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2018 Catching: What's the Situation?

#Mets2018 Catching

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#1 brian stark

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 01:42 PM

So, I'm (and probably most of you, too) already thinking about what the team will do to improve for 2018.

 

One thing that ALWAYS gets brought up is the Catcher's position.

 

So, here's my personal analysis, take it like you want.

 

League average catcher production (straight from ESPN):

 

At Bats: 569

Hits: 142

Runs: 65

Home Runs: 20

RBI: 73

Average: .249

OBP: .319

SLG: .413

 

The tandem of Plawecki and d'Arnaud have given us:

 

AB: 430

H: 106

R: 48

HR: 19

RBI: 67

AVG: .247

OBP: .304

SLG: .440

 

Surprisingly, the Mets are listed as the #1 tem in catcher's defense by ESPN. That only takes into account the VASTLY flawed fielding percentage, however. But, looking at the CS rate, they are a tick below average, even with the so called  "No d" behind the plate most of the time.

 

I've said before, I'll say again, the vast amount of the blame for the low CS rate should be laid at the feet of a HORRIBLE job of holding runners on by the pitching staff, particularly the starters.

 

Looking objectively, the Mets have actually received average to above average production from the catcher's spot this year., both offensively and defensively.

 

Despite all the hullabaloo that "we need to bring in Weiters" or "we need to get Lucroy" or the ever popular "we need to get a better catcher (without naming said available catcher to get)" the fact of the matter is that we have no reason really to get down on the catchers we have. It's actually an area of lesser concern to me, frankly.

 

Thoughts?


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#2 Drucifer

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 04:13 PM

Controlling the running game always starts with the pitcher and ends with catcher. They must work together. There are no ifs or buts!



#3 mjjm367

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 05:54 PM

Completely agree with brian here.  With all of the other holes we have, why overpay for a position that we are fine at.  Maybe, as a fan base, there is a lot of Piazza Syndrome going on.  Catchers are not normally your best offensive player.  And, if they are, they belong in the Hall of Fame.  (Hey wait, isn't Mikey in the ....)

 

For all their warts, TDA & Plaw will do quite well for their position.  And the absolute last thing we need to do is overpay in dollars, and even worse, in years, for an aging veteran in a position that is known for breaking down earlier than most.


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#4 brian stark

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 06:53 PM

Controlling the running game always starts with the pitcher and ends with catcher. They must work together. There are no ifs or buts!

 

I agree to a point, but would clarify it.

 

Controlling the running game starts and is intermediate with, the pitcher. It ends with the catcher.

 

I don't care if you have a three headed Pudge Rodriguez/Johnny Bench/Benito Santiago behind the plate, if a runner gets a three or four step running start, they ain't getting him out with regularity.



#5 Saxon

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 08:46 PM

I agree to a point, but would clarify it.

 

Controlling the running game starts and is intermediate with, the pitcher. It ends with the catcher.

 

I don't care if you have a three headed Pudge Rodriguez/Johnny Bench/Benito Santiago behind the plate, if a runner gets a three or four step running start, they ain't getting him out with regularity.

 

to a point...I agree...with someone like Doc Gooden, practically no catcher had much of a chance...however, that is simply NOT the case with Travis no'D...the Mets purposely made sure that Travis hasn't caught for the pitchers that are the worst at holding runners and getting the ball to the plate the quickest...and even with Rivera/Plawecki getting the majority of the starts in these cases, they still had much better Caught Stealing ratios...

 

I'm not going to break it down by pitcher, that just would take way too much work...but we all know that Thor/Travis was as bad as Leiter/Piazza; whereas Rivera limited the damage a bit more...

 

This is taken from espn's stats, and then calculated as if each catcher caught every inning this season (which of course would never happen)...

 

Mets have had 1399 defensive innings prior to tonight (at least according to espn.

Plawecki: 6 CS in 212 innings;

Rivera: 15 CS is 421 innings;

no'D: 11 CS in 754 innings;

 

so if each catcher caught all 1399 innings:

Plawecki: 40 Caught Stealing;

Rivera: 50 Caught Stealing;

no'D: 20 Caught Stealing;

 

http://www.espn.com/...me/nym/split/78



#6 Saxon

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 08:57 PM

by the way....just looked up Gooden's splits by catcher for '84; '85, '86 (Gooden's 3 good years)

 

'84: Gooden allowed 47 steals; only 5 Caught Stealing (Mike Fitzgerald allow 36 of them in 181 innings while throwing out only 4);

'85: Gooden/Carter allowed 18 stolen bases while throwing out 9;

'86: Gooden/Carter allowed 24 stolen bases while throwing out 6;

 

In those 3 years, catchers NOT named Gary Carter threw out a grand total of 6;

In those 2 years, Carter threw out 15 while only allowing 42 steals; 

not only was Carter throwing out guys, but far fewer runners attempted steals when Carter was behind the plate.

 

here's the link for '84 ('85 and '86 can be found the same way):

https://www.baseball...1&year=1984&t=p



#7 Saxon

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 09:14 PM

by the way...

 

Plawecki since the All Star Break: .294/.377/.485/.862

no'D since September: 315/.367/.741/1.108 (would have done post A/S break but he had a rough July/August);

 

also split's wise (not doing the numbers though):

Travis hits LHP better than RHP (however he still has good power vs RHP); Plawecki hits RHP better than LHP (no XBH vs LHP)


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#8 Saxon

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 09:48 PM

I wonder how much the catcher usage will vary by pitcher...

 

IMO:

Travis catches deGrom next season (Plawecki has not caught him this season);

Plawecki catches Thor next season (Thor/Travis didn't work well at all);

 

the rest of the situations? 

 

I am liking that Plawecki has played a couple games at 1B lately; maybe some planning ahead for when Nido gets promoted some time next season...



#9 brian stark

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 05:43 PM

by the way....just looked up Gooden's splits by catcher for '84; '85, '86 (Gooden's 3 good years)

 

'84: Gooden allowed 47 steals; only 5 Caught Stealing (Mike Fitzgerald allow 36 of them in 181 innings while throwing out only 4);

'85: Gooden/Carter allowed 18 stolen bases while throwing out 9;

'86: Gooden/Carter allowed 24 stolen bases while throwing out 6;

 

In those 3 years, catchers NOT named Gary Carter threw out a grand total of 6;

In those 2 years, Carter threw out 15 while only allowing 42 steals; 

not only was Carter throwing out guys, but far fewer runners attempted steals when Carter was behind the plate.

 

here's the link for '84 ('85 and '86 can be found the same way):

https://www.baseball...1&year=1984&t=p

To be fair, it wasn't like there were a ton of runners on when Gooden was pitching those three years, and when they DID get on, they were not running because runners were at a premium, no one was taking that chance.



#10 brian stark

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 05:44 PM

by the way...

 

Plawecki since the All Star Break: .294/.377/.485/.862

no'D since September: 315/.367/.741/1.108 (would have done post A/S break but he had a rough July/August);

 

also split's wise (not doing the numbers though):

Travis hits LHP better than RHP (however he still has good power vs RHP); Plawecki hits RHP better than LHP (no XBH vs LHP)

 

I think the best thing they did this season was basically split the time between Plaw an the supposed no'd.



#11 Saxon

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 06:34 PM

I think the best thing they did this season was basically split the time between Plaw an the supposed no'd.

 

it's like a modern day Grote/Dwyer split...except, neither one is as good of a catcher as either Grote or Dwyer...and neither Grote nor Dwyer could hit as good as these 2 potentially can hit...



#12 Saxon

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 06:38 PM

To be fair, it wasn't like there were a ton of runners on when Gooden was pitching those three years, and when they DID get on, they were not running because runners were at a premium, no one was taking that chance.

 

back in '85 & '86, I shared a house in New Jersey with 5 other Mets fans (they went to Rutgers, I went to DeVry Technical Institute)...we had a game called "Status Pro Baseball" (very similar to Stratomatic)...the guy who owned the game always had to be the Mets, and would always pick Gooden to pitch when I would play him...so I would always pick the Pittsburgh Pirates, and would stack my lineup with everyone that had good baserunning skills...Gooden would usually lose to my speed oriented Pirates lineup


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#13 mjjm367

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 07:03 PM

back in '85 & '86, I shared a house in New Jersey with 5 other Mets fans (they went to Rutgers, I went to DeVry Technical Institute)...we had a game called "Status Pro Baseball" (very similar to Stratomatic)...the guy who owned the game always had to be the Mets, and would always pick Gooden to pitch when I would play him...so I would always pick the Pittsburgh Pirates, and would stack my lineup with everyone that had good baserunning skills...Gooden would usually lose to my speed oriented Pirates lineup

 

Actually about to leave to go over to my brother's house for our weekly matchup of Dynasty League Baseball.  Have played Stratomatic, but never the one you played.  Currently playing with the 1998 season.  DLB is quite a bit more detailed than Stratomatic, the best replay game we have found.  Used to be called Pursue The Pennant.  They make both a computer version and a cards & dice version.  We greatly prefer the cards & dice version.  Differentiates it from a video game, feels more like baseball.

 

We used to pick teams, but then bumped it up a notch.  We divide the 30 teams into 3 sets of 10, evenly distributed by record.  Each 10 team group is all mixed together.  We then conduct a draft, choosing 3 teams each.  We play each other's "division", and each division winner goes to a 7 game playoff.  (I'm currently up 3-1 in season playoffs.)  After each calendar season is complete, we play a "winner's bracket", where both of us take our 3 division winners into a grand champion round.  

 

We pick 25 man teams, minimum 10 pitchers, at least 1 starter & 1 reliever must be LH.  Must have a backup at each position.  3 man minor league squad usable for DL situations only.  Home field determined by chance, but you know before you pick the squad (Colorado vs. Detroit for example).  Incredibly detailed, weather, umps strike zone, field conditions, wind direction, pitcher rest requirements, etc.  Once you play a bit, it is easy.


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#14 brian stark

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 07:18 PM

it's like a modern day Grote/Dwyer split...except, neither one is as good of a catcher as either Grote or Dwyer...and neither Grote nor Dwyer could hit as good as these 2 potentially can hit...

Let's be honest, not only does the Plaw/d'A combo have better offensive potential, frankly their production to date has been better than the Grote/Dwyer combo ever was.

 

And, the Grote/Dwyer combo was much better defensively.

 

With the offensive failings that the roster has, to me their contributions on that side of the ball are more important.

 

If the next pitching coach can actually coach something other than a slider, something like, say, oh I don't know, DON'T LET THE OTHER TEAM'S RUNNERS GET A FIVE STEP GOD DAMN RUNNING START OUT THERE, maybe the semi dynamic duo's defensive numbers would improve.



#15 brian stark

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 08:39 PM

Here are the catchers who will be free agents this off season (per mlb trade rumors):

 

Alex Avila (31)
Welington Castillo (31) — $7MM player option
Hank Conger (30)
A.J. Ellis (37)
Tyler Flowers (32) — $4MM club option with a $300K buyout
Nick Hundley (34)
Chris Iannetta (35)
Jose Lobaton (33)
Jonathan Lucroy (32)
Miguel Montero (34)
Rene Rivera (34)
Carlos Ruiz (39)
Geovany Soto (35)
Chris Stewart (36) — $1.5MM club option with a $250K buyout
Josh Thole (31)
Matt Wieters (32) — can opt out of the remaining one year, $11MM on his contract
Bobby Wilson (35)

 

Any of those sound better than what we have? 

 

Didn't think so...


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