Friday, July 15, 2011

Yorvit Torrealba Is Not the Answer at Catcher for the Texas Rangers

There have been a lot of questions about this team going into the second half of the season, and a lot of those questions are concerning the starting rotation. One of the positions that I believe needs addressing is catcher.

Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli are currently the team's catchers with Torrealba seeing the majority of playing time behind the plate. Both players were acquired over the previous offseason, and they have seen almost the same amount of playing time.

The only problem is that I believe Napoli is the better catcher, and I fail to see why Torrealba is getting the majority of starts. Torrealba has a losing record as a catcher while Napoli has the second best catcher ERA behind Jeff Mathis of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Here's a quick breakdown of both players:

Yorvit Torrealba .261 .298 3 0.6 .327 .985
Mike Napoli .245 .353 13 2.0 .385 .995

AVG = batting average, OBP = on-base percentage, WAR = wins above replacement, CS/SB = catcher's caught stealing/stolen base ratio, FP = fielding percentage

While Torrealba has Napoli beat in batting average, it's the latter that is statistically the better player. He's a huge offensive presence and has been better behind the plate in the number of games he's played there.

In fact, putting Napoli behind the plate opens up a spot at first base. If management finds it possible, Chris Davis could be brought up from Triple-A Round Rock and get a full-time spot there. Either way, I still believe that Yorvit is not the man who should be starting at catcher. Napoli is too dangerous of a player to keep on the bench.

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