Re: A Pitching Fix
posted at 4/28/2012 2:11 PM EDT
I watched Salty handle Doubront and Tazawa from a pitcher's perspective. That hight he did everything you cite pretty well. What are the chances that Varitek did so right from the get-go?
Salty was also terrific that night at blocking bad pitches.
Shoppach has begun to look ragged behind the plate.
I have mentioned several times that Salty is the age now at which VTek first became a FT MLB catcher. I realize he can still improve, but I have seen no sign of improvement behind the plate, in terms of pitch calling, framing pitches, and blocking bad pitches.
I was not a Shoppach-signing supporter. Yes, he will do fine vs LHPs and match up with Salty well in that area, but to me the most important part of catching is how well they handle pitchers. While I think Shoppach is better than salty, he's never been known as being great in that area. He also is not capable of catching FT for many weeks in a row, so I really didn't see a big upgrade over bringing Vtek back.
I hops Salty proves me wrong, but I seriously doubt he will improve that much this year, and this staff needs all the help it can get. The defense behind the staff has been well documented by you, ex, and we both know it "ain't great". Having a knowlegable catcher behind the plate is very important in my opinion, and from what I've seen since last year, Salty has a long way to go in many areas of catching.