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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigersSlappy View Post
    That's a motley crew....
    We made it look better by signing Pena out the group.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballmich View Post
    We made it look better by signing Pena out the group.
    Only two or three of those guys are better than Pena, and one would demand to be a starter.
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  3. #43
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    According to Mike Fast's research, Pena saved his team an estimated 19 runs with pitch framing between 2007-2011. That's pretty impressive for a catcher with so little playing time. Avila is good at pitch framing too. Laird is awful.

    Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation

    That doesn't make me jump up and down about the move, but I thought it was interesting.
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  4. #44
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    Well, if we can't give our pitchers a good IF defense, the least we can do is help them get strikeouts that make our defense unnecessary.
    Distribution of wealth is not in any way democratic. It is, in fact, tyrannical, in that a very select few own almost all of it, while most have little to no access. To have a country that prioritizes wealth over individual rights is the antithesis of democracy.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    According to Mike Fast's research, Pena saved his team an estimated 19 runs with pitch framing between 2007-2011. That's pretty impressive for a catcher with so little playing time. Avila is good at pitch framing too. Laird is awful.

    Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation

    That doesn't make me jump up and down about the move, but I thought it was interesting.
    Love this.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    According to Mike Fast's research, Pena saved his team an estimated 19 runs with pitch framing between 2007-2011. That's pretty impressive for a catcher with so little playing time. Avila is good at pitch framing too. Laird is awful.

    Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation

    That doesn't make me jump up and down about the move, but I thought it was interesting.
    This is interesting. If he's actually a good defensive catcher I could definitely understand viewing him as an upgrade over the various rookies/minor league guys otherwise available.
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  7. #47
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    I hate this signing almost as much as when we let Dusty Ryan get away. :-)
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    According to Mike Fast's research, Pena saved his team an estimated 19 runs with pitch framing between 2007-2011. That's pretty impressive for a catcher with so little playing time. Avila is good at pitch framing too. Laird is awful.

    Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation

    That doesn't make me jump up and down about the move, but I thought it was interesting.
    A lot of good that did for the Royals......just sayin'

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by roarintiger1 View Post
    A lot of good that did for the Royals......just sayin'
    It's not going to make a big difference on any team, but if it helps one pitcher get a little better then it's worth something. I bet pitchers appreciate that skill if it really exists.
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    According to Mike Fast's research, Pena saved his team an estimated 19 runs with pitch framing between 2007-2011. That's pretty impressive for a catcher with so little playing time. Avila is good at pitch framing too. Laird is awful.

    Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation

    That doesn't make me jump up and down about the move, but I thought it was interesting.
    DD, always looking for those inefficiencies. Seriously though, every move we've made this offseason has been pretty unimaginative. DD's strength is in filling the first 10-15 spots on a roster. The rest, bleh.

  11. #51
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    That's a real good find. I knew Laird was awful and was one reason I didn't like his signing last year. Given how bad some umps are, its a pretty underrated aspect of a catcher's defense and rarely mentioned by the media.

    It's still a meh signing.
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  12. #52
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    Our chances for not having a giant black hole at catcher offensively now rests squarely on Avila, inclusive of whether he survives/dies against LHP.

    I'm glad that Pena is reportedly a decent defensive catcher, but even if that's worth 3-5 runs prevented over a better hitting backup catcher option (and that's pretty generous), that wouldn't barely half of the likely 8 - 12 runs that a good hitting catcher (particularly vs. LHP) could provide over Pena.
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  13. #53
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    On the plus side, exactly because Pena brings no advantage against LHP, maybe JL can forget about match-ups and just rest Alex based on the best logic for resting him instead of trying to work around stuff like /..should Alex play a day game after a night game when the opposition will be starting a right hander in the day game but will have a lefty going the second day after../ etc;
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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gehringer_2 View Post
    On the plus side, exactly because Pena brings no advantage against LHP, maybe JL can forget about match-ups and just rest Alex based on the best logic for resting him instead of trying to work around stuff like /..should Alex play a day game after a night game when the opposition will be starting a right hander in the day game but will have a lefty going the second day after../ etc;
    That's what I'm hoping. I don't think Avila should be platooned. He wasn't that bad against lefties in 2011. Sometimes having to face your platoon disadvantage keeps your swing right. Also, there's the somewhat circular argument that he's never going to get better against lefties if he never has to face them.
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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    According to Mike Fast's research, Pena saved his team an estimated 19 runs with pitch framing between 2007-2011. That's pretty impressive for a catcher with so little playing time. Avila is good at pitch framing too. Laird is awful.

    Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation

    That doesn't make me jump up and down about the move, but I thought it was interesting.
    Clearly Dave and the front office didn't do their homework.....
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  16. #56
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    What Avila did against LHP in 2011 is indicative of how random 150 -200 PAs can be. There are some LH hitters who could not do what Avila did, so he's not completely incompetent against them, but he's just as likely to hit poorly against them as anything.

    Avila's splits and durability issues make a platoon pretty much a no brainer IMHO. They might luck out with this pairing, but it's very sub par.
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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabretooth View Post
    What Avila did against LHP in 2011 is indicative of how random 150 -200 PAs can be. There are some LH hitters who could not do what Avila did, so he's not completely incompetent against them, but he's just as likely to hit poorly against them as anything.

    Avila's splits and durability issues make a platoon pretty much a no brainer IMHO. They might luck out with this pairing, but it's very sub par.
    The one thing that does tends to settle out without too many AB and always stands out with Alex is his walk rate, and he does maintain that pretty well against LHP.
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  18. #58
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    I must have missed the new "awesome backup catcher" store that opened up recently.

    I can't believe DD didn't find our backup catcher there, and instead shopped at "world of brayans" again.
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  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelton View Post
    I must have missed the new "awesome backup catcher" store that opened up recently.

    I can't believe DD didn't find our backup catcher there, and instead shopped at "world of brayans" again.
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  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaYooperASBDT View Post
    I hate this signing almost as much as when we let Dusty Ryan get away. :-)
    They continue to be crippled by DD's stupidity in giving away James Skelton for some magic Brown beans.

  21. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelton View Post
    I must have missed the new "awesome backup catcher" store that opened up recently.

    I can't believe DD didn't find our backup catcher there, and instead shopped at "world of brayans" again.
    I must have missed where Brayan Pena was the best backup catcher available.

    From 2010 - 2012, Pena produced 14 RCs in 200 PAs vs. LHP. Shoppach produced 47 in 350 PAs. Over 200 PAs of platooning vs. LHP in 2013 that would translate to a 10+ run advantage for Shoppach. There are two others (Paulino and Buck) who were also clearly better hitters vs. LHP than Pena (to the tune of at least 5 RCs over a 200 PA platoon).

    I realize that 5-10 runs may not seem like much, but why give it up, especially when we suffered greatly to find quality at-bats against in the post-season?
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  22. #62
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    I see a lot of posts about Shoppach. How do we know DD didn't try to get Shoppack? Maybe it didn't work out and Pena was a good option.

    He's a back-up catcher that is good defensively with a pretty good arm. He won't be in the line-up as our RBI guy, he'll probably sit around 8th in the line-up.
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  23. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapitalTigers View Post
    He's a back-up catcher that is good defensively with a pretty good arm. He won't be in the line-up as our RBI guy, he'll probably sit around 8th in the line-up.
    Is Pena good defensively?

    A lot of guys seem to run on him if he has a pretty good arm.

  24. #64
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    Sabretooth-

    You assume that shoppach is waiting patiently by the phone for the tigers to offer him a contract, and that he is interested in signing up for a 200 AB job.

    I fully understand that Pena was not the best catcher available, but it is certainly possible that he was the best they could get.

    It's also possible that the tigers were not interested in another platoon situation for Avila, where his playing time would be dictated by the other team's starter. Perhaps they would rather just rest him when they feel like it, and let him play against lefties from time to time.

    It's just not that easy to find good players that want to sign on as backups, and you need two parties to agree on a contract.
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  25. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotigers View Post
    It's not really an argument when there isn't any upside to Pena. The only way this makes sense is if they think the minor leaguers they have are exceptionally terrible. Which is possible.
    This is what I'm thinking as well. That seems likely to me judging from the Tigers press release (i.e., highlighting Pena's major league "experience". They have to spell Avila with someone, because i don't know that Avila can do much more than 900 innings behind the plate. Honestly, if the guy gives us replacement value for one year alone, that's about as much as we can ask for. The divisional race is not going to turn on the backup catcher. Sometimes, you just need a warm body back there, especially when that is all that's available to you.

    Besides, at $500,000, it's a cheap enough amount to eat if Holaday or Nuevo Cabrera surprises everybody in March.
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  26. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelton View Post
    I must have missed the new "awesome backup catcher" store that opened up recently.

    I can't believe DD didn't find our backup catcher there, and instead shopped at "world of brayans" again.
    The "awesome backup catcher" store was out of stock, we were just hoping he'd hit up the "secondhand catcher emporium" rather than digging through the dumpsters out back.
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  27. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelton View Post
    Sabretooth-

    You assume that shoppach is waiting patiently by the phone for the tigers to offer him a contract, and that he is interested in signing up for a 200 AB job.

    I fully understand that Pena was not the best catcher available, but it is certainly possible that he was the best they could get.

    It's also possible that the tigers were not interested in another platoon situation for Avila, where his playing time would be dictated by the other team's starter. Perhaps they would rather just rest him when they feel like it, and let him play against lefties from time to time.

    It's just not that easy to find good players that want to sign on as backups, and you need two parties to agree on a contract.
    I used Shoppach as the best example for the Tigers' purposes....but I also mentioned Paulino and Buck would be improvements as well....none of these guys are "good" hitters by any stretch but each are clearly able in 200 PAs to produce 5+ more runs offensively than Pena vs. LHP.

    I realize that a handful of runs from the catcher position is not make-or-break, but why give it up for nothing? I seriously wonder why they would settle on Pena with options available that better suit their hitting needs.

    I find it very hard to believe based on the available information (scant though it is) that Pena is **so** much better defensively than the other guys that it makes up for his very poor bat compared to their so-so bats vs. LHP.
    Last edited by sabretooth; 12-11-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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  28. #68
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    First, I don't expect the backup C to get 200 ABs this year. I think it is closer to 150.

    Second, laird had almost an even number of ABs against righties and lefties, so assuming 200 ABs vs LHP is inflating the numbers for the alternatives you are projecting.
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    I get that a lot of people like to say Avila has 'durability problems' and are nervous about our backup catcher because of that, but I think that's an unfounded concern. For instance, if you look at 2012 - there were 55 players who caught at least an inning in the American League last year. Of those 55, how many do you think caught, say, just half of their teams innings? (avg innings per team was 1449. For those that don't like doing math, half would be roughly 725 innings)

    Seven players did. Just seven. Up that to 60% of their team's innings. The list shrinks to four players. 70%? Three players. 75%? One player. Wieters topped the list at 79%. The top five the in AL were Wieters, Pierzynski 74%, Martin 72%, Avila 65%, and Salty 59% as far as innings caught.

    So you can go on and on about having an 'everyday catcher' and all that business, but the fact remains that most teams don't employ what you would consider an 'everyday catcher'. In fact, it's apparently a feat to even have a catcher able to catch half of your teams innings. Fact of the matter remains - even in the 'injury plagued' season in 2012 that Avila had, he still managed to land fourth on the innings caught list - after placing first last year. To clarify- the time he missed from injury adds up to 13 games in June on the disabled list and 4 games in September after almost getting killed by Fielder. Assuming those 17 games went 9 innings each, that's 153 innings. That moves him up the list from 4th to 2nd. Is that really a huge deal?

    So other than injuries, how many games off each month was he getting? 5 in April. 4 in May. 4 in June. 5 in July. 4 in August. 6 in September. Is there something wrong with that? Is that too much? Is he supposed to be catching more?

    I think we're lucky to have someone who catches as much as Avila. Add in the potential he showed in 2011? Heck, just add in the fact that he can post an average batting line? That's valuable. And he's only had one 15DL stint in 3,000 innings in the majors? Color me not concerned. I'll start worrying about his 'durability issues' when he actually, you know, stops catching a ton of innings.

    I get that people want a good backup catcher, in case something happens to Avila, which is entirely possible. But more likely than not Avila will remain healthy (healthy being a relative term for a catcher, of course) and catch about 70% of the team's innings. And whatever you get from your backup spot is the cost of doing business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ari 2 View Post
    I get that a lot of people like to say Avila has 'durability problems' and are nervous about our backup catcher because of that, but I think that's an unfounded concern. For instance, if you look at 2012 - there were 55 players who caught at least an inning in the American League last year. Of those 55, how many do you think caught, say, just half of their teams innings? (avg innings per team was 1449. For those that don't like doing math, half would be roughly 725 innings)

    Seven players did. Just seven. Up that to 60% of their team's innings. The list shrinks to four players. 70%? Three players. 75%? One player. Wieters topped the list at 79%. The top five the in AL were Wieters, Pierzynski 74%, Martin 72%, Avila 65%, and Salty 59% as far as innings caught.

    So you can go on and on about having an 'everyday catcher' and all that business, but the fact remains that most teams don't employ what you would consider an 'everyday catcher'. In fact, it's apparently a feat to even have a catcher able to catch half of your teams innings. Fact of the matter remains - even in the 'injury plagued' season in 2012 that Avila had, he still managed to land fourth on the innings caught list - after placing first last year. To clarify- the time he missed from injury adds up to 13 games in June on the disabled list and 4 games in September after almost getting killed by Fielder. Assuming those 17 games went 9 innings each, that's 153 innings. That moves him up the list from 4th to 2nd. Is that really a huge deal?

    So other than injuries, how many games off each month was he getting? 5 in April. 4 in May. 4 in June. 5 in July. 4 in August. 6 in September. Is there something wrong with that? Is that too much? Is he supposed to be catching more?

    I think we're lucky to have someone who catches as much as Avila. Add in the potential he showed in 2011? Heck, just add in the fact that he can post an average batting line? That's valuable. And he's only had one 15DL stint in 3,000 innings in the majors? Color me not concerned. I'll start worrying about his 'durability issues' when he actually, you know, stops catching a ton of innings.

    I get that people want a good backup catcher, in case something happens to Avila, which is entirely possible. But more likely than not Avila will remain healthy (healthy being a relative term for a catcher, of course) and catch about 70% of the team's innings. And whatever you get from your backup spot is the cost of doing business.
    I don't recall anyone saying he had durability issues. I'd have to go back and re-read the thread, but I'm pretty sure that hasn't been an underlying message here.

    I think what has been apparent, is the desire of most fans to have a back-up who can hit LHP, given that it is a glaring weakness in Avila's game.
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    I think it is evident that most of this board is viewing the backup catcher position from an offensive production stand point only, rather than looking holistically at the entire roster.

    Pena is a solid/good? defensive catcher. He is very cheap. He is comfortable in a sporadic backup role. All of those factors taken together make me believe that they view him as somebody who will slide right into the club house, shut up and fill his role.

    Further, I believe it is very possible that the Tigers do not want to platoon Avila on the basis of the opponents SP for several logical reasons. 1) It can potentially hurt the pitching staff. JV, Scherzer Porcello, Fister ect have several years of experience with Alex and they may not want to put a SP at a disadvantage because the other team wants to throw a lefty. If the Tigers are in a crucial game late in the year, or in the playoffs, do you want to bat a marginal upgrade against LHP at the sake of risking the effectiveness of our own SP?

    Based on the way the schedule can play out with travel, day games, double headers ect a straight platoon may not provide Alex with enough rest at certain stretches of the season and too much rest at others.

    I certainly do not view this as a great move. However, it is absurd to make a judgement of this move based solely on the platoon splits for 150-200 ABs a year (splits that are subject to extreme volatility based on the sample size). I have a much bigger issue going into the season with Ramon Santiago slated for 250 ABs... espeically considering the age of our middle infield and the increased injury risk associated with it. I even have a bigger problem with Berry (at this point) being our 4th OF. Both holes are much more glaring and easier to fill than backup catcher.

  32. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ari 2 View Post
    I get that a lot of people like to say Avila has 'durability problems' and are nervous about our backup catcher because of that, but I think that's an unfounded concern. For instance, if you look at 2012 - there were 55 players who caught at least an inning in the American League last year. Of those 55, how many do you think caught, say, just half of their teams innings? (avg innings per team was 1449. For those that don't like doing math, half would be roughly 725 innings)

    Seven players did. Just seven. Up that to 60% of their team's innings. The list shrinks to four players. 70%? Three players. 75%? One player. Wieters topped the list at 79%. The top five the in AL were Wieters, Pierzynski 74%, Martin 72%, Avila 65%, and Salty 59% as far as innings caught.

    So you can go on and on about having an 'everyday catcher' and all that business, but the fact remains that most teams don't employ what you would consider an 'everyday catcher'. In fact, it's apparently a feat to even have a catcher able to catch half of your teams innings. Fact of the matter remains - even in the 'injury plagued' season in 2012 that Avila had, he still managed to land fourth on the innings caught list - after placing first last year. To clarify- the time he missed from injury adds up to 13 games in June on the disabled list and 4 games in September after almost getting killed by Fielder. Assuming those 17 games went 9 innings each, that's 153 innings. That moves him up the list from 4th to 2nd. Is that really a huge deal?

    So other than injuries, how many games off each month was he getting? 5 in April. 4 in May. 4 in June. 5 in July. 4 in August. 6 in September. Is there something wrong with that? Is that too much? Is he supposed to be catching more?

    I think we're lucky to have someone who catches as much as Avila. Add in the potential he showed in 2011? Heck, just add in the fact that he can post an average batting line? That's valuable. And he's only had one 15DL stint in 3,000 innings in the majors? Color me not concerned. I'll start worrying about his 'durability issues' when he actually, you know, stops catching a ton of innings.

    I get that people want a good backup catcher, in case something happens to Avila, which is entirely possible. But more likely than not Avila will remain healthy (healthy being a relative term for a catcher, of course) and catch about 70% of the team's innings. And whatever you get from your backup spot is the cost of doing business.
    This is a good post and I'm a big Avila supporter. It's not that he has missed a lot of time (he hasn't), but that he has a recurring knee problem which doesn't seem to be getting better. That's why I think Avila's durability is a legitimate concern beyond what you would expect from a typical catcher.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    I think it is evident that most of this board is viewing the backup catcher position from an offensive production stand point only, rather than looking holistically at the entire roster.

    Pena is a solid/good? defensive catcher. He is very cheap. He is comfortable in a sporadic backup role. All of those factors taken together make me believe that they view him as somebody who will slide right into the club house, shut up and fill his role.

    Further, I believe it is very possible that the Tigers do not want to platoon Avila on the basis of the opponents SP for several logical reasons. 1) It can potentially hurt the pitching staff. JV, Scherzer Porcello, Fister ect have several years of experience with Alex and they may not want to put a SP at a disadvantage because the other team wants to throw a lefty. If the Tigers are in a crucial game late in the year, or in the playoffs, do you want to bat a marginal upgrade against LHP at the sake of risking the effectiveness of our own SP?

    Based on the way the schedule can play out with travel, day games, double headers ect a straight platoon may not provide Alex with enough rest at certain stretches of the season and too much rest at others.

    I certainly do not view this as a great move. However, it is absurd to make a judgement of this move based solely on the platoon splits for 150-200 ABs a year (splits that are subject to extreme volatility based on the sample size). I have a much bigger issue going into the season with Ramon Santiago slated for 250 ABs... espeically considering the age of our middle infield and the increased injury risk associated with it. I even have a bigger problem with Berry (at this point) being our 4th OF. Both holes are much more glaring and easier to fill than backup catcher.
    Couldn't have said it better myself; therefore, +1.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    I think it is evident that most of this board is viewing the backup catcher position from an offensive production stand point only, rather than looking holistically at the entire roster.

    Pena is a solid/good? defensive catcher.
    I am looking at the fact he appears to be a replacement level player.

    I am not convinced he is a solid/good defensive catcher. I think he is a below average defensive catcher who apparently frames pitches well. He is a lousy hitter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    He is very cheap. He is comfortable in a sporadic backup role. All of those factors taken together make me believe that they view him as somebody who will slide right into the club house, shut up and fill his role.
    I think he is cheap because there is no demand for his services. The is no demand, I think, because he is a replacement level player taking everything in.

    I also think there are better catchers who the team could have acquired who would understand their role. Just a guess on my part - I could very well be wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    Further, I believe it is very possible that the Tigers do not want to platoon Avila on the basis of the opponents SP for several logical reasons. 1) It can potentially hurt the pitching staff. JV, Scherzer Porcello, Fister ect have several years of experience with Alex and they may not want to put a SP at a disadvantage because the other team wants to throw a lefty. If the Tigers are in a crucial game late in the year, or in the playoffs, do you want to bat a marginal upgrade against LHP at the sake of risking the effectiveness of our own SP?
    It is speculative, but essentially you are suggesting the Tigers signed Pena to catch Sanchez or Smyly primarily. I doubt that is how Pena will be used. I also have to believe that most major league catchers can catch most major league pitchers and not significantly adversely affect the effectiveness of the pitcher. Just my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    Based on the way the schedule can play out with travel, day games, double headers ect a straight platoon may not provide Alex with enough rest at certain stretches of the season and too much rest at others.
    Sure - but the practical reality is if Alex is going to sit 40 games, it could be managed that 20 to 30 of those would be against a lefty starter without screwing up the rest schedule or starting pitchers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    I certainly do not view this as a great move.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    However, it is absurd to make a judgement of this move based solely on the platoon splits for 150-200 ABs a year (splits that are subject to extreme volatility based on the sample size).
    I don't know if that is solely what people are judging it on, though. For myself, I think not addressing the LH pitching thing represents a lost opprotunity for improvement. I am perhaps more concerned that Pena is an inadequate (IMO) backup if Avila is injured.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Draconian View Post
    I have a much bigger issue going into the season with Ramon Santiago slated for 250 ABs... espeically considering the age of our middle infield and the increased injury risk associated with it. I even have a bigger problem with Berry (at this point) being our 4th OF. Both holes are much more glaring and easier to fill than backup catcher.
    I don't disagree with you here. I would like a Casper Wells type player as a 4th OF and simply move on from Ramon. I think those could be bigger impacts than 2nd catcher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    I am looking at the fact he appears to be a replacement level player.

    I am not convinced he is a solid/good defensive catcher. I think he is a below average defensive catcher who apparently frames pitches well. He is a lousy hitter.
    Which is why I put solid/good? Peralta is a solid defender at SS, not a good one. To me, solid means a little below average to a little above average which is what Pena is. If the framing artcile is accurate, that might push him into the "good" range as a defensive catcher.

    I think he is cheap because there is no demand for his services. The is no demand, I think, because he is a replacement level player taking everything in.
    Yes. He is a replacement level player, being asked to come onto the team to perform replacement level services (IE, snag 150 ABs).

    I also think there are better catchers who the team could have acquired who would understand their role. Just a guess on my part - I could very well be wrong.
    Could be, but that is speculative at best. It also does not account for their cost. For example, Shoppach who is being tossed around, is probably going to cost around 2 million, possibly up to 3 million depending on how the market plays out and looking at his historical salaries. The rest of the alternatives are aged to the point of being a major liability (sorry, I would never support signing a 35 year old catcher). The only other viable signing was Chris Snyder, who is maybe a marginal improvement offensively (a big maybe) but horrendous defensively.

    It is speculative, but essentially you are suggesting the Tigers signed Pena to catch Sanchez or Smyly primarily. I doubt that is how Pena will be used. I also have to believe that most major league catchers can catch most major league pitchers and not significantly adversely affect the effectiveness of the pitcher. Just my opinion.
    That's not really what I said. I highly doubt that they assign Pena to be somebodies catcher (not that I think it's a terrible idea, but it is not something I expect them to do). My point was more along the lines of the day to day management of players personalities and comfort levels (if somebody is slumping, somebody is hot, they can't get on the same page). Why risk those little things because the other team threw a lefty.

    You also used a very important word, major league catcher, which I think is being slightly overlooked. Pena has managed to stick in the big leagues with a replacement level performance. That is something that can not be said of Holiday ect... In fact, I'd argue that (despite what his WAR may be) Pena is better than replacement level by the mere fact that there are not, in fact, a large pool of candidates who can come in and replace him (the original meaning of replacement level).

    Sure - but the practical reality is if Alex is going to sit 40 games, it could be managed that 20 to 30 of those would be against a lefty starter without screwing up the rest schedule or starting pitchers.
    Of course it could, however, now we are talking about barely 100 ABs. Do you really think Shoppach at 2.5 million per year will make any significant difference over 100 ABs?


    I don't know if that is solely what people are judging it on, though. For myself, I think not addressing the LH pitching thing represents a lost opprotunity for improvement. I am perhaps more concerned that Pena is an inadequate (IMO) backup if Avila is injured.
    I don't think it represents a lost opportunity because I do not see a viable alternative. If Avila is injured, we are SOL no matter which of those guys we signed. Lets not forget, looking at Shoppach who is the only player who could be considered "good" he would be looking at cutting his playing time in half to come to Detroit (from around 80 games a season, down to 40). Even assuming we wanted to give him the money (rather than allocate it to an OF to platoon with Dirks/spell Hunter), would he agree to that role?

    The only thing DD could have done to improve us at backup Catcher is try and make a trade. that brings up it's own set of issues, such as waht pieces do we have to actually trade for 150 ABs of mediocrity? Is the opportunity cost even worth it?

    DD and the front office have a simple MO. They are going to spend "big" on impact players and they are going to cut corners on the fringes. Would you rather spend an extra 7 million (combined) at backup C/IF/OF or have Torrii Hunter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelton View Post
    First, I don't expect the backup C to get 200 ABs this year. I think it is closer to 150.

    Second, laird had almost an even number of ABs against righties and lefties, so assuming 200 ABs vs LHP is inflating the numbers for the alternatives you are projecting.
    To be fair, I never used AB, I used PA. To be fair to your point, however, a bottom-order (7-9 batting spot) platoon against LHP would probably be closer to 175 PAs rather than 200 PAs I was quoting as a round number. That reduction in PAs would reduce both sides of the comparison (in terms of outcome runs created) by a couple of runs, but wouldn't really impact the difference, since I used a range of 5-10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabretooth View Post
    To be fair, I never used AB, I used PA. To be fair to your point, however, a bottom-order (7-9 batting spot) platoon against LHP would probably be closer to 175 PAs rather than 200 PAs I was quoting as a round number. That reduction in PAs would reduce both sides of the comparison (in terms of outcome runs created) by a couple of runs, but wouldn't really impact the difference, since I used a range of 5-10.
    Let's keep in mind that Pena has been a back up pretty much his MLB career. Those of you who played at higher levels know how hard it is to play once or twice a week and hit. I don't think you can compare a back ups stats to someone who gets regular playing time. Cabrera would have trouble if he only hit once a week. Pena hit fairly well in the minors when he played regularly, although with little power and few walks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longgone View Post
    Let's keep in mind that Pena has been a back up pretty much his MLB career. Those of you who played at higher levels know how hard it is to play once or twice a week and hit. I don't think you can compare a back ups stats to someone who gets regular playing time. Cabrera would have trouble if he only hit once a week. Pena hit fairly well in the minors when he played regularly, although with little power and few walks.
    I would expect a straight platoon vs. LHP catcher to get more than 175 - 200 PAs...probably more like 250, which would be more than enough to keep a guy fresh/sharp.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longgone View Post
    Let's keep in mind that Pena has been a back up pretty much his MLB career. Those of you who played at higher levels know how hard it is to play once or twice a week and hit. I don't think you can compare a back ups stats to someone who gets regular playing time. Cabrera would have trouble if he only hit once a week. Pena hit fairly well in the minors when he played regularly, although with little power and few walks.
    Pena doesn't hit well relative to other back-ups, so I guess I don't see the point.

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    Still not seeing any figure on how much we're paying him. FWIW, he was signed to a one-year, $875,000 deal by KC last year.
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