ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 3: Starter Jaime Garcia #54 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on June 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
here's some idle thinking to tide you over to the afternoon game, while you eat your cap'n crunch and write your "x-men: first class" fan-fic.
fangraphs gives us the run-down on catcher trade targets for the clubs in need of behind-the-plate assistance (notably, san francisco and boston). while he's not in the class of the main trade targets, bryan anderson (zips projection: .261/.319/.387) compares reasonably well with chris snyder (zips RoS: .227/.339/.378). anderson, of course, is in AAA and has had a terrible start to his season, while chris snyder is mostly getting lucky.
you can't really discuss the value of catchers without acknowledging how hard it is to compare catcher defense. i certainly don't claim to know much about the subjective perception of the defensive prowess of some of these candidates. but it seems like bryan anderson is hovering on the verges of defensive adequacivity. he seems like a decent target, and probably should be grabbed before the matt treanors of the world. will we get anything great for him? no, but he's not a terrible fit in this class, especially for a club looking for a cheap catcher they can hold onto for a while.
just thinking out loud: the red sox might have a catcher need AND want an emergency starter they could stash at pawtucket. while demoting boggs was the dumbest thing the club has done in a while, we do have a "starter" lingering in AAA who has some track record as a big league starter. i'd rather see boggs re-join our bullpen, but if the club has soured on him, i'd like to see what we can get for him.
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the astros DFA'd bill hall yesterday, with the intent of releasing him. i'm sure not going to campaign for us to grab him. he's been worth a cumulative -0.3 WAR since the start of the '09 season. he doesn't defend particularly well, except maybe at 3rd base, and his hitting is on the downslope (zips RoS .303) which makes him descalsoesque, except old and without the lucky/clutch hitting. he and jason bartlett can form the freshman class of the Hall of the Kinda Good for a Year or Two, which can hold court in the shed behind the Hall of the Very Good.
mostly, the story just made me think about skip schumaker. how bad do you have to be to get your unconditional release, as a player designated a starting second baseman? well, hall was hitting for a fetid .269 wOBA, and actually getting lucky (.341 BABIP). hall hit for a stunning 37.4% K rate. schumaker has struggled with an injury and gotten unlucky (.243 BABIP) but he's hitting for a .252 wOBA.. funnily enough, he's breaking even as a replacement value player, since he is receiving some benefit from a lucky UZR. i doubt he's become a +9 second baseman this season. going forward, the bottom will probably fall out of his UZR, and his BABIP will probably rise. he'll most likely end up looking more or less like last season - a touch below replacement value, with bad fielding and hitting that's nothing to write home about.
if skip doesn't pull out of his batting funk, though, how much leash has he earned? he's currently the worst hitter on the team, if you exclude the pitching staff and mark hamilton's tiny 16 PA sample. how long can a bad-glove second baseman hit so badly without getting released or pushed to a reserve role? unfortunately, i think we may find out.
i had a depressing moment the other day when i filled out an all-star ballot. i couldn't vote for albert. i just couldn't. it would smack of the worst kind of homerism, or maybe rewarding albert for what he'd done in earlier seasons. so, i voted for joey votto.
then, like a dieter eating a banana split after kale, i voted for yadi and an all-cardinal outfield. so, one step back, a few steps forward. as homer-ish as it seems to vote for an all cardinal outfield, there's a hell of a good argument for that choice. right now, rasmus, holliday, and berkman are three of the top four outfielders by WAR. and, sorry, ryan braun, you're just not getting my vote this year. i could pretend i had a good, principled reason for that, but mostly, i'd much rather vote for three cardinals if there's a plausible case to be made. if i have to vote for joey votto at first, i'm not going to sweat the 4 run difference between berkman and braun.
i rounded out my NL team with rickie weeks at second (brandon phillips can watch from home), polanco at third, and reyes at short. oddly enough, david freese is STILL fourth in the NL among 3B by WAR, even after being out for roughly half the season so far; so if you really want to vote for another cardinal, he's your closest bet.
if it makes you feel better, albert pujols (1.2 WAR), mired in the biggest slump of his life, is more valuable than ryan howard thus far (0.7). you're welcome.
more fun with comparative WAR in small sample sizes: andre ethier (1.6 WAR); allen craig (1.6 WAR). craig doesn't even get a slot on the ballot. write him in at second, folks!