchers available in free agency:

    Brad Ausmus
    Michael Barrett
    Ramon Castro
    Jason Kendall
    Paul Lo Duca
    Jorge Posada
    Jose Molina
    Ivan Rodriguez - $13MM club option for '08
    Yorvit Torrealba
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  2. #2
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    I'd prefer a deal with the Mariners to get Clement. He is stuck behind Johjima.
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  3. #3
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85 View Post
    I'd prefer a deal with the Mariners to get Clement. He is stuck behind Johjima.
    Clement isn't necesarily blocked at all. They Ms are considering him at DH or first base as well. It's not a sure thing that he'll be a major league catcher.

    That said, what would the Reds give up to get him?
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Clement isn't necesarily blocked at all. They Ms are considering him at DH or first base as well. It's not a sure thing that he'll be a major league catcher.
    not sure his bat plays very well as a DH or a 1B ... but then again its Bavasi and the Mariners, they can't help themselves. They traded away Soriano for Ramirez last year so I would certainly talk to them.
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  5. #5
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Ross's offensive problems were more attributable to bad luck and regression to the mean (of his true ability) than any real decline in ability.

    In 2007, he had a ridiculous .230 BABIP despite a very reasonable 18.5 LD% (an improvement over 2006's 16.8%). No more player with more than 200 PA (Ross had 348) was worse. The lowest BABIP among qualified hitters was Ray Durham at .244.

    If we bump up that .230 BABIP to a more reasonable .280, he's suddenly hitting .235/.305/.450 or so. Still not great, but a .750 OPS from a plus defending catcher is an asset. His 2006 HR/FB rate of 23.9% is wholly unsustainable and the drop of HR can account for the drop in BA in to the .230s from 2006's .255. Ross is basically Jason LaRue v2.0 with a touch more power right down to the late start of his career, good arm, low batting averages, etc.

    So long as he's cheap he's worth keeping around and is a decent primary catcher. Spending money on anybody on the list besides Posada and possibly Barrett (neither of whom is stellar defensively) would represent a waste of money.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 10-01-2007 at 06:17 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  6. #6
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    If we bump up that .230 BABIP to a more reasonable .280, he's suddenly hitting .235/.305/.450 or so. Still not great, but a .750 OPS from a plus defending catcher is an asset. His 2006 HR/FB rate of 23.9% is wholly unsustainable and the drop of HR can account for the drop in BA in to the .230s from 2006's .255. Ross is basically Jason LaRue v2.0 with a touch more power right down to the late start of his career, good arm, low batting averages, etc..
    Good post.

    Couple this with the main focus of time and money expenditures starts and ends with the mound.....I'd say give Ross another year.
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Someone explain Ross being a "plus defender."

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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Question for those who have seen Jay Bruce play the outfield: how capable is he of playing CF?

  9. #9
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Question for those who have seen Jay Bruce play the outfield: how capable is he of playing CF?
    I am sure he can "play it". In playing CF there is no real substitute for speed and I have never heard anyone categorize him as a burner. All the stuff I read about him suggested he would be a RF at the major league level due to average speed.

    Having said that GABP is certainly not a CF but I don't think he would be any better in CF than Hamilton. It seems to me that for Bruce to be in the Reds OF starting next season someone has to be leaving.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  10. #10
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Someone explain Ross being a "plus defender."
    Well, only Molina (54&#37, Mauer (53%), and Johjima (47%) threw out a greater percentage of runners than Ross (39%).

    I'm not sure the best way to judge non-throwing defense. I'm definitely not a fan of C-ERA.

    His FPCT was above average. His Range Factor was average (and above each of the 3 with better CS%).

    I agree he's no Johnny Bench back there. However, I'm not sure I've seen evidence that he's worse than average defensively and he has one of the best arms in the league. Outside of anecdote, do you have reason to think he's bad? Scouting report, some other metrics, etc.? I'm actually curious -- catching defense is even tougher than everybody else's to judge.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  11. #11
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    I've already brought up Shoppach's name. I mentioned his strong arm, defensive play, power, walks. I failed to mentioned that he kills left handed pitching, a plus in the Reds lineup. He's more of a singles hitter against righties but that will improve with PT.

  12. #12
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Well, only Molina (54%), Mauer (53%), and Johjima (47%) threw out a greater percentage of runners than Ross (39%).

    I'm not sure the best way to judge non-throwing defense. I'm definitely not a fan of C-ERA.

    His FPCT was above average. His Range Factor was average (and above each of the 3 with better CS%).

    I agree he's no Johnny Bench back there. However, I'm not sure I've seen evidence that he's worse than average defensively and he has one of the best arms in the league. Outside of anecdote, do you have reason to think he's bad? Scouting report, some other metrics, etc.? I'm actually curious -- catching defense is even tougher than everybody else's to judge.
    He's slow. Lots of balls get past him, from both pitchers and fielders. His throwing arm may keep him "average," but instead of worrying about throwing guys out I'd like to get a good receiver and game caller, an all-around athletic guy behind the plate.

    Ross is pure vanilla behind the plate. I'd like to see a genuine upgrade on defense from C and SS this offseason. It looks like we're stuck with Hamilton in CF for now, but I imagine his offense will more than compensate for what he lacks in defense.

  13. #13
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Someone explain Ross being a "plus defender."
    On the "Do We Really Consider Defense" thread

    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...19#post1473219

    you stated this about catching and defense.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    I'd also like to say that as far as defensive positions and their importance, catcher, shortstop, and CF are the most crucial positions, and it just so happens that the Reds are anywhere from moderately weak to downright awful in each of those areas. I think an upgrade at just two of those positions would make a marked improvement in the overall RA picture--and for relatively cheap.

    I think one of the reasons the Cards will finish ahead of the Reds in the standings (aside from their bullpen) is the presence of a guy like Yadier Molina behind the plate instead of Ross or Valentin. I'd say at this juncture Molina's defense is more valuable than even Rolen's.

    And I posted these comparison numbers from '07....

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    Looking at it from solely a defensive perspective, I don't see any great disparity between the two. In fact, lookng at PO's, Ross has 80+ over Molina in less innings.

    If you think Ross' defense is a liability or terrible, then you certainly can't put Molina's on the level of a Scott Rolen. Not comparing the numbers.

    Code:
             Inn  PO   A   TE FE  FPct  DPS  DPT
    Molina   861  582  63  5  1   .991   7    3   
    Ross     837  662  50  7  0   .993   8    1
    Now from a Win Shares perspective, Molina gets the nod....

    Code:
           Batting  Fielding  ExpWS  WSP   WSAB  Total WS  
    Molina    10.0     5.3      13   .559    6      15 
    Ross       0.5     5.1       9   .296   -1       5
    But what is dragging Ross' Total Win Shares down? His bat, not his defense.
    Last edited by GAC; 10-02-2007 at 10:12 PM.
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  14. #14
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    Ross did have a .761 OPS vs. Lefties (.248/.291/.470).
    As a platoon player, he may not hurt too much.
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    Designated Threadkiller LincolnparkRed's Avatar
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    Re: The Catching Problem

    What do you think Posada would fetch? And would the Yankees let him walk?
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