If you’re willing to make the assumption that Eliezer Alfonzo isn’t going to factor into the Major League catching situation, which I am, it comes down to Rob Johnson, Adam Moore, and Josh Bard, all competing for two spots. While the catching situation isn’t going to be quite as screwy as the left field situation, it’s still one that’s extremely unclear heading into Spring Training. Before Bard was signed back in late December, it was fairly simple. Johjima was out of the picture, and it was pretty much certain that Moore and Johnson would be splitting time, either in a starter/backup situation, or more of a 50/50 split. Having Josh Bard available really complicates things.
While Spring Training performances will be a factor, some type of pro’s & con’s thing may come into play, and that’s what I’m going to attempt here. Keep in mind that in this exploration, the pro’s aren’t all necessarily positives about the player, but things that increase their likelihood of making the cut.
- The pitching staff, and more importantly, Felix, loves him.
- Don Wakamatsu and the rest of the organization seem to be crazy about him.
- He can’t hit. 2009 line: .213/.289/.326.
- Clearly does not understand the concept of being a “catcher”.
- His face is stupid.
- HE CAN’T HIT.
- His health is also going to be an issue, as he had several major surgeries this off season.
Projected 2010 WAR: 0.4
- He’s the catcher of the future.
- He’s at least respectable offensively.
- He isn’t Rob Johnson.
- His defense is questionable. CHONE has him projected at -14.5 runs defensively in 2010.
- He’s only accumulated 368 PA’s in triple-A. A little bit more time in Tacoma couldn’t hurt.
Projected 2010 WAR: 0.8
- He’s a switch hitter. That’s it, but it’s a fairly big one.
- He sucks from the left side of the plate.
- His defense is questionable. CHONE doesn’t hate it as much as it hates Moore’s, but it still has him projected at -11.0 runs in 2010.
- His career CS percentage is 20%, which is really bad. However, as Jeff Sullivan points out here, there’s a very real possibility that that number is more a result of him spending two seasons in San Diego than of him being bad at throwing out runners.
Projected 2010 WAR: 0.7
I really don’t know how it’s going to turn out at this point. Gun to my head, forcing me to choose right now, I’d go with Moore and Johnson.
All three of them are pretty close, and it probably isn’t really going to matter much which two they go with, in terms of the team’s success. Even if these WAR projections turn out to be completely accurate, and the team goes with the two least valuable players (Bard & Johnson), it’s only a difference of half a win. And in reality, it probably wouldn’t even be that much. It’s likely that the biggest thing riding on this decision will turn out to be Adam Moore’s development – he’s the only player here that matters to this team, and at 26, it’s probably time to give him a real shot.