Farewell, offensive-minded catcher.

This actually isn't going to be a post about how the Mets were foolish to give up on Ramon Castro; I figure we've rung that bell enough for the past twenty-four hours.  As much as I hate to see Castro go, I'm happy he's out of a situation where he was routinely misused and had to deal with a manager who obviously didn't trust him.

Instead, I want to look at something that I found a little funny about our remaining catchers.

Omir Santos threw out 24% of runners (incomplete numbers from b-r, 01-02 and 08-09) in the minors, and has thrown out 31% this year and 29% overall in the majors.  Schneider has thrown out a similar 33% this year, and although he's got a much higher career rate, this has been right around his established level of true talent since 2005, where he's thrown out between 30-33% every year.

Brian Schneider is a career .301 wOBA hitter.  He's never been above .320 since 2002, and last years .309 was his best since 2005.  Santos wOBA thus far has been .324, and while he's projected by every system to decrease that, and probably fairly so given his past, he continues to spray the ball over the yard with line drives.  The ZIPS projection system seems to think he'll actually hit worse than his .299 career wOBA for the rest of the season, but if you give him the benefit of the doubt that he hits his career norms the rest of the way, he's probably not appreciably worse than Schneider going forward.  Especially when you consider that Schneider has been platooned pretty extensively throughout his career to get to those numbers and Santos has acheived the vast majority of his numbers against righties.

In fact, the only big difference between the two of them is their respective backgrounds and costs.  Santos, a minor league invite, making the league minimum, versus Schneider, making $4.9 million this year and $16 million over the course of his deal, who was considered the main piece by Minaya to give up his top trading chip at the time.  As much as I'm dumbfounded by the idiocy that led us to this catching combination, I laugh at how Minaya has found 95% of what he wanted so badly in that Washington trade for the cost of a minor league invite.

Naturally, the front office is going to continue to give Schneider chances to justify the cost, all but saying that he'd get the majority of the playing time early on.  A straight platoon is probably where we're headed unless Schneider goes Joe Mauer on everyone starting today, but given their respective talent at this time, Santos may actually be the one that deserves the bigger share of time.

Also, the fact that the Mets have created a $150 million team where the best full-strength option at catcher was a minor league invite is incredibly sad.  Not completely surprising considering Minaya's track record with backups in general and catchers specifically, but sad nonetheless.


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