A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

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    yeah, but ex, the SPs seemed to throw well to Salty. How come of late? What is that significance? To me, it's he has the pitchers backs and has their confidence. So I say let him catch and let him catch frequently. Maybe he will hit some more HRs. We'll see.
    Posted by dannycater
    Danny, I didn't say what I would do. I would do exactly what you are recommending. We see the situation as ex-pitchers, not as book soldiers. How can numbers be "definitive" or "substantiate" only one position ( Salty is a bum on defense ), when, as I observe above, there is so much disagreement about their significance -- and not only on the board. So much for "case closed."
    Note that I say "may," meaning that the Sox could take the course I outlined.
    I will say this without hesitation: If the Sox really believe that they are still in this thing -- and they should -- they will let Salty handle the pitchers the lion's share of the time.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ice-Cream. Show Ice-Cream's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III:
    If you guys are interested in Soccer at all, today's USA vs Canada game was one of the best ones I've ever seen. Epic!
    Posted by RedsoxProspects


    The US were down 3-0 and then won 4-3.  This reminds me of the 2004 ALCS...........I'm sure the Yankee fans will remember this too.  Cool
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ice-Cream. Show Ice-Cream's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III:
    If you guys are interested in Soccer at all, today's USA vs Canada game was one of the best ones I've ever seen. Epic!
    Posted by RedsoxProspects


    I'm not an American but I am rooting for Team USA because Hope Solo is so hot.
    LOL 
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

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    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III : The US were down 3-0 and then won 4-3.  This reminds me of the 2004 ALCS...........I'm sure the Yankee fans will remember this too. 
    Posted by Ice-Cream

    I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched the game but it was a classic. Canada has a lot to be proud of in how they played that game. Epic goals all around. I literally lost my voice in that game. So fitting with Morgan as the capper. She is such a talent. The only way they could stop her at all was to stay ahead and put 4-5 defenders back there most of the time. Fast, skilled, good in the air and intelligent as heck. Seamingly tireless. What a game! 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ice-Cream. Show Ice-Cream's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III : I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched the game but it was a classic. Canada has a lot to be proud of in how they played that game. Epic goals all around. I literally lost my voice in that game. So fitting with Morgan as the capper. She is such a talent. The only way they could stop her at all was to stay ahead and put 4-5 defenders back there most of the time. Fast, skilled, good in the air and intelligent as heck. Seamingly tireless. What a game! 
    Posted by RedsoxProspects



    A great game indeed!!! 

    USA vs. Japan in the Finals.

    If I was trying to score a goal against Hope Solo, I would be very careful not to kick the ball towards her pretty face.  LOL

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    1) I don't misrepresent things, certainly intentionally. 

    Sorry, I was being a bit too harsh.

    A guy who can't seem to hit above .235 for 3 years in a row, or get on base more than at a .300 rate had better hit 20 HR or he is probably not in a championship level lineup. Especially when he is statistically one of the worst defenders in baseball at his position ( among starting level catchers ). I've cited the numbers. They are relevant and reputable. He's a - DWAR value at this point in the season. Tied for the most runs cost to his team from the catching position in all of MLB. He's is NOT a good defender. He has to hit well to be in the lineup. You know, to attempt to represent Salty as even an average defender at this point is clear misrepresentation. And several of you are doing that right now.

    No, I meerly mentioned that Salty's CERA since April 25th is lower than the AL season average CERA. Salty's CS rate is about 24th out of the top 30 catchers by innings caught this year. If you take away the CS assists, Salty is above average in assists per inning. 

    I have watched every pitch of every game this year. I had been calling for a trade of Salty all winter long based mostly on his defense and CERA related limitations. I have nothing to gain by changing my view mid season. I am sure Salty's overall defensive numbers this year make him below average or maybe even close to the worst, but I have seen a vast improvement since April 25th in nearly all areas of his defense except CS%. Maybe he still is below average even since April, but I see improvement. At age 27, I think it possible he continue to improve, but I could be wrong.

    2) I've given you the definition of "regress to the mean" just 2 weeks ago as you misunderstood it last time also. It has nothing to do with aging:


    Just curious why you expect any 27 year old player to "regress to the mean"? He could easily hit 35 HRs next year.

    3) The 7th inning data is really a stretch. Most players probably hit better after the 7th inning. They are facing tired starters after seeing them several times or relievers who are not good enough to be starters. And the discrepancy as well as the sample size are very tiny. I'm misrepresenting? Where do I begin?

    Most Sox players have a worse OPS after the 7th inning in close games than other situations that are not considered clutch. You called Salty a rally-killer, and with his low BA even in clutch situations, your point is not without merit, however, Salty remains one of our best clutch hitters this year, even though the sample size is only abour 30-60 PAs for the top 9 hitters on this team. Point well taken on the sample size, but I should say that you were the one who brought up the "rally killer" issue, and how many PAs by Salty or others could be considered in the midst of a rally?

    BTW, our whole team has suffered in Late & Close situations (or in the clutch). The team has a .241 BA Late & Close, while Salty is at .239.

    4) It certainly surprised me that they would be pushing so much to move Salty but Cafardo did say "There is no question" in that regard. Why in the world would that be? 

    Because we have bigger needs than catching. because we have strength and depth at catching. Because traditionally a team improves by trading from a position of strength and depth for a position of weakness or lack of depth.

    Moving Shoppach is the more conventional choice. 

    Of course, but be honest, what would any team give for a back-up 2 month rental catcher. true, he is good enough and rested enough to be a 65% catcher for 2 months, but I seriously doubt anyone offered a lot for Shoppach, and maybe the news on Papi scared the Sox out of dealing Salty or Shoppach, since they envisioned Lava at DH not catcher until Papi returns. I would not be surprised if Shoppach is traded via waivers the minute we are surePpapi is healthy.

    There is one logical answer. The FO doesn't think Salty is their guy going forward, just like Texas didn't just 2 years ago, and exactly as I have been saying for almost a year now. He has had an opportunity and has not improved enough to win the job long term. The Sox are trying to bail. This is for real.

    I do think Salty is the likely catcher to traded this winter. He likely was not traded this July for one of two reasons:
    1) They did not receive an offer they felt was worthy of Salty's value.
    2) They did not want to give up on 2012, and with papi's injury, were not ready to let Lava catch instead of DH.

     He might even end up a non tender candidate next winter. 

    I think this has a 0% chance of happening. They can sign him via arb or compromise and deal him easily even if he makes $6-8M.

    The Sox tried to trade him in a sell high opportunity and they could not get it done. Why would they be trying to trade him if they wanted him back next year? 

    I gave 2 reasons, and there could be more. The Sox apparently tried to trade several players, many of which will be back next year.

    The Sox may have felt it is better to trade him this winter, as I have said all along is the best plan, since Salty's stamina test is going to be a big part of determining his future value. Also, seeing id Salty's CERA related improvement continues beyond just the last 3 months.

    They didn't blow up the team. They kept almost everyone. They wanted to trade Salty.

    The catcher position has our closest ML-ready prospect. That is the reason they looked to improve at another position without losing much (if any) at the catcher position. It does not mean they dislike Salty. They started him tonight in a big game.

    Thats how it looks to me and I'm not misrepresenting anything. I don't know how we have come to this. I certainly don't deserve it. If anything, what I have been saying is proving to be right.

    Again, I am sorry for using the term "misrepresent" just because I think you were wrong on some of you points.  I was wrong. Your points have merit, but I feel mine do too.
     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    Reprinted....

    I've been mentioning Salty's great CERA improvement since May 1st, when actually the improvement began April 26th after Salty's first 11 games of 2012. Salty had a recent 3 game meltdown vs Toronto and the Yanks from July 22nd to July 27th, and perhaps this is a clue to the beginning of a declining trend, but here are the numbers broken down by selected timeframes:

    April 5 to April 25 (17 games)
    Salty  7.23 (78 ERs in 97 innings)
    Shop  4.14 (29 ERs in 63 innings)

    April 26th to May 25th
    Salty  3.65  (68 ERS in 167.2 inn)
    Shop  4.20  (38 ERs in 81.1 inn)

    May 26th to  June 25th
    Salty  4.00  (76 in 171)
    Shop   3.08  (27 in 79)

    June 26th to July 21st
    Salty  3.40  (50 in 131.2)
    Shop  3.72  (29 in 70)

    July 22nd to Aug 4th
    Salty  6.78  (45 in 59.2)
    Shop  5.50  (22 in 36)
    Lava  5.00  (5 in 9)

    Another look at a different timeline:
    4/26-7/21  
    Salty   3.71 (194 in 470.1)
    Shop   3.67  (94 in 230.1)

    For about 3 months, Salty and Shoppach had nearly identical CERAs and Salty's 3.71 CERA was very respectable and a marked improvement over 2011 to April 25th of 2012.

    Finally, the toal numbers after April 25th:
    Salty   4.06  (239 in 530)
    Shop   3.91  (116 in 266.1) 

    Since pre April 25 to post...

      Salty went from 7.23 to 4.06  (-3.17)
      Shop went from 4.14 to 3.91  (-0.23)

    Edit:
    Salty additions...
    Aug 5th  9 IP  4ER  (Padilla's 3ER in 0 IP hurt)
    Aug 6th  9 IP  2 ER 
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    Did Cafardo say that he thinks Salty has topped out offensively and defensively at age 27? Or that he thinks that the Red Sox think that? Or that he has heard from inside the organization that the Red Sox think that? Or that some people inside the organization think that?
    It is not unusual for a catcher to start coming into own at Salty's age, and to make rapid progress. I simply disagree with people who do not think he's made remarkable progress this year. ( See my general comments above about stats and their uses, and about disagreements along these lines, even amongst "experts." )
    All of this will play out. Some people are predicting the outcome. 
    I'm all for waiting and seeing, and hoping the Sox make the choice that is best for the club. 
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    moon, I think that's why CERA in itself is misleading. You got some situations where SPs are doing great, and the pen kills it, then others where the relievers are the only thing holding a catcher's CERA from flying off the charts because of poor SP stretches. I don't think the catcher is the problem in those scenarios, nor do I think the catcher should get too much credit for a great start by a Lester or a Beckett, but I think they should get credit if it is a Cook or a Morales or a Doubront. What I liked about the last 2 wins was once again it seems Salty settled down Aceves--can you look up the numbers of Shoppach with Aceves and Salty with Aceves? I wonder if it's worse when Shoppach catches him. It seems that Salty and Aceves have a simpatico and not so much with Kevin. Anyway, I do think that Salty is the right guy, like ex said, to catch a majority of the games the rest of the season if the Sox are really trying to gain a wildcard. And I still believe that anytime Shoppach catches more than twice in a row, he gets exposed. I think that's why the W-L thing also tends to be misleading. Not saying Shoppach isn't a good catcher, just saying he's not as good as some think he is in comparison to Salty (as you have shown).
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    As for Lavarnway, the only way you can judge him now is if they suddenly handed him the job the rest of the season--absolutely will not happen, or they let him come back in 2013 as a 25-man roster guy. He gets 60-65 starts at catcher and then some DH (if the Sox don't bring Ortiz back). Salty at least has established improvement I feel defensively, while hitting for power, but stuck in a very wicked slump with little contact. Magadan gets paid to help, it's time he help out Salt.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    Thanks a lot Moon. i appreciate it. I really do try to be a straight shooter here. I'm saying what I believe is true and I think my track record has been as good as anyone's here. I definitely do not intentionally try to misrepresent things. 

    I know it sounds crazy, and unpopular here, but it is very likely that Salty will not hit 35 HR next year, even as a full time DH. He has the relatively few AB he will get as a catcher. If he doesn't hit much more than .230 he will be a near definite platoon catcher. And from a statistical perspective, his numbers probably trend up a little at this age but not necessarily every year. As a full time DH he would have a chance but it wouldn't be likely. 

    For example, Ellsbury hit over 30 HR last year. i bet half the people here didn't expect him to hit 20 this year, and from a statistical viewpoint they probably were not that far from being right even if he were healthy all year.  Salty has hit 1 HR per every 24.69 mlb at bats in his career. This year he has hit 1 HR for every 14.3 AB. That is not at all likely to continue.

    1) We are not going to live with a .230 hiiting DH

    2) No way he does it as a catcher

    3) Even with all that he is more likely to have his numbers revert back closer to his historic averages.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III:
    Thanks a lot Moon. i appreciate it. I really do try to be a straight shooter here. I'm saying what I believe is true and I think my track record has been as good as anyone's here. I definitely do not intentionally try to misrepresent things.  I know it sounds crazy, and unpopular here, but it is very likely that Salty will not hit 35 HR next year, even as a full time DH. He has the relatively few AB he will get as a catcher. If he doesn't hit much more than .230 he will be a near definite platoon catcher. And from a statistical perspective, his numbers probably trend up a little at this age but not necessarily every year. As a full time DH he would have a chance but it wouldn't be likely.  For example, Ellsbury hit over 30 HR last year. i bet half the people here didn't expect him to hit 20 this year, and from a statistical viewpoint they probably were not that far from being right even if he were healthy all year.  Salty has hit 1 HR per every 24.69 mlb at bats in his career. This year he has hit 1 HR for every 14.3 AB. That is not at all likely to continue. 1) We are not going to live with a .230 hiiting DH 2) No way he does it as a catcher 3) Even with all that he is more likely to have his numbers revert back closer to his historic averages.
    Posted by RedsoxProspects
    What you say about Salty's hitting may turn out to be on nose. But there is a BIG disagreement about his defense -- where it once stood, where it is now, and which direction it's likely to go in. I know where you stand. But others take a different view -- and there is plenty of disagreement in general about how to evaluate a catcher's defense overall. ( See my post above summarizing those disagreements. You may brush them off or think your assessment is the best
    ( why not? ), but I take them seriously, as I also do what I've been reading elsewhere. 
    We have a snarl here, IMO, until the Sox sort it out on their own terms.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    It is not unusual for a catcher to start coming into own at Salty's age...

    How soon some forget.

    Salty is 27.

    VTek led the league in Passed balls at age 27 and 28.
    VTek had a CS rate of 26% at ages 27 & 28 (combined).
    Total ZoneRuns:
    Age 26: -9
    Age 27: -3
    Age 28: -1
    Age 29: +3 (injured)
    Age 30: +5
    Best season: Age 35 +7

    CERA:
    Age 26: Hatt  4.10/ VTek  4.29
    Age 27: Hatt  3.31/ VTek  3.98
    Age 28: VTek 3.96/ Hatt  5.02
    Age 29: VTek 3.00/ Hatt  4.60/ Mira 4.75
    Age 30: VTek 3.74/ Mira 3.83

    Salty:
    Age 26: VTek 3.57/ Salty 4.62
    Age 27: Shop 3.72/ Salty 4.61 (But, at 4.02 since April 25th/ Shopp 3.91)
    Age 28: ???

    Hitting- OPS:
    VTek: 
    Age 26: .617
    Age 27: .813
    Age 28: .730
    Age 29: .859 (just 51 games)
    Age 30: .724
    Then 3 years over .850.

    Salty:
    Age 26: .737
    Age 27: .780
    Age 28: ???

     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    I see no indication from the data that Salty has improved defensively. I really do not. If anything his numbers look worst to me than last year.

    I think it's important to remember that Salty was let go of by Texas, after considerable investment in him of time and money, for 2 A ball guys. And Texas was not at all catcher rich at the time. They had him for 2 years and bailed.

    He will probably get over $6 mil in Arb. I don't think he's worth it. They appear to have tried to trade him at the break. It may be that they think he is of substantial value and just couldn't get a reasonable return. Why would they try so hard to trade him instead of Shoppach though, if Cafardo is correct and he stresses it several times. Salty being left handed and us not having a LH catcher option beyond Salty?

    I think they want to bail.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III



    Expitch,  I'm hoping you watched the games where Lavarnway caught and for you to share your thoughts?
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    Thanks a lot Moon. i appreciate it. I really do try to be a straight shooter here. I'm saying what I believe is true and I think my track record has been as good as anyone's here. I definitely do not intentionally try to misrepresent things. 

    Again, sorry for getting out of line. I'm just a little testy over all the criticism over one of our strongest psoitions.

    I know it sounds crazy, and unpopular here, but it is very likely that Salty will not hit 35 HR next year, even as a full time DH. He has the relatively few AB he will get as a catcher. If he doesn't hit much more than .230 he will be a near definite platoon catcher. And from a statistical perspective, his numbers probably trend up a little at this age but not necessarily every year. As a full time DH he would have a chance but it wouldn't be likely. 

    I doubt he ever hits even 30 or gets his OBP over .320, but I do think he should improve his overall OPS to about .800 or so from ages 28-32 or so. He should continue to improve his defense, but will never likely be as good as VTek of other great defenders.

    For example, Ellsbury hit over 30 HR last year. i bet half the people here didn't expect him to hit 20 this year, and from a statistical viewpoint they probably were not that far from being right even if he were healthy all year.  Salty has hit 1 HR per every 24.69 mlb at bats in his career. This year he has hit 1 HR for every 14.3 AB. That is not at all likely to continue.

    True, but his OBP before the last 2 years was about .312.  It;s been about .287 from 2011 to 2012. Will he return to .310ish?

    1) We are not going to live with a .230 hiiting DH

    I'd rather be a Yankee fan than see Salty be our FT DH. 

    2) No way he does it as a catcher.

    .230 can be sustained by a catcher who hits 20-25 HRs and 80 RBIs per 450-500 PAs., as long as hius defense improves.

    3) Even with all that he is more likely to have his numbers revert back closer to his historic averages.

    I do not think counting his ML numbers from ages 22-24, when most catchers are still in the minors, should be used to figure a career norm to return to.

    He may not keep repeating what he's done his last 650 PAs, but my guess is may end up somewhere between his last 650 numbers and his career numbers, but he could improve as he enters his prime.

    Last 659 PAs:     .754 OPS 36 HRs 103 RBIs (43 2B+3bs)
    Career per 650: .725 OPS 21 Hrs  76 RBIs (29 2B+ 3Bs)

    Is 36 Hrs and 103 RBIs per 659 PAs decent enough to offset  a BA of .230?
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III:
    Expitch,  I'm hoping you watched the games where Lavarnway caught and for you to share your thoughts?
    Posted by ampoule
    First of all, he looks disciplined for a young batter, and he has a nice swing. He's a big, strong young man. Pitchers will not take him granted. No point in guessing what his power numbers might be in time, but if he's a FT catcher, he should hold his own, at least, amongst catchers, and could do much better. But there is always the wear and tear of that position.
    I saw one of those games. I did not track the pitch-calling, as I have numerous times when Salty is catching. Indeed, I was so impressed with Salty's calling and his demeanor with pitchers that I started to look very closely, in part because he catches -- so much grief. He is very good at blocking or snagging errant pitches, sometimes spectacularly. I've seen him repeatedly snuff a wild pitch that would have allowed a run to score from third, or a baserunner to advance.
    I go into some detail above to specify the criteria that seem to me, from both experience and observation, to rank at the top in evaluating catchers. Of course, I bring to the subject a pitcher's bias -- but I was also trained in these matters by Coach Dedeaux as both a pitcher and his assistant, and later as a head coach.
    Note that I do not include throwing out runners. The pitcher is involved in that play ( Sox pitchers are not and have not been very good at holding runners 
    on ), and to a certain extent so are the basemen. Some are better than others at catching throws and making tags. Coach Dedeaux was more unhappy with pitchers than with catchers on steals. We spent hours practicing on holding runners on, pick-offs, and generally discouraging steal attempts.  
    That said, even though I don't put much stock in the stat for catchers, I do think that Salty has some work to do.
    Wow, what a long-winded set up to answer your question, but at least I've clarified the criteria for judgment. 
    Obviously, one game will not permit a reasonable application of these criteria.
    BUT -- I was favorably impressed by how Lavarnway set up behind the plate. He looks rock solid. Pitchers like that. ( One scouting report says he looks too stiff behind the plate, but he will become more fluid with experience. He's still learning how to coordinate all the parts of a big, maturing body. ) Another report says he does not have quick hands. They looked fine to me -- but, of course, he wasn't tested as I've seen Salty tested. Again, the hand movement is connected to all the others. For the response to that scout, we'll just have to see. I thought he gave good targets but was not quite as quick or sly as Salty is now at framing pitches. ( As one would expect. ) Again, that skill is tied into other body actions.( Elbows and shoulders. )  He may or may not ever be great at stealing strikes. I would not fret that. Those hands' main function is to keep errant pitches from getting away. I have a hunch -- just a hunch -- that he'll get good at it. 
    In short -- very short, one game -- I liked what I saw. I guess I'll use a somewhat vague term -- but I liked his aspect behind the plate. He has tons of promise. 
    One last big point. Coach Dedeaux was not impressed with talk about a catcher's toughness and spirit and all of that. He expected his catchers to swing the bat - with pop. Three of the four catchers I pitched to at USC could lose one at any minute. The fourth hit ropes in the gaps. And he expected his catchers to TAKE CARE of the pitchers. Learn about them. Go over scouting reports with them. Be somewhat flexible on shake-offs. Make them feel like kings. But don't hesitate to utter an edgy word or two if necessary. I loved all my catchers. Because I didn't throw real hard ( sneaky on occasion ) but had a good slider, change, and control, I especially appreciated they way they called a game. I needed very bit of it.
    I go into some detail on this point, again to return to Lavarnway, I think he has the potential to be very good to excellent as a hitter and a caretaker of pitchers.
    All on the basis of one game? Well, you asked. And I'm reporting here more an impression than a judgment, which at this point, could not be reliable. I'm saying what I would write if someone sent me to watch a catcher once.
    I hope I didn't include too much about my own experience, but I thought a frame of reference might help you understand my response better.
    BTW, I found that catchers are fun to spend time with off the diamond. They are nearly as nutty as pitchers. 

     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III : First of all, he looks disciplined for a young batter, and he has a nice swing. He's a big, strong young man. Pitchers will not take him granted. No point in guessing what his power numbers might be in time, but if he's a FT catcher, he should hold his own, at least, amongst catchers, and could do much better. But there is always the wear and tear of that position. I saw one of those games. I did not track the pitch-calling, as I have numerous times when Salty is catching. Indeed, I was so impressed with Salty's calling and his demeanor with pitchers that I started to look very closely, in part because he catches -- so much grief. He is very good at blocking or snagging errant pitches, sometimes spectacularly. I've seen him repeatedly snuff a wild pitch that would have allowed a run to score from third, or a baserunner to advance. I go into some detail above to specify the criteria that seem to me, from both experience and observation, to rank at the top in evaluating catchers. Of course, I bring to the subject a pitcher's bias -- but I was also trained in these matters by Coach Dedeaux as both a pitcher and his assistant, and later as a head coach. Note that I do not include throwing out runners. The pitcher is involved in that play ( Sox pitchers are not and have not been very good at holding runners  on ), and to a certain extent so are the basemen. Some are better than others at catching throws and making tags. Coach Dedeaux was more unhappy with pitchers than with catchers on steals. We spent hours practicing on holding runners on, pick-offs, and generally discouraging steal attempts.   That said, even though I don't put much stock in the stat for catchers, I do think that Salty has some work to do. Wow, what a long-winded set up to answer your question, but at least I've clarified the criteria for judgment.  Obviously, one game will not permit a reasonable application of these criteria. BUT -- I was favorably impressed by how Lavarnway set up behind the plate. He looks rock solid. Pitchers like that. ( One scouting report says he looks too stiff behind the plate, but he will become more fluid with experience. He's still learning how to coordinate all the parts of a big, maturing body. ) Another report says he does not have quick hands. They looked fine to me -- but, of course, he wasn't tested as I've seen Salty tested. Again, the hand movement is connected to all the others. For the response to that scout, we'll just have to see. I thought he gave good targets but was not quite as quick or sly as Salty is now at framing pitches. ( As one would expect. ) Again, that skill is tied into other body actions.( Elbows and shoulders. )  He may or may not ever be great at stealing strikes. I would not fret that. Those hands' main function is to keep errant pitches from getting away. I have a hunch -- just a hunch -- that he'll get good at it.  In short -- very short, one game -- I liked what I saw. I guess I'll use a somewhat vague term -- but I liked his aspect behind the plate. He has tons of promise.  One last big point. Coach Dedeaux was not impressed with talk about a catcher's toughness and spirit and all of that. He expected his catchers to swing the bat - with pop. Three of the four catchers I pitched to at USC could lose one at any minute. The fourth hit ropes in the gaps. And he expected his catchers to TAKE CARE of the pitchers. Learn about them. Go over scouting reports with them. Be somewhat flexible on shake-offs. Make them feel like kings. But don't hesitate to utter an edgy word or two if necessary. I loved all my catchers. Because I didn't throw real hard ( sneaky on occasion ) but had a good slider, change, and control, I especially appreciated they way they called a game. I needed very bit of it. I go into some detail on this point, again to return to Lavarnway, I think he has the potential to be very good to excellent as a hitter and a caretaker of pitchers. All on the basis of one game? Well, you asked. And I'm reporting here more an impression than a judgment, which at this point, could not be reliable. I'm saying what I would write if someone sent me to watch a catcher once. I hope I didn't include too much about my own experience, but I thought a frame of reference might help you understand my response better. BTW, I found that catchers are fun to spend time with off the diamond. They are nearly as nutty as pitchers. 
    Posted by expitch


    I though lav looked pretty good too ex...But like you said, not enough to give a real MLB evaluation...He did look a little siff behind the dish, but only being 24 and only catching but a few years thats to be expected...
    Hes a hard worker (from what I read from coaches) and should improve...The jury is still out on Lav until he has a much bigger sample size at the MLB level...Like you, I see a lot of promise on both sides of his game, just need to see more of him on a consistant basis on the MLB level...As with all young catchers he will only get better by learning on the job...
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III


    Thanks for all the imput.

    Actually, on that bunt play in front of the plate he was involved in, his agility and quickness was impressive....and, he threw a laser to first to get the guy out.

    I'm not counting here, but it seems like he likes to go after the 1st pitch.  Of course, for him to get the opportunity to play probably makes him as nervous as a pregnant nun.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    Great post, ex. 

    Good point southpaw.

    1 games is an awfully small sample size, but better to look good than bad in your first seasonal start.

    I'm hoping the time off for Salty will help him do better at the plate, as it seemed to do with Aviles. Both of them did not have histories of playing FT much, so in hindsight, maybe they shoould have gotten a few more days off along the way. However, with out offense struggling, it would have been hard to justify Punto over Aviles.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III:
    Thanks for all the imput. Actually, on that bunt play in front of the plate he was involved in, his agility and quickness was impressive....and, he threw a laser to first to get the guy out. I'm not counting here, but it seems like he likes to go after the 1st pitch.  Of course, for him to get the opportunity to play probably makes him as nervous as a pregnant nun.
    Posted by ampoule
    Right, Lavarnway made the bunt play perfectly. A big cat.
    Actually, he looks composed at the plate. I think Sox batters take too many hittable first pitches. Then they might not see another one the entire AB. I guess I'm Old School: when you see "your pitch," jump on it. Especially a good hitter with pop. Lavarnway figures to answer that description. 
    Among other things, it discourages pitchers from trying to get a cheap first strike. 

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III : Right, Lavarnway made the bunt play perfectly. A big cat. Actually, he looks composed at the plate. I think Sox batters take too many hittable first pitches. Then they might not see another one the entire AB. I guess I'm Old School: when you see "your pitch," jump on it. Especially a good hitter with pop. Lavarnway figures to answer that description.  Among other things, it discourages pitchers from trying to get a cheap first strike. 
    Posted by expitch
    .When a particular batter almost always takes the first pitch, the scouts know this and opposing pitchers begin to start each count ahead 0-1 (although we have a .991 OPS on 0-1 counts).

    We have a .677 OPS after starting 0-1.
    We have an .875 OPS on the first pitch in 390 contacts on first pitch.
    We have about 3,820 PAs after taking the first pitch.

    The Yanks have made contact on 456 first pitches (.944 OPS).
    The Rangers have made contact on 488 first pitches (.917 OPS).

    BOS 3.92 pitches per PA
    NYY 3.88 pitches per PA.
    TEX 3.80 pitches per PA.

    Maybe we need to rethink the philosophy of wearing down team's staffs by taking more and more pitches.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    Pedroia has only made contact on 19 PAs this year in 412 total PAs.
    Sween  5/219
    Ross  23/320
    Nava  23/242
    Midd  25/272
    Salty  34/312
    Aviles 40/416
    Ortiz   43/379
    AGon  66/461

    Pedey and Sweeney look pretty predictable.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedsoxProspects. Show RedsoxProspects's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    Some interesting stuff here guys. From what I've read I vaguely remember Lavarnway just looking for a pitch he can hit. He works the count well but if he sees something he can hit he goes for it. I sense that he will be excellent at making adjustments. He was at every level in the minors. Actually improving generally as he advanced. This year one would expect that opposing pitchers in AAA are not giving him much to hit, after his performance last year. He has had to work for hits in his AB but overall has still produced.

    One never knows what will happen when a player gets to the majors but Lebron James did get a $90 mil shoe contract before he had played even one game in the NBA. Why is that relevant? It's because when scouts view a player in depth, they have a pretty good idea that some players will make it. Lavarnway is by no means as clear cut as Lebron James was but his swing looks short and quiet to me and he has show some ability to hit to RF with an outside pitch. He has ALWAYS put up great numbers from college on forward. Every year. Even improving those numbers as he advanced.

    I really think this guy is something special. His arm and release time are fine, which to me is a very very big factor in runs saved. If we can knock off an extra 7-10 runners off the bases a year and discourage other teams from runnng in the first place, it's big. Offensively he's probably going to be well above average over time, probably not immediately, and defensively I actually think he will be about average.
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part III

    I still think we should work the count though, with virtually everyone in the lineup doing that if they can. We should seek to acquire players to work the count. Getting a Sabathia or Verlander out of the darn game is pretty important in the PO. Making that pitcher work hard. Getting lots of guys on base. As James has said, getting on base is huge in creating runs. Particularly when everyone does it well. The probability of scoring runs goes way up.

    I don't have a big problem with the #5 and 6 guys being more swinger types as long as their OBP is well above .320 or so. Someone needs to drive in runs. Lowell, Beltre were great for that roll.
     
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