Salty Tonight

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    Salty Tonight

    First, the bad.
    The Baltimore bench did not help, of course, but he has to make the play on the pop-up. In the second, with one out, bases empty, on the road, trailing by two, he takes the big hack and K's. In that situation, his job is to get on base, even if he's followed by a banjo hitter -- who walked.
    From there it's all good.
    The tag at the plate was a work of art. Classic.
    At the plate, he shows some discipline: moves a runner along, draws a walk, and hits a rope.
    He called a brilliant game.
    Buchholz had trouble bringing the ball down and getting the curve to work.Salty made him keep throwing the curve, in the right spots, until he brought it down with bite. As usual, when the curve comes down, the FB is almost sure to follow.
    In the sixth, I tracked the calls pitch by pitch. All three batters were set up perfectly for strike 3. It doesn't get any better for a catcher. By then Buchholz was executing deftly. But let's not forget that he had been coaxed along. 
    Salty called a nice ninth too.
    Kudos to the battery.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    I was going to wait until the sample size got larger, but after stating that Salty was slipping a little of late in the CERA last week, he has done very well the last 3 starts. 23 IP  6 ER (2.35 CERA).

    His total post April 25th CERA is now: 4.05.
    Not bad after a 7.24 CERA start to the season.

    By the way, a 4.05 AL ERA is just 0.03 away from being the 6th best team ERA in the AL. (3 of the top teams play in pitcher's parks: Oak, Sea, TB)

    You're right , ex, he has looked good, and tonight was very good. The Cook game might have been even nicer on paper had CC been "in the game" instead of watching the ball "sail" over his head.

    Salty's offense might still have some serious weaknesses in it, but as far as handling the staff, a staff who's two biggest starters lost velocity this year, he has looked pretty sharp since his first 11 starts of the year.

    Maybe his stamina issue is still not put to rest. (Pun intended)
     
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    Re: Salty Tonight

    In Response to Re: Salty Tonight:
    [QUOTE]I was going to wait until the sample size got larger, but after stating that Salty was slipping a little of late in the CERA last week, he has done very well the last 3 starts. 23 IP  6 ER (2.35 CERA). His total post April 25th CERA is now: 4.05. Not bad after a 7.24 CERA start to the season. By the way, a 4.05 AL ERA is just 0.03 away from being the 6th best team ERA in the AL. (3 of the top teams play in pitcher's parks: Oak, Sea, TB) You're right , ex, he has looked good, and tonight was very good. The Cook game might have been even nicer on paper had CC been "in the game" instead of watching the ball "sail" over his head. Salty's offense might still have some serious weaknesses in it, but as far as handling the staff, a staff who's two biggest starters lost velocity this year, he has looked pretty sharp since his first 11 starts of the year. Maybe his stamina issue is still not put to rest. (Pun intended)
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    I knew you'd notice.
    Salty has to learn to hit smarter not harder. He has the power to hit almost any pitch over the fence if he squares it up. He doesn't need to swing from the heels. He's also strong enough to muscle some hits ( bleeders and the like ) if he makes contact more often. And if he's not poised to swing from the heels, he'll be fooled less and chase less.  He MUST be more guarded with two strikes.
    Take a bingle, especially in situations like the second inning tonight.
    Does Magadan work with him on these points? Does he listen? Or maybe Magadan is satisfied with things the way they are, as long as Salty loses one every now and then. I might be wrong, but I think he'd lose of them if he made some adjustments.
    But what a game he caught!

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    I'm not sure I remember the last time we went to NYY and will face 3 righties. It will be interesting to see if BV plays Lava at Catcher any of these days.
     
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    Re: Salty Tonight

    In Response to Re: Salty Tonight:
    [QUOTE]I'm not sure I remember the last time we went to NYY and will face 3 righties. It will be interesting to see if BV plays Lava at Catcher any of these days.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    A guess that Salty catches games one and three, Lavarnway  the middle game, unless Lavarnway has a big night that BV hopes will carry over into the third game.
    The kid ( they're both kids, really ) should be given some AB's and time behind the plate. Lack of action will only build up the pressure on him. He has enough as it is.
    He's no fool. He knows that Boston will eventually make a choice between Salty and him -- perhaps as early as the offseason, depending upon the trade market. That possibility alone can make him press when he catches. People can say, "Relax, you're not on trial here." But no one can flatly assure him that he won't be traded in the offseason. As long as he's in a game, he's playing for a job -- and he knows it.  
    There is an angle that has not been explored. He and Salty might prefer a trade to duking it out in ST, especially if the trade lands the traded one a starting job elsewhere. The odds are better for Salty along those lines, but we can't know what other GM's think of Lavarnway. 
    In any event, I hope the Sox handle well the situation with these two young men. They both give the impression of deserving it. 


     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from southpaw777. Show southpaw777's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    just finishing watching the game before work from DVR. I think Salty was feeling some fatigue and needed a few games to catch his breath. He looks a little sharper now that hes done that.
    What a solid game behind the plate for him tonight. a couple blunders, but overall a solid game. Buch K's 3 batters on 9 pitches in the 6th. Buch was determined to get that change-up on the very last pitch as he shook Salty off like 4 times.
    I really think they might go into next year with a Salty/Lavarnway combo and if Papi doesnt return, they could both be here a while.The Sox are getting to see the good and bad of not having Papi in the lineup since hes been out. The jury is still out on that one.
    I still dont care what some here say about salty, I like the kid and as long as I see improvement, Id stick with him. While improving, your gonna hit a few bumps in the road. Salty still has a bit of an endurance problem, as do all catchers who are in their first full year behind the plate. Thats the least of my worries with him.
    He needs to improve his hitting approach at the plate and learn that sometimes its ok to punch a single to the opposite field. Sometimes it looks like hes going for the fences instead of doing what needed for the situation. Hes displayed good patience at times so I know hes capable of it. Just hasnt been consistent.
    I hope the Sox FO watches these 2 closely and handles this catching situation the right way. So far, to me, they have done a good job with it.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedsoxProspects. Show RedsoxProspects's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    If Salty were auditioning for a slow pitch, beer league softball team he would be a #1 draft pick. But that swing just isn't going to make it in mlb. Lot's of noise. EXTREME upper cut. If he would just level out his swing some he might make a lot more contact.

    If the opposing pitcher is mainly a curveball guy, I'd go with Lavarnway. in the Yankee series.

    Excuse me but didn't Buchholz pitch today's game? A whole lot more credit should be going his way. Salty put some fingers down. These posts seem to be a real stretch. 
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    I have already expressed serious reservations about a "Salty/Lavarnway" combo.
    IMO, a team is likely to be more stable with a starting catcher and a back-up, roles clearly defined, at least at the start of a season. Pitchers are also likely to prefer this arrangement.
    A platoon is acceptable as long as, in this case, it's understood that Salty will catcher the vast majority of games against righties. ( I have no idea what the percentages might be. ) Lavarnway then becomes the de facto backup. IMO, if he is going to develop his promise in the position, he needs to catch a lot more than that -- not 50/50 or 60/40. He is not 21 years old. True, if Ortiz leaves, Lavarnway could be slotted at DH -- a function he might or might not happy to perform. 
    I also think that people who say that the two -- especially Salty -- should gut it out ( "man up," choose your phrase ) and go head to head for the starting job are being naive about these matters. By the end of this season, Salty will have been the starting catcher for two years. Telling him that he'll be fighting to keep that job is tantamount to saying that he's not filled the role satisfactorily. 
    ( Saying that there's room for improvement is a different matter. He knows that. It can be said of many if not most players. ) What's more, though Lavarnway has certainly shown promise in the minors, he is not, to my knowledge, considered a wunderkind. So telling Salty that he will be directly challenged  by a player who MIGHT become special is scarcely the most recommended way to build the confidence that he seems to have developed behind the plate this year.  You want your starting catcher to think that he is THE MAN, and to act like it. At least that has been the case on every team I've played for -- and, as far as I can tell, most if not all of the teams I've observed.
    Nor do I think, at this point, Salty would be overwhelmed with joy to hear, "The job is yours to lose," as might be said to a rookie. That pitch does not work with vets.
    As I've said, it easy from the outside to tell players to "gut it out" and to argue that competition makes everyone better. Those principles may in fact obtain in many situations, but not, I feel, in this one. Each situation is different, if not unique. 
    There is still six weeks to go in the regular season. The division of catching duties remains to be seen. Performance remains to be seen. Lavarnway may see much more time at DH than behind the plate. And on and on.
    Frankly, I think the best solution is for the Sox to make up their mind between the two of them in the offseason, and then try to make a good trade involving the other. Otherwise, I see unnecessary trouble ahead on a team that hardly needs any more trouble. 
    Let players battle for the SS job and maybe for the RF job, but settle the catching job. And get a new back-up. If Ortiz leaves and Lavarnway is traded, the DH can rotate. Salty can do it on occasion. Ditto if Salty is traded. Lavarnway can do it on occasion.
    I suspect that I'm in a minority on this issue ( maybe of one ), but it's how I see it. 
     
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  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ma6dragon9. Show ma6dragon9's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    People are coming around!

    He is a solid, if unspectacular catcher to man the position. Can they find someone better? Sure, they could. Would it be worth the price of getting them? Probably not.

    Among catchers who play the majority, he's 2nd in HRs, about 12th in AVG, and 11th in doubles. #2 in Ks, as I'm sure people will point out at 105. Factor in some of those catchers are Ryan Doumit, who has caught all of 44 games this year, Jesus Montero, with another whopping 41, and Salty's 82 take on a slightly different meaning.

    So, in reality, there are only about 6-8 true catchers who are any better than Saltalamacchia:

    Mauer
    Posey
    Weiters
    McCann
    Yadier Molina
    Pierczinski (who I don't think any of us would want)

    And maybe:
    Carlos Santana
    Miguel Montero

    That's really about it. Go look for yourselves.

    So, in reality, I have no problem with the Sox having rounghly the 10th best C in all of baseball. To desire much more from that is awfully nit-picky and expectant.

    This was his FIRST YEAR really having a starting job all to himself, and I think the growth both offensively and defensively is undeniable. He's 27. I'm fine letting him run with the job for, at least, another 3 seasons unless he totally falls apart.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Alibiike. Show Alibiike's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    In Response to Re: Salty Tonight:
    [QUOTE]If Salty were auditioning for a slow pitch, beer league softball team he would be a #1 draft pick. But that swing just isn't going to make it in mlb. Lot's of noise. EXTREME upper cut. If he would just level out his swing some he might make a lot more contact. If the opposing pitcher is mainly a curveball guy, I'd go with Lavarnway. in the Yankee series. Excuse me but didn't Buchholz pitch today's game? A whole lot more credit should be going his way. Salty put some fingers down. These posts seem to be a real stretch. 
    Posted by RedsoxProspects[/QUOTE]

    What are you doing, trying to disrupt the love-fest?
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    I've been as hard on Salty as anyone because of the CERA and W-L record.  But moonslav has crunched the numbers in his usual disciplined way and shown that Salty has indeed made a big improvement since April.
     
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    Re: Salty Tonight

    In Response to Re: Salty Tonight:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Salty Tonight : What are you doing, trying to disrupt the love-fest?
    Posted by Alibiike[/QUOTE]
    A better question would ask people if they are trying to disrupt the hate-fest.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedsoxProspects. Show RedsoxProspects's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    Lavarnway is probably better going forward. That's it. No Salty hate fest. Salty has had a chance to show wat he can do and he has done that. Let's see what LAvarnway can do.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ADG. Show ADG's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    Salty's in the lineup tonight. What a waste.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    I've been as hard on Salty as anyone because of the CERA and W-L record. But moonslav has crunched the numbers in his usual disciplined way and shown that Salty has indeed made a big improvement since April.

    I had made numerous trade Salty comments this past winter. Like you, I was worried about his pitcher handling skills of which CERA is but one part of a bigger picture. When he started off slowly with the staff, it took me a while to see and notice the improvement had begun, but going back to April 25th (after just 11 games started by Salty), our staff has had a 4.05 ERA when Salty catches, 3.93 CERA with the "great" Shoppach, and 5.68 with Lava in a tiny sample size of 9 innings.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    There is still six weeks to go in the regular season. The division of catching duties remains to be seen. Performance remains to be seen. Lavarnway may see much more time at DH than behind the plate. And on and on.
    Frankly, I think the best solution is for the Sox to make up their mind between the two of them in the offseason, and then try to make a good trade involving the other. Otherwise, I see unnecessary trouble ahead on a team that hardly needs any more trouble. ,,,  -ex

    This makes a lot of sense to me, and I have said I think the odds are high that one of them is traded this winter, especially if Papi stays (no Lava at DH). However, I have shown several times just how bad the catcher position is in MLB today. It is a hge plus to any team who can get any kind of decent offense from the catcher position. The catcher league average OPS has never been above .720 since 2006. In the AL, it's only been above .713 once (2009) since 2006.

    We had the 4th best AL OPS by catchers this year at .746. Yes, that was aided by Shoppach, but my point is, putting all our eggs in one basket is a big gamble. This team has been searching for a replacement to VTek as a starter for over 4 years, and now we have 2 viable options, both with serious questions going forward. One, both or none may end up doing better than average going forward, but choosing one and trading the other is wrought with risk.

    Considering the state of the Sox going into 2013, I still think we will need to make some tough choices, and one of them will involve trading from positions of strength and depth to improve at positions of greater weakness. If Papi walks, we should keep both and allow Lava to primarily DH and then slide into the catcher role when Salty walks after 2013, that is, if Lava shows he can hit MLB pitching over a full season or shows promise or improvement over the season. If Papi stays, I'm pretty certain Ben will trade one of our catchers, and I think it is the right thing to do.

    Which one? Depends on what we are offered for each. Lava seems like the one to keep due to longer team control and lower salary cost for 2013, but he might net a much better player in return, especially as part of a bigger package of prospects. However, trading Lava this winter means after 2013, we are left with zilch. Swihart will not be ready by then, and he still has issues to deal with. It's tough call, but I think I'd trade salty this winter, sign a decent back-up like Shoppach (but one who hits RHPs better), and cross my fingers. 
     
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    Re: Salty Tonight

    In Response to Re: Salty Tonight:
    [QUOTE]Lavarnway is probably better going forward. That's it. No Salty hate fest. Salty has had a chance to show wat he can do and he has done that. Let's see what LAvarnway can do.
    Posted by RedsoxProspects[/QUOTE]
    OK, how about a mockery fest. Or an uninformed denigration fest. 
    Salty is 27 and in his second year as a starter in BOSTON. Maybe, just maybe, he's not done showing what he can do.
    "That's it." Peremptory Pete strikes again. For the umpteenth time. And, equally for the umpteenth time, YOU MAY BE RIGHT.
    "Let' see" how the Red Sox handle the situation.


     
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    Re: Salty Tonight

    For an informed evaluation, see Moon.
    Last night Buchholz got off to a rocky start, then pitched a great game. 
    If you don't think that Salty helped settle Buchholz down -- suspicions confirmed.
    One could see in the pitch-calling what Salty was trying to get Buchholz to do.
    Soon enough, they clicked.
    Your saying that Salty would be a first pick for a softball league is worse than hatred. It's contempt and mockery. You, Little League slugger, lack the authority to hold any ML player in contempt. You could have commented on Salty's swing
    ( Moon, Southpaw, and I had already mentioned Salty's flaws at the plate, with concrete analysis ) and let it go at that. But, no, you had to toss in the softball image. That's one of your specialities, denigrating images: the Special Olympians, heads up Moon's rear end, yet another.
    Same old, same old. And with absolutely no moral authority -- save that which you confer upon yourself. Now THAT invites mockery. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from carnie. Show carnie's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    In Response to Re: Salty Tonight:
    [QUOTE]People are coming around! He is a solid, if unspectacular catcher to man the position. Can they find someone better? Sure, they could. Would it be worth the price of getting them? Probably not. Among catchers who play the majority, he's 2nd in HRs, about 12th in AVG, and 11th in doubles. #2 in Ks, as I'm sure people will point out at 105. Factor in some of those catchers are Ryan Doumit, who has caught all of 44 games this year, Jesus Montero, with another whopping 41, and Salty's 82 take on a slightly different meaning. So, in reality, there are only about 6-8 true catchers who are any better than Saltalamacchia: Mauer Posey Weiters McCann Yadier Molina Pierczinski (who I don't think any of us would want) And maybe: Carlos Santana Miguel Montero That's really about it. Go look for yourselves. So, in reality, I have no problem with the Sox having rounghly the 10th best C in all of baseball. To desire much more from that is awfully nit-picky and expectant. This was his FIRST YEAR really having a starting job all to himself, and I think the growth both offensively and defensively is undeniable. He's 27. I'm fine letting him run with the job for, at least, another 3 seasons unless he totally falls apart.
    Posted by ma6dragon9[/QUOTE]Excellent post.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    Salty has 2 HRs vs the Yanks this year in just 29 ABs and an .830 OPS vs them.

    I'm hoping Salty chooses today to start a hot streak- 3 righties in a row in left-handed hitter paradise: NY.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    In Response to Re: Salty Tonight:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Salty Tonight : Excellent post.
    Posted by carnie[/QUOTE]
    Yup, excellent post and nice cheers for it.


     
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    Re: Salty Tonight

    In Response to Re: Salty Tonight:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Salty Tonight : Yup, excellent post and nice cheers for it.
    Posted by expitch[/QUOTE]I've been capping pretty hard on dragon lately, so I thought it only fair to acknowledge a good one.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    In Response to Re: Salty Tonight:
    [QUOTE]There is still six weeks to go in the regular season. The division of catching duties remains to be seen. Performance remains to be seen. Lavarnway may see much more time at DH than behind the plate. And on and on. Frankly, I think the best solution is for the Sox to make up their mind between the two of them in the offseason, and then try to make a good trade involving the other. Otherwise, I see unnecessary trouble ahead on a team that hardly needs any more trouble. ,,,  -ex This makes a lot of sense to me, and I have said I think the odds are high that one of them is traded this winter, especially if Papi stays (no Lava at DH). However, I have shown several times just how bad the catcher position is in MLB today. It is a hge plus to any team who can get any kind of decent offense from the catcher position. The catcher league average OPS has never been above .720 since 2006. In the AL, it's only been above .713 once (2009) since 2006. We had the 4th best AL OPS by catchers this year at .746. Yes, that was aided by Shoppach, but my point is, putting all our eggs in one basket is a big gamble. This team has been searching for a replacement to VTek as a starter for over 4 years, and now we have 2 viable options, both with serious questions going forward. One, both or none may end up doing better than average going forward, but choosing one and trading the other is wrought with risk. Considering the state of the Sox going into 2013, I still think we will need to make some tough choices, and one of them will involve trading from positions of strength and depth to improve at positions of greater weakness. If Papi walks, we should keep both and allow Lava to primarily DH and then slide into the catcher role when Salty walks after 2013, that is, if Lava shows he can hit MLB pitching over a full season or shows promise or improvement over the season. If Papi stays, I'm pretty certain Ben will trade one of our catchers, and I think it is the right thing to do. Which one? Depends on what we are offered for each. Lava seems like the one to keep due to longer team control and lower salary cost for 2013, but he might net a much better player in return, especially as part of a bigger package of prospects. However, trading Lava this winter means after 2013, we are left with zilch. Swihart will not be ready by then, and he still has issues to deal with. It's tough call, but I think I'd trade salty this winter, sign a decent back-up like Shoppach (but one who hits RHPs better), and cross my fingers. 
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    Are you discounting the possibility that Salty may be extended or resigned? I don't predict it, but it seems to me one of numerous permutations. 

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Salty Tonight

    Are you discounting the possibility that Salty may be extended or resigned? I don't predict it, but it seems to me one of numerous permutations.

    I didn't mention it on this post, but I did mention it a couple times earlier this year, but only in the context of already having made the determination that Salty's stamina issue is no longer a sure issue, that we would trade Lava this winter, or that we may end up trading the extended Salty with a better return than the 1 year of control Salty.

    Again, Papi staying or going is the key. If he walks, extending Salty to a reasonable contract of an extra year or two might make sense. If Papi stays, extending Salty makes more sense only if we plan on trading Lava.

    Maybe the last 6 weeks might change things somewhat, but as of now, this is how I see it.

    TB needs catching and a 1Bman at low cost.
    Let's say we could trade Lava, Gomez or Swift, Sweeney, Aviles, and Coyle for Shields, then I would seriously consider extending Salty for a year or two.
     

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