Re: Vote for Salty in 2013!
posted at 9/16/2012 2:34 PM EDT
In response to craze4sox's comment:
In response to moonslav59's comment:
In response to RedSoxKimmi's comment:
Kimmi, with all do respect our team is a lot more efficient offensively "like most" when guys like Ells and Ciriaco create havoc and put us in a better position to drive in runs. Guys like Crawford "before signing him" who take advantage of a weak or less than accurate throwing arms killed our team when Tek was catching.
I agree that having guys like Ells, Ciriaco, and Crawford wreaking havoc on the basepaths improves the offensive output of the rest of the line up. But guys with speed are going to steal bases sucessfully, and disrupt the opposing pitching and defense, regardless of who is catching. That's the beauty of speed.
Statistically speaking, 2009 was Varitek's worst year for throwing out base runners. His CS% was 13%. The best catcher in the AL in that regard in 2009 was Gerald Laird who threw out 42% of baserunners.
Over the course of the season, the difference between the worst and the best in terms of throwing runners out amounted to 15 runs (-8 for Varitek and +7 for Laird). That boils down to a 2 game difference, at most.
Now I'm not saying that those 2 games are not significant. In a perfect world, we'd get a catcher that is very good in all defensive areas. What I am saying is that in the scheme of overall defense, throwing out runners is less important than other areas such as pitch framing, pitch blocking, and pitch calling. Give me a pitcher who handles the staff well and has a weak arm over the opposite any day of the week.
If Salty had the league average CS%, the opps would have about 8 less SBs.
Also, we still have a poor record of holding runners close to the base, and most SBs are "on the pitcher".
moon, why do some people discuss improving areas every year but tend to disregaurd and defend our mediocre catching position? If there is a weakness we should improve any area we can.
Of course we could improve the catching position, but we do have some very nice prospects in Lava and Swihart, so regardless of what one thinks of Salty, the catching position both now and going forward is not our biggest weakness by a long shot.
It is my opinion that a team best improves by addressing the weakest links first. Secondly, I don't see our catching position as a weakness at all. I also think as a whole, our catching future is better than most teams have. Salty's .770 OPS is better than 24 MLb team catching OPS. His defense may be below average at this time, but no doubt, it is improving and should continue to do so. His handling of the staff has also improved greatly from April 25th of 2012.
Our biggest weaknesses are:
1) Top of rotation starting pitcher.
2) A solid 3-4 slot starter. (Or, we could get two 2-slot starters)
3) A solid RH'd bat to hit clean-up or maybe 3rd vs LHPs.
8) SS (in the near future anyways)
9) CF after 2013
10) Bull pen
The only slots we look OK in now are 3B, 2B, and 3 slot SP, 4 slot SP, and 4 Relief pitchers (Bailey, Breslow, Aceves, & Mortensen/Miller).
We have several prospects looking to make their mark, but counting on 5-6 of them to do very well over the next 2-3 years is a huge gamble.
I'd love to have a top MLB catcher on our team, but it is far away from my top priority of improving this team. I actually think our catching depth is a strength we may use, via trade, to help improve a more needy area.