Do they still do the worst column of the week thing at Grantland? I love those things! Let’s try to top the good folks at Grantland in this space today!
My baseball consumption and internet reading have been way down in the first month-plus of 2014. The bosses at work are really making me like actually work a lot lately in this post-Marxist, post-industrial capitalist world. Little do they know that this column is being written on the company’s dime! I feel like I’m starting to finally win here. Long introduction long, I’ve been having to follow the season pretty much through Grant Brisbee’s columns to this point, and earlier this week, Brisbee provided an embarrassing gif of Buster Posey catching the fear as Jason Heyward slid in to the plate, eluding Posey’s fraidy-cat tag.
I’m with Darryl Ratzlaff who tweeted at Giants beat writer Hank Schulman, “was little league. Franchise philosophy? I havent seen Sanchez scared of contact Injury in his head.” That’s exactly right. Posey might have more tools than Hector Sanchez, but Hec has a plus-plus heart. They say you can’t measure heart, but I just did.
Defensive Runs Saved has Posey at +1 on the year and +16 for his career, but I’ve got news for John Dewan: that play linked to above qualifies as a Defensive Run Lost (DRL), another new stat I just created. Worse, watching Posey run for the hills with a runner barreling in on him has a cascading effect on the rest of the club. When they see the highest-paid player on the squad dogging it in a meaningless Ryan Vogelsong start in May, they know they don’t have to bother selling out for the team either.
What’s that you say? Posey is hitting .292/.386/.467 while leading one of the game’s best teams (so far) in WAR? Posey might be first in WAR, but he’s also first in appeasement and last in heart. And to think, the Giants could’ve drafted an all-heart gamer like, I don’t know, Justin Smoak or Gordon Beckham instead.
It’s time for Sabey-Sabes and fantasy owners everywhere to either give Posey his outright release or move him to third base. They say good-hitting catchers don’t grow on trees, but Andrew Susac is hitting .312/.404/.610 at Triple-A Fresno. Plus, Hector Sanchez is a money player. He’s already got 16 ribbies this year. I know this is FanGraphs and so you guys don’t know what ribbies are, so I’ll educate you. A ribbie is a run batted in, meaning a player drives in another member of his team via a walk, hit, or even an out. It’s something gamers who don’t care about their UZR or OPS+ or wOBA or WAR or VORPS or FIP do for the ball club in pursuit of victory.
I really feel for Sabey-Sabes, his skipper—Boch, Giants fans, and Posey fantasy owners. Posey is the Giants all-time San Francisco leader in Championships+, another new stat I just made up, but he’s sold out to sell sports drinks and protect his health to avoid another potentially career-threatening injury. What’s more important: keeping Posey healthy so the Giants don’t have to trade Kyle Crick for Carlos Beltran later this summer, or trying to win a game in May? If you answered winning a game in May, you’re a get-it guy or gal. Each game is equally important. This isn’t Animal Farm; some wins aren’t more equal than others. Duh!
I can’t stress enough to you how important the phantom tag heard ’round the world is to this season. It’s an even year, so you’d think the Giants would just waltz to the World Series a la 2010 and 2012; however, that plan was dashed nearly three years to the day that Scott Cousins took Posey out. The Giants can’t recover from this unless they turn things over to the young bucks with nothing to lose in Susac and Sanchez. Sabey-Sabes has pulled off this addition by subtraction once before when he dealt Bengie Molina to Texas and turned catching duties over to the eventual Rookie of the Year in 2010, a guy named Buster Posey. That guy is gone now.
It’s time to look beyond the stats and sell high on Posey.
In all seriousness, one could make the case Susac is the top prospect in the Giants’ system right now. As the trade deadline approaches, if the Giants stay in contention, a catching-needy team would be wise to take a run at Suasc. He’s shown power, patience, plus-plus looks, and the ability to throw out Billy Hamilton five times thus far during his minor league career. The 24-year-old second-round pick out of Oregon State could have a bright future if he can stay healthy, as injuries have plagued him dating back to college.
This article was funded by Take it Back PAC: Andrew Susac for Starting Catcher in 2014. It was entirely facetious with the exception of the final paragraph.
Mark Reynolds graduated from Dominican University of California in 2008 with a degree in Political Science. Since graduating, he's been "blogging" about baseball and other topics.