Monday, November 5, 2012

Yankees Get Themselves Another Crappy Catcher

The great tradition continues...

Kevin Cash
Alberto Castillo
Bobby Estelella
Sal Fasano
John Flaherty
Todd Greene
Chad Moeller
Gustavo Molina
Jose Molina *
Wil Nieves
Joe Oliver
Chris Stewart
Kelly Stinnett
Chris Turner
Chris Widger

and now Eli Whiteside, acquired off waivers today from the San Francisco Giants. What do they all have in common? They are all catchers that couldn't hit their way out of a paper bag (*Jose Molina doesn't really belong on this list since he defense with the Yankees more than made up for his lack of hitting. He did hit .316 in a brief stint after being acquired from the Angels in 2007.) Some weren't very good defensively either.

Whiteside was a 6th round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2001 and made it to the Major Leagues with them in 2005. He spent the next three seasons in the minors before making it back to the bigs with the San Francisco Giants in 2009.

His career splits for 537 career plate appearances is .215/.273/.335. That's a .608 OPS. Now, obviously the move is likely to just add some veteran depth to the Yankees Triple-A squad, but all of the aforementioned catchers played with the Yankees since 2000. Nothing personal against Eli Whiteside, but hopefully he's not added to that list.


  1. Eli's defensive skills and ability to stabilize shaky pitchers insure that he WILL BE one of the Yankee catchers next April. He's definitely superior to Russell Martin (who will be gone).

    After Posey went down in 2011, he, together with Stew, maintained the Giants in first place until August when he developed tenderness in his elbow which interfered with his throwing. At that point, the Giants pitchers were still near the top in team ERA, but struggled thereafter.

    Fans often overestimate the importance of hitting for a catcher, who is the second most important defensive player on a team after the pitcher. IOW, catching/pitch-calling is up to 1/3 of pitching--Eli's cERA has been near the top in the Majors since 2009.

    Yankee fans should give the guy a chance and watch the staff pitching ERA improvement--not Eli's OPS, which at .608 isn't the worst for a catcher.

  2. While you don't need an All-Star as a backup catcher, the Yankees have a habit of bringing in catchers that can't hit all. When the remainder of the lineup is getting the job done it doesn't matter. But at times they get exposed.

    Martin is not a definite goner. The Yankees like him and there's a good chance he'll be back if he goes for no more than 2 years guaranteed.

    As for Stewart, his defense was quite bad at times. 8 passed balls is unacceptable.