Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 2, 2009
BASEBALL: Carried Away

It was a sad day when the Mets dealt away Ramon Castro to make room for Omir Santos. Castro's perennial problem has been his durability; I've never questioned the decision to leave him as the backup catcher, because he clearly physically can't catch 100 games a year. And given Brian Schneider's own durability issues, Castro's trips to the DL have been doubly frustrating. And Santos has hit surprisingly well this season (.275/.303/.475 with a number of big game-breaking hits).

But Castro and Santos are actually both known quantities, and only one of them can hit. Castro in his Mets career has batted .252/.321/.452 over 785 plate appearances, better on balance than what Santos has done...and Santos has only made 89 plate appearances. Yes, Castro is 33, but then Santos is 28 and has batted .258/.303/.348 over 2,429 minor league plate appearances. I don't care how many game-winning hits you get in a month, that's not a major league hitter. Given that Schneider is also 32 and not hitting, the broader answer is that the team needs a new everyday catcher. But Omir Santos will never be that guy.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:16 PM | Baseball 2009 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

What about Jesus Flores? Oh, that's right: oops! Heh, sorry to rub it in (well, not THAT sorry), but it's about the only thing we poor Nats fans can lord over the Mets this season. Just wait 'til next year! Er, maybe 2010?

Posted by: Doghouse at June 2, 2009 4:56 PM

You are entirely right about Flores, Doghouse.

A number of Mets fans I know disagree with Crank's analysis. Since I said essentially the same thing myself in a discussion group a few days ago I have to agree with him. Santos certainly has not shown the ability to do what Castro has already done for the Mets.

Posted by: DD at June 2, 2009 8:38 PM

The Mets, especially Manuel, do seem to fall in love with players who have a few good at bats, ignoring all the evidence that they can't really hit. OTOH, Scheider and Castro were both likely gone after this season, so the penalty for guessing wrong is comparatively low. And I gather Santana didn't love throwing to Castro, which tends to carry weight.

I would guess that Josh Thole, the Mets AA catcher, who is hitting .360 with a good number of walks, will get a shop at part of the job next year if he's even marginal defensively.

Posted by: Jerry at June 2, 2009 9:40 PM

There could also be personality issues as well that we don't know about -- Castro has had problems over the years, hasn't he? That could make enough of a difference to overcome the offensive edge Castro has.

Posted by: Tom at June 3, 2009 1:15 PM

I have already started the Josh Thole fan club. He will be a September call up for sure.

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at June 3, 2009 3:09 PM
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