A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The New Mr. Intangibles


Three-time All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca was dealt to the Mets for two Minor Leaguers to be named later. One of those players is 19-year-old right-hander Gaby Hernandez, a hard thrower who grew up in Miami.

I still cannot understand how you can name a player to be named later in the article and still classify him as that....

Larry weighs in on the deal...

"He came as advertised," Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest said of Lo Duca, who was obtained by Florida from Los Angeles in July 2004

That's what I'm afraid of....

Seriously though, Larry says he is clutch and a good leader behind the plate. So lets look...

Runners on: .276/.318/.367
Scoring Position: .282/.320/.374
Close and Late: .254/.324/.365
Bases Loaded: .417/.385/.583
Scoring Position, 2 Out: .264/.329/.333

Three Year Split:
Runners on: .291/.356/.398
Scoring Position: .303/.380/.414
Close and Late: .262/.340/.395
Bases Loaded: .381/.356/.524
Scoring Position, 2 Out: .299/.343/.520

I'll give him clutch. Though he might not be the most known clutch player, he still seems to raise his game, even if it is slightly in some spots so that would be the definition, no?

As for his glove. It is hard quantify these things for catchers. Errors are always low. Fielding % is always high. It is really a thing you need to see with your own eyes over a lot of games. One thing I was excited about with the departure of Piazza was having a guy who teams did not run on every single game. I did not watch every game of LoDuca's, but if I look at the stats to see who gets run on, it tells me at least if they are respected. Then you can look at CS% to see if they make people pay. Yes, there are outside factors like the staff holding them on, how many fastballs vs. junk, how many speedsters in the division, etc, but that is negligible when you look at the sheer numbers that run on LoDuca.

What catcher has allowed the most stolen bases over the last two years?
Name              GP     SB
Victor Martinez 274 185
Paul LoDuca 258 182
Jason Kendall 293 166
Jorge Posada 267 157
Jason Varitek 260 142
Michael Barrett 252 142
Mike Lieberthal 246 137
Gregg Zaun 229 132
AJ Pierzynski 246 130
Johnny Estrada 237 128
The last three years?
NAME              GP    SB
Paul LoDuca 381 265
Jorge Posada 404 229
Jason Kendall 439 229
Mike Lieberthal 377 221
Victor Martinez 314 205
Brad Ausmus 405 185
Ramone Hernandez 344 178
A.J. Pierzynski 381 176
Mike Piazza 215 175
Javy Lopez 327 172
Gregg Zaun 274 155
The last four years?
NAME             GP      SB
Paul Lo Duca 518 358
Jason Kendall 582 307
Jorge Posada 542 305
Mike Piazza 387 300
Jason Varitek 524 284
Mike Lieberthal 506 272
Javy Lopez 430 226
Ramon Hernandez 452 223
When you look at the others around him and see them hovering around him but with more games played, it paints a picture of guys loving to run on him. Of course he has maintained a CS% that does not exactly make me hurl, but players clearly have no respect for his arm and do not think twice about taking off.

Name                    Attempted Steals Per Game
Jorge Posada, NYY 0.970
Paul Lo Duca, Fla 0.922
Victor Martinez, Cle 0.880
Jason Kendall, Oak 0.837
A.J. Pierzynski, CWS 0.797
John Buck, KC 0.778
Benji Molina, LAA 0.775
Mike Matheny, SF 0.773
Michael Barrett, ChC 0.746
Ramon Hernandez, SD 0.722
Name                    CS %
Benji Molina, LAA 0.261
Ramon Hernandez, SD 0.257
Paul Lo Duca, Fla 0.246
Jason Varitek, Bos 0.244
Victor Martinez, Cle 0.232
Michael Barrett, ChC 0.231
Gregg Zaun, Tor 0.226
A.J. Pierzynski, CWS 0.225
Mike Lieberthal, Phi 0.213
Jason Kendall, Oak 0.179
Name                    Attempted Steals Per Game
Paul Lo Duca, LA/Fla 0.992
Victor Martinez, Cle 0.902
Brad Ausmus, Hou 0.828
Jason Varitek, Bos 0.769
Damian Miller, Oak 0.743
Michael Barrett, ChC 0.738
Mike Lieberthal, Phi 0.729
Javy Lopez, Bal 0.712
Jason Kendall, Pit 0.699
Benji Molina, LAA 0.692
Jorge Posada, NYY 0.687
Ramon Hernandez, SD 0.685
Name                    CS %
Brian Schneider, Mon 0.500
Henry Blanco, Min 0.492
Benji Molina, LAA 0.444
Damian Miller, Oak 0.432
Jason Kendall, Pit 0.363
Toby Hall, TB 0.343
Ivan Rodriguez, Det 0.322
Jason LaRue, Cin 0.296
Mike Matheny, StL 0.296
Ramon Hernandez, SD 0.284
Paul Lo Duca, LA/Fla 0.279
Name                    Attempted Steals Per Game
Paul Lo Duca, LA 1.138
Mike Lieberthal, Phi 0.786
Ramon Hernandez, Oak 0.784
Brad Ausmus, Hou 0.734
Brent Mayne, KC 0.732
Jorge Posada, NYY 0.730
Bengie Molina, Ana 0.692
Name                    CS %
Bengie Molina, Ana 0.444
Toby Hall, TB 0.436
Paul Lo Duca, LA 0.407
Damian Miller, ChC 0.391
Miguel Olivo, CWS 0.358
Brad Ausmus, Hou 0.352
Ivan Rodriguez, Fla 0.333
Ramon Hernandez, Oak 0.330
How do Molina, LoDuca, and Hernandez stack up against each other over the past three seasons?
Name                    Attempted Steals Per Game
Paul Lo Duca, Fla 1.016
Ramon Hernandez, SD 0.735
Benji Molina, LAA 0.715
Name                    CS %
Benji Molina, LAA 0.390
Paul Lo Duca, Fla 0.315
Ramon Hernandez, SD 0.296
What does it all mean? I'm not sure besides Ramon Castro probably being a late inning defensive replacement for LoDuca and for Hernandez if they had acquired him and players loving to run on LoDuca. And yes, Ramon Hernandez and Benji Molina are not the greatest defensive catchers either at this point in time, but certainly arguably better all around. Yes, this does not take into account intangibles like handling a staff, blocking balls, amongst other things that Mike Piazza really never got enough credit for, but these are the reasons I was for Castro getting a shot when presented with the current options which were not great. To accurately judge a catcher, you need to see him with your own eyes as the data is rough to read for that position. It seems the Mets just got a guy who's biggest assets are things that cannot be quantified by anyone. I hate the fact that players run on him more than one time a game over the last three years and was looking forward to a guy that curbed what we had gotten used to with Mike Piazza over the years. It looks like the Mets have their own Mr. Intangibles to go with the original Mr. Intangibles of New York. I for one would like to see these things on paper, but it is what it is. I thought this lineup was good enough that defense first should have been a priority and it is not like LoDuca is going to bring enough offense to outweigh his defensive shortcomings. The silver lining is he is mildly adept at throwing out base runners, but get ready for the races.

When you look at the money spent on him and the lack of success in the bullpen arena in terms of bringing gusy in, one would assume that money was better spent on two of the better relievers on the market when they were actually still around.

* * *

  • We have BringManny.com and they have KeepManny.com. One site appears to have a solitary goal of bringing Manny and the other is selling shirts to whore themselves out for cash. Not very altruistic of them.

  • The Yankees are seemingly more interested with Dotel and I have the feeling he is worth the risk.

  • People wonder why Mike Piazza was not offered arbitration. Easy. He could have accepted. If he gets a deal, you are looking at two years maximum for about $10 to $12 million. He will not make more than that. You cannot receive less than a 20% pay cut in arbitration so that means the Mets would have been on the hook for $12 million for a backup catcher. He would not accept you say? Says who? He said he would have assumed a lesser role to stay with the Mets and he has not really been close to signing with any teams and if you threw in him costing their first rounder, who is to say he would have gotten a decent offer? The Twins were interested, but might not have been if they had to give up their valuable first pick on an aging player. The Mets could not offer him arbitration. It would have been a very bad business decision.

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