Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Favorite Martin

Ned Colletti will probably be forever-praised for bringing Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles and "reviving" the Dodger fan base. It will, in many people's minds, make up for or perhaps overshadow the numerous idiotic moves he's made throughout his tenure as GM (Pierre, Schmidt, Jones, etc.). However, I would hope that all those naysayers would soon return if the implication from the following article came to fruition.

Martin wearing out welcome in L.A.?

Twenty-nine GM's throughout all of baseball are hoping the answer is "yes."

An OBP of .385 for a catcher is awfully hard to come by, not to mention the fact that he has exceptional speed and can play a decent third base from time to time. So I'm not really sure what this could be addressing. Maybe he's wearing out his welcome in a "Manny being Manny" kind of way. Perhaps he's wearing out his welcome in that he's become a clubhouse cancer or something to that extent. It certainly can't be because of his production on the field.

The Dodgers were disappointed by the regression of catcher Russell Martin, who in the words of one Dodgers-connected person was "just another catcher'' this year.


Out of the 24 catchers this year with at least 350 plate appearances, Russell Martin had the third highest OBP, trailing only Joe Mauer and Chris Iannetta (who caught in 49 fewer games than Martin). He had the eighth highest OPS, which isn't great, but still better than two thirds of the catchers in baseball. And from those same twenty-four, he had the most walks and stolen bases as well.

The Mariners, Phillies, Reds, Nationals, Red Sox, Mets, Blue Jays, Tigers and many other teams are in dire need of what this "Dodgers-connected person" describes to be "just another catcher."
By the way,

Tony Romo is just another quarterback.

Steve Nash is just another point guard.

Adrian Peterson is just another running back.

Tim Duncan is just another center.

The Office is just another tv show.

All are of equal absurdity.

Only a year ago Martin was an excellent two-way player who won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger and appeared on the verge of superstardom.

2007 OBP- .374
2008 OBP- .385

2007 OPS+ 113
2008 OPS+ 106

2007 RC- 95
2008 RC- 88

2007 EQA- .296
2008 EQA- .288

2007 WARP1- 8.3
2008 WARP1- 7.2

So yes, Martin digressed a little bit, but enough to become "just another catcher"? No way in hell. And for what it's worth, out of every catcher in the world this past season, Martin had the third best WARP1 (0.1 points behind Brian McCann).

Martin's digression was more than likely due to the heavy workload he's undergone since coming up to the majors. Since May 5th of the 2006 season, the Dodgers have played 457 regular season games. Of those 457, Martin has caught in 411 of them (90%). His first half/second half splits obviously indicate that he wears down as the season goes on. So, an easy way to fix the enormous, drastic, incredibly steep "regression" problem? GIVE HIM A GODDAMN DAY OFF ONCE IN A WHILE! Catching the most innings in baseball over the last two years may play a slight factor into his dip in production. Just some food for thought, Colletti.

Although, I guess it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to trade Martin if you had a catcher waiting in the minors who OPS'd 1.000 at Single A this year. Too bad you traded that catcher for two months of Casey Blake.

The New York Post reported that the Dodgers might even consider trading him.

Epstein, Beane, all intelligent GM's: Cheer in unison.

1 comment:

Grif said...

Hell, the Rangers have a glut of catchers and I'll take him in a heart beat.

And don't forget: the Dodgers also traded away a sweet fielding catcher who, at 24, just put up a 98 OPS+ and threw out 38% of attempted base runners. He's starting in the World Series and they got Toby Hall and Mark Hendrickson in return. Maybe the Dodgers don't know how to evaluate catchers.

If they think Joe Mauer is the only person who isn't "just another catcher," I highly anticipate them offering their entire roster to Minnesota some time soon.