Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is Omar Minaya finally heeding Casey Stengel's advice?

Casey Stengel once said, "You have to have a catcher because if you don't you're likely to have a lot of passed balls." Stengel was attempting to justify the Mets' selection of 31-year-old perennial backup catcher Hobie Landrith as the team's first choice in the expansion draft.

The previous year, Landrith had hit .239 with two homers and 10 RBI in 71 at-bats for the Giants. Only an expansion team could be reduced to attempting to fill a key position with such a player.

Or so we thought. As of now, the 2010 Mets have no starting catcher - only, as one scout says, a bunch of backups. So far this offseason, Omar Minaya has acquired 21st-century versions of Landrith - Henry Blanco, Chris Coste and Shawn Riggans - to battle with Omir Santos, who should be a backup, and Josh Thole, who probably needs more seasoning in the minors.

But now there are reports that the Mets are pursuing free agent Rod Barajas, who actually has been a starting catcher the last two years with Toronto.

Barajas' numbers look eerily familiar:

2009 statsABRHitsHRRBISB.AVG
Rod Barajas429439719711.226
Mike Jacobs434469919610.228

Omir Santos hit .260, but he can't match Barajas' power numbers. More importantly, Barajas is much stronger defensively.

Signing Barajas won't exactly be the equivalent of trading for Gary Carter before the 1985 season, but it would at least give the Mets some credibility behind the plate.


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Uncle Mike said...

I wonder what Casey would have said about the drugs "Anonymous" is talking about. "I got a kid, his name's Viagra, and he's gonna help this ballclub stand up, and that Cialis feller over there, I don't want to see him pitching for four hours straight, but Levitra, that Polish kid can really play left field... "

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