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Mike Napoli claimed on waivers...

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ANAHEIM -- Mike Napoli has made a lot of noise with his bat this season, producing a career-high 21 homers and 60 RBIs, but it was his quiet, efficient work behind the plate on Friday night that had manager Mike Scioscia enthused.

"Nap caught the kind of game we know he can catch," Scioscia said. "He's a much better receiver than he's shown. He had a great influence on Trevor [bell] to go out and pitch as deep [career-high seven innings] as he did.

"Nap did some things technically that are extremely important to his success behind the plate. He was very sound back there, and it helped Trevor command the strike zone. That pitcher-catcher relationship is the most important part of the game, and Nap took some great strides -- as did Trevor. The fact they did it together was no coincidence."

Napoli's issues have involved drifting with his body in his setup, not staying in a firm, balanced position while providing a consistently visible target for the pitcher. One of the most underrated aspects of catching, this is a strength of both Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson. With Scott Kazmir on the mound Saturday night, Napoli was back at first base with Wilson behind the plate.

Then they waive him the next day! Napoli's CERA for his career is 4.48. Mathis is 3.98. That's a 1/2 run per game difference. 81 run differential for the year. Does that make up for the difference in their bats?

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He'd probably be projected to cost us about 5 runs a year defensively. If he's handled correctly, his offense makes up for that. His plate discipline is below average, but he has great power. His splits against right handed pitching this year are not good, but that has not been a consistent trend over the course of his career. He was above average against them in every year from 06 to 09.

Another undisciplined bat and below average defender? Not the way I'd build around the pitching staff or Cabrera.

Sent from my Eris using Tapatalk

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Another undisciplined bat and below average defender? Not the way I'd build around the pitching staff or Cabrera.

Sent from my Eris using Tapatalk

Really, you have to look at who's available. You take an upgrade when you can get it. You can't just sit on your hands and wait for an elite catcher to come along, because it just doesn't happen.

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UPDATE: Mike Napoli has been claimed off of waivers by the Boston Red Sox. The Angels have until Tuesday to work out a trade with the Red Sox or Napoli remains an Angel.
.

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Also on MLBTR

3:38pm: ESPN's Joe McDonald tweets that the Red Sox have claimed Napoli on waivers, but in a separate tweet says it's unlikely the two teams work out a deal for the slugging catcher.

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Really, you have to look at who's available. You take an upgrade when you can get it. You can't just sit on your hands and wait for an elite catcher to come along, because it just doesn't happen.

+1

The fact is, EVERY team is looking to improve their teams in the offseason. The Tigers don't get to simply go out and hand pick every positional upgrade they'd like. Factor in that Free Agents may simply choose not to come to Detroit. You have to improve your team incrementally.

Is Napoli the player to push the Tigers over the hump for 2011, no. But he is an upgrade over Laird at a position which is traditionally difficult to improve. This isn't as exciting a concept of say Carl Crawford, but Napoli would be a nice addition to the team and a decent upgrade.

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napoli's been one of the best, if not THE best, power hitting catchers in baseball over the last two or three seasons. i'd absolutely love to have him. forget about his defense. it's overrated at catcher anyways i think. regardless, he'd be perfect to platoon with avila (righty/lefty). it'd be an awesome start to the off-season!!!

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Adios for this thread. I have a feeling his name will pop up in the offseason again though.

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Then they waive him the next day! Napoli's CERA for his career is 4.48. Mathis is 3.98. That's a 1/2 run per game difference. 81 run differential for the year. Does that make up for the difference in their bats?

CERA is not very useful because it does not take catcher/pitcher pairings into account. If one catcher on a staff is paired with the team's best pitcher most of the time, he'll have a better CERA than the other catcher's on the team, just because of that pitcher and not because he's a better catcher. I wouldn't trust CERA for any analysis. The catcher earned runs saved stat attempts to address the potential bias of CERA.

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Rich trying to get richer. Wonder why DD didn't try for this unless he has an idea that they will be asking for a lot in return.

Odd timing in that V-Mart has been raking lately. Must be looking for power off the bench.

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Then they waive him the next day! Napoli's CERA for his career is 4.48. Mathis is 3.98. That's a 1/2 run per game difference. 81 run differential for the year. Does that make up for the difference in their bats?
My point was that Scioscia was clearly trying to "talk up" Napoli prior to trading him away.

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Rich trying to get richer. Wonder why DD didn't try for this unless he has an idea that they will be asking for a lot in return.

Odd timing in that V-Mart has been raking lately. Must be looking for power off the bench.

Or they could play him at first base?

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2010 Catcher Defense Rankings as of May 25, 2010 - Beyond the Box Score

He's 78th out of 79th according to this metric taking in total defense. The fact you weren't aware of Napoli's defensive shortcomings at a key defensive position before you give an opinion about who you'd trade for him is a red flag in it's own right. . . but that's just a wild guess, too. :cheeky:

I'm soooo glad to see how interested you are in linear weights!

I was aware that he was regarded as a below-average defensive catcher. I pointed out his CS% because I already knew that it is the most stable/predictable indicator (among the few catcher stats available) of defensive skill at the catcher position.

The other measured incidents (passed balls/wild pitches/errors) that are measured by the link you sent, in my opinion, occur too infrequently and are too pitcher-dependent to be reliable indicators of catcher skill.

Napoli is a total of 9.5 runs behind the top-rated catcher in the league according to the linked rating. The CS% part of the measurement accounts for 1/2 of the difference between Napoli and the top of the list, and I already made mention of the difference there in my original post.

The CS% part of the rating accounts for 4.5 runs difference over the whole season. Given that according to Runs Created that Napoli could easily create 25+ runs more than Laird over 350-400 at-bats, means that he is clearly the superior choice.

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Or they could play him at first base?

Ah, good point. Lowell hasn't exactly been tearing it up. Still don't think they have a shot to catch the Yanks or Rays anyway. Still wish DD would have taken a flier and seen what it would cost us.

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I was aware that he was regarded as a below-average defensive catcher. I pointed out his CS% because I already knew that it is the most stable/predictable indicator (among the few catcher stats available) of defensive skill at the catcher position.

The other measured incidents (passed balls/wild pitches/errors) that are measured by the link you sent, in my opinion, occur too infrequently and are too pitcher-dependent to be reliable indicators of catcher skill.

pb, wp and errors are reasonably stable but not after two months which is when that list was made.

I'm also happy to see Jake making use of linear weights!

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