Miguel Olivo And My Thoughts

 

I’ve seen a lot of people mention how much they dislike Miguel Olivo this past year. But, common did you really think that this was going to be a good solution? I mean there was some brightsides to look on and I know I’ve tried to stay hopeful hopeful but did you really think this was going to work out? At best he was going to hit for a bit of power and hopefully be an above average defensive catcher.

Last week, Olivo manged to get on base on only 3 occasions, all of them hits none of which were extra base hits. There is also the fact that he has been pretty much the worst defender behind the plate in all of baseball. Yeah, so things aren’t exactly working out the way we thought. Not that anyone imagined sugarplums.

Good thing we have all that catching depth.. oh yeah.  We don’t have any depth.

Well, where is Rob Johnson when you need him, huh? Just kidding.

But seriously, where do we go from here and what can the Mariners do? I suppose there are a few league wide trade targets, but here is my suggestion.

My crazy suggestion? Free Chris Gimenez. Don’t laugh. Think about it.

I’ll admit when Gimenez was signed I wasn’t that excited about him. I was more concerned about his potential to take away time from Adam Moore than I was if he was a legit major league catcher. Then seeing he was an out fielder convereted to catcher I began to breath a bit easier and just figured he was one of those Eric Wedge/Robby Thompson projects that they felt they needed to bring to Seattle.

But with each start he has mildly surprised me with different skills and different things he has done. Sure, Gimenez doesn’t quiet have the catch and release skills the Olivo has behind the plate, but to be fair that is one of Olivo’s (one?) redeeming qualities. He’s one of the best in the league with those skills.  But even in Gimenez inexperience his track record with passed balls and wild pitches is better.

Looking at not just this years “advanced” catching statistics, but also 2010, shows that Gimenez is at least an average defensive catcher at the big league level.

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PB/Chance WP/Chance CS%
Olivo 0.0147 0.054 35.00%
Gimenez * 0.0101 0.061 33.00%
PB/Chance = Passed Ball per chance
WP/Chance = Wild Pitcher per chance
CS% = Caught Stealing percentage

*Gimenez numbers are taken both from minor leagues and major leagues.

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The biggest question that surrounds Gimenez is if he could be an every day guy behind the plate. Most people would say no. But I’m in favor of giving him a shot. The sample size says there is a chance he could handle it.

All things considered I’d give Gimenez all the at bats against Right Handed pitchers. Looking at Gimenez minor league splits he has never had a consistent  platoon. If anything, you could say he actually hits righties a little better than lefties.  This could work in favor of Olivo and his ability to flat out RAKE against left handed pitchers.

Taking a peek back at his 2009 prospect reports you can see that his bat wasn’t so much in question as much as potential position.

 

Without any injury setbacks the past two seasons, he has resurrected himself as a top hitting prospect in the system with very good power potential.  He is a physically imposing specimen, and with his chiseled physique arguably may be the strongest player in the Indians system.  He is one of the best makeup guys in the system, and his success the last two years has been the result of a lot of hard work in the cages.

– Tony Lastoria, Indian Prospect Insider (March 2, 2009)

 

Looking at his career minor league stats. You can see that he has always provided sufficient power and his strikeout/walk ratios are reasonable to even above average.

Year Age Lev PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2004 21 A- 316 40 78 23 3 10 38 2 2 30 62 .300 .419 .527 .946 137
2005 22 A 463 54 90 24 1 13 66 4 3 48 90 .234 .354 .404 .757 155
2006 23 A 394 55 84 25 1 11 40 6 8 33 72 .255 .364 .438 .802 144
2007 24 A+-AA 455 76 101 20 1 26 66 4 2 59 86 .264 .373 .526 .899 201
2007 24 A+ 332 56 76 14 1 20 54 3 2 50 55 .283 .406 .565 .971 152
2007 24 AA 123 20 25 6 0 6 12 1 0 9 31 .221 .285 .434 .718 49
2008 25 AAA-AA 462 69 113 24 2 9 45 2 2 75 93 .304 .421 .452 .873 168
2008 25 AA 233 46 60 15 1 6 26 0 1 52 33 .339 .487 .537 1.024 95
2008 25 AAA 229 23 53 9 1 3 19 2 1 23 60 .272 .354 .374 .728 73
2009 26 AAA 157 20 32 8 0 6 15 0 0 15 40 .235 .323 .426 .749 58
2010 27 AAA 219 32 54 10 0 9 32 1 1 20 38 .276 .341 .464 .805 91
7 Seasons 2466 346 552 134 8 84 302 19 18 280 481 .268 .377 .463 .840 954
AAA (3 seasons) AAA 605 75 139 27 1 18 66 3 2 58 138 .264 .341 .421 .762 222
A (2 seasons) A 857 109 174 49 2 24 106 10 11 81 162 .244 .358 .419 .778 299
AA (2 seasons) AA 356 66 85 21 1 12 38 1 1 61 64 .293 .417 .497 .913 144
A- (1 season) A- 316 40 78 23 3 10 38 2 2 30 62 .300 .419 .527 .946 137
A+ (1 season) A+ 332 56 76 14 1 20 54 3 2 50 55 .283 .406 .565 .971 152

 

I know I do a lot of barking. I know that I chase a lot weird, strange ideas. But with the absolute dearth that is the organizational depth chart at catcher and how Gimenez has looked behind the plate, is it so crazed to give him a chance to start? I mean Mike Wilson is part of a left field platoon for us.

Why not start Gimenez against right handed pitchers and let Olivo do what he’s best at, crushing lefties.

Free Chris Gimenez!

 

Tags: Adam Moore Chris Gimenez Miguel Olivo Mike Wilson Rob Johnson

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