Re: Saltalamacchia Tracker...
posted at 4/21/2014 11:36 PM EDT
In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
In response to moonslav59's comment:
I didn't forget the error.
The risk of playing a rusty Ross was the lost offense that Salty gave us all year.
It worked out. I have no complaints, but I was not "relieved" when Salty was benched.
Ross wasn't 'rusty'. He had 9 starts the last month of the season and 4 postseason starts prior to Game 4 of the WS.
Granted he was an offensive downgrade from Salty, but what about defence? Where are you factoring that in?
Of course, I factored in Ross with better D, but if Ross was clearly the better choice, he'd have played more before that fateful throw by Salty.
Nobody was calling for Ross to be the FT starter before that one play.
Yes, I felt better about any further throws needed by our catcher after Salty was benched, but I did not feel anywhere near "relieved" by the fact that Ross was starting over Salty.
Our offense was struggling mightily in the playoffs last year. Benching one of the best offensive catchers in MLB last year during a mighty slump was risky. I'm not arguing that it was the wrong move, but it clearly had some risks involved.
Throws by catcher rarely effect the outcomes of games. It is not usually a significant factor in winning and losing. The difference between and average throwing catcher and Salty is not as significant as many want to think it is. And besides all that, Salty's throw should have been caught or at least knocked down.
Listen, I like Ross. I was in favor of the signing. He's not that bad on offense either. He's better at throwing, but maybe worse at framing pitches and who knows who was better or worse at blocking bad pitches in the dirt. The CERA numbers pitcher by pitcher favored Ross slightly, but Salty had greatly improved his skil lset in this area over the 2 years prior to his benching. We won a ring. Nobody can argue benching Salty hurt us. I get that. I know why he was benched. I understand the reason.
I really don't think the benching was a big deal, so that is why I took issue with the word "relieved". I actually was more surprised by the Nava benching than the Salty benching, but that is another can of worms.
I'm glad Salty's off to a good start. He seemed like a hard-working guy who did everything he could to improve his weaknesses. He improved on every one, but throwing, and I'm not sure if that is something you can practice and practice to overcome a short-coming. After 17 games, he leads the majors in WAR by a catcher (+0.7). Good for him.
I'm not crying about losing him. He would not have signed with us, even if we offered more than the Marlins. The benching made sure of that. Before 2013 began, I had a feeling he was not in our long term plan and suggested that we extend him or trade him before we got nothing in return. Had we traded him last winter, could we have still won a ring? Hard to know for sure, so again, I have no complaints, but in hindsight, I wish we had traded him or let him play the rest of the WS and extended him at $25M/3. If a prospect ended up taking away his FT job, then great. We could easily trade 1-2 years left on his deal for a very useful piece. That's just my opinion, and I am in no way bashing Ben or John for the choices they made.