Schneider And Castro Platoon Is Catching On
The more I think about it, the more I am becoming convinced that our catching situation will be a strength for the Mets in 2008. I was one of Paul Lo Duca’s biggest supporters and rallied hard for the Mets to re-sign him. Now that he is gone, I think I have to admit that the Mets will be better off for it. Sorry Paulie, but it’s true…
With the left handed hitting Brian Schneider, the Mets now have a true platoon partner that pairs up well with the right handed hitting Ramon Castro. Mets fans are already aware of the enormous power Castro can generate when he is at the plate, but did you know that in the last three seasons Schneider has driven in 153 runs in 1,187 at bats? That is only 17 RBI less than Lo Duca in the same period, and Lo Duca had 250 more at bats. Not too shabby…
Of course the biggest improvement at catcher will be defensively. Schneider has long been considered one of the finest game-callers in the league. His reputation with getting the most out of a pitching staff is highly regarded. He throws out about 40% of base stealers. In a recent article, Mets beat writer Marty Noble said he could be the best defensive catcher the Mets have had since Jerry Grote. That’s quite a compliment.
To finally have such a strong defensive minded catcher behind the plate is a huge confidence booster for the staff, that will result in more wins for the Mets in a season that is expected to be as tight as any race the team has ever been in. It could be the difference between John Maine winning 15 games or 18 games. It could be the difference in Pedro Martinez winning 17 games or 20 games. The team has not had a defensive catcher behind the plate in so long, I cant even imagine the impact it is going to make on the team.
It surely made an impact in 1969 and 1986…
The Mets could have done a lot worse behind the plate in this weak free agent market. As much as I will miss Lastings Milledge and Paul Lo Duca, lets face it Mets fans… The Mets have drastically improved behind the plate.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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