NOTE TO THE TEXAS RANGERS:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is not a catcher.
In yesterdays second half of the double header, Kason Gabbard threw well in his first start since being recalled from AAA. In the third inning, with two outs, Gabbard delivered a very blockable ball into the dirt striking out Jose Reyes, it was scored a wild pitch which led to Reyes reaching first and thus more pitches for Gabbard.
Yes, it was in the dirt so technically it is on Gabbard but let’s call a spade a spade, if you’re in the big leagues you must make that play 99 times out of 100.
After the defensive display by Salty I fully expect the Rangers’ starters to begin faking injuries only so they do not have to throw to him.
As I said day one (and many of you have said the same thing)…..he is too big to be a catcher, there are very, very, very few catchers who have been succesful at Salty’s size. I can think of a couple here recently Sandy Alomar, Jr. and A.J. Pierzynski.
Alas, there’s a reason the prototypical catcher is shorter and stockier than say, well, a firstbaseman.
He cannot get down on the ball quick enough due to his enormous frame.
He cannot get “out of the shoot” quick enough when trying to throw runners out (and I stress trying, see here).
Coach Ryan says, hit your knees, mask to the dirt, glove between your legs and EXHALE.
The good news is (trying not to make this totally negative) he is only 23, so he is still maturing as a player so hopefully in 3 years I can chalk this up as just another typical kneejerk reaction by me.
Problem is, as you get older, you don’t get any smaller (dangit, I couldn’t help myself).
With this log jam comes pressure.
Hopefully the brass can make the right choice as to who is the better all around player out of this lot. They who do not make the cut, trade them for good, legitimate prospects, or if we’re in the thick of it in a couple of years, for pieces needed to get to the playoffs.
With this said, I gotta admit, I’m a little worried, mainly because of the recent track record the Rangers talent evaluators have had here in Texas, but I’m sick of harping on that little issue, for now at least.
Anywho, go Rangers!