Monday, February 19, 2007

Red Sox Catchers Sucked In 2006

2006 was not exactly a banner year for Red Sox catchers. They ranked 25th out of 30 teams in OPS at the catcher position, at .668. The Yankees, our favorite barometer, ranked 5th at .812. That’s a huge difference. Can we expect improvement in 2007? I think so.

Reports say that Jason Varitek injured his back during the WBC and was never the same after. His career OPS is a solid .798 after a dismal .725 in 2006. The three years prior to 2006 they looked like this:

2003: .863

2004: .872

2005: .855

Look, the Sox aren’t going to have the offense they had in 2003 and 2004. Those were record-breaking juggernauts. But they can get back to respectability if Varitek simply approaches his career average of .798. He doesn’t even have to get to the 2003-2005 numbers. But the Sox are going to struggle at the bottom of their lineup and Varitek needs to get better. I think he will.

We know Mirabelli can’t hit anything, so maybe the Sox will teach George Kottaras how to catch the knuckler.

4 comments:

skootch said...

Well Kottaras wont be doing any big league catching this year, but you are right about the bottom of the lineup sucking. Coco has to prove he isnt another "Luis Rivera" (remember that name) who couldnt hit the ball out of the infield, and Pedroia, who should be ok, has to get used to hitting in a pressure park like fenway.

Red Sox Stats Guy said...

If Mirabelli is awful like he was in 2006, you don't think they'll bring up Kottaras? I think you're wrong.

skootch said...

I read an articel saying Tito wants him to play, not sit behind Tek. Even if Belli sucks, they will stick with him because he can catch Wakefield.
The only way you see Kottaras is injury

Red Sox Stats Guy said...

From Boston.com today:
No movement in the daily catchers drop contest, where Dusty Brown, Kevin Cash, Alberto Castillo, and George Kottaras all remained perfect through 200 pitches. The only dropped ball of the day in fact was by Doug Mirabelli, an asterisk hanging next to the lone digit in the catcher’s column on the sheet hung in the clubhouse.

*Knuckleball.

And yesterday Mirabelli had 3 and Varitek had 2, while everyone else was flawless.