Backup Catcher: The Battle for Bleh

Friday, March 13, 2009

Backup Catcher: The Battle for Bleh

. Friday, March 13, 2009

Geovany Soto is a triple threat - hitting, game-calling, facial hair, he's got it all. The only thing he doesn't have is tireless invincibility. At least not yet. So the upshot of that is that we need a backup for those days where Geo's knees are screaming joints of Ben-Gay covered pain. For the last few years, we had Henry Blanco, who actually seemed to get better as he went along (.287 OPB in 2005, .325 last year), and who certainly got more likable. By the end, it's like we weren't even terrified of his crazy eyes and prison tats. Of course, if you look at his career statistics, he's been alterating decent years with terrible ones for awhile. Probably a good time to let him go, considering we were going to have to pay him actual money this year. So now we're choosing between a couple of catchers who you'd be happy with if they could hit .250. But they can't. Let us profile the candidates, plus one wild card.

Koyie Hill

Is Koyie Hill left-hooked, or right-hooked? I forget.

Age: 30
Career BA/OBP: .190/.257
Strength: Sawed off his fingers, then returned to playing professional baseball the next year. It's clear that he's descended from the Brawny paper towel guy.
Weakness: If he wasn't so ridiculously bad ass, would we not openly loathe the guy for his .095 batting average with the major league club last year? That's Garth Brooks with the Padres numbers.

Paul Gabor Bako

A young Paul Bako steps into the box

Age: 36
Career BA/OBP: .231/.305
Strength: Looks like your little league coach, so there's a sense of nostalgia there.
Weakness: His parents named him Gabor, so clearly he may spend time on the DL with various wedgie and purple nurple injuries.

The Wild Card

Another Cubs Blog brings up an interesting idea - why not sign Ivan Rodriguez? His one major issue - his hitting - still puts him far above both guys we've currently got in camp. His slugging ability is pretty dimished from where it once was, but he still manages to get on base with far more regularity than we'd expect from a backup. So what's the holdup? Two things - one, Hendry won't want to spend on the Pudge Rodriguez "brand," since Geo is still young enough to call the vast majority of games. Two, and this sort of relates to the first one, Pudge is represented by Scott Boras. Boom. Over. Done. Not happening. There is a growing list of teams who won't even draft players represented by the guy. To think that the Cubs want to go through the protracted pissing match necessary to sign a backup catcher on his way out the door? I just don't think it's realistic.