Friday, November 25, 2005

Metstradamus Endorses Ramon Hernandez

Has Omar Minaya eaten yet?

Today it is revealed that the very busy Mets GM has offered free agent contracts to both Ramon Hernandez and Bengie Molina, where I assume that whoever signs first wins. Seems like Omar Minaya thinks that the two catchers are equals.

Not quite.

The big question about the catchers is their defense...with Mike Piazza's swinging gate baserunner policy such a hot button issue, this is going to be the biggest question regarding whoever replaces him. Molina holds the clear edge over Hernandez here. In 2005, Molina threw out baserunners at a .313 clip (20 for 64) while Hernandez is .257 (18 for 70) in that category. Hernandez has also been crucified for using the sweep tag instead of blocking home plate in multiple instances during the playoffs in October. But in fairness, he does call a good game, and contribues defensively in ways other than throwing out baserunners, just as Mike Piazza did without receiving enough credit for it.

When it comes to hitting, there's no contest. And that's not because Hernandez's numbers are that much better than Molina, but because Hernandez's numbers fit better with the Mets. Let's assume that Ramon Castro, and his .290 average in 31 AB's against lefties last season remains as the backup. Should your starter also have better numbers against lefties as Bengie Molina does (.393/.430/.648 in 122 AB's vs. lefties in 2005, .253/.294/.361 in 288 ab's vs. righties last season?) or should he be able to hit righties as does Ramon Hernandez (.238/.284/.400 in 80 AB's vs. lefties in 2005, .304/.333/.464 in 289 AB's vs righties last season?)

Then the intangibles. Molina has more big game experience, but also more weight and more years on this earth. To me, that's an edge for Ramon Hernandez.

So the question for you to answer for yourselves is this: Is the ability to throw out baserunners worth having two similar catchers on the roster? To me, Hernandez fits the Mets new slant towards offense, while fitting better with Ramon Castro. Castro will see more time as a defensive replacement and a spot starter against lefthanders with Hernandez in a Mets uniform. With Bengie Molina, there's never a reason to put Castro in the lineup.

Not to say I wouldn't be happy with either/or...but if it's a question between the two, and there's no surprise up Omar's sleeve via a trade, then the endorsement from this website goes to Ramon Hernandez for being a better fit.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

i,ll go with hernandez also, only because of the z, (same as bill the fizh) LETZ GO METZ.
BILLY BART.

jabair said...

wonder if delgado's goatee goes because of willie's FHR's (facial hair regulations)

Jordan said...

You are forgetting one key factor. The abillity to hit with runners in scoring position. Hernandez has good numbers, 276 with runners on, 296 with RISP, .271 with RISP w/ 2 outs, and a measly .091 with the bases loaded.

Jordan said...

Sorry about double posting about not finishing my thought, but my computer was freezing and had to submit or i would of lost the data. Anyway like i was saying, Molina has great numbers in key spots: with runners on he hit .303, with RISP he hit .292, with RISP w/ 2 outs he hit .361, and with bases loaded he hit .286. Molina is clearly more clutc then Hernandez, Molina is great in the clutch while Hernandez is mearly solid. Also Molina brings the better overall average, and defense (as you mentioned), and most likely would cost less. Ramon has the egde in age (which doesn't really matter because the delas would most likely be 3 years and Molina would just be ending his prime when he is done with the tract) and has a bit more pop. Therefore, IMO Molina is a better fit, I also agree with you however, that i won't mind which one we get as lon as we get one of them

Metstradamus said...

Jordan,

It is a close call for sure.

Jordan said...

good answer :)....but im with you on the fact that i really dont care as long as we get one

Rob said...

I'm sick of this "Molina's great defense" stuff.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/five-untrue-things-youll-learn-about-the-angels-this-week/
From that page:
I'm not sure Bengie's even a good defensive catcher at this point. His throwing has deteriorated -- from 36 of 81 base-stealers (44%) in 2003, to 18/69 (26%) in 2004, to 20/64 (31%) this year; even while his barely younger brother has been improving from 28% to 49% to 53%. And more noticeable on a day-to-day basis is Bengie's increasingly desperate habit of jabbing with his glove at pitches in the dirt, instead of trying to move his fat body in the way.
He led MLB with 10 passed balls this year to Jose Molina's three, but that doesn't begin to tell the story, since official scorers rarely even call passed balls anymore. The real action is in wild pitches: John Lackey -- he of just 71 BB in 209 innings pitched -- ranked third in all of baseball with 18 wild pitches this year; reliever Scot Shields came in seventh with 12 (and K-Rod had eight, and Esteban "I'm Not Even on the Playoff Roster" Yan uncorked five, etc.).

Vincent said...

Personally I don’t feel that Molina is the “SUPER” upgrade defensively.

SEASON Player POS G GS INN TC PO A E DP PB SB CS RF FPCT
2005 B.Molina C 105 100 873.1 691 641 47 3 5 10 44 20 7.09 .996
2005 R.Hernandez C 97 94 806.0 684 640 36 8 4 6 52 18 7.55 .988


What really scares me is that the perception that Molina is considerably better defensively.
When you match up passed balls & wild pitches and errors he is not all he’s cracked up to be.
Passed Balls wild pitches Errors
B. Molina 10 68 3
R. Hernandez 6 28 8
Castro/Piazza 6 32 3/C 2/P
Ausmus 0 26 1


Another great fear is B.Molina’s lack of mobility, which is clearly shown in the number of passed balls
And with wild pitches. Granted he is superb when throwing out the runner attempting to steal, but I feel
That a lot more need be considered.
Also 90% of the time the baserunner steal the base from the pitcher.

Jordan said...

90% of the time the baserunner steals off the pitcher, yes, but a ctahcer with a good arm will decrease that number dramitically. Ex: Reyes at times was scared to steal with Yadier Molina catching