In response to moonslav59's comment:
Catching has been a weakness since 07 when Tek began to decline offensively, even then and until the day he retired his value was much greater than Salty's is today. Yes, we brought in Victor short term because Theo believed Salty could eventually put numbers similar to Tek. It hasn't come close to happening, Salty is our weakest offensive starting catcher in the past 20 years.
VMart was here before Salty, so your timeline is incorrect.
Yes, we have had poor catching since 2007. VMart brought offense, but horrible staff handling. VTek continued great staff handling, but his offense declined rapidly, except when in the limited back-up role.
While Salty's offense has not been as good as VTek or many prior Sox catchers, it has not been a weakness when compared to the league average catcher.
You should also reconsider the 20 year comment:
1993: Pena .181/.246/.257/.502 and B Melvin .222/.251/.291/.582
Team: last in catching BA, OBP and SLG (worse than now)
1994: Berryhill/Rowland/Valle only 5 teams with a worse catcher OBP .297 (worse than now)
1995: Macfarlane/Haselman (9th worst catcher OBP .314 and 11th worst OPS .705) Worse O
1996: Stanley/Haselman Better than this year (.834 OPS)- Better
1997: Hatteberg/Haselman / Team .330 OBP/.417 SLG- Even?
1998: .341/.428/.769 Better?
1999: .338/.452/.790 Better
2000: .350/.396/.754 Better
2001: .349/.425/.774 Better
2002: .327/.396/.722 Even?
2006: .297/.365/.663 Worse
2007: .344/.396/.740 Better
Salty 11-13: .289/.456/.745
I see several worse catcher offense seasons in the last 20 years than now or during the Salty as starter era.
This is what confuses me, you don't consider catching a weakness even though Ross has also struggled offensively?
No, I do not consider a tiny Ross sample size as defining our catcher position as a weakness.
Before today's game, in a pretty small sample size, here's how our catchers have done compared to the rest of MLB:
21st OBP .286
10th Slg% .474
15th OPS .759 (Right in the middle of MLB) 14 better/15 worse
16th Batting factor in WAR calculation
I see the current Sox catching tandem as producing near league average, but by the end of the year will be in the top half in nearly every offensive catcher category except BA and OBP.
Yet you consider SS and other positions a weakness?
With Drew as our FT SS, yes. By far a weaker position than C, going by the tiny sample size you are using for Ross and Salty, and Drew's defensive issues.
Makes absolutely no sense moon. How do you see two average players at C being any different than our current SS position?
1) I think our cathcers are better than average, and our future catchers look very promising.
2) Our SS position has been in shambles for longer than our catching position.
A 220 hitter is a 220 hitter until proven otherwise. Judge Salty on career numbers, not just OPS, or the WIDELY cricized CERA. You also can't compare what Salty is doing so far to players who have put up decent numbers but are presently struggling.
I am not cherry-picking stats to make my point. I value OPS much more than BA and more than OBP alone. Slugging is very important- not as much as OBP- but important none the less. Plus, he has been improving.
Our staff has turned things around since bringing in Farrell and Nieves so to give Salty much credit here also makes little sense.
You see what you want to see. I have documented a vast improvement in Salty's CERA after 4/25/12. That was under Valantine not Farrell and Nieves. I'm not saying the two coaches haven't made a big impact, but you are totally discounting any Salty influence, which in my opinion is plain wrong. It is clearly noticable by observation and data.
Look, I'm not saying we can't do better at the catching position, but Ross has a very good history on defense and offense, when compared to the league average starting catcher, yet he is our back-up. Salty has been aboiut in the middle of the pack on offense since 2011. I don't consider being average as a "weakness", nor do I consider our catching position as our number one weakness. Right now, I'd rank our weakest links as such (as compared to these positions on other teams):
1) SS as long as Drew is there.
2) SP #5
3) SP #4
4) SP #3
5) C and 1B tie (Napoli is too fragile, up and down, and our 1B depth is scary.)
I never said Salty or catching was our weakest position but have been saying its one of them for two plus years. Although I do feel Ross is a very capable back up and liked the move the fact is, has to be looked at as a weakness offensively so far. Napoli has really come on and he has decent back up.
I'm not a big CERA fan based the widely spread criticism from experts that can be easily looked up for anyone that has the time. Finally and respectively, I don't dislike Salty and respect the research and knowledge you bring to the board.
I just don't place Salty's defensive/game calling improvement in a category with the more traditional Boston catchers like Pudge and Tek who gave us much more. Salty is putting up numbers like these guys did long after they were effective starters. Salty just got his first hit tonight and I hope it continues but still feel its one of our weaknesses and has been for years.