Sunday, October 16, 2011

2011 Los Angeles Dodgers Season Review: Catcher

In the fourth of my season review, I look at the catchers for the Dodgers. Like the rest of the infield, the catcher's position wasn't going to provide a lot of offensive production. It was a little better than expected, but still below-average.

Dodger catchers

50 R
20 2B
2 3B
23 HR
76 RBI
0 SB
58 BB
127 K

Rod Barajas
.230/.287/.430, 16 HR, 47 RBI, 13 2B, 22 BB, 71 K, 97 OPS+
- Barajas was basically the player he had been for his entire career -- low average, low on-base skills and some pop. His defense was passable. His catcher ERA (if you subscribe to such a theory) was 3.56 (team 3.54) and caught 25 percent of attempted base-stealers (up from 15 percent in his month-plus with the Dodgers in 2010). He could be back, but hopefully not at a price north of $3 million, as he was in 2011.

Dioner Navarro
.193/.276/.324, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 6 2B, 20 BB, 35 K, 67 OPS+
- Navarro was a curious signing, as the Dodgers gave him a million bucks. He was coming off a poor season for the Rays and didn't do much to improve on those numbers, save for a few more home runs. Navarro was jettisoned in August. His defense wasn't much to write home about, but he did have a 3.41 cERA and threw out 25 percent of potential base-stealers.

A.J. Ellis
.271/.392/.376, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R, 14 BB, 16 K, 116 OPS+
- Numbers-wise, Ellis was the Dodgers' best catcher this season. Granted, he only had 103 plate-appearances, but he did well in those appearances. He obviously can take a walk, which is good. However, he doesn't do much else offensively. Still, he can't be any worse than the other Dodger catchers. And for the price (peanuts, basically), he should be retained.

Tim Federowicz
.154/.313/.154, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 36 OPS+
- He was acquired in the Trayvon Robinson trade and didn't do much for the Dodgers in his few September plate appearances. He looked a little overmatched in his debut, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him start back in Triple-A. But if he plays well enough, he could find himself in L.A. before too long.

Hector Gimenez
1-for-4, 1 K
- Gimenez was everyone's darling in Spring Training. People wanted to see him make the team and do well (myself included). Instead, he started one game at catcher and made three pinch-hit appearances before getting injured. He spent the rest of the season at Double-A and likely will be on another roster come 2012.

- It's kind of hard to do an MVP/LVP for catcher, but Barajas got the most playing time of the five and did the most damage on offense. Ellis was solid in limited playing time. The other three were forgettable.

Just to rub a little salt in the wound, here are Carlos Santana's numbers this season:

.239/.351/.457, 27 HR, 79 RBI, 35 2B, 97 BB, 133 K, 124 OPS+

Thanks, Neddy.

Next up: Outfield

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