Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation
posted at 4/19/2011 8:26 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Varitek Should Start: We need a catcher now who can stabilize this rotation
[QUOTE]The great debate about CERA last year was quite circular and there is little reason to think it won't continue to be in 2011. The premise of the OP to quote the headline is that Jason Varitek should be the primary starting catcher
. From that point we broke into the argument of CERA and are left with uneven sample sets from last year and this to compare. But even if you accept that pitchers perform better with Varitek as their signal caller, there is a harsh reality. He is a 39 year old catcher in the post steroid - post grennie era. The argument ignores just how badly Varitek played not only as a hitter but as a defensive catcher by July 2009 when he was catching every day at 37. He wore down and that is no surprise given his age and the number of games he has caught in his career. The sample sets are still very small so I won't get into just how bad he has looked at the plate to start this year because after all I don't think Carl Crawford is a .140 hitter either. But the answer for 2011 isn't Jason Varitek catching 5 times a week. Rick Patino could have found a new variation on this because while Jason Varitek is still walking through that door he is not the physically the player he was even in 2007 when he had become an average catcher offensively, with issues throwing out runners but strong every day in game catcher in other aspects of his game. The RS went into this season with modest confidence at best in this tandem. It is why IMO they were serious in their interest in Russell Martin and that they continued to collect catchers in low leverage trades. Now I do think that they have no issues with Varitek as their back-up catcher. They can accept whatever warts that brings because of the positives Tek can still bring with a reduced workload. It is comforting to think it is one person when a team scuffles. Lot's of folks like to blame the manager (that covers it all, offense, defense pitching). If Tek wasn't here it would probably be Young catching the heat for not filling Farrell's shoes. But pitching wasn't the only problem this team had. They weren't hitting and when they did they were sure not to do so with RISP. Is that Magidan's fault? It is baseball, when it is going good the numbers can be jaw dropping (see Jed Lowrie the last 7 games for details). When it is going bad it can be mind numbing (see Carl Crawford or John Lackey's start for details). The RS need to give Salty more than two weeks when the entire team was in a collective slump to prove if he can or can not be the primary catcher for the RS. If Pedroia got the same quick hook he'd be putting on his Laser Show or some place else in MLB after the RS traded him. If the RS fail that one will be on Epstein's inability to find different option than the can't miss - so far has Salty and twilight version of the RS Captain as his catching tandem IMO.
Posted by fivekatz
No Katz. You are twisting the OP, just as you are twisting the data as being "uneven"
- just as you are twisting popular opinion.
The intention of the OP is not to designate Tek as primary starting catcher.
That's why the term "stabilize" was used.
The OP is saying that the team needs a stabilizing force to calm the waters.
I don't know of anybody here who is for Tek being a FT catcher. Believe it or not, we understand the long-term affects of aging.
If you choose not to accept a catcher's importance to his pitchers to the extent I or others do, fine. But distorting the truth isn't going to change it.
The "uneven data" had one purpose: To validate
a catcher's relevance
. That's it.
The board can argue as to the extent
of it until the cows come home. But once something has been established, nothing anybody says will change that.
I also don't think the majority of the board is saying the 5-10 record is all on Salty.
Many factors play into it. And when the team was 2-9, Tito felt it necessary to get Tek more playing time, which is what the author of this thread is condoning.
A great hitter can impact run production.
A great pitcher will allow his team to win many games by limiting the opposing bats.
A lesser hitter or pitcher will have less impact.
It's no different with a catcher and his affect on pitchers. You will see a notable difference with a given pitching staff if
there's a notable difference in how they are handled.
You will see ambiguous results if the catchers are of similar skill-sets. To acknowledge one and not the other is using tunnel-vision.