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Catcher - 2006

Frayed Knot
Oct 12 2005 10:03 AM

A couple of thoughts on one of the potential FA catchers currently filling the thoughts of some Met fans' - and possibly front office - heads.


From an article on Hardball Times entitled;
'Five Untrue Things You'll Learn About the Angels This Week'

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/five-untrue-things-youll-learn-about-the-angels-this-week/

Bengie Molina is a great defensive catcher
I'm not sure Bengie's even a good defensive catcher at this point. His throwing has deteriorated -- from 36 of 81 base-stealers (44%) in 2003, to 18/69 (26%) in 2004, to 20/64 (31%) this year; even while his barely younger brother has been improving from 28% to 49% to 53%. And more noticeable on a day-to-day basis is Bengie's increasingly desperate habit of jabbing with his glove at pitches in the dirt, instead of trying to move his fat body in the way.

He led MLB with 10 passed balls this year to Jose Molina's three, but that doesn't begin to tell the story, since official scorers rarely even call passed balls anymore. The real action is in wild pitches: John Lackey -- he of just 71 BB in 209 innings pitched -- ranked third in all of baseball with 18 wild pitches this year; reliever Scot Shields came in seventh with 12 (and K-Rod had eight, and Esteban "I'm Not Even on the Playoff Roster" Yan uncorked five, etc.).



This actually ran last week prior to the Yanqui series and it was an attempt to educate those who rarely see the west coast teams about how certain pearls of "conventional wisdom" might not be too wise after all.

Having said all that, he's looked OK defensively to me - in a small sample size anyway. But he'll also turn 32 next June with one of those bodies that doesn't strike me as the type that'll "age" particularly well and, as a FA, will likely command a deal for at least 3 years.
He also seems to me to be, oh I dunno ... too similar? to Ramon Castro. Same type of hitter (he's a better hitter than Castro but still sort of the same), same body (maybe even the same helmet size) plus, in a foot race with a pregnant woman, the two would stage a death battle for 3rd and 4th place.
Castro is 2 years younger.


Just thinkin out loud here.

metirish
Oct 12 2005 10:09 AM

]He also seems to me to be, oh I dunno ... too similar? to Ramon Castro


That's a fair point, in a small sampling this past week Molina has looked great, certainly he carried a big bat against the yankees, but at 32 and no doubt looking for 3 years I don't think he'd be worth it, .

MFS62
Oct 12 2005 10:34 AM

That may be because Castro was coached by Molina's father in Little League. I heard that tidbit about a week ago, but don't remember which announcer said it.

Later

smg58
Oct 12 2005 10:39 AM

I don't like the free agent catching options out there. Hernandez is too much of an injury risk for the price he'll command.

Ideally a Jacobs/Castro platoon would be more than adequate offensively, provided Jake can field the position at least passably, while enabling us to spend our money and bargaining chips elsewhere. Otherwise, young guys like Shoppach, Ryan Garko, and Dioner Navarro should be available. I'd rather serve youth at catcher and spend the money for a bat or two and possibly a closer.

Edgy DC
Oct 12 2005 10:40 AM

You will receive raves for your defense long after it has shrunk as an asset. Catchers are a particular beneficiary of the truism.

You will also be paid for your defense long after it has shrunk as an asset. But I think that is less true than it used to be.

sharpie
Oct 12 2005 11:59 AM

Not that I'm jonesing for Ramon Hernandez, but up til this year he was pretty healthy. Meanwhile, Jacobs has also had injury issues.

Valadius
Oct 12 2005 12:01 PM

Watch us trade for a catcher instead.

rpackrat
Oct 12 2005 03:07 PM

I hear there's this guy named Piazza out there. Not the hitter he once was , but still a pretty good one. Below average, but not horrible, defense. Might be willing to sign a one year incentive-laden deal.

Rockin' Doc
Oct 12 2005 06:39 PM

The Braves have an overstock of catchers. An injury appears to have led to Johnny Estrada losing his starting catching spot to young Brian McCann. Estrada is 29 years old, but if he is recovered from his recent injuries he could be a pretty decent addition. The Braves need pitching, particularly in the bullpen. It might be worth pursuing, though interdivisional trades are often very tricky.

smg58
Oct 12 2005 11:40 PM

I forgot about Estrada. Watch Schuerholz get more than he's worth for him.

Yes Jacobs is an injury risk too, but he's an in-house option and would cost nothing. I'm guessing that Ramon Hernandez could still command 7 or 8 million a year, and I'm not sure he's worth that cost.

Piazza... he may yet turn out to be the best option, but I would examine several other alternatives before him.

Frayed Knot
Oct 12 2005 11:50 PM

I doubt the Braves are ready to turn over catching to McCann full time (he isn't even their best minor league catching prospect - they like the guy a year or so behind him even better).
So I suspect they'll go with a combo of McCann and Estrada next year (Eddie Perez is getting a bit old). As far as I know they expect Estrada to fully recover from his injuries by spring - he was never really right after Darrin Erstad steamrolled him at the plate around mid-season.

Nymr83
Oct 13 2005 08:53 PM

remember Estrada for Millwood? god i thought the braves were getting ripped off. whoops.

Valadius
Oct 17 2005 12:42 PM

There's a scout.com free preview of premium content that just came out that grades the Mets and MFYs catching prospects.

[url]http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AocLUzlI_ZhafhSLM5s8CJwRvLYF?slug=citadel-2_453590_228&prov=citadel&type=story[/url]

Basically what it says is that the Mets are dominating the MFYs in catching prospects. Here's the full text:


The Two Farm Systems : Perhaps the largest disparity position-wise between the Yankees and the Mets is at catcher, where the Yankees are devoid of any legitimate impact players at the catcher's position after Dioner Navarro was traded this past season. The Mets have quite a few catching prospects that not only could, but should, reach the Major Leagues as quality back-ups at minimum.

Two-time Mets' Minor League Hitter of the Year Mike Jacobs made a splash in New York towards the tail end of the season by hitting 11 home runs while adjusting to playing first base. Jacobs came through the Mets' farm system as a quality backstop, with a few questions marks about his ability to throw out runners. Like Mike Piazza , Jacobs is a solid all-around catcher with his arm being the lone drawback defensively.

Hagerstown catcher Jesus Flores is arguably the best all-around catcher, both offensively and defensively, between the two farm systems. He broke his hand in the final exhibition game in Spring Training and after missing the first six weeks of the season, took a bit longer to shake off the rust upon his return to action. Flores, still just 20 years old, has a lot of potential despite the pedestrian offensive numbers he posted in 2005.

Aside from Jacobs and Flores, neither the Yankees nor the Mets have any other catching prospects that project to become starting catchers at the Major League level. However, between the likes of Omir Santos , Jose Gil , and Irwil Rojas of the Yankees, and Joe Hietpas , Aaron Hathaway , and Drew Butera of the Mets, there are some quality catchers that could eventually make their way into the Major Leagues as excellent second catchers.

How Do They Compare In...

Power : With sluggers like Mike Jacobs and Jesus Flores already behind the dish, and with Andrew Wilson making the transition to the catcher's position this past year and in the Arizona Fall League, the Mets clearly have an edge over the Yankees in the power department among the catcher prospects. The Yankees don't really have one catching prospect that projects to hit 20+ home runs at the Major League level. Advantage: Mets

Hitting For Average : Again, the depth of catching prospects for the Mets gives them another edge over their cross-town rivals at the catcher's spot. Mike Jacobs has proven, albeit in a small number of at-bats, that he can hit Major League pitching with regularity. Flores is a much better hitter than his .216 average this past season and Andrew Wilson is a very good hitter as well. The Yankees have underrated Wil Nieves , a very good hitter in his own right, and Irwil Rojas , one of the better contact hitters around , keeps this race a little closer. Advantage: Mets

Defense : You'd be hard-pressed to find four better defensive catching prospects in one farm system than the New York Mets . Joe Hietpas is widely regarded as one of the elite signal callers at the minor league level. While Hietpas has a plus arm, catchers Aaron Hathaway and Drew Butera may have better arms. Throw in the all-around defensive ability of Jesus Flores, the defensive competition at catcher between the two farm systems is not even close.

Omir Santos of the Yankees is also a very good defensive catcher, but the rest of the Yankees' catching prospects are nowhere near as good as the Mets' quartet of catching prospects. Advantage: Mets

Speed : Does it really matter? The catcher's spot is traditionally known to house some of the slowest players on the baseball field and that is certainly the case with the combined catching field from the Mets and Yankees. Athletic players like Andrew Wilson, Aaron Hathaway, and Drew Butera give the Mets a slight edge in the speed department, but it is negligible overall because none project to be a difference maker on the base paths. Advantage: Mets .

Overall Potential : What the Mets decide to do with Mike Jacobs slightly effects the overall landscape of the overall potential between the two sets of catching prospects. Even if Jacobs remains at first base, the depth of quality defensive catching prospects in the Mets' farm system is too good to ignore.

If Jacobs is left behind the plate as Mike Piazza appears done in a Mets' uniform, and if Andrew Wilson can make a smooth transition to catching defensively, the Mets would have the top three catching prospects with the highest ceilings because of their offensive potential.

But the two systems combined do have a few quality catching prospects that could become excellent second catchers for their respective teams.

Highest Ceilings : Mike Jacobs (Mets) , Jesus Flores (Mets) , Andrew Wilson (Mets) , Jose Gil (Yankees) , Irwil Rojas (Yankees)

Best Power : Mike Jacobs (Mets) , Andrew Wilson (Mets) , Jesus Flores (Mets) , Omir Santos (Yankees) , Joan Martinez (Mets)

Best Average : Mike Jacobs (Mets) , Irwil Rojas (Yankees) , Andrew Wilson (Mets) , Jesus Flores (Mets) , Wil Nieves (Yankees)

Best Defense : Joe Hietpas (Mets) , Aaron Hathaway (Mets) , Andrew Butera (Mets) , Jesus Flores (Mets) , Omir Santos (Yankees)

Best Speed : Aaron Hathaway (Mets) , Jose Gil (Yankees) , Andrew Wilson (Mets) , Joan Martinez (Mets) , Andrew Butera (Mets) .


So... Jacobs isn't as bad behind the plate as some people have speculated. He'd essentially be the second coming of Mike Piazza. This Jesus Flores, though, looks like he deserves watching.

Elster88
Oct 17 2005 12:46 PM

This article essentially says that Jacobs is the best catching prospect in two farm systems. It does not say he is
] essentially be the second coming of Mike Piazza.
A little early for that.

Valadius
Oct 17 2005 12:48 PM

The article doesn't say it. I'm saying it. What do I mean? He'd be a power-hitting catcher with a below-average arm. Our tools at the position would remain the same.

metirish
Oct 17 2005 12:52 PM

I thought Jacobs was done as a catcher, I'm not hot for Bengie Molina anymore,not for the money expected and the years.....Castro is the man.

Elster88
Oct 17 2005 12:56 PM

Valadius wrote:
The article doesn't say it. I'm saying it. What do I mean? He'd be a power-hitting catcher with a below-average arm. Our tools at the position would remain the same.

Oh. The way you wrote it, it seemed like you were drawing that conclusion from the article.

I still say it's waaaaay too early to say he's the next Piazza.

sharpie
Oct 17 2005 12:56 PM

The idea of Jacobs as a catcher is just so intriguing. If we've gotta have Castro come in for late inning defense and the occasional start, I'm down with that. Much easier to fill a hole at first than catcher.

Edgy DC
Oct 17 2005 01:06 PM

There has been one player like Mike Piazza in history. And that was Mike.

Maybe Josh Gibson. Who knows? But I'd be slow to forecast when the second coming is coming.

Vic Sage
Oct 17 2005 01:46 PM

WE WANT JAKE!
WE WANT JAKE!

A non-throwing catcher who can play decent defense otherwise and hits .280-.300/20+hrs LHed can start for my team any day.

sharpie
Oct 17 2005 02:00 PM

He could be the fourth of the Mets' slugging catchers. Zero slugging shortstops, not a whole lot in the way of slugging first basemen, but three and now maybe four slugging catchers.

Rotblatt
Oct 17 2005 02:04 PM

What Vic said. And if he hits a wall, there's always Castro.

Now that I think about it, it's kind of ideal. Late in close games or against a speedy team, we move Jake to 1B and put Castro in there.

Unless, of course, we get a Konerko or trade for a Delgado.

Speaking of Delgado, he was only paid $4M last year, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Fish try and move him. Otherwise they're on the hook for like an extra $8M, and they're cheap bastards.

MFS62
Oct 17 2005 02:17 PM

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=An50J8LmYHeEqvHHTKuVqqARvLYF?slug=citadel-2_453504_303&prov=citadel&type=story

ScarletKnight41
Oct 17 2005 02:27 PM

62 - what is the article about?

There are two reasons why it's good to say so, instead of just posting a link without explanation -

1) Sometimes we're in a rush, or our connections are bad, and it's not worth it to open every link; and

2) When this is an archived thread and the link no longer works, people will understand why you provided the link.

Thanks :)

MFS62
Oct 17 2005 02:29 PM

Its a comparison of the current catching prospects in the Yankee and Met organizations.

Johnny Dickshot
Oct 17 2005 02:32 PM

Same piece linked and printed on the previous page.

Not that it says anything useful in the first place.

ScarletKnight41
Oct 17 2005 02:58 PM

OK - thanks.

MFS62
Oct 17 2005 03:58 PM

Anyone think Benjie Molina has reduced the amount of his FA payday with his performance in the playoffs?

Later

Elster88
Oct 17 2005 04:00 PM

No

seawolf17
Oct 17 2005 04:01 PM

Part of me says yes; he's looked a little older, a little slower, and hasn't been so lights-out defensively.

That said, though, there aren't really too many other catchers out there who can do what he can do; so I wouldn't think his price dropped that dramatically.

Frayed Knot
Oct 22 2005 01:45 PM

[url=http://www.newsday.com/sports/printedition/ny-spmike224480242oct22,0,1355730.story?coll=ny-sports-print]Piazza unlikely to return[/url]

Nothing new really.
Minaya and Piazza's agent have talked but all sides imply that Mike is looking (at least at this point) for something more full-time than the Mets are willing to guarantee.
- Minaya: Mike "would probably be in a similar role to what it was [at the end of] last year"
-Agent Lozano: "After the World Series, we'll take a look at how many teams want him to catch and how many want him to DH. We're going to move forward based on the responses we get from the teams"

He goes on to claim that at least several NL teams have expressed interest in him as a catcher, in addition to the AL/DH offers he'll likely get.

Johnny Dickshot
Nov 01 2005 07:36 AM

Nov. 1, Post:

AMAZIN'S REACH OUT TO MOLINA

By MARK HALE

The Mets need a catcher, and they have officially begun the task of exploring possible successors to Mike Piazza.

Bengie Molina's agent, Alan Nero, said last night that the Mets have expressed interest in the free-agent backstop.

"I am talking to [GM] Omar [Minaya] and it appears that they definitely have interest, so we'll see," Nero said.

The offseason is only five days old, so it is premature to discuss the likelihood Molina, who has spent his whole career with the Angels, could end up a Met. He has already drawn interest from several other clubs, according to Nero, and that is not surprising; Molina, along with San Diego free agent Ramon Hernandez, is among the best available catchers. The 31-year-old hit .295 with 15 homers and 69 RBIs this past season and threw out 31 percent of runners attempting to steal.

Still, it appears as if Molina will at least consider playing at Shea.

"I would say he's excited about the Mets' interest, and as an open slate, he's going to consider it very openly," Nero said.

sharpie
Nov 01 2005 08:52 AM

He's a good player and becoming a better hitter. Had career highs in homers and obp this past season. Has won two gold gloves. Bono-slow, but rarely strikes out. My only concern is that I still have a Jacobs-catching fantasy, but all in all I'd take Bengie (despite the ridiculous spelling) over Ramon Hernandez.

Elster88
Nov 01 2005 09:09 AM

sharpie wrote:
He's a good player and becoming a better hitter. Had career highs in homers and obp this past season.

I am wary of these statements about a 31 year old catcher. Don't most catcher start going downhill at 33? I forget the magic age for catchers. Maybe it was higher than that.

smg58
Nov 01 2005 10:02 AM

We might be able to squeeze three years out of him, but I'd need some indication of what Jacobs could do defensively before I decided how eagerly I'd pursue other options. I do think Molina is a better choice than Hernandez, though.

Johnny Dickshot
Nov 04 2005 07:34 AM

Considering all the trouble we had with Matsui it'd be a huge upset if we went and got Jojima, but here's an old article about him anyway:

[url]http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?sb20020329b5.htm[/url]

Nymr83
Nov 04 2005 11:27 AM

that is an OLD article that tells us almost nothing about who he is now...
i'd be very wary of a japanese player at a high price...of course if he's cheap enough theres no reason not to add him as another option and play castro if he turns out bad.
i just don't want to sign a guy and then be "obligated" to play him because of the size of his contract.

Johnny Dickshot
Nov 04 2005 11:32 AM

I thought I made pretty clear it was an old article when I described it as an "old article."

Here's a more recent take:

[url]http://ussmariner.com/?p=3054[/url]

Edgy DC
Nov 08 2005 12:33 AM

Kenji Jojima has studied English.

Johnny Dickshot
Nov 09 2005 07:55 AM

Pudge? Matsui?

[url]http://www.detnews.com/2005/tigers/0511/09/D01-376808.htm[/url]

MFS62
Nov 09 2005 08:11 AM

So he's learning English?
So what if he doesn't speak it well?
Neither did Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra.
How many words does he have to learn?

one -fastball
two - curve
three - slider
four - change
brushback
cut (the ball off on a throw coming home)
mine (on a bunt or popup)
and
get the ball over the #%&% plate.

He should be able to get those down by spring training

I'm more concerned on reports in some recent stories about him that he was injured last year. I haven't been able to find out the nature of those injuries. If they were the kind that indicate "wear and tear" on a catcher I'd be wary. But if they were accident related (plate collision or off field) that can heal well, he's worth a shot.

Later

Frayed Knot
Nov 11 2005 10:46 AM

Mets to [url=http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/story/364555p-310397c.html]meet face to face with B. Molina[/url] today although no concrete offers are expected.
My reservations about going overboard here lead off this thread.

Also mentions that they're in contact with (Japanese catcher) Jojima's agent and will likely meet with the player in the next week or so.

Elster88
Nov 11 2005 10:53 AM

MFS62 wrote:
So he's learning English?
So what if he doesn't speak it well?
Neither did Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra.
How many words does he have to learn?

one -fastball
two - curve
three - slider
four - change
brushback
cut (the ball off on a throw coming home)
mine (on a bunt or popup)
and
get the ball over the #%&% plate.

He should be able to get those down by spring training


I think there's more to it than that. The communication between pitcher and catcher is more important than any other two positions on the field. But, since a non-English-speaking pitcher has worked with an English-speaking catcher, I'm guessing the reverse could work too.

MFS62
Nov 11 2005 11:10 AM

Good point about the non-English speaking pitchers.
And I just remembered reading that English is a mandatory subject in schools in Japan. Maybe the classes he's been taking the past two years are just a refresher. He's supposely a good catch and throw guy, with some pop in his bat. And he's 3 or 4 years younger than Molina.
IMO he's worth a good hard looksie.

Later

Yancy Street Gang
Nov 11 2005 11:17 AM

I think they should look at him too.

I know that a lot of fans think that the Mets were burned by Kaz Matsui, and he certainly has disappointed with his defense, but as we've seen with Ichiro, Japanese position players can succeed in the United States. It's foolish to think that all Japanese position players are clones of Kaz Matsui.

sharpie
Nov 11 2005 11:52 AM

Some of them are clones of Shinjo.

seawolf17
Nov 11 2005 11:54 AM

Could you imagine a whole team of Shinjos and Matsuis, plus Benny Agbayani in left field and Matt Franco at first base, managed by Bobby Valentine? They would go 25-137, but they'd be a helluva lot of fun to watch.

Frayed Knot
Nov 12 2005 10:07 AM

According to the [url=http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/updates/story/5326349p-4825137c.html]Tacoma News Tribue[/url]:

"The Seattle Mariners are said to be on the verge of signing Japanese catcher Kenji Jojima.
A source said Friday that the Mariners are close to signing Jojima to a two-year contract worth about $8 million with an option for a third season.
The 29-year-old Jojima was in Seattle on Friday, although he wasn’t accompanied by his agent, Alan Nero."

TheOldMole
Nov 12 2005 12:03 PM

And Omar and Bengie are having a bonding experience.

MFS62
Nov 12 2005 02:29 PM

="Frayed Knot"]According to the [url=http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/updates/story/5326349p-4825137c.html]Tacoma News Tribue[/url]:

"The Seattle Mariners are said to be on the verge of signing Japanese catcher Kenji Jojima.
A source said Friday that the Mariners are close to signing Jojima to a two-year contract worth about $8 million with an option for a third season.
The 29-year-old Jojima was in Seattle on Friday, although he wasn’t accompanied by his agent, Alan Nero."


Its not a done deal. The suburban Daily News said this morning that Nero will take his show East next week to meet with the Mets (among some other unnamed teams).

Later

MFS62
Nov 12 2005 04:51 PM

From the Seattle Paper:
Mariners club attorney Bart Waldman leaves today for the 55-and-over Roy Hobbs World Series in Ft. Myers, Fla. Waldman, 57, will pitch Sunday for the Puget Sound-area Washington Titans. Waldman's batterymate is none other than John Olerud Sr. ...

Hey, I wonder if he can hit like his kid?
And he's a free agent.

Later

Frayed Knot
Nov 12 2005 05:11 PM

John Olerud Sr. is mentioned briefly by Jim Bouton in 'Ball Four' as a minor league catcher in training camp for the Seattle Pilots.
He never made the majors.

Zvon
Nov 12 2005 08:15 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Nov 12 2005 09:32 PM

Mets brass met with Molina and Hernandez on this same trip.
Both catchers numbers last season:
Molina: 31 yrs old:119 games/ 15HR/ 69 RBI/ .295 BA and thown out 29%
Hernandez:29yrs old: 99games/ 12 HR/ 58RBI/ .290 BA and thrown out 26%

Either will do and then lets bag Wag.


^amended Hernandez stats>srry

Edgy DC
Nov 12 2005 08:24 PM

And that's part of the reason that throwing out runners is vastly over-rated. We're not talking about replacing a guy who threw out 10% of would-be base-stealers with a guy who threw out 90%, or 50%.

We're talking about replacing a guy that threw out 14% with a guy that threw out 29%.

At that rate, one of those guys throws out 14 or 15 more guys getting Piazza's innings last year.

OlerudOwned
Nov 12 2005 08:26 PM

Lots of random Olerud discussion today.

Zvon
Nov 12 2005 09:40 PM

I had Hernandez's stats wrong up there....fixed em,srry.

Nymr83
Nov 13 2005 02:43 AM

OlerudOwned wrote:
Lots of random Olerud discussion today.


we're all still frustrated that he left.

abogdan
Nov 13 2005 01:06 PM

I'd much prefer to see the Giants sign Hernandez instead of Molina. Ramon is two years younger, and has been a much better hitter over his career while playing in two terrible hitters parks in Oakland and San Diego.

Rotblatt
Nov 16 2005 12:03 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Nov 16 2005 12:33 PM

Somewhat surprisingly, none of us has looked in depth at the numbers of the 3 free agent catchers out there yet. I'll look into Jojima's stats and try to figure out where that translating thingee is later, but for the meantime, let's compare Molina & Hernandez.

Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time converting my Excel table into CPF-friendly code, so I'm just recapping here. I'll try again later.

Molina 3-year average: 385 AB, .285 AVG/.319 OBP/.433 SLG/.752 OPS, .53 BB/K, .148 IsoP
Hernandez 3-year average: 412 AB, .279 AVG/.326 OBP/.461 SLG/.787 OPS, .53 BB/K, .182 IsoP

Pretty similar, right? Hernandez has significantly more power but Molina gets more singles. Hernandez has also averaged over 25 more at bats per year.

Looking at splits, Angel Stadium is a pitcher's park, so you'd expect Molina to do better away, but you'd be wrong--.752 OPS at home versus .749 away over the past three years and there's been almost no variation in any of those years.

So how about Hernandez at PETCO the past two years? Unsurprisingly, he did much better away: .766 OPS at home versus .818 away over the past three years (so those splits include 2003 at McAfee Coliseum, a hitter's park--.781 OPS H & .765 OPS A in 2003).

So we could expect Hernandez to get a boost from moving out of PETCO, while Molina will probably stay about the same.

Now let's look at lefties v. righties.

Molina 3 year R: .272 AVG/.303 OBP/.389 SLG/.692 OPS.
Hernandez 3 year R: .291 AVG/.339 OBP/.463 SLG/.802 OPS.

Molina has consistently sucked against righties. 2004 was the only time in the past four years he's done better against them than lefties--.729 OPS v. .689 for lefties.

Hernandez, on the other hand, has done quite well against righties. In 2002 & 2004, however, he hit lefties significantly better than righties (.756 OPS v. .607 in 2002 & 1.035 v. .739 in 2004), so I'm not sure what to expect going forward.

Molina 3 year L: .316 AVG/.352 OBP/.537 SLG/.889 OPS
Hernandez 3 year L: .246 AVG/.313 OBP/.456 SLG/.769 OPS

Frankly, Molina looks like a platoon guy to me. He crushes lefties but doesn't hit righties well. And if we want a lefty killing catcher, we already have one in Castro:

Castro 3 year L: .299 AVG/.397 OBP/.537 SLG/.934 OPS

Hernandez, on the other hand, looks like he's got something of a reverse split but handles both lefties and righties pretty well for a catcher. Throw in the fact that he's 2 years younger, has been more durable and has been a better offensive player overall than Molina the past three years, and I think it's pretty clear that we should favor Hernandez over Molina.

Rotblatt
Nov 16 2005 12:32 PM

Jojima

2003
551 AB, .330 AVG/.399 OBP/.593 SLG/.992 OPS, .300 IsoP, 1.06 BB/K

2004
426 AB, .338 AVG/.432 OBP/.655 SLG/1.087 OPS, .317 IsoP, 1.09 BB/K

2005
411 AB, .309 AVG/.381 OBP/.557 SLG/.938 OPS, .248 IsoP, .67 BB/K

He declined in 2005, although he still did quite well. Hard to tell if it's the beginning of a trend or if it was an off-year. Here's the projection via the methodology used by Hardball Times last season for Iguchi (which they did pretty well on, although the SLG didn't drop as much as they projected):

.280 AVG/.333 OBP/.421 SLG/.754 OPS, .141 IsoP

This only takes stats from the previous season into account, so if Jojima's drop last year was a fluke, his ceiling might be as high as:

.306 AVG/.377 OBP/.495 SLG/.872 OPS, .189 IsoP (based on his 2004 stats)

An unnamed Japanes scout spoke with the NJ Ledger and predicted the following: .280 AVG, 15 HR, 25-30 2B, with an upside of: .300 AVG, 20 HR, 40 2B. That dovetails pretty well with the HT translation.

Frankly, if Molina matched that first line over the next three years, I'd be happily surprised. Hernandez, IMO, is probably a safer bet than Jojima with about the same ceiling, but at a rumoured $9M over 2 years, Jojima could be an absolute steal. Given that we have a capable backup in Castro, I'd be pretty happy with a Jojima signing in terms of offense.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/coming-to-america
http://www.nj.com/mets/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/11321233849340.xml&coll=1
http://www.japanesebaseball.com/players/player.jsp?PlayerID=102

Frayed Knot
Nov 17 2005 01:43 PM

Jojima returns to Japan "for personal reasons" and will not meet with the Mets as scheduled. No word on any return engagements.

Edgy DC
Nov 17 2005 01:48 PM

Diss'd.

metirish
Nov 17 2005 01:49 PM

Can't get no respect...Omar won't like this...

MFS62
Nov 17 2005 02:21 PM

FK,
where did you hear/read that?

Later

sharpie
Nov 17 2005 02:23 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Nov 17 2005 03:45 PM

Get back, Jojima.
Your mama's waiting for you.

Frayed Knot
Nov 17 2005 02:25 PM

MFS62 wrote:
FK,
where did you hear/read that?

Later



WFAN radio

Earlier

Valadius
Nov 17 2005 03:37 PM

Seattle, here he comes.

Edgy DC
Nov 18 2005 12:12 AM

Seem to be dominoes falling here. Speculation is that he rescheduled his trip because the Mets, by trading Cammie, filled their wallets with money to bait bigger fish.

Frayed Knot
Nov 20 2005 08:57 PM

From Jon Heyman's column in Sunday's Newsday:

With Kenji Jojima showing no interest in coming to New York, the Mets' main catching choices come down to Bengie Molina and Ramon Hernandez. But to some Mets scouts, there's only one choice: Hernnandez. While Molina looked good in the playoffs, the Mets have surprisingly negative scouting reports on his defense.


Those negative reports dove-tail with the opinion from the Hardball Times that opened this thread, and also a on-line report I saw the other day somewhere (Baseball Prospectus?) showing Bengie-boy with the worst passed ball ratio of any catcher in the league.
And that body ain't goin' to be gettin' any younger or, most likely, any smaller.

I haven't seen a ton of Hernandez but I like the fact that he's 2 years younger than Molina and a bit more athletic. Plus it would be nice if the team wasn't swayed by those over-rating (IMO) Molina based on a handful of playoff appearances and NYY games (cough *Francesa* cough).

cleonjones11
Nov 20 2005 09:17 PM
RAMON HERNANDEZ

SOLID EVERYDAY CATCHER....ABOVE AVERAGE SKILLS PLUS ARM DURABLE...15 HR 70 RBI .270 MAYBE 120 GAMES CASTRO THE REST...

WHATS NOT TO LIKE

METS HAVEN'T HAD GREAT SUCCESS WITH JAPS...KASHIWADA...KOO...KAZ AT LEAST ONES THAT START WITH "K"

Yancy Street Gang
Nov 20 2005 09:22 PM

Eek.

Valadius
Nov 20 2005 09:29 PM

No. Just no.

metirish
Nov 20 2005 09:39 PM

Jesus Cleon could you be a bit sensitive with the caps and japs...my people are telling me that Molina has weight problems, who hasn't that problem though.

Nymr83
Nov 20 2005 10:33 PM

i'd sooner pass on molina AND hernandez and make do with what we have. while both are upgrades to Castro they will probably receive too much money to make them worth bringing here.

GYC
Nov 21 2005 06:00 AM

http://rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/player_main.asp?leaguenum=&sport=MLB&id=6032


Paul Lo Duca - C - Marlins


The New York Daily News believes the Mets have talked to the Marlins about Paul Lo Duca as well as Luis Castillo.

Both will be available if the Marlins decide to go with a $40 million payroll. Writers Adam Rubin and Bill Madden also believe that Carlos Delgado, if traded, is more likely to go to the Orioles than the Mets. Nov. 21 - 4:40 am et

Rockin' Doc
Nov 21 2005 07:36 AM

If reports are to be believed, it appears that the Mets and Marlins are trying to swap teams. The Mets are reportedly pursuing trades for Carlos Delgado, Luis Castillo, and Paul LoDuca. Might as well try to get them to throw in Miguel Cabrera and Josh Becket too while we're at it.

All this leads me to think that OMar and Larry Beinfest have had a conversation or two since the end of the season. Of course the media keeps mentioning every WATP that it can think of in order to have something to write about.

Johnny Dickshot
Nov 21 2005 08:02 AM

M's to sign Japanese catcher Johjima

By Bob Finnigan
Seattle Times staff reporter

Scoring the first big-name free-agent signing of the offseason, the Mariners will announce the signing of catcher Kenji Johjima, possibly as soon as today.

Sources say that Johjima has agreed to terms with Seattle. His name is much bigger in Japan, where he has averaged .305 with 30 homers the past five years and won seven straight Gold Gloves.

The Mariners increased their offer late last week from two years plus a club option for a third year to more than $5 million a year for three years, a deal that also includes incentives.

Also, Johjima and his family were said to take a liking to the Northwest in their visit last weekend.

Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi declined to comment on the imminent announcement of the signing.

Instead, Bavasi said, "if we are lucky enough to sign Johjima, he would fit in playing on an everyday basis."

Seattle scouts have given Johjima high marks as a two-way player.

"Our people tell us he has high potential as an offensive player and a solid defensive catcher," Bavasi said.

Bavasi dismissed what most U.S. baseball men have seen as the main problem — the fact that Johjima doesn't speak English.

"If he's here, we wouldn't regard it any different than the situation with Latin guys," he said. "He'd have to pick up some English and even some Spanish. But we're talking about enough to get the next hitter out, not to split the atom."

With Johjima coming in as the front-line receiver, sources say Seattle is prepared to trade Yorvit Torrealba, the catcher who played most of the games in the second half of the 2005 season after coming here from San Francisco in a midseason trade.

Johjima's team in Japan, Fukuoka Soft-Bank Hawks, reportedly had offered him a one-year deal of $10 million to stay.

He will make his decision public on Tuesday in Japan. At Fukuoka's breakup meeting before the offseason, a tradition for Japanese teams, Johjima will tell Hawks' manager Sadahura Oh that he will play in this country.

TheOldMole
Nov 21 2005 08:08 AM

When did he get the H in his name?

Johnny Dickshot
Nov 21 2005 08:21 AM

I think that the silent H's are dropped to "Englishize" some of those names.

Shinjo's uniforms in Japan identified him as "SHINJHO"

Edgy DC
Nov 21 2005 08:38 AM

Well, with him, it's a Y. But yeah.

Elster88
Nov 21 2005 08:59 AM

We're still Americanizing things in this day and age? Did Shinjo think that Americans couldn't deal with Shinjyo any more than we could deal with Kashiwada?

Yancy Street Gang
Nov 21 2005 09:05 AM

I don't think the names are really being "Americanized."

Remember, the real way to write a Japanese name is with Japanese characters. Any conversion to our alphabet is a translation, and depending on the translator there can be a variety of spellings.

Valadius
Nov 21 2005 04:36 PM

Jojima is indeed signing with the Mariners. Three years, $15 million.

Rotblatt
Nov 22 2005 12:19 PM

Can anyone explain to me why we'd even consider exchanging Seo or Anderson Hernandez for Lo Duca or Toby Hall?

http://www.nypost.com/sports/mets/31701.htm

Lo Duca's had one good season 5 years ago and has been the epitome of mediocre since then and at 34 isn't likely to improve. To make matters worse, he's owed a whopping $12.5M over the next two years.

Toby Hall is turning 31 and has never even sniffed a .700 OPS. He's likely going to make around $2M again next year.

I'd take Castro (~$0.5M) over either of them in a heartbeat.

Frayed Knot
Nov 22 2005 12:51 PM

Except that - unless they go the expensive FA route for a #1 guy like Hernandez or Molina - it would be one of those guys in addition to Castro, not instead of.

I'm not in love w/either guy either (and didn't realize that LoDuca was nearly 34 already) but Andy Handy for either guy isn't so far fetched if we were to go the trade route. -- (I think I just set a record for using the word "either" in a single sentence) -- Essentially you'd be getting a starting catcher for at least half the games in exchange for someone who's destined for utility IF work according to most estimates.
I agree about Seo.

rpackrat
Nov 22 2005 12:57 PM

Not sure I'd do a deal for either of these guys that includes Seo or Hernandez, but LoDuca has been better than you let on. He has been an above average hitter for a catcher over the last couple of years, and is an above-average defensive catcher. While you're right that he hasn't been a real standout in a few years, he's still been good. I agree that his age is a huge concern. Players, and especially catchers, can decline very quickly past age 33 or 34. Hall is a mystery. He just turned 30 (not 31), but has never been better than average. I would not give much for him.

Elster88
Nov 22 2005 12:59 PM

There is the possiblility that the actual claim the newspaper makes has no basis in reality. Don't tell Healey I said that.

Vic Sage
Nov 22 2005 03:40 PM

MIKEJACOBSMIKEJACOBSMIKEJACOBSMIKEJACOBS!

hello? hello? is this thing on? hello?

metirish
Nov 25 2005 02:31 PM

Omar makes offers to two catchers...

]

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

November 25, 2005, 2:24 PM EST


Now that they have Carlos Delgado, the New York Mets are turning their attention to Bengie Molina and Ramon Hernandez.

General manager Omar Minaya said Friday the team had made offers to the pair of free-agent catchers. He also refused to rule out trying to acquire Manny Ramirez from Boston, although he wouldn't go into specifics.

"We will have conversations sometime this week, hopefully not this weekend," Minaya said during a telephone conference call. "It's been two Thanksgivings now that I've been working every day."

With Mike Piazza leaving, the Mets have made it a priority to get a catcher, especially one with better defensive skills. Going after both Molina and Hernandez is somewhat unusual.

"I was honest. I let them know I have two offers out there. They're both very good catchers," Minaya said. "We might possibly go the trade route, also."

Alan Nero, Molina's agent, said no decision was imminent.

"We got initial offer from them. Because of the holidays, we haven't had a chance to go over it," he said. "It's an initial offer. We're expecting offers from several other teams, and we have lot of work to do."




http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mets/ny-spmets1126,0,3018275.story?coll=ny-sports-headlines

ABG
Nov 25 2005 07:22 PM

Put me in the Molina column. I've been a fan of all of those bros for a while now.

Johnny Dickshot
Nov 25 2005 07:45 PM

That's an interesting kind of strategy Omar's got going: He's basically saying, our team is good, but there's only one opening. Take it or lose it.

I do hope the offers aren't the same. Molina is fatter, slower and older than Hernandez.

Edgy DC
Nov 25 2005 08:55 PM

I feel like the Mets have played this before --- offered two guys a job at once to see who jumps at it first. Maybe when they signed Looper.

Nymr83
Nov 25 2005 08:57 PM

it could work, who knows.

Rotblatt
Nov 26 2005 08:44 AM

Go go Hernandez!

Apparently, there's a split between Mets executives. Some feel that Hernandez is a better fit because, well, he's a better player and is younger, whereas others feel Molina's a better fit because of his post-season performance and "intangibles."

I read this in one of the rags--forget which one.

Frayed Knot
Nov 26 2005 08:53 AM

" ... others feel Molina's a better fit because of his post-season performance"

A really dumb reason on which to base a decision.

Nymr83
Nov 26 2005 01:20 PM

="Frayed Knot"]" ... others feel Molina's a better fit because of his post-season performance"

A really dumb reason on which to base a decision.


Beltran anyone?

Zvon
Nov 26 2005 08:47 PM

So we'll end up with either:

Molina,
Hernandez,
DeLuca,
or Hall.

Omars ready to go either route, free agency or trade.

Im happy with the way Omar runs the ship, so far. Very happy.

metirish
Nov 28 2005 09:39 AM

From Newsday today...

]While negotiating with free-agent catchers Ramon Hernandez and Bengie Molina, the Mets also have held trade discussions with Tampa Bay about catcher Toby Hall. The Mets have offered a package headed by young second baseman Anderson Hernandez; the Devil Rays want pitcher Aaron Heilman.

Valadius
Nov 28 2005 09:41 AM

NO.

Toby Hall is nowhere near worth an Aaron Heilman.

Vic Sage
Nov 28 2005 02:10 PM

Molina,
Hernandez,
DeLuca,
or Hall.

The only name on that list i'd be happy about is Hernandez. The others have more downside and less upside.

seawolf17
Nov 28 2005 02:11 PM

I'll take (e) none of the above. I don't think any of them are the answer. I don't know who is, but I feel like throwing money and/or prospects at any of those four guys doesn't solve the problem.

Yancy Street Gang
Nov 28 2005 02:12 PM

Hernandez is the guy I'm rooting for, too.

metirish
Nov 28 2005 02:16 PM

Whiule I am not in love with either of them I am hoping for Hernandez, Molina is said to be sensitive, the media out west dubbed him Bengie Molasses and he flipped,he didn't talk to them after that...kinda funny really.

Elster88
Nov 30 2005 12:25 AM

Let Piazza come back. More than enough bats in the lineup.

Nymr83
Nov 30 2005 01:11 AM

Elster88 wrote:
Let Piazza come back. More than enough bats in the lineup.


i dont want to offer him arbitration and have to pay him 70% of last year's contract, if he'll take say 3 million plus major incentives (along the lines of 2 mil for 300 plate appearences, another 2 mil for 500 and maybe 1 mil for winning the catcher silver slugger)

Elster88
Nov 30 2005 09:32 AM

Throw out the 300 PA incentive even, and toss in an MVP incentive of 25 million.

Yancy Street Gang
Nov 30 2005 04:36 PM

Marty Noble on MLB.com:

]The club still needs to define its catching assignments and now is more inclined to do so by trade than by signing either of the high-profile, high-priced free agent catchers -- Bengie Molina or Ramon Hernandez. The Mets believe neither would be enough of an acquisition to warrant the projected price tag. They have made offers to each, but the offers were designed to determine what the catchers won't accept.

In the unlikely event Molina or Hernandez accept the Mets' offer, the club would be pleased. But the more likely and preferred scenario is to trade for a catcher who will share the assignment with Ramon Castro and put the money not spent on a new backstop toward importing a free agent reliever.

The Mets have their eye on Toby Hall of the Devil Rays to share the work with Castro, but the Rays are hesitant about dealing unless Heilman is involved.

seawolf17
Nov 30 2005 04:36 PM

Ooh. Deja vu all over again.

Elster88
Nov 30 2005 05:20 PM

Heilman for Toby Hall, huh?

Omar: *giggles and hangs up*

Centerfield
Nov 30 2005 05:53 PM

I just wanted to say that since I am against including Heilman in a trade for Manny, I also think trading Heilman for Toby Hall is not such a good idea.

sharpie
Nov 30 2005 05:59 PM

I think trading most anybody for Toby Hall is a bad idea.


(on edit): My 3,000th post gives me David Wright but since the pondering of rankings seems to be a glacial process my guess is that I'll see him again at a higher ranking. He is currently 100 players worse than Ty Wigginton.

smg58
Nov 30 2005 09:58 PM

Hall can field the position, but he would constitute a significant downgrade in offense for that position from last year. The Mets would really have to undervalue Heilman to consider this worth doing.

What about some rookie catchers that are likely to be available? Shoppach has been mentioned a lot, but perhaps Ryan Garko (the Indians), or Dioner Navarro or Russ Martin (the Dodgers), could be had as well. Castro's presence would give the Mets the luxury of having patience with the younger player.

metirish
Nov 30 2005 10:35 PM

I like that idea 58, no reason Castro can't do the bulk of the catching....

Matt Murdock, Esq.
Dec 01 2005 12:12 AM

]no reason Castro can't do the bulk of the catching....


oh, i could think of a few reasons. here are some ...

as he approaches age 30, Castro has accumulated over 675 career ABs and produced career averages of:
BA = .222
OB% = .304
slg% = .387

This is a guy who can hit LHPs a little bit, but can't hit RHPs at all. He's strictly a platoon guy, at best. Yes, he had a better season than expected last year, but all that means is a return to the mean this year.

If he's "doing the bulk of the catching" for us, we're giving up a slot in the order. And with Nady in RF and Matsui at 2b, that leaves slots 6 thru 8 at below average production, in front of the 9 slot. And if Floyd gets hurt again (a likelihood), the O could be in signficant trouble.

Of course, Toby Hall is not much better than Castro, so giving up Heilmann for him is absurd.

If they can't or won't sign Ramon Hernandez, they should just get a cheap spare part like Fick from SD, to platoon with Castro.

What about that guy in Minny, Matt LeCroy? they've got Mauer now, so he's expendable. And he can hit.

Actually, one of the top offensive catchers in the NL last year is a FA, so i hear...

smg58
Dec 01 2005 02:48 PM

I'm not sure I'd necessarily want Castro doing the bulk of the catching, but he seems to be starting to get it as a major league hitter, and he would provide an acceptable degree of insurance in case we brought a young guy in who struggles a bit.

rpackrat
Dec 01 2005 04:10 PM

It's hard to know what Castro is really like as a hitter., He had nice numbers in 2002 and 2003, albeit in limited playing time, before having an awful 2004. He was just fine for us last year. He mashed lefties and was merely OK vs. righties. I'd like an upgrade, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if we started the season with Castro as the regular catcher batting 7th or 8th.

abogdan
Dec 04 2005 09:14 AM

[url=http://www.nypost.com/sports/mets/58276.htm]Mets are close to acquiring LoDuca[/url]:

]The Mets are believed to be close to a deal in which they would send a minor-league prospect to the Marlins for catcher Paul Lo Duca, according to a major-league source.
The identity of the Met prospect was not immediately known — but it's hard to envision it being Lastings Milledge, the jewel of their minor-league system.


LoDuca has 2 years and $12.5 million left on his deal.

Yancy Street Gang
Dec 04 2005 10:16 AM

Lending credibility to the above LoDuca rumor (the report did come from the New York Post after all) is this from the Times:

]Mets Are Said to Be in Talks for Marlins Catcher
By BEN SHPIGEL
The Mets have extended offers to the top two free-agent catchers, but it is becoming increasingly likely that they will fill their catching void by trading for Paul Lo Duca.

They are involved in "very serious" discussions with the Florida Marlins about acquiring Lo Duca, according to a baseball official who was granted anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize the negotiations.

The official said he did not know whom the Marlins would receive, but at this point they may not be picky. In cutting payroll, they are searching for young, cheap talent, along the lines of the two midlevel prospects they acquired from Minnesota on Friday in exchange for second baseman Luis Castillo.

If the proposed deal is completed, the Mets will have a solid replacement for Mike Piazza without spending the money it would take to sign Bengie Molina or Ramon Hernandez, the two catchers who have received offers from the Mets. Those two are expected to command salaries of about $8 million.

The 33-year-old Lo Duca will make $6.25 million in 2006, and his statistics are comparable to those of Molina and Hernandez. Lo Duca, a three-time All-Star, batted .283 with 6 home runs and 57 runs batted in last season, and he is a career .285 hitter. Molina batted .295 with a career-high 15 homers and 69 R.B.I.; Hernandez hit .290 with 12 homers and 58 R.B.I.

Lo Duca is known for beginning seasons well, but his career trends indicate that he slows after the All-Star Game break. Like Carlos Delgado, a former teammate whom he could soon rejoin, Lo Duca is regarded more for his offense than for his defense, but he is still a sturdy defender.

He moves well behind the plate and has a strong arm, but often an inaccurate one. Over the last two seasons, he has thrown out only 37 of 165 base stealers.

Lo Duca was born in Brooklyn, and Mets General Manager Omar Minaya has spoken warmly about players from New York because he says they are well suited to deal with constant scrutiny.

The Diamondbacks and the Rockies are also said to be interested in Lo Duca.

Frayed Knot
Dec 04 2005 11:00 AM

And at the same time, Jon Heyman is writing in today's Newsday that:

"while the Mets have concerns about Benjie Molina & Ramon Hernandez, they don't love Pual Lo Duca either. The D-Backs may be more likely for Lo Duca"
(he also added that the Mets were too concerned about Luis Castillo's hip to take a shot at him)


I'm not particularly thrilled with Lo Duca but he wouldn't be a bad option as a part-time catcher ... merely an overpaid one. It would leave us with a tandem where one is better offensively (Lo Duca) and the other defensively, and depending on how each plays the split could be anywhere from 30/70 to 70/30.

A trade would also save the draft pick - a 2nd pick since we've already lost one via Wagner - which would almost certainly be lost by signing either Molina or Hernandez.

Centerfield
Dec 04 2005 11:26 AM

Lo Duca is regarded more for his offense than for his defense, but he is still a sturdy defender.

Which LoDuca? I'm assuming they're not talking about the one who hit 6 HR's and had a .712* OPS last year.

Plus he'll be making $6.25 million and cost us players?

You know, we wouldn't lose any draft picks if we re-signed Piazza either.


*As a point of reference, Mientkiewicz OPS was 17 points higher (.729). Piazza, Molina and Hernandez all posted OPS in the .770's.

OlerudOwned
Dec 04 2005 11:36 AM

The knock on LoDuca last season was that he fell apart towards the end of the year. (He hit .289 and .191 in August/September after hitting .300+ in 3 of the first 4 months). He played 132 games. So the biggest concern for me is his durability. Do they trust Castro to start 40-50 games to make sure LoDuca is fresh for late in the season, can he repeat last season? If the team is confident in Ramon, then a LoDuca trade makes plenty of sense. And they seem plenty confident in him.

OlerudOwned
Dec 04 2005 11:40 AM

="Centerfield"]Lo Duca is regarded more for his offense than for his defense, but he is still a sturdy defender.

Which LoDuca? I'm assuming they're not talking about the one who hit 6 HR's and had a .712* OPS last year.

Plus he'll be making $6.25 million and cost us players?

You know, we wouldn't lose any draft picks if we re-signed Piazza either.


*As a point of reference, Mientkiewicz OPS was 17 points higher (.729). Piazza, Molina and Hernandez all posted OPS in the .770's.
His OPS was dragged to the dirt by a horrid September (.542 OPS)

Centerfield
Dec 04 2005 11:48 AM

However, he ended up there, an OPS in the low .700's isn't out of the ordinary for him. Other than his career year of 2001, his OPS hasn't even cracked .800. And only once since then has it been above .750.

2002: .731
2003: .712
2004: .758

Johnny Dickshot
Dec 04 2005 11:50 AM

I'd prolly prefer Hernandez to LoDuca.

OlerudOwned
Dec 04 2005 11:58 AM

Centerfield wrote:
However, he ended up there, an OPS in the low .700's isn't out of the ordinary for him. Other than his career year of 2001, his OPS hasn't even cracked .800. And only once since then has it been above .750.

2002: .731
2003: .712
2004: .758
September 2004: .189 AVG/.527 OPS
September 2003: .210 AVG/.537 OPS
September 2002: .287 AVG/.771 OPS (But an August swoon of .180 AVG and .440 OPS)

His wheels always fall off at the end of the season. Will Castro getting about 50 games to make sure Lo Duca is rested at the end of the year work? I don't know for sure, but it would seem that way.

="Johnny Dickshot"]I'd prolly prefer Hernandez to LoDuca.
As would I, but LoDuca is not a bad pick up. His team is desperate to move players and he's sure-as-hell better than Toby Hall.

Edgy DC
Dec 19 2005 09:54 AM

Times profile on the new Mets catcher.

Draws many historical Met connections.

Frayed Knot
Dec 19 2005 10:06 AM

NYTimes:
"Although the Mets' off-season overhaul has yielded stars like Billy Wagner, an intimidating closer, and Carlos Delgado, a feared power hitter, their acquisition two weeks ago of Lo Duca, a three-time All-Star catcher, could prove just as important in their quest to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2000"

On account of that lunchpail thing he carries I guess.
Or maybe it's because his collar is blue. We all know how important it is to have a blue collar in baseball. It's why the Yanx aren't winning these days don't y'know ... not enough guys with blue collars.

Johnny Dickshot
Dec 19 2005 10:15 AM

I love it: Paulie Lunchbucket.

smg58
Dec 19 2005 11:22 AM

Works for me. But what happens if he takes away as many home runs from the catching position as Delgado adds to first base?

Valadius
Dec 19 2005 12:15 PM

I think the thing we have to recognize is we have been spoiled with Mike Piazza at catcher in terms of offensive production. Production there was inevitably going to go down.

GYC
Jan 10 2006 01:50 PM

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/player_main.asp?leaguenum=&sport=MLB&id=6325
]Ramon Castro - C - Mets
Mets agreed to terms with catcher Ramon Castro on a one-year, $800,000 contract.
He can earn $50,000 bonuses for 60, 70 and 80 games played. If he plays like he did last year, Castro would probably be a better regular than Paul Lo Duca for the Mets this season, especially since Willie Randolph wouldn't have any notions about batting him second in the lineup. He'll be a true backup, though. Unless Lo Duca gets hurt, Castro will probably fall short of the 209 at-bats he received last year.
Jan. 10 - 1:39 pm et