When I posted the Social Experiment I did so with a specific purpose in mind. I wanted to talk about the subtle differences between two different players that were in competition for a roster spot, which one of them will win.
But a problem remained, I had already had my up my mind made up, despite that the stats had small differences in other players favor. So I took the measurable differences and asked you to vote on them. Pretty overwhelmingly you all voted for “guy #2″, which is who I had voted for also.
When comparing minute detailed stats I personally care about two things, walks and defense. The batting average wasn’t enough to off-set and I can sacrifice strike outs more often when he has an increased walk percentage. The case with those strikeouts usually being he takes a lot of pitches (not always the case but it’s a sign). He is working counts and the fact that he is barely (and only ever so slightly) a better defender makes this an easier call.
After the jump I reveal who is who.
Guy #1 would be Josh Bard. Who was basically the Mariners back-up catcher last year. Despite some poor stats. I was mildly impressed with a few things that he did and maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a switch hitting catcher or that the Mariners were just so unbelievably bad that I stopped remembering the bad and have a few rare sunshine moments with Bard. Whatever the reason. I’m partial to Bard because of it.
Guy #2 is Chris Gimenez. I never really cared for the signing. I kind of thought of Gimenez as more of an “Indian” guy and felt like the new regime was just bringing in a guy that they were more familiar with in regards to the system. I never really thought of him as a real catcher but the more I look at the more I’m intrigued.
Gimenez while being able to play multiple positions I believe can play them without embarrassing himself. What we’ve “seen” so far there is a chance he could play a passable catcher. Here is a scouting report of him from 2009. Overall he is what he is, a super utility guy. But as I continually say, there is value in that. He nearly has a 1:1.7 walk to strike out ratio and he has a bit of pop in his bat.
I’m still not sold on Gimenez being able to regularly catch. But, with Moore behind the plate now and Olivo on his way back from injuries do you really worry about how much Gimenez will have to catch? Instead he seems like maybe he would just provide some early versatility to begin the season, maybe an okay pinch hitter for someone like Brendan Ryan or Jack Wilson in the later innings and if needed he could relieve Adam Moore if something were to happen.
If it came down to being a regular every other day catcher job. I would just feel more comfortable with Bard behind the plate. He seemed to do a half way decent job and while there are about 50+ catchers around the league that are probably better defensively. In my opinion he is the better of the two. Outside of the two year sample size.
Bard can still walk and he puts the ball in play quiet frequently. He has a bit of pop and being a switch hitter he can help with match-up situations. Looking at his time in Cleveland+San Diego (basically everything prior to 2008) he can possible give you what you hope for from a back-up catcher.
Just my thoughts.
What do you all think of your votes? Now knowing the context would you still vote for Gimenez?