Re: I Hope Wakefield Never Reaches #200
posted at 8/22/2011 8:15 PM EDT
moon, you get upset with anyone "including myself" thats suggests there could be feasible replacements for both Tek and Wake in the near future, not just those who call for a resignation.
craze4sox, I have never argued with anyone wanting to replace Wake or VTek with a better player. I have repeatedly asked those posters who say Wake has "held back" prospects from "getting a chance" to name the names of those kids. The fact is there isn't any. Doubront was hurt earlier in the year, and now he is struggling in AAA. Miller was horrible in AAA earlier this year and after improving, got his shot. Weiland was rushed out of an emergency situation and had a short sample that was not too impressive.
If you mean "near future" as this season, I don't see any feasible option to Wake. I do not think Miller is a better option, but I don't get "upset" with those who like him better. I disagree with them, and think the numbers back me up that Wake has pitched better than Miller this year. What upsets me is when people make statements that are not based in fact or data. One poster here has run up a long list of criticisms of Wake that were just plain fabrications. I called him out on each and every fraudulent point. I'd do the same if someone said Wake deserves the Cy Young. I'd show how wrong that poster is as well.
As for VTek, I happen to think many posters here discount his value as a "game caller" and other "catcher relevant" issues. It's not all about hitting, and even if you do look at the hitting, VTek has about a .100 point OPS advantage vs LHPs over Salty. The team continously wins more when he catches. Even if you take away his starts with Beckett, he has a higher winning % than Salty. This is not a fluke. It is not "voodoo" as the silly cloiwn called it. It has been a trend that has occured for 10 straight years.
Up until now (with Lavarnway), there really hasn't been another in system alternative to VTek as the co-catcher. If there is a catcher out there on another team that calls a great game, and we can get him at a low cost, I'd have no problem letting VTek walk. I have yet to hear anyone name a name or a possible trade package to get someone else. As for Lavarnway, my position is that as of right now, he is best used as a DH. I do not think it is logical to risk a ballooned team ERA by using Lavarnway as a catcher a significant amount of time in the near future. I can understand people wanting Lavarnway to take VTek's place. It doesn't upset me that they feel this way, but I would like them to be here defending their position when our ERA goes up, we lose more games, even though Lavarnway may hit 100 points higher than VTek. My guess is they won't admit the switch from VTek to Lavarnway is the reason.
It's a predictable as anything in baseball. It's not just a Red Sox phenomena. A lot of research has been done on this issue. The Angels had one of the best hitting catchers in MLB for several years (Napoli) and one of the worst hitting catchers in MLB (Mathis) on the same team. Guess what, the pitchers did much better when Mathis caught (year after year), and the team won way more with Mathis playing. The same has been true with other teams. The Yanks have won more with anyone but Posada at catcher for a vast majority of the years he has been hitting like a madman with them. VMart hit great with Cleveland and Boston, but the pitchers did better when he wasn't catching, and the team won more with someone else catching
Thats the part I really don't agree with in most cases. Since coming to the board I have given credit to both players for their contributions to the team but at least entertain the fact they really don't have any outstanding skills at this point that couldn't be matched by others
I agree, there are probably are many better hitting catchers than VTek and better pitchers than Wake. I will disagree if you say there are many catchers who can match VTek's "game calling" skills. I will disagree if you say there are easy-to-obtain pitchers out there that are better than Wake.
VTek is our back-up catcher (or 40% co-catcher). Are there better catchers than him in MLB? Yes, of course. Are they easy to get? Hell no! Can we risk this expensive pitching staff on someone who has a poor record of game calling and catcher relevant areas? I think not. (By the way, VTek may be a poor hitter, but I think people need to realize that the catching position is not loaded with good hitters. As bad as VTek is, he still has the 16th best catcher OPS in MLb this year. I repeat, this guy is our BACK-UP CATCHER and he is the 16th BEST HITTING CATCHER IN MLB this year, and yet, poster, including yourself, choose him as a target a high need area of for replacement.
Wake was our 6th starter this year. I have painstekenly showed comparative data to other starters in MLB, comparative data to other Sox starters, and gamelogs, WHIP, QS%, BB/9, CS%, and much much more to show that Wake has pitched more like an average 3rd to 4th MLB starter this year. In terms of IP/GS, WHIP, CS%, and BB/9, he is even better. Again, it puzzles me that so many posters choose another guy who is overachieving to choose as one of the few most important players in need of replacement. He's cheap. He's consistent. He's putting the team in a position to win over and over and over again... as a 6th STARTER!!!!!!
Tek calls a very good game and has done a great job mentoring Salty but at some point the "game calling and experience" just simply won't be enough. Thats baseball, every good vet faces this at some point so the fans should as well
I'm curious about why during this year, you think the 16th best MLB hitting catcher who has a near unparalleled record of getting the very best out of every pitcher he has ever caught, is now ready to be replaced. It's not all about looking at a player's age. Wake and VTek have already proven they can produce at ages long considered past prime.
I wanted Theo to get a top 3rd starter type this deadline. I was happy he got Bedard, but wanted better. I'd have been happy if Theo got a great starter and Bedard thereby moving Wake to the pen. It didn't happen, because the cost was too high.
Now it's between VTek and Lavarnway and Wake vs Miller. I have stated my opinions and welcome yours and others. I'm not upset at anyone who thinks Miller and Lavarnway are better options. I will be upset if Tito/Theo make a change without improving the team, and I'll be upset with posters who deny the truth after the fact...such as when our staff gets worse when Lavarnway catcges, or if Miller shows further inconsistencies and we start losing games he starts at a higher rate than when Wake started. I get the feeling, other excuses will be used.