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Resting the starting catcher for a day game the day after a night game

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  • Resting the starting catcher for a day game the day after a night game

    I notice there is a trend in baseball for the starting catcher to get an off day if there is a day game following a night game. But is this a wise move if the catcher is one of your most important hitters and can easily play first base (or DH in the AL)?

    Example: Last Thursday, the Giants played the Mets in a day game. Buster Posey wasn't in the lineup at all, having started the previous three nights. However, he would have provided a tremendous offensive upgrade at first base over Brandon Belt. (note: the Giants scored only 1 run on a below average starting pitcher in Thursday's day game). If Posey wasn't in the lineup at 1B because he needs rest, then it brings to question whether or not he is physically fit enough to be a MLB catcher.
    Holding a pitcher accountable for how many runs his team scores is like holding the designated hitter accountable for how many runs his team allows.

    An individual statistic is meaningful only if it is based strictly on what the player does and not on what the other players on his team do.

    Contrary to what most baseball fans claim, a pitched ball which is hit into play is not a strike.

  • #2
    --I guess that would raise the question of whether anyone is fit enough to be a major league catcher since this is common practice. It might be a good idea to get a good hitting catcher some work elsewhere since it is impractical to assume he is going to be behind the plate everyday. However, most teams choose not to do this. Then again most catchers don't hit well enough to make it worth working them out at another position.

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    • #3
      If catchers can hit well enough they will often switch their positions. Craig Biggio switched to 2nd base. I've heard the Mets wanted to switch Piazza to another position, but he resisted. It wouldn't surprise me that, if Buster Posey and Joe Mauer continue to hit well, they'll be switched to other positions as they get older.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by azmatsfan View Post
        If catchers can hit well enough they will often switch their positions. Craig Biggio switched to 2nd base. I've heard the Mets wanted to switch Piazza to another position, but he resisted. It wouldn't surprise me that, if Buster Posey and Joe Mauer continue to hit well, they'll be switched to other positions as they get older.
        I agree. If a player has a special bat, I think it's in both his and his team's long-term interest to move him from behind the plate. It's been done fairly often. Aside from Biggio - there was also Carlos Delgado, Todd Zeile, Paul Konerko to name a few and as recently as Bryce Harper.
        "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

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        • #5
          Well it is not only about winning but also about long term health and getting a mental break.

          Even playing 1B or LF is a little taxing. Guys like pujols also get 5 or 6 off days a year even if they are healthy. also it is mentally very taxing to catch so getting a on day helps here too.
          I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dominik View Post
            Well it is not only about winning but also about long term health and getting a mental break.

            Even playing 1B or LF is a little taxing. Guys like pujols also get 5 or 6 off days a year even if they are healthy. also it is mentally very taxing to catch so getting a on day helps here too.
            If someone is not mentally fit to play first base in a day game after he caught the game the previous night, then it would raise the question of whether or not he is mentally fit to be a MLB catcher in the first place.
            Holding a pitcher accountable for how many runs his team scores is like holding the designated hitter accountable for how many runs his team allows.

            An individual statistic is meaningful only if it is based strictly on what the player does and not on what the other players on his team do.

            Contrary to what most baseball fans claim, a pitched ball which is hit into play is not a strike.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ben Grimm View Post
              I agree. If a player has a special bat, I think it's in both his and his team's long-term interest to move him from behind the plate. It's been done fairly often. Aside from Biggio - there was also Carlos Delgado, Todd Zeile, Paul Konerko to name a few and as recently as Bryce Harper.
              There's a fringe benefit to this. You'll have that guy on the roster to serve as a an emergency third catcher.
              Holding a pitcher accountable for how many runs his team scores is like holding the designated hitter accountable for how many runs his team allows.

              An individual statistic is meaningful only if it is based strictly on what the player does and not on what the other players on his team do.

              Contrary to what most baseball fans claim, a pitched ball which is hit into play is not a strike.

              Comment


              • #8
                IMO, it is about saving the knees/legs and doesn't have that much to do with being "fit." An additional concern is the heat. In St. Louis, game time temps and the infamous St. Louis humidity can absolutley wear a catcher out. Yadi often gets the day off when a day game follows a night game. Makes sense to me. Heck, when we went this year, the game time starting temp was 106. Factor in the "heat index" and I think it was somewhere around 113.
                Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                  IMO, it is about saving the knees/legs and doesn't have that much to do with being "fit." An additional concern is the heat. In St. Louis, game time temps and the infamous St. Louis humidity can absolutley wear a catcher out. Yadi often gets the day off when a day game follows a night game. Makes sense to me. Heck, when we went this year, the game time starting temp was 106. Factor in the "heat index" and I think it was somewhere around 113.
                  It certainly wasn't anywhere close to hot when the Giants played a day game at home against the Mets on 8/2. But Posey was out of the lineup.

                  About Molina. He isn't one of the two most important offensive players in the Cardinals lineup, while Posey is one of the two most important offensive players in the Giants lineup.
                  Holding a pitcher accountable for how many runs his team scores is like holding the designated hitter accountable for how many runs his team allows.

                  An individual statistic is meaningful only if it is based strictly on what the player does and not on what the other players on his team do.

                  Contrary to what most baseball fans claim, a pitched ball which is hit into play is not a strike.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BiZmaRK View Post
                    It certainly wasn't anywhere close to hot when the Giants played a day game at home against the Mets on 8/2. But Posey was out of the lineup.

                    About Molina. He isn't one of the two most important offensive players in the Cardinals lineup, while Posey is one of the two most important offensive players in the Giants lineup.
                    baseball is not just about winning one game. it is a long season and anyone not just catchers get off days in these days. the time off cal ripken is over now 155 games in considered a full season. and this is for corner OF/1B guys.

                    one of the reasons for this is that the RS has lost importance and the PS has gained importance because now 4 (or even 5) teams make the PS. thus you safe some bullets for the PS. thus teams even give their best hitters an occasional off day even if they risk losing a game. does that make sense?
                    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BiZmaRK View Post
                      I notice there is a trend in baseball for the starting catcher to get an off day if there is a day game following a night game. But is this a wise move if the catcher is one of your most important hitters and can easily play first base (or DH in the AL)?

                      Example: Last Thursday, the Giants played the Mets in a day game. Buster Posey wasn't in the lineup at all, having started the previous three nights. However, he would have provided a tremendous offensive upgrade at first base over Brandon Belt. (note: the Giants scored only 1 run on a below average starting pitcher in Thursday's day game). If Posey wasn't in the lineup at 1B because he needs rest, then it brings to question whether or not he is physically fit enough to be a MLB catcher.
                      If a catcher doesn't get some rest over the course of the season he's probably not going to have much left in the tank by Labor Day. Given they need rest day games after night games is the best option.

                      Here are three catchers who were major offensive contributors: Starting at age 27 Johnny Bench sat out at least 20 games per season. Carleton Fisk sat out about 25 games per season. The back to back years he caught almost every game he had injury problems the following year. Pudge Rodriguez usually sat out 20-25 per season. In 1975 Fisk hit .331 with 10 homers and 52 rbi's over the second half of the season. He attributed his success to missing the first half of the season with an injury.
                      Last edited by tg643; 08-14-2012, 10:14 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by azmatsfan View Post
                        If catchers can hit well enough they will often switch their positions. Craig Biggio switched to 2nd base. I've heard the Mets wanted to switch Piazza to another position, but he resisted. It wouldn't surprise me that, if Buster Posey and Joe Mauer continue to hit well, they'll be switched to other positions as they get older.
                        Posey was the shortstop he freshman and sophomore seasons of college. The team needed a catcher. He volunteered.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BiZmaRK View Post
                          It certainly wasn't anywhere close to hot when the Giants played a day game at home against the Mets on 8/2. But Posey was out of the lineup.

                          About Molina. He isn't one of the two most important offensive players in the Cardinals lineup, while Posey is one of the two most important offensive players in the Giants lineup.
                          BiZmaRK, in your OP, you said, "one of your most important hitters." You didn't specify top one or two. Molina is one of the most important hitters on the Cardinals. Currently second in BA. I get your point that it certainly hurts a team to not have the best lineup in place. I think the ability to play a second position is important. However, most managers will still opt to have the catcher sit out. At least that is what the Cardinals have done this year. Must be the same with the Giants. If your OP was a statement that MLB players are not "fit," then you would need to know how much a decision to sit out is the player's choice and how much is the managers. JMHO!
                          Last edited by Cannonball; 08-11-2012, 02:52 PM.
                          Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                          I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                            If a catcher doesn't get some rest over the course of the season he's probably not going to have much left in the tank by Labor Day. Given they need rest day games after night games is the best option.

                            Here are three catchers who were major offensive contributors: Starting at age 27 Johnny Bench sat out at least 20 games per season. Carleton Fisk sat out about 25 games per season. The back to back years he caught almost every game he had injury problems the following year. Pudge Rodriguez usually sat out 20-25 per season. In 1975 Fisk hit .331 with 10 homers and 52 rbi's over the second half of the season. he attributed his success to missing the first half of the season with an injury.
                            With Perez, Griffey, Rose & Foster in the Reds lineup and Lynn, Rice, Evans in the Red Sox lineup, Bench and Fisk weren't as important to their team's offense as Posey is to his. Furthermore, did Bench and Fisk show the capability of playing first base as Posey has? Putting Fisk or Bench at first base was likely not as viable an option/upgrade for the Red Sox or Reds respectively as putting Posey at 1B for the Giants.
                            Holding a pitcher accountable for how many runs his team scores is like holding the designated hitter accountable for how many runs his team allows.

                            An individual statistic is meaningful only if it is based strictly on what the player does and not on what the other players on his team do.

                            Contrary to what most baseball fans claim, a pitched ball which is hit into play is not a strike.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BiZmaRK View Post
                              With Perez, Griffey, Rose & Foster in the Reds lineup and Lynn, Rice, Evans in the Red Sox lineup, Bench and Fisk weren't as important to their team's offense as Posey is to his. Furthermore, did Bench and Fisk show the capability of playing first base as Posey has? Putting Fisk or Bench at first base was likely not as viable an option/upgrade for the Red Sox or Reds respectively as putting Posey at 1B for the Giants.
                              If Posey gets burned out and hits .220 without power down the stretch he isn't of value to the Giants offensive lineup. A catcher being in the day time lineup after a night game at another position is not rest.

                              Comment

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