Backstop Backups

Time for that Player A, Player B, Player C contrivance, using the average of the five different 2009 projection systems available at FanGraphs.

 

  Ave.  Obp.  Slg.  OPS
 Player A  .277  .311  .412  .723
 Player B  .212  .285  .301  .585
 Player C  .229  .292  .363  .655

 

Player A also has 13 Gold Gloves, 12 All-star Game appearances, an MVP award and a World Series ring.

Player B also has...  well...  uh...  A Funny Middle Name.  He's 7 months younger than player A, too.

Player C also has... well...  uh...  A Funny First Name.  And middle name.  He's hurt just a bit in this comparsion because he's so incredibly anonymous that he didn't get included in Bill James' projection system, which usually has a tick or two higher offensive projections than the other four projection systems.

If you haven't figured it out yet...

 

Player A is Ivan Rodriguez, who is coming off a brilliant first round of the WBC and claims to be close to signing a major league contract.  We don't know with whom.

Player B is Paul Gabor Bako.

Player C is Koyie Dolan Hill.

 

I know who I'd like to see as a mentor and backup to Soto.

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Comments

In other news, for the first time I have made a table at TCR, all by myself! With my ability to display information in a conveniently organized format, soon I shall rule the world!

let's see what Pudge signs for first and what kind of playing time he was promised (btw I'm guessing the Mets).

And he doesn't bat left-handed, so you know, he doesn't count to the Cubs.

I fear your new table making powers.

he's also not much of a catcher aside from his arm.

here's pudge calling a game...

1- don't talk to your pitchers
2- don't watch tape
3- have a quick talk with the coaches about who can hit what
4- throw the fastball sign to the pitcher 90% of the time and wait for delays of game while the pitcher shakes him off for another sign 1/2 the time

without his bat he's just a guy with a good arm who doesn't care much about learning his staff. he's been good enough to get away with it crutching on his amazing arm and above-average bat. now he's just got his arm.

Here's the results of Pudge catching a game.

Over the last 7 years an average ERA .13 runs lower than his teams' total for the season and by BP's metric 44 runs better than the average catcher defensively, which doesn't account for intimidation of the running game.

The question I have is how much that .13 runs is worth. crunch is right that he's a guy who has struggled in the relationships that he's had with his pitching staffs.

Yes, you've shown the numbers are there, but that still doesn't mean they don't get pissed because they have to shake him off all the time because he calls a retarded game.

That's not really what I'm after in a backup catcher to play 40 games. I also believe that was the main reason that the Cubs didn't bring Henry back, right? They weren't pleased with his handling of the pitchers.

The reason that the Cubs didn't bring White back is that they expected him to want to earn approximately the same money he did last year, which wasn't in the budget.

"Yes, you've shown the numbers are there, but that still doesn't mean they don't get pissed because they have to shake him off all the time because he calls a retarded game."

If their ERA's are lower when he's catching, how is that being retarded? Shaking him off would seem to be the retarded move.

You talk about CERA as if it is actually worth something.

It is. Try www.google.com.

Over a single season, maybe not so much. Over 7 seasons...

Blah... you are using it over a single season, and then taking the average of those single seasons. You are not analyzing seven years of data as one sample, you are analyzing single seasons and then averaging them. Not the same.

And even still ... over 7 seasons, it is pretty worthless. There are too many outside factors that impact ERA that get in the way.

Further... the research around CERA that I have seen is that there is no significant affect from catcher to catcher on ERA. Including from the same source (BP) that you cite for Pudge's defense.

Here are a couple of telling quotes:
Source:

Though we would colloquially say that game-calling doesn’t exist, it’s more accurate to say that if there is a true game-calling ability, it lies below the threshold of detection.

Source:

For now, at least, the hypothesis most consistent with the available facts appears to be that catchers do not have a significant effect on pitcher performance.

" you are using it over a single season, and then taking the average of those single seasons. You are not analyzing seven years of data as one sample, you are analyzing single seasons and then averaging them. Not the same."

This is true, but you should make a point when writing that much. You're probably sharp enough to realize that if you add up the seven seasons, he's still going to have a lower CERA. I also didn't compare him to the other cathers on his team. If I did that, the contrast would be much greater, because Pudge has the propederance of innings.

"And even still ... over 7 seasons, it is pretty worthless. There are too many outside factors that impact ERA that get in the way."

This you just pulled that out of your ass.

"Further... the research around CERA that I have seen is that there is no significant affect from catcher to catcher on ERA. Including from the same source (BP) that you cite for Pudge's defense."

And here is a classic case of reading, but not comprehending. What Woolner is talking about is game calling, not CERA. Pudge's effect on the base running, is outside of Woolner's studies. Therefore using it to refute the validity of CERA as a metric, makes no sense. You could use it to refute the argument that Pudge is a bad pitch caller, though.

i think the whole point is you're using a really horrible stat to prove your point.

whether it's true or not you can't say what caused it with any certainty. that's the bigger issue.

This you just pulled that out of your ass.

Umm... not quite. The number of innings with different pitchers, the quality of hitters faces, the quality of pitchers caught, the quality of defense, the ball park, etc, etc, etc.

I am not sure what you are trying to say... that there are not too many outside factors to ERA?

And here is a classic case of reading, but not comprehending.

I know exactly what Woolner was talking about... it was that catchers have little significant affect on ERA.

And maybe you missed the very clear second quote. I will give it to you again:

For now, at least, the hypothesis most consistent with the available facts appears to be that catchers do not have a significant effect on pitcher performance.

But go ahead and ignore that one.

So why don't you show us all of these articles that actually believe that CERA is a worthwhile stat.

"If their ERA's are lower when he's catching, how is that being retarded? Shaking him off would seem to be the retarded move"

Not if they have been shaking him off and because of that his ERA is lower. I have no idea if this happens or not, but if it does then it would seem that his ERA is lower because pitchers have been predominantly calling their own games.

That was my point. Thank you.

If we're chasing a backup catcher, let's get somebody who can actually fucking catch a pitching staff without putting a big rift in our clubhouse. That's such a minute position in terms of importance that, to me, it's just not worth getting somebody who has the potential to piss off the staff.

So the theory is that they're shaking him off, and not shaking off the backup catcher?

Regardless, the pitchers are still going to have a lower ERA with Pudge behind the plate, than whoever his backups have been.

You mean like last year with the Yankees when Pudge's CERA was 18.99 and Jose Molina's was 3.70?

Or in 2002 when Rodriguez's CERA was 5.22 and his illustrious back-up - Bill Haselman - had a 5.06 ERA??

Kind of like those years?

Trans (Vila) the builder. From building tables to ballparks...

http://www.papertoys.com/images/wrigley_field.pdf (courtesy Rob G and Baseball Musings)

Player A has a funny nickname, and will cost us 2 - 3 mil

more importantly, our TCR league is having its draft today. I'm giddy.

I'm so excited. I predict heavy hovering around my computer all day. I need to plan an activity or something.

I'm just hoping Prince Fielder drops to my 18th pick. Think it'll happen?

otherwise I'm going to reach for Ty Wigginton there...foolproof.

I think we could get Pudge on the cheap at this point. We're how far into spring training?

the cheap isn't as much of an issue as Pudge probably wants to play more than 30 games. But if we can land Pudge as a backup, I also suggest seeing if we can get Bonds and Frank Thomas as pinch-hitters for the bench.

oh SNAP.

 

I still think it makes a world of sense to give it a shot. Let Pudge figure out that there isn't a market for him as a full-time player. 

Sayeth Pudge:

"They've been talking to us and you guys know one of the things, what it is (playing time). I'm ready to play. To be honest with you, I'm in good shape. To be honest with you, I just want playing time and I think if that happens I'm going to have a great year."

"I'm ready to play. I'm ready to play everyday. I think i still can play everyday at a high level. It doesn't matter what happened last year. Last year is over, and I'm ready."

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/fish_bytes/2009/03/...

Somehow I'm doubtful that Pudgey Pudge is the right fit. I'd love him as (cheap) backup, though.

I'm shocked, SHOCKED to hear an aging veteran say he's in good shape and can play every day.

 

:)

 

It can't possibly hurt to put in a low bid.  If the Mets want him everyday, they can have him.  

 

Draft-day tip:  Mike Mussina.

I'm sorry to have given you the shocker. Unless you liked it.

Again, I'd love Pudge (only on the cheap), but it seems like he'd probably have the least amount of playing time if he's with the Cubs, unless, as he says he's willing to, he plays some 1B and 3B too. Don't the Mets have two better catchers than Pudge already? San Diego has a bunch of shitty catchers, he should go there.

Submitted by Rob G. on Sat, 03/14/2009 - 10:09am.

let's see what Pudge signs for first and what kind of playing time he was promised (btw I'm guessing the Mets).

And he doesn't bat left-handed, so you know, he doesn't count to the Cubs.

================================

ROB G: The Cubs achilles heel in 2009 is if anything bad happens to Aramis Ramirez and/or Geovany Soto. With Mark DeRosa gone, there is no credible Plan "B" at 3B if A-Ram goes on the DL for a while, and Bako or K. Hill are (at best) back-up guys, so if Soto goes down, the Cubs are stuck. 

If Soto goes on the DL for an extended period, the Cubs would have to overpay for a Jason Kendall-type replacement. Pudge would be a more-credible Plan "B" at catcher than Bako or K. Hill, but only as long as he would accept a back-up role and RH PH gig. Plus, Soto really shouldn't be catching 140 games anyway.

The Cubs wanted to get "more left-handed" in 2009, but they kind of overdid it, and they are now so left-handed that when a lefty starts against them and Reed Johnson plays CF and Aaron Miles plays 2B, the Cubs will have five left-handers on the bench (Bako, Fontenot, Fukudome, Gathright, and Hoffpauir) and no RHPH, so it actually would be a good thing to have a RH hitting back-up catcher like Pudge instead of Bako.

To help pay for Pudge, the Cubs could release Paul Bako before his contract becomes guaranteed and save $580K (after paying him his $145K severance) and Chad Gaudin prior to Opening Day and save at least $1.5M (presuming he signed a non-guaranteed contract, which he probably did).

If they release Gaudin before next Saturday, the Cubs are on the hook for only $333K, and if the Cubs wait to release Gaudin until sometime during the 15 days prior to Opening Day, the Cubs are on the hook for $500K. If the Cubs have a chance to sign Pudge, they should do it.

Now, Pudge might want more regular-type playing time than he would get backing up Soto, but that could be offset by Pudge knowing that he will be playing for a lgitimate contender.

Also, Pudge and Geo are both members of Team Puerto Rico, so that could make a potential back-up role with the Cubs more comfortable.

I knew I was forgetting like 7 good reasons for why I wanted Pudge.

 

Thanks, Phil!

yeah, I was kidding about the left-handed bit, it's one of the stupidest Cubs plans in recent years. But yeah, losing Soto and the Cubs are kind of f****.

But I really don't think Pudge wants to wait for Soto to get hurt to see if he'll play.

One last thought, and I'll let it rest.

 

Interleague games in the AL:  I'd love to see Soto DH in each of them.  Will never happen with Bako as the backup.

 

ESPN News scroll says I-rod willing to play 3B and 1B, is in talks with the Marlins.  Marlins another team that makes a lot of sense.  Unless he wants to play on a contender.

This talk of Soto reminded me of 1989, when Damon Berryhill (257/291/331) got injured and was replaced by Joe Girardi (248/304/341) with Rick Wrona (283/299/391) backing up.

At least Berryhill could throw (over 40% CS), but none of them hit at all.

unloading Vizcaino's $4M somehow (it's possible if the Yankees or Mets need more bullpen help) could also go to towards Pudge as 3B-1B-C-PH backup. He could also bring his statue up from Miami and put it in the dugout.

"C-PH backup"

back up what?

Submitted by Cubster on Sat, 03/14/2009 - 11:38am.

unloading Vizcaino's $4M somehow (it's possible if the Yankees or Mets need more bullpen help) could also go to towards Pudge as 3B-1B-C-PH backup.

He could also bring his statue up from Miami and put it in the dugout.

===========================

CUBSTER: Even if the Cubs have to pay $2M of Vizcaino's 2009 salary, adding that $1.5M savings to the $2M the Cubs would save by releasing Gaudin & Bako (making it a $3.5M total) should be enough for Pudge, with the only issue being whether he would accept a back-up role.

And as far as 3B is concerned, Soto was signed by the Cubs as a third-baseman, so Soto (rather than Pudge) would probably be the better Plan "B" option there, as long as the Cubs have somebody like Pudge (rather than Bako or K. Hill) available to catch if Soto needs to plays 3B. Soto also played a lot of 1B at Iowa in 2006-07. 

Personally, I'd rather keep that money free in case the Cubs decide they need more pitching help or an upgrade at, say, SS come mid-season. We had a bit of a luxury for awhile in having Blanco as a backup, but Koyie Hill can be decent enough. Pudge would be great, but I just don't think he'd be cool with sitting even 75% of the time.

If it were as simple as changing your mind, Hendry would for the first time have to show the ability to change his mind.

Maybe I'm channeling Manny here, but if Jimbo chooses Bako over Pudge, fire his ass. I'm frankly sick of his overpaying for mediocrity and tunnel-vision bullshit.

about all this pudge stuff...

if the guy worked with pitching staffs rather than treating his role as a catcher similar to how a SS/2nd treats his game he might have work.

i wouldn't let the guy near a young staff, myself. without his bat he's just not that attractive.

from ye olde world o roto via mlbblogs...

"Cubs manager Lou Piniella indicated Saturday that he currently sees Mike Fontenot starting at second base and batting sixth on Opening Day."

I'm guessing that'll mean Soto 7th. Idiot.

But Fontenot's slugging percentage was 10 points higher last year!!!! That's a joke, btw.

I'm in Parachat for an inning or two...

awww, what the hell.  I'll show up too.

Peavy's getting rocked. 6-0 Puerto Rico after 2. Geo walked and scored in the 4 run second.

2IP 6H 6ER 2BB 1K

US finally on the board in the 5th - McCann RBI 2B to score Dunn. 6-1.

Javy Vazquez is cruising for PR.

Peavy is awesome in big games.

ok

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