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Wednesday, November 16, 2011


With catching in such thin supply, I think you're dreaming that Schneider is going to take a deal with a minor league option. It would be ideal with Kratz as an alternative but, I just don't see him taking it.

What a joke. U mean they can't get anyone better? Where's tuffy

JW - He threw out just 15% of the runners he faced last year (3 in 23 attempts) and doesn't nearly have the arm he used to. He can't block pitches in the dirt either all that well that really require him to move either. Just not even an average defensive catcher anymore.

As for his CERA, yeah it was 2.88 last year but in '10 it was 4.57 and had routinely been in the mid-4s the past few years.

2 of the last 3 seasons he has been a complete dud offensively. He does take some BBs but his 'swing for the fences' approach results in his share of lazy pop-ups/fly-outs.

Best you can hope for is that he only plays sparingly if he is back, hits a few more HRs than would be expected, hits for a high enough average (.230-.240), and doesn't look as bad behind the plate defensively as he did last year.

It is a disappointing move especially since there were a few guys on the FA market who I did think were slightly better including Treanor.

Whooo! We're getting the band back together! Whoooo!

Well the market is very thin this off season and I am assuming that this is one spot were we are not going to be willing to put out a ton of money. Listed below are all free agent catchers listed alphabetically.
Bard, Josh
Boscan, J.C.
Brown, Dusty
Cancel, Robinson
Castro, Ramon
Doumit, Ryan
Fox, Jake
Gimenez, Hector
Hernandez, Ramon
Holm, Steve
Johnson, Rob
Kendall, Jason
Laird, Gerald
Lucy, Donny
Molina, Gustavo
Molina, Jose
Morales, Jose
Navarro, Dioner
Nieves, Wil
Phillips, Kyle
Rivera, Mike
Rivera, Rene
Rodriguez, Ivan
Santos, Omir
Sardinha, Dane
Schneider, Brian
Snyder, Chris
Toregas, Wyatt
Towles, J.R.
Varitek, Jason

Rube is a fvcking moron.

***On the plus side, his arm is still solid ***

By what metric? Teams ran all over him last year.

Schneider had a 13% caught stealing rate in 2011:

2011: 20 SB, 3 CS, 13%
2010: 30 SB, 8 CS, 21%

He probably has one of the worst arms in baseball for a catcher these days.

NEPP: in that his arm does exist in this dimension. It is corporeal.

Hahahaha. Another year of Schneider.

I believe a Molina brother has gotten a ring each of the last 3 years

2009 Jose Molina
2010 Bengie Molina
2011 Yadier Molina

By my scientific calculations, Gustavo is up next. I'm not sure if he is related to the other 3, but he ought to be.

Schneider again?

One word: UGH!

Get my homey Ramon in here.

If you want an injury risk,try DOUMIT. Atleast he can hit.Has a chance to stay healthy for 40 games as a PH and backup.

Raul's grandpa: Ramon Hernandez is a type A FA, so we'd have to give up a draftpick to sign him under current rules.

In 2 seasons with the Phils, Schneider has hit .208/.617 and thrown out only 11 of 61 base thefts (18%). He had an overall negative WAR (-0.9) last year. That's bad.

He turns 35 later this month, which is on the old side for players, especially catchers.

The Phils have said they wanted to get younger this offseason- but so far they signed Papelbon (same age as Madson- 31), Thome (41), and Raul Valdes (35). Amaro is somewhat of an idiot sometimes.

I wonder how long this Schneider contract will be for and for how much. Kratz would have been league minimum and could have easily done a better job, but now they're guaranteeing a contract to Schneider. Dumb.



My take on what the Phils 2012 backup catcher should have been.

This is the kind of move that makes me want to watch curling instead of baseball.

Andy- or the "Paper, Rock, Scissors" championship.

Carson - Your article makes way too much sense. It's much better, evidently, to drag a ragged sock from behind the couch where your dog stowed it when he was done with it and gnaw on it raw than to eat a charcoal grilled NY strip steak.

Carson: that's a pretty good list. I like Max Ramirez on a minor league deal.

MG - Treanor would also increase the side bar posting traffic with regard to attractive spouses in bikinis.

Thanks Jbird, I didn't realize he did as well last season.

I think that Zeppo is the youngest of the Molinas.

JW:"Nevertheless, is it possible for Schneider to have a bounce-back season" define bounce back.
This is the kind of stuff that separates RAJ from others. He is like a drunk who spends a ton of money on booz and then in an act of contrition or hangover he decides to balance it teh next day with a Schneider.

Define bounce back.

I don't know. Significantly better than .502 OPS over 140 plate a appearances, since you're dealing with a relatively small sample size.

I'm really worried about the Phils bench moving forward. The only change looks to be swapping Thome for Gload (which is a plus).

Valdez likely back. Schneider back. Michael Martinez, Benny Fran?

Phils need help on the bench because of the elder age of the everyday lineup.

C'mon Rube. Don't be dumb.

There are 30 catchers listed above, and 21 of them had at least 100 plate appearances in the past 3 years.

8 of them were about as good a hitter as Schneider (within 15 wOBA points): Johnson, Laird, Mike Rivera, IRod, Schneider himself, Bard, Kendall, Santos.

6 were worse (Rene Rivera, Towles, Sardinha, Nieves, Navarro, Phillips)

7 were better (Jose Molina, Morales, Snyder, Varitek, Doumit, Castro, Hernandez)

Schneider is most likely not going to be as bad a hitter in 2012 as he was in 2011, when he had a career-low .225 BABIP even though his line drive rate was a little over his career average.

Still, they could go with one of those 7 guys who might be a better hitter even if Schneider bounces back, but at what risk? They like the way he calls games and handles pitchers, the Phillies were like 27-8 when he started (for what that's worth), and they're comfortable with him. And they have Kratz or even Gosewich waiting if by some chance he continues sucking.

Just wait until it comes out that this is a 2-year deal.

Very good analysis, aladou. At first blush, my reaction was similar to the vast majority, but I agree with you that there is a significant comfort level among the pitchers, particularly Worley, with whom he plays pitch and catch. The record when he starts is not to be ignored, nor even taken lightly.

Schneider still hasn't appeared in a post-season game. Unless something happens to Chooch, he won't be in the next postseason either. He'll help the Phils soldier through the season at a minimal price. If it means they have more money to make J-Roll happen, terrific.

If the team fails to sign Hamels to a longterm deal, I wonder if more people will start to realize the disaster of the Howard contract. I cannot imagine anyone would rather have Howard than Hamels for the next five seasons, would they?

Rosenthal now in on the "will the phillies trade hamels" storyline. theorizes that the phils might be tempted by Eduardo Nunez & one(!) of Betances or Banuelos!?! I'm burning this place down if Amaro pulls something like that.

derek - I want the Molina that honks a bike horn.

Forget Schneider's abysmal offensive numbers. If we owe it to the starters to get a decent closer then we certainly owe it to them to have a decent defensive catcher. Schneider is not that.

And all you folks with the "just 40 games" apology? Remember that if Chooch gets injured, Schneider is the hole at the bottom of the line-up.

Ugh. I have difficulty thinking of a worse possible off-season move than this.

Amaro dealt more than half the farm for Halladay, Lee and Oswalt. Why would he then turn around trade the homegrown ace? I mean it could happen, but really why would the organization do something like that?

And count me as one who thinks Schneider for another year is blah. I'm guessing that the organizational philosophy is that they would rather have a backup catcher who is familiar with the staff than someone who has some offensive upside.

I don't understand the Schneider move. I like Brian Schneider as a person and all, but I don't see the fit on this team.

Is it possible that he is here to be Vance Worley's battery-mate only, a la Tim McCarver? Is that worth a roster sport? I get it with Lefty, but with Worley...

Eduardo Nunez is a really good UT. Better than Valdez even. So far from equal value with Cole Hamels as to be laughable.

But I woulda laughed if someone told me they were gonna bring back Schneider, too.

I never really chimed in on the Papelbon signing (I don't think), so here it is.


I can't wait until Howard comes back big and fat like Howard circa 2006. Those were the days, weren't they? Poor defense. Poor baserunning. Nothing but hitting the ever-lovin' crap out of the ball.

R.Bill: Unlike now, where you get poor defense, poor base running, and only occasionally hitting the crap out of the ball?

Jack: We get nothing now. He's hurt and it's the offseason. :-)

Billingsly, Howard was an unknown in 2006. His weaknesses are well known now, getting plumb will not solve this.

I still think Howard needs a pair of glasses and someone to coach him on how to identify the pitch coming his way.
Otherwise its just him hacking and waiting to get lucky. Hardly a prescription for long term success.

"I still think Howard needs a pair of glasses and someone to coach him on how to identify the pitch coming his way."

If that were a trait that could be coached, every hitter would be Albert Pujols.

The "Let's scrimp on backup catcher so we can spend elsewhere" theory would make sense except for one problem: we already had a guy on the roster who costs even less than Schneider and is very likely better. So, with that theory out the door, I'm all out of theories. This move is just plain bizarre. It is the single most bizarre move of RAJ's tenure -- even more bizarre than giving a guaranteed contract to Juan Castro.

I'd take BS.176 back at league minimum (a sum he likely wouldn't take, however). Let's face it, how could he be any worse than last year?

Also, Rosenthal is talking out of his 8ss about trading away Hamels. Makes for a good story. Doing so would be pretty much the dumbest move possible.

bay_area, I assume you mean Erik Kratz, who is heading into his age 32 season with 42 career major league plate appearances.

I don't get the attraction.

Really. Why can't Kratz?

The 27-8 record was completely debunked last year because of the absurd amount of runs the Phils scored in those games. Before it really tallied off at the end of the season, I remember the Phils were averaging over 7 runs /game at one point.

If Schneider comes back at $800k or so, it won't be a terrible signing because that is what about the minimum price for a veteran FA catcher will be.

It also means the Phils can leave Kratz/Tuffy at Lehigh to have a little

BAP's obsession with Kratz is moronic and fascinating.

Since the Brewers turned down arbitration to Saito and he isn't a Type A FA anymore, he is one guy I wonder if the Phils would be interested in a 1 yr/~$2M deal.

-Not wild about this probable move, but I don't know if I care about the backup C position as much as everyone else. IMHO, it's either a young up and comer, or an aging vet, They went with the latter, who they're comfortable with. Wish they had a young future starter to learn the ropes, but they don't.

-I think bringing back Schneider tells us all we need to know about Kratz.

MG: Saito will only be 42, I think Amaro gives him at least a 3 year deal.

Saito hasn't thrown 60 innings in any one of the last 4 years. If you could guarantee that he'd be out when Contreras is healthy and vice versa, then I'd be interested.

That said, that's quite an impressive ERA+ for Saito-san.

Iceman: My fascination with Erik Kratz pales in comparison to your fascination with posting about no other subject except my moronic posts. But if you are prepared to tell me that a player with 4 straight seasons of .800+ OPS at AAA would not out-hit Brian Schneider at the major league level in 2012, then it is you who are moronic.

Schneider is not going to have another bad season 'by chance'. He's not going to have a 'bounce back season'. Bounce back to what, .220? He's soon to be 35 and done.
You wouldn't even sign Schneider to be a LH PH off the bench, so why would you sign him to start maybe 30-40 games? Because of Vance Worley? Sorry, not good enough.

Take a chance on Doumit. At least you know he can hit, and should Ruiz have to sit with injury any appreciable amount of time, Doumit is servicable.

This team needs offense right now more than it needs a good glove backup catcher, and BS is neither anyway.

I will be amazed if Schneider even breaks the Martinez line this year.

I don't think the Phillies value a bat at the backup catcher position. He'll never pinch hit in Philly, at least in a 9 inning game, and, even a decent hitter like Chooch is relegated to hitting 8th for the most part (unless the lineup is littered with AAA guys like Martinez, Orr and Valdez).

Catcher is a defensive position, first and foremost; defense is defined by receiving the pitch, pitch selection and defensive positioning. Controlling the running game is not in this top 3 and possibly not in the top 5. These are aspects of the game in which veterans have an inherent advantage. One would logically assume, the Phils have qualms about Kratz's abilities outside the batter's box. Or, maybe, they just put a premium on mere comfort and familiarity with their pitching staff.

I don't know much about Kratz in regard to his defensive ability. I did see him play a few times at the major league level and, I recall that two week stretch with Pittsburgh as one where he was a bit of a feel good story as a guy who was never expected to make it. Ironically, his defense was largely stellar during that cup of coffee and, he didn't hit a lick.

Hugh: But Schenider sucks defensively.

"Take a chance on Doumit. At least you know he can hit, and should Ruiz have to sit with injury any appreciable amount of time, Doumit is servicable."

See previous post about the back up catcher's bat. Have you seen Doumit play catcher? He's generally considered poor by MLB standards. Pirates liked his play at C so much they spent years trying to teach him to play RF or 1B. It wasn't just to get his bat in the lineup.

BAP- in 9 major league games with the Pirates Kratz slugged .118 with a .284 OPS. That was after two straight seasons OPSing over .800 in the minors.

There's a reason this guy has been buried in the minors for multiple teams and gets passed over by the likes of Dane Sardinha- he stinks. Get over it.

Jack - by what measure does Schneider "suck defensively"? I have no love for the guy but, caught stealing percentage (which has fallen off a cliff) is hardly the sole criterion for measuring a catcher's defensive value. Do you have something else to back up that evaluation? YOu don't like how he frames pitches? He calls hte wheel play too much? Too many 0-2 fastballs?

I would be fine with bringing back Schneider if he was a good defensive catcher. He's not and he was terrible last year.

Its funny for a team that has since the time of Gillick as the GM stated that they primarily wanted 'defensive veteran catcher with good game-calling' they have repeatedly brought in guys to fill the position who were either below average/poor defensively (Fasano, Barajas) or were washed up defensively (Schneider, Bako).

Another year of Schneider. Another year of Francisco. Yup, this ball club is gonna be a world beater in '12.

Iceman: really? a 9 game sample size? I really have no opinion on Kratz personally, but a 9 game sample size? c'mon.

Hugh: I don't know if you're able to watch the games, but Schneider can't block a ball in the dirt to save his life. He's exceptionally bad defensively.

"This team needs offense right now... "

Yes and no. They did lead the league in scoring from the time Utley started in May.

It wouldn't hurt to get some more pop, though.

Somehow they managed to scrape together 102 wins with Schneider, Martinez and Franscico collecting paychecks.

"Yes and no. They did lead the league in scoring from the time Utley started in May."

Assuming that JRoll is back and that Howard returns by the ASB with some semblance of his '10 and '11 production.

Have to see how things play out.

What's wrong with Francisco as a 4/5th outfielder? You could do much worse there.

"Report: Phillies close to bringing back Schneider"

The good news about this team just keeps rolling in.

There are going to be people plummeting into the Delaware all season long in 2012, let alone when the Phils inevitably fail to make the postseason.

[repost]On the Amaro interview: Did you see that smirk he was holding back when he said "we've had discussions with other clubs, but nothing real imminent"? He's sitting on something. If I was playing poker with him I'd think he just made his inside straight.

Amaro quoted as saying that Polanco is the Phillies best hitter.

I think that says it all both about Amaro and the offense.

Jbird: the guy has been toiling in the minors for years, putting up relatively decent offensive numbers as a catcher. Don't you think there's a reason he's been buried?

It might have something to do with the fact that in the limited action we saw of him with the Phillies, his defense wouldn't play well on a middle school team.

Jack: Polonco is the Phillies best pure hitter, when he's not hurt. problem is, he's been hurt a lot and the nagging injuries sap his bat to an extreme. I don't see this trend reversing now that he's a year older.

Jack: "Amaro quoted as saying that Polanco is the Phillies best hitter.

I think that says it all both about Amaro and the offense. "
You either agree with Amaro, in which the offense must be horrible, or you're making fun of his statement, in which case it doesn't say anything about the offense. The offense which, again, led the league in scoring after Utley started.

Iceman: sure. He might be terrible. I really don't know. I've never seen him play or read a scouting report on him. I'm really not trying to say your wrong. I'm firmly in the Jose Molina camp. But, Kraz's 9 games in the bigs don't really say anything one way or the other. Traditionally, catchers' bats take longer to adapt to the big leagues because there's so much else going on for them behind the plate.

Oddly, despite the opinion of nearly everyone here, Schneider does not rate poorly defensively.

This has got to be a joke. Schneider brings nothing to the table. Nothing. As far as "Worley crediting him for his success on more than one occassion," what was he supposed to say - "It sucks that Cholly keeps sticking me with that stiff - I can't wait til next year when I'll have a real catcher."

Iceman: I can only imagine what you would have to say if, after the first 9 games of 2012, I posted that some present member of the Phillies was obviously washed up because he was slugging just .118 with a .284 OBP.

And where are you coming up with this stuff about his defense? He threw out 1/3 of his runners at AAA and his defense looked absolutely fine in his handful of major league games last year.

My "fascination" with Kratz is actually pretty modest. I'm not suggesting he replace Carlos Ruiz; I'm suggesting -- like many others -- that he replace a guy who hit .176 with a .502 OPS last year.

R - That's an interesting list. I am surprised that Schneider rated so well at wild pitches/passed balls.

I would be curious though to see how much correlation there is between the year-to-year stats though using his current formula weightings.

Funny how Marson went from a 'hitting, no-defense' prospect to a 'no-hitting, defensive' catcher at the MLB level.

The author really needs to remove a ton of these catchers though because some of the PA are so limited though. I would remove anyone with less than 500 PAs.

R - The 2010 list shows pretty much the same stuff. Chooch is an elite defender at catcher because he is one of the best in the game at blocking pitches. No surprise.

I am surprised though that Schneider rates above average both years at blocking pitches.

My take is that Schneider is adequate defensively, better than his 2011 results showed offensively, and people are grossly overreacting.

And it should be noted that Ruiz rates poorly on throwing out runners, too. I think the problem is the pitching staff. Do any of those guys hold runners at all? Too often, neither catcher seems to have much of a shot in hell at throwing guys out.

I dont care about the useless stats Schneider just fracking sucks. I dont think he will have a bounce back year. 35 is old as far as catchers go. He might bounce back to say .200 if Chooch gets injured and he will at one point, lets just hope it isnt season ending. We will introduce a almost automatic out into an already average hittin line up. What about getting younger? How are we getting younger we are actually getting older Thome and now resign Schneider. Must be something they dont like about Kratz to resign Schneider. There seems to be a bunch of available FA catchers couldnt they go another route.

This about sums up my thoughts on another year of an automatic out as our back up catcher. I'd almost rather have Coste or Bako and they've both retired!

Luis: "We will introduce a almost automatic out into an already average hittin line up."

- They led the league in scoring from the time Utley started in May.

Good News, Rube has been misquoted. They are looking into bringing in Schneider, the building superintendent from One Day at a Time as backup catcher.

aladou: Where did the Phillies rank in scoring after Utley came back?

They led the league in scoring from the time Utley started in May.

Which has no bearing whatsoever on the lineup the Phillies will be fielding come Opening Day 2012 (no Howard, no IbaƱez, possibly no Rollins, everyone else a year older & more feeble).

Phils got Adam Worthington from the DBacks to complete the Zagurski trade.

Glad you asked, donc, because some may not have heard:

They were the highest scoring team in the league after Utley came back.

Gtown Dave, that may be, but generally when people call the Phillies hitting "average", they are talking about 2011.

Now moving ahead to 2012, if Rollins is really gone, chances are they will have a hole to fill. Whoever plays left will likely improve on Ibanez' .707 OPS. Howard will be missed, but he starts relatively slow anyway. It will be interesting to see how the inactivity impacts him when he does come back.

BAP- that's a foolish argument even for you. When an everyday starter slumps for 9 games, he usually has an extensive track record to back up the fact that he will eventually come around.

Kratz's track record is that he's been cast aside and buried in the minors for years by multiple teams. He has no major league track record because every scout on every team he's played for has decided he stinks and is not even worty of an extended look in the majors. You, having never seen him play, look at his AAA numbers and assume he could be an adequate backup catcher, both offensively and defensively, on a contending major league baseball team.

If Halladay, Lee, Hamels, or even Worley felt comfortable with him behind the plate, he'd have his chance. If the Phillies brass (or their starting pitchers) had actually seen anything from Kratz that stood out, he would be on the club. He's not. I'll trust those opinions over the opinion of a guy who will gripe about absolutely anything.

"They led the league in scoring from the time Utley started in May."

This is an oft-cited stat -- the implied point of which seems to be that, so long as we have Utley for a full season, it's all good with our offense. But how can this possibly be? Utley, himself, hit .259/.344/.425 -- certainly better than Valdez, but not nearly good enough to spear-head a complete turn-around of the offense. Fact is, our "revival" was not because of Utley; it was becaue a baseball season has lots of peaks & valleys & a lot of our players happened to have their valleys when Utley was out. But the idea that, if only Utley had been here the whole year, April & May would never have happened & we wouldn't have ended up middle-of-the-pack in runs scored, is simply preposterous, given Utley's own modest stat line.

Please god tell me that Worthington is a backup catcher.

He's not. He's a 5'9" pitcher who last pitched in high A ball. Sounds like a gem.

On to other topics. Rube wants Schneider back? At least I know what I'll be doing in the latter half of October next year. Not watching baseball again. This bench will be a Thome away from sucking like last year's bench. Sad.

Phils got Adam Worthington from the DBacks to complete the Zagurski trade.

The Phils got younger!

Good trade, who did we get?

Amazing how the big Howard bashers are now worrying about not having his bat in the lineup.

Adam Worthington? What the hell did we need to go out and get Papelbon for then?

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