Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

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    In Response to Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB : I give Padilla credit for the win. After committing a two-base error to put the go-ahead run at 3rd with less than two out. He knuckled down and worked out of the jamb.
    Posted by harv53
    Agree totally. Padilla is a cool customer.

     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    In response to "Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB":
    southie, also as you I believed mention is my mantra thus far this season--the Sox have not generated much offense, and it's been power or home runs that have created much of that offense---Salty's 19 home runs, a good portion of them either gave the Sox the lead, a few helped win a few games late, and others at least promoted the idea of a rally. Pedroia is not getting it down powerwise and Ellsbury and his replacements produced virtually no power at all. AGONzo, who thankfully has pulled himself out of a prolonged slump of just singles hitting is finally putting up RBI numbers and hitting some dingers too. Take away Salty's home runs, you'd almost have to wonder if the team would be 10 games under .500. Posted by dannycater
    The Red Sox have scored the most runs in baseball. Bad pitching will always been much more damning than bad hitting.
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    Hey, Boom, ever pitched in Nathan's situation? Would you have thought, "Man, can't get the ball over. Just walked a guy. Better make sure I don't walk another guy. No matter that THIS guy destroyed our pitching last night. Gotta get the ball over. Gotta get the ball over. That's what counts most."
    Maybe you would have, but of course you've never been in that situation or, as far as we can tell, any situation in a highly competitive baseball game.
    Back to the books for you. The Texas book, BTW, no doubt last night said, "Be very careful with Salty with the game on the line, especially on a three-ball count."  DON'T LET SALTY BEAT US.
    That's how she done in the real game of baseball.
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    As ex wrote on the mark, you do have to be careful with a POWER HITTER at the plate and you definitely don't want him to hurt you. It's not just finding the strike zone, it's making sure you don't throw a mistake pitch gimmee that results in a long extra-base hit or HR. Aviles hit a great pitch by the way for the GW hit, just showing once again that the Texas reliever was battling hard to get out of that jam, and he almost did.
     
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    Hey, Boom, ever pitched in Nathan's situation? Would you have thought, "Man, can't get the ball over. Just walked a guy. Better make sure I don't walk another guy. No matter that THIS guy destroyed our pitching last night. Gotta get the ball over. Gotta get the ball over. That's what counts most." Maybe you would have, but of course you've never been in that situation or, as far as we can tell, any situation in a highly competitive baseball game. Back to the books for you. The Texas book, BTW, no doubt last night said, "Be very careful with Salty with the game on the line, especially on a three-ball count."  DON'T LET SALTY BEAT US. That's how she done in the real game of baseball.
    Posted by expitch


    Agree on your Salty comment and also that Bobby V likely figured that's the way Texas would see Salty.  So a guy on second in the 9th with a sort of, kind of, maybe chance of scoring.  Then Aviles came through big time.  His OPS stinks, but his rbi's are pretty impressive.  That three day "rest" for Salty when Shoppach started seems to have helped.  A little less free swinging these days.  A week ago I'm not sure it was possible to walk Salty.
     
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    As ex wrote on the mark, you do have to be careful with a POWER HITTER at the plate and you definitely don't want him to hurt you. It's not just finding the strike zone, it's making sure you don't throw a mistake pitch gimmee that results in a long extra-base hit or HR. Aviles hit a great pitch by the way for the GW hit, just showing once again that the Texas reliever was battling hard to get out of that jam, and he almost did.
    Posted by dannycater
    On the money. Clearly, Nathan preferred to pitch to Aviles, a righty, than to Salty, a lefty with power. As you say, he almost got away with it.

     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    I'm not at all sure Salty is the 10th best catcher in MLB.  I just don't like the presumption he is the worst or nearly the worst. 
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    And, Boom, while we're on the subject of how to pitch to certain batters -- at least I was on the subject. You ignored it.
    Which "veteran" catchers did Scioscia call the pitches for? Not an occasional pitch. 
    Scioscia has defended his strong interest in CERA. If he's calling the pitches, is he tracking his own CERA? 
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    Well he's now 9 HR shy of setting a Sox catcher record for HR in a season. I think he might do it too.
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    Unless boom/crazed get their wish and he's traded--which would mean Ben C and LL are insane. 
     
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    boom also DISMISSED Salty's credit for what he did last night in helping the Sox win. Apparently, here was a time where two catchers contributed greatly to the win and to me, this is why W-L for catchers can be misleading. Sox don't win the Shoppach start without breaking the tie and Salty's pinch hitter walk was a big reason, then he caught Aceves 1-2-3 in the 9th for the save--also, a huge accomplishment for a team that is struggling to beat a very good Texas team. 

     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    I think it's more likely that Nathan was saying to himself, just throw a freaking curveball and Salty will probably swing at it and miss.

    As he does strikeout over 30% of the time. If the ball was anywhere near the plate Salty probably would have swung and missed. 

    The guy walks and you all want to cite that as evidence of just how great he was. The guy walks in less than 7% of his AB and he draws one walk and that is a big deal. You guys are absolute kings of small sample sizes.

    Salty has an ISO of .275 this year and a career ISO of .182 but apparently most of you are projecting his pop to continue at the level he has performed so far this year. What are the chances of that happening?  Think about it. Apparently for a long time.
     
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    I think it's more likely that Nathan was saying to himself, just throw a freaking curveball and Salty will probably swing at it and miss. As he does strikeout over 30% of the time. If the ball was anywhere near the plate Salty probably would have swung and missed.  The guy walks and you all want to cite that as evidence of just how great he was. The guy walks in less than 7% of his AB and he draws one walk and that is a big deal. You guys are absolute kings of small sample sizes. Salty has an ISO of .275 this year and a career ISO of .182 but apparently most of you are projecting his pop to continue at the level he has performed so far this year. What are the chances of that happening?  Think about it. Apparently for a long time.
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom
    Listen carefully. I'll try to explain this to you one more time.
    That night on a real baseball field with real human actors, Nathan was facing a left-handed batter who had creamed the ball the night before. That pitcher had none of your data in mind. None of it. Not a single number. ZIP. He was concerned, as was that catcher ( and, no doubt, the bench ) NOT TO LET SALTY BEAT US. Not the Salty of your numbers, but the one standing in the batter's box. SALTY HAD NOT BEEN CHASING BAD PITCHES ALL OVER THE PLACE THE NIGHT BEFORE.  That is the datum the Rangers had in mind -- and, oh, the 19 homers, many of them, as Moon has shown, in timely situations. Nathan was not counting so much on Salty's swinging at curves in the dirt as taking every precaution not to serve up a cookie. Got it so far?  When Nathan got to three balls on Salty, he, in effect, put him on in order to get to Aviles, a righty far less likely to hit a dinger. Good thinking, Joe. It almost worked.  
    Danny, as an ex-pitcher, understands it. I understand it. The Sox bench understood it. Salty understood it, and was determined to get a pitch he could hit, or at least a decent one to take a shot at. Got it now?
    If you understood this game as it's actually played, there would be no need to explain all of this to you. Especially if you understood pitching and catching.
    Why, I wouldn't be surprised to know that a twelve-year-old girl in the stands said, "Daddy, it this what you meant when you said that a pitcher won't put the ball where a big strong batter might hit it over the fence in a close game?" Daddy said, "Very good, Mary Lou. That's basic stuff." 


     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    Listen CAREFULLY expitch. If pitchers were so freaking worried about Salty beating them how come he has a 6.8% WALK RATE? If pitchers were all that worried about Salty they would walk him more often.....RIGHT!

    Instead he strikes out over 4 times as often as he walks. Pitchers pitch to him ok. Yes, they do PITCH to him. Sometimes they just can't get their curveball over. Nathan walked Nava, the batter just before him. He pitched him carefully also. And Nava hasn't been setting the world on fire lately. Was he all that worried about a "cookie" with Nava?

    Salty's average for the month of July is now .151. Does it really sound to you like Nathan was afraid to pitch to Salty? I mean REALLY? 

    End of story. I waste so much time with you expitch. And you never get it. For a guy who supposedly knows so much you are one of the dumbest guys I've ever had a discussion with. 

    Was Nathan concerned about pitching to Salty? Of course. Was he so concerned about Salty that he didn't pitch to him. No. He just didn't get his curveball over. Period.
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    Your position is that Nathan chose to put a runner in scoring position in a tie game in the 8th inning rather than pitch to Salty and his .151 BA for the month of July. How ludicrous. Of course he pitched him carefully but he didn't want to walk him. He did pitch to Salty. And he did throw some strikes to Salty in that AB. He just didn't get his curveball over or he thought Salty would swing at the bad pitch as he certainly has many times before.
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    His .286 OBP is indicative of a guy who is not very selective at the plate.  19 walks vs. 86 k's is simply unacceptable for a major league hitter.  His .508 slugging percentage on the other hand is excellent and his OPS is a more than respectable .794.

     His game calling is improving but he still needs to work on this as the starter's first inning ERA is partially his responsibility. Bob McLure also bears responsibility for this and they need to be more aggressive out of the gate and pound the strike zone more consistently.  Lester's issues remain a mystery and no amount of coaching is seemingly going to turn his season around.
     
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    Listen CAREFULLY expitch. If pitchers were so freaking worried about Salty beating them how come he has a 6.8% WALK RATE? If pitchers were all that worried about Salty they would walk him more often.....RIGHT! Instead he strikes out over 4 times as often as he walks. Pitchers pitch to him ok. Yes, they do PITCH to him. Sometimes they just can't get their curveball over. Nathan walked Nava, the batter just before him. He pitched him carefully also. And Nava hasn't been setting the world on fire lately. Was he all that worried about a "cookie" with Nava? Salty's average for the month of July is now .151. Does it really sound to you like Nathan was afraid to pitch to Salty? I mean REALLY?  End of story. I waste so much time with you expitch. And you never get it. For a guy who supposedly knows so much you are one of the dumbest guys I've ever had a discussion with.  Was Nathan concerned about pitching to Salty? Of course. Was he so concerned about Salty that he didn't pitch to him. No. He just didn't get his curveball over. Period.
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom
    Back to THE situation that night night, not to this and that percentage previously.
    Both Danny, an ex-pitcher, and Max, a good observer, understood the situation perfectly. See above.
    Nathan was fearful of Salty, as would be any pitcher in his right mind, especially after the way Salty had hit the ball THE NIGHT BEFORE. Not three weeks ago. ( In case you don't know, scouting is CURRENT, night to night, game to game, and goes on during the game in the dugout. No one says, "We can't walk this guy. After all other pitchers do it only seven percent of the time." Try to keep that in mind when you're looking at a game -- a specific situation in a game, not in your computer. ) He was pitching extra carefully to Salty BECAUSE he had walked Nava, whom he had not wanted to walk. His penalty for giving up that walk was that he had to face Salty with the game on the line.
    ( That's how she works, baseball. You do this, you get a reward. You do that, you get a penalty. You go 3 and 1 on a batter, it's his advantage. You go 1 and 2, it's your advantage. You let a man get to third with less than two outs in a close game, you have to play the infield in. That's the penalty. ) You even said that the pitches to Salty were so bad that you and I could have drawn a walk in that situation. Was Nathan off his game so badly that he was that wild? No one has said that Nathan issued an intentional walk. But it was clearly an unintentional intentional walk, during which strikes can occur. 
     Clear, that is, to anyone who had a clue about what was going on. It happens all the time in situations like that one. ( Yes, I've done it, under Rod's tutelage. Or Maybe I just dreamed it. We all wanted to play for him. In my case, so much so, that I dreamed that I actually did play for him. I was getting away with it too, before I ran into you. ) I pointed out that the 3 and 2 pitch was definitely delivered under the impetus of DON'T LET SALTY BEAT US. And,"I'll take my chances with Aviles."
    The rest above, more pathetic ranting. 
    I take back Baseball 099. You need 088, Pre-Remedial Baseball. 

     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    Salty is NOT the problem. 

    Last night's loss tells the tale.   That lefty heavy experiment does not work.  We don't have a consistent RH bat that can protect ANY of the lefties, although Ortiz helps when he is in the lineup with that.  

    We need an ace, and a power RH bat.

    Sounds like what everybody was saying last Winter.   Too bad the Sox management didn't hear.  They aren't winning anything without those key pieces.   But Salty?  He is solid enough.
     
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    Salty is NOT the problem.  Last night's loss tells the tale.   That lefty heavy experiment does not work.  We don't have a consistent RH bat that can protect ANY of the lefties, although Ortiz helps when he is in the lineup with that.   We need an ace, and a power RH bat. Sounds like what everybody was saying last Winter.   Too bad the Sox management didn't hear.  They aren't winning anything without those key pieces.   But Salty?  He is solid enough.
    Posted by soxmeister


    BINGO!

    Team ERA since May 1st: 3.86

    Team catcher OPS: .820 (4th in MLB and just .004 from 2nd).

    Catching is not our problem, in fact, it is one of our best assets this year!
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

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    In Response to Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB : One of the "smartest baseball players" I've ever played with was in Colorado. He was a hick ( his own description ) from somewhere in the deep South. ( He wore coveralls into town. ) He could barely read. But he had that dry Cracker wit. He had physical talent, lots of it. What was most impressive, however, was that he never made a mistake. Coach Dedeaux at USC drilled us over and over ( and over ) in fundamentals, and he kept a fine pad in the dugout to record mistakes. ( I'm making this up, as Boom suspects. ) So I had a virtual catalogue of mistakes in my head, many of them quite subtle, all of them serious in Rod's mind. ( He was an amiable perfectionist. ) Our hick made none of them. OTOH, he seemed constitutionally unable to make anything other than the right play, no matter the circumstances. It was eye-opening, to say the least. He hadn't played beyond high school, and had, according to him, learned very little from a high school coach. But, as he said, "My dad knew more than a molehill about this game." I'll bet. In the end, though, it all boiled down to what that kid did in the moment on the diamond. OTOH, I've known a few players with book smarts and at least enough talent who never fully got the hang of this game. And so it goes. In the real world. On real diamonds.
    Posted by expitch

    Wow.  a Hick can know as much about baseball as someone with book learnin'.

    Great story.  What were we talking about?

     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    Salty is not an issue.  The guy has plus power and does fine behind the plate.  He is also still quite young.

    He would be among the very last players I got rid of on this team.
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

    Another thing some people are missing is that Salty usually chases the low inside curve and the high heater, both of which Nathan threw and Salty did not bite...I think Nathan meant to throw those pitches hoping Salty would chase as he usually does...Nathan put them where he wanted them and Salty did a great job of holding back in that situation...Thats where I give Salty the credit...Nathan was being very careful...If he couldnt get Salty to chase, so be it, but he wasnt gonna lay one over the plate for him to knock the laces off the ball...He wouldve rather taken his chances with a RHH in Aviles IMO...
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

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    In Response to Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB : BINGO! Team ERA since May 1st: 3.86 Team catcher OPS: .820 (4th in MLB and just .004 from 2nd). Catching is not our problem, in fact, it is one of our best assets this year!
    Posted by moonslav59


    It's interesting that Shoppach sometimes shows his true colors too. He's a capable defensive/game calling veteran catcher now. But he's not a guy you use fulltime or even past 2 or 3 straight games. He struck out all 3 at bats last night and no one said a word. He lost that start as W-L catcher. Had that been Salty, the Salty haters would be all over him. I love the tandem because both produce, but I see Salty as the guy who can maintain over the long haul and produce over the long haul in a majority of starts and I see Shops as the guy who can catch 60 games and do mostly good things. Overplaying Salty is a mistake, overplaying Shoppach--a bigger mistake. 
     
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    Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB

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    In Response to Re: Saltalamacchia--10th best catcher in MLB : It's interesting that Shoppach sometimes shows his true colors too. He's a capable defensive/game calling veteran catcher now. But he's not a guy you use fulltime or even past 2 or 3 straight games. He struck out all 3 at bats last night and no one said a word. He lost that start as W-L catcher. Had that been Salty, the Salty haters would be all over him. I love the tandem because both produce, but I see Salty as the guy who can maintain over the long haul and produce over the long haul in a majority of starts and I see Shops as the guy who can catch 60 games and do mostly good things. Overplaying Salty is a mistake, overplaying Shoppach--a bigger mistake. 
    Posted by dannycater

    Shoppach is one of the best back ups in the game though.  A lot of people don't seem to realize that.

     
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