Re: Time to Bench Salty
posted at 8/18/2012 12:52 PM EDT
We can go on all day about Salty but the bottom line is a .282 OBP and 226 BA is not helping our cause. I wouldn't bench him but at least play Lav every other day or a bit more if the plan is to use him as our catcher. He needs to learn the staff ASAP
I understand this point and do not necessarily disagree at this point. However, I see two conflicting things going on here besides the "are we in it or not" angle.
1) Lava needs to be playing as a catcher to grow and progress. He needs to begin to get a feel for playing on the Red Sox (park, media, fans...). He needs to learn our staff as quickly as possible.
2) Salty basically collapsed last year (.221 in Aug & .162 in Sept), and that was a big concern going into this year. It is a question that management probably wants to be answered to some extent this year. It plays into their plans for 2013. I'd say if Salty collapses again this year, he would not be a big part of their plans for 2013 or beyond (via an extension or re-signing him as a FA). If he comes to life over the next few weeks, they'd still know he a streaky hitter, but that maybe his stamina or durability is not "the" issue. The other "big issue" with Salty was his defense, and particularly his handling of the staff. Salty has shown great strides in this area as evidenced by his 4.05 CERA since April 25, 2012. Maybe management wants to further test this aspect of Salty's skillset as well. Maybe management still thinks we have a chance and wants to continue playing the catcher they think has a better chance of getting the most out of our pitching staff. Lord knows our staff needs every tiny boost they can get.
I've also mentioned this several times already: although Salty's .282 OBP and .226 BA are not helpful, we do need to look at those numbers in the context of the catching position in MLB today.
6 teams have a catcher OBP below .282. (10 teams below .291)
10 teams have a catcher BA below .226. (18 teams below .242)
To be fair, we should also point out that ...
25 teams have a worse SLG% than Salty's .462.
20 teams have a worse OPS than Salty's .743.
Salty's OPS is actually slightly higher than his 2011's .737.
I am very troubled by Salty's 0 HRs and 1 RBI in August. It's not a slamdunk call as to who should be starting more games. I am a bit surprised Lava hasn't DH'd more often since being called up.