Monday, February 01, 2010

Mets Sign Frank Catalanotto

A google search for "Mets Catalanotto Intangibles" already turns up over 4,500 hits. Multiple sources have praised his "character" or "hustle" or that he operates as an "extra hitting instructor."

But really - what role does he fill? (And don't say "nice guy" because we're already giving Alex Cora $1.95 million for that).

He's 36 in April, he got 144 at bats last season, and his OPS has declined four years in a row (from 818-816-781-741-728).

In the last two years, he has logged 215 innings as a first baseman, seven innings at second base, and about 200 innings in each of the corner outfield slots. However, his career UZR is negative at all of those positions -- including an UZR/150 of -6 in right field, his primary position last year.

He's old, declining, can't play defense. Sure, I don't hate the signing if he's stuffed at AAA-Buffalo and we never see him. Sure, I don't hate the signing if he is free.

But if Catalanotto is anywhere near the major league roster, something is terribly wrong. We need that fifth bench spot to be a player with upside, or a player with one very good discernable skill (power for pinch hitting, speed for steals, great glove) which we can leverage when we need it. We don't need the Cat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Intangibles are often much more valuable the you think. Someone on the bench with the uncanny ability of reading pitchers and who is able to convey that skill to the youngsters can result in significant increases in productive output. Texiera, Delgado,Fielder, Manny and Arod have all been quoted as saying Frank has significantly helped their career. That's an impressive roster of players. Also, I understand he was the player who showed Delgado how to track pitchers in a book. I think this is the type of leadership the Mets need.