Opinion: The Mets should cut Anthony Recker when d'Arnaud is called up

During the next few days, the Mets will undoubtedly call up top prospect Travis d'Arnaud, who has been destroying AAA pitching, to the major leagues. Once he returns, he should assume the starting role, not only for his offensive upside but also because of his superior pitch-framing ability.

It is for this same reason, pitch-framing, that Taylor Teagarden should be kept as the backup catcher over Anthony Recker.

Recker and Teagarden are similar in numerous ways. Offensively, in fact, they are nearly identical. Let's look at the career slash lines of both players.


Recker: .199/.273/.340/72

Teagarden: .202/.262/.382/65

Clearly, while Recker has the slight edge overall, the difference between Recker and Teagarden offensively is not significant considering the limited number of plate appearances both players have received in the majors.

Defensively, however, there is a major rift between the two catchers, specifically concerning pitch-framing. Before recently, pitch-framing was an art whose value was previously hard to quantify. Luckily, publishes pitch-framing numbers that are extremely transparent and easy to understand. Let's look at each player's "call's per game", which measures how many called strikes the catcher either gains or loses per game, since 2011.

Calls Per Game: 2011/2012/2013/2014

Recker: -2.56/-2.53*/-1.48/-1.63

Teagarden: 0.88/-1.33/0.02/-0.34

*In 2012 Recker played for two teams, so I averaged the two values.

It's easy to see that Teagarden has a major edge over Recker when it comes to pitch-framing. Having good pitch-framing is vitally important to any team, but it should be of paramount importance to the Mets, a team that is trying to build long-term success through strong pitching.

One might notice that when Zack Wheeler had been struggling, it was Recker who had been catching him consistently. Not to mention, it was Teagarden who caught Wheeler's recent complete game shutout, and as a result Wheeler received numerous called strikeouts.

On the surface, Recker and Teagarden look very similar. Both players have low batting averages, low on base percentages, surprising power, and high strikeout rates. Neither player has enough of an edge offensively to judge sending the other catcher down. On the basis of pitch-framing, however, Anthony Recker should be sent down instead of Taylor Teagarden when Travis d'Arnaud is called up.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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