Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Blowduca

Svrluga sez that Paul Lo Duca might be moving to the forefront in the Nats' catcher sweepstakes.
Read the story - which says the first option is to trade for a left-handed hitting long-term project, Arizona's Miguel Montero - and then scroll down. Lo Duca would still be Plan B - a free agent signing that would only help in the short-term - but he would certainly be sexier than Damian Miller, who folks told me yesterday appeared to be the fall-back.

Let's consider this.

  • Barry Sez:
    "Lo Duca is an accomplished hitter"
    Paul Lo Duca's on-base percentage was .311 last year. Brian Schneider -- the guy whose offense we couldn't stand -- had a .326. His OPS+, which adjusts his on-base and slugging averages for league and park was 80 last year, meaning he was 20% worse than an average hitter. Brian Schneider -- the guy whose offense we couldn't stand -- was 77, a smidge below.

    The average NL catcher created .15 runs for every out they made. Paul Lo Duca created 51 runs while using 355 outs, meaning he was 2 runs below the average NL Catcher. Brian Schneider -- the guy whose offense we couldn't stand -- was 4 runs below average.

    They're the same feckin' batter!

  • Barry Sez:
    "as one official told me last night, [Lo Duca is] 'a gamer.'"

    This is translation to mean: He's a redass. He's a fireplug of a guy who runs around slapping people on the ass going rah rah, let's go get 'em boys. It's important to note that he's one of the players who helped cement Lastings Milledge's reputation, by pseudo anonymously ripping his attitude any chance he got. It's widely suspected that he was one of the driving forces (perhaps with Billy Wanger) of the "Know your place, Rook" note left on his locker one game.

  • Barry Sez:
    "Though his defensive skills have dwindled - or were never that good"

    He's on to something with the latter. Paul Lo Duca caught just 18% of the runners trying to steal against him, which is in the bottom half of the league. He committed 9 throwing errors, which was second most in the league. Base stealers ran early, often, and late against him. He faced an average of .82 attempts against him per game, a number that was higher than all but one other regular NL catcher. So runners ran MORE often on him and with GREATER success than the average catcher. To say his defensive skills have declined is like saying that Pavarotti's singing skills have faded. They're both long gone! (How's that for a hip reference? I'm down with the kids today!)

  • Barry Sez:
    "he would add some punch to the lineup with quality at-bats."

    We've already established that he's Schneider-like with the result of his ABs. I don't know where this perception comes from. Well, I guess I do sorta. Lo Duca -- on top of being that tough and frequent talking man's man that makes sports writers (especially in LA!) go in a tizzy -- is the kind of high average (at least til last year), good contact batter that makes grizzled old baseball men nod approvingly because he knows how to "play the right way." The fact of the matter is that no matter how many times he DOESN'T strike out, he had a terrible offensive season, and he's not likely to improve given his age.

    While his 24/33 BB/K ratio is impressive (although those walk totals would look great in Soriano's batting line), those also compare favorably with Schneider's 56/56 totals. Schneider might strike out a bit more -- just 20 times over a full season -- but he walks 30 more times per year! SCHNEIDER HAS A BETTER APPROACH AT THE PLATE!

  • So if you want Lo Duca, you're getting Brian Schneider's bat, but without any defense. Sign me up.

    At least the dirtbag will give a good quote.

  • Special Uncle Teddy's Home For Wayward Youth Note:
    He likes to sleep with teenagers

    And the guy loooooves to gamble. especially on the ponies.

    So maybe he'd fit in afterall?

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