Sunday, May 24, 2009

Metsblog and Omir Santos, Part 2

Just to follow up on an earlier post. Here is a copy and paste from The first part is the news item, the italicized part is his "opinion":

In the Daily News, Adam Rubin writes, “Brian Schneider could return to the Mets from the DL within a week.”

… a few weeks ago, the talk was that santos would get sent down when schneider returns… now, i see no way the Mets can let this happen… castro has to go, unless the Mets again plan to carry three catchers… however, given all the injuries, and playing short handed, how is that justified… sorry, ramon…

Sorry, what?? For the record, here are their lines from this season:

Omir Santos: .270/.306/.444, 63 ab, 2 hr, 15 rbi
Ramon Castro: .253/.340/.425, 75 ab, 3 hr, 13 rbi (he homered and doubled today, so I'm guessing on the obp and slg).

Even if we were looking ONLY at this year and ONLY at a tiny sample size of about 70 at bats, Santos has NOT been better than Castro. But we're not.

Fact is, Omir Santos is a career minor leaguer with a line of .258/.304/.348. Ramon Castro has been putting up better numbers than that in the major leagues for years. Last year, struggling with injuries, Castro hit .245/.312/.441 for the Mets. The year before, he exploded for a .285/.331/.556 line for the Mets, hitting huge home runs down the stretch.

I don't love Castro. He's a decent player. But the idea that Omir Santos should be on the roster ahead of him is silly.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Metsblog and Omir Santos, Part 1

Matt Cerrone, after reporting a news article on his site, then proceeded to add the following opinion:

"…i still believe santos is sent to triple-a regardless of how he does, or how castro behaves… unfortunately, it's not like the Mets to cut a player like castro, in favor of a younger, potentially-better player, like santos… at least not yet…of course, this is all meaningless right now, if schneider is unable to return any time soon…"

This is the kind of crap that makes me crazy. I love Metsblog. Love it. But a blog like that isn't a responsible place for an opinion stated like fact.

This isn't saying that he isn't entitled to his own opinion. That's' the great thing about blogs and the internet - you can get information out there, you can express your opinion - its a free open forum through which information can flow and people can learn. It's great.

But it's not great in this context. The owner of Metsblog is no longer a blogger having fun - he's been endorsed by SNY. His site is one of a handful of most-trafficked sports blogs on the internet. The power that this guy wields to influence the opinion of other Mets fans is huge. And with great power comes great responsibility. Metsblog, like it or not, is the mouthpiece of the organization on the internet. I hear people parroting the stuff that Matt Cerrone says all the time, almost line for line. It is irresponsible given the context he is now in. Three years ago, it was fine.

This above post is a perfect example of this problem. In one fell swoop he disparages the organization and makes a pretty silly comment comparing Castro and Santos. You wonder why people are turning against the Mets? Because opinions like this are no longer confined to bar stools and private conversations - now, they are blasted all over the internet and given the credibility of the organization's endorsement.

And for what its worth, there is no chance Omir Santos is anywhere even close to the player Ramon Castro is. Castro is an INCREDIBLE second catcher, and if it weren't for his fragility, he'd be a starter. Maybe he's got a conditioning problem or something, but the indisputable fact is that the Mets are better with Castro behind the dish than with Schneider or Santos. Why?

#1: Castro is an infinitely better defensive catcher than Schneider:

"These numbers are so stunning it suggests that the unfortunate Schneider was somehow tipping off pitches:

SANCHEZ caught by CASTRO 65 ABs, allows 0 HRs and OPP SLUG%=292 SCHNEIDER 108 ABs, allows 6 HRs and OPP SLUG%=454

HEILMAN caught by CASTRO 50 ABs , allows 0 HRs and OPP SLUG%=340 SCHNEIDER 195 ABs, allows 9 HRs and OPP SLUG%=456

FELICIANO caught by CASTRO 36 ABs, allows 0 HRs and OPP SLUG%=306 SCHNEIDER 134 ABs, allows 6 HRs and OPP SLUG%=455

WAGNER caught by CASTRO 49 ABs, allows 0 HRs and OPP SLUG%=204 SCHNEIDER 99 ABs, allows 3 HRs and OPP SLUG%=313

SANTANA caught by CASTRO 333 ABs, allows 6 HRs and OPP SLUG%=297 SCHNEIDER 524 ABs, allows 15 HRs and OP SLUG%=401

PEDRO M caught by CASTRO 138 ABs, allows 2 HRs and OPP SLUG%=377 SCHNEIDER 185 ABs, allows 15 HRs and OPP SLUG%=600!!!!!

Same phenomena holds with John Maine, Claudio Vargas and Nelson Figueroa. Fascinating, isn't it?"

Of course, that doesn't help the comparison to Santos, who I know nothing about defensively. But its a good data point to suggest that Castro is a good defensive catcher (this aside from what we already know by watching him).

#2: Castro is a better hitter than Santos, and it isn't even close.

Here is Omir Santos' age, level, and OPS for the last two years.

2007 - 26 years old - AAA: 613 OPS 2008 - 27 years old - AAA: 651 OPS

His career minor league batting line is .258/.304/.348. The guy can't hit. At all. He CAN NOT HIT. The guy has 4 home runs TOTAL since 2007. He hits one this week and people start to think he's a better option than Castro. In his time with the Mets, Ramon Castro has posted a 770 OPS. That is a damned good number.

Barring injury or something like that, there is no universe in which Santos is "potentially better" than Castro.