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2014 Back up Catcher

2014 Back up Catcher

PostPost #1 by DougDE » February 12th, 2014, 1:00 pm

In one of Roch's most recent blogs, he lists the backup catcher battle as one of the things to watch this Spring. He guesses Steve Clevenger is the favorite. I understand the backup is never an exciting topic but I wish we had a better option then this. I think Weiters might hit a little better if we had an offensively competent enough backup to give him 35-40 games out from behind the plate. Even if some of those were at DH. I admit I know nothing about either candidates defensive skills. Is Caleb Joseph never going to be ready to even be a decent backup? I feel like we're giving other teams minor league retreads a shot without giving our own the opportunity. I thought he could hit a little.
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Re: 2014 Back up Catcher

PostPost #2 by ofahn » February 12th, 2014, 1:15 pm

DougDE wrote:In one of Roch's most recent blogs, he lists the backup catcher battle as one of the things to watch this Spring. He guesses Steve Clevenger is the favorite. I understand the backup is never an exciting topic but I wish we had a better option then this. I think Weiters might hit a little better if we had an offensively competent enough backup to give him 35-40 games out from behind the plate. Even if some of those were at DH. I admit I know nothing about either candidates defensive skills. Is Caleb Joseph never going to be ready to even be a decent backup? I feel like we're giving other teams minor league retreads a shot without giving our own the opportunity. I thought he could hit a little.

At this point the consensus is that Joseph's bat is ahead of his glove and he just had his best year at the plate as a 27 YO beating up on AA pitching.
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Re: 2014 Back up Catcher

PostPost #3 by Old Sneakers » February 12th, 2014, 1:28 pm

Your thinking has validity DougDE. But because the club has "Such a rising star in Weiters" spending more to have a quality second option at Catcher doesn't make sense within the warehouse.

The good news is that this team is going to let Weiters play 140 games this season and completely wipe out his knees and free agent value. When he leaves, he will have so much wear and tear on his body that replacing him with an affordable option just makes good sense. So much for the "Mauer with power" hype. Shame too, he had such potential.
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Re: 2014 Back up Catcher

PostPost #4 by thezeroes » February 12th, 2014, 4:38 pm

.325/.401/.468/.869 is Steve Clevenger's slash line in 177 at bats last year in the Minors. He was acquired with Feldman in the trade that sent Arrieta and Strop to Chicago. It was known he was recovering from a strained oblique and therefore did not get a lot of At Bats in 2013.
The following is his slash line in 506 Plate Appearances in AAA .314 .373 .436 .809 This was over 4 Seasons.

I have listened/read about the issue with "Backup" catchers for the Orioles since I have been a fan. Other teams seem to have the same issue. What I would like to know is what fans expect from a backup?? Do you want a player that is the ninety percent equivalent on defense of Wieters? Then you want a player that hits .300/350/.400/.750. Well excuse me, this would be a starter in my book.
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Re: 2014 Back up Catcher

PostPost #5 by osforlife » February 12th, 2014, 7:48 pm

Don't generalize a player based off of 200 unsuccessful major league at-bats. Look at Steve Clevenger's minor league statistics. He's hit wherever he's been. His lowest average at one minor league affiliate is .304. His career minor league batting line is .311/.373/.428. Clevenger is probably one of the players I look forward too seeing play the most. I've been suggesting him as Baltimore's left-handed-platoon. The Orioles have insisted Urrutia is not ready, Colvin did not pass his physical, Baltimore passed on Brett Wallace, no trade looks imminent. Xavier Paul and Steve Clevenger look to be the strongest options, which is sad. Nolan Reimold actually has better splits against RHP, so he's probably the option at this point though, with Delmon Young/Steve Pearce hitting against LHP. Regardless, I project Clevenger to be much better than Baltimore's back-ups in recent years.

Johnny Monell hit well (.275/.364/.494) for the Giant's AAA affiliate last year, but that was in the PCL. I'd like to see what he can do in the International League. Brian Ward should get a good amount of playing time for AAA in 2014, but he's never even touched AAA yet, so he isn't a back-up candidate at this point yet. If Baltimore could combine Caleb Joseph's offensive game and Brian Ward's defensive game, the Orioles would probably have a pretty good prospect. But, Caleb Joseph probably won't be all that much of a catcher anymore with Monell and Ward both in AAA with him. He could be useful as a utility player at some point, but he needs some time in AAA first.
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Re: 2014 Back up Catcher

PostPost #6 by ofahn » February 13th, 2014, 10:13 am

It would be nice to have Clevenger show some real aptitude at C. This would allow Buck to rest Wieters more from the outset which might improve his hitting. The real upside to that scenario is that it would substantially improve his trade value and leave us with an acceptable replacement.
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Re: 2014 Back up Catcher

PostPost #7 by Tucker Blair » February 13th, 2014, 10:32 am

We had this posted on the site a little while ago:
http://orioles-nation.com/2013/10/24/ba ... k-catcher/
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