A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

The *Great* Battle of 2 Terrible Back up Catchers

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 20, 2011

I would like to just talk about the Niners game but I realize this is a Giants baseball blog and I can’t talk about football every day. Harbaugh’s comment last night that “Alex was on the money all night” was a joke. He was horribly inaccurate in the first half. But his first touchdown drive was magnificent. I’m not sure if I could get behind his “Pro Bowl” nomination given to him by Harbaugh, but he’s been very, very good. I think the defense looked a little better than it actually is teeing off on a 1-legged QB all game. But I thought the offense didn’t get ENOUGH credit for how it performed against one of the best defenses in either league. All in all, a signature win in this epic re-birth of a season……

Anyway, enough about football. Like the rest of you, I gnashed my teeth at the news that Whiteside is being brought back, according to Bobby Evans, to “compete with Chris Stewart for the back up catcher job”. After seeing how pathetic that 2-headed monster was last year I can’t believe the team would risk it happening all over again. I truly believe they are going to bring up Hector once he sharpens his tools a bit more down in AAA. They can’t have an automatic out every time the C position comes up in the LU (if Buster is at 1B or if he gets hurt again). I would be ok with Stewart backing up Posey at least for the first 6-8 weeks of the season before he just can’t do it anymore—then Hector comes up. Seriously, just how bad can Hector BE defensively? If he’s that bad then there’s almost nothing he could do offensively to make up for his weaknesses. I’m going to hold out hope that he got to this point in his career by being able to at least be passable defensively as a catcher. At least until we see otherwise.

It HAS to be Stewart, right? Is it possible that Whitey could actually beat him out? How? For starters, Stewart is better offensively. It’s not by much, they’re both awful, but he’s better, at least looking at last year’s *production*.

batting average: .204 > .197

OPS: .592 > .574

OBP: .283 > .264

strikeouts: Stewart struck out once every 9 at bats, Whitey an astounding once in ever 3.6 at bats

Stewart can bunt better than Whitey (in fact, this is a strength he can bring to the team, it’s not like he’s just BARELY better than Eli at bunting– he’s one of the best bunters on the team).

Stewart has a better arm than El Presidente. Again, it’s just not a little better, he’s got one of the best arms in the league. This is an actual strength he brings to the team, not just “better than Whitey”.

Stewart can actually catch balls thrown to him by pitchers. I don’t know if they keep stats on this but Whiteside dropped easy to catch balls ALL THE TIME! Many of them would have been called strikes had he caught them. This is a basic skill that any catcher, even in little league, HAS to have. It’s inconceivable to me that a major league catcher could have trouble catching a ball throw to him that wasn’t a knuckleball. And yet there Whiteside was, dropping fastballs in the strike zone with great regularity……..

So Whitey doesn’t win a single category above. And now we’re supposed to believe there’s going to be an actual competition? What a joke. The back up catcher job IS an important one. It’s probably MORE important on a team with an excellent starting catcher because of the huge drop off you suffer if that guy goes down. It makes me sick to think that Sabean and Bochy can actually envision a scenario where Whiteside is getting regular at bats next season………

28 Responses

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  1. Nipper said, on December 20, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Bochy likes them. Too bad BF!

    • Nipper said, on December 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

      Perhaps Bochy needs some poker buddies or dinner companions on the road.

  2. unca_chuck said, on December 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Where the hell is Ronny Paulino? The accidental Giant?

    ABZ, meet ABW.

  3. zumie said, on December 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Whitey and Stew both have lousy swings. Whitey’s is the classic “swinging gate” swing, and Stew does an inexplicable double-hitch in his swing that takes away his lower body in the swing entirely.
    But between the two, it has to be the Stew-meister.

  4. zumie said, on December 20, 2011 at 10:18 am

    That was a blast watching the Niners win that game last night. It was great feeling that magic we used to feel about Niner football. Harbaugh is easily NFL coach of the year award-winner.

    • twinfan1 said, on December 20, 2011 at 10:56 am

      The drive in the 3rd quarter after Pittsburgh cut it to 6-3 was probably the best of the year. Until then this game had the feel of one lost due to squandered opportunities…

  5. snarkk said, on December 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I would hope signing El Presidente means he’ll be around only as long as Spring Training, and no more. Having him actually on the MLB roster going North, barring some kind of far fetched injury scenario to the catching corps, would be a cruel joke. What more need he do to prove he does NOT belong as a catcher on a MLB roster?…

    • Nipper said, on December 20, 2011 at 11:26 am

      Really Snarkk quit agreeing with BF so much! You can be independent sometimes.

  6. Big flavor said, on December 20, 2011 at 11:13 am

    As I understood it at the time, Whitey had scored himself a major league deal. 600k if he makes the team, $175k for playing in the minors in 2012. God only knows why they would pay this stiff $175k to do what they could find any scrap heaper to do…

    • Nipper said, on December 20, 2011 at 11:27 am

      He’s future coaching material!

  7. Big flavor said, on December 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I just noticed that both Eli and Stewey were drafted in the 2001 draft– 6th and 12th round, respectively.

  8. Kevin said, on December 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Good article on Belt over on MLB


  9. Alleykat said, on December 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Rather have bullpen catcher Billy Hayes ketch over Whitey.

    • ewisco said, on December 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      he can’t ketch, he’s been in a sloop lately.

      • TedSpe said, on December 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm

        I didn’t even know he sailed

      • unca_chuck said, on December 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm

        Ketch or kvetch? Whitey can kvetch with the best of ’em.

  10. zumie said, on December 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    What would be the over/under on SF Giants who played on the team in 2011 but will never play major league baseball again? 5?

    • Flavor said, on December 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      well, off the top of my head, that list might go: Burrell, Whitey, Stewart, Waldis Joaquin, Edelfsen, Surkamp, Orlando Cabrera, Aaron Rowand, Miguel Tejeda, and Justin Christian…How many is that? I’m going OVER!!!!!

    • twinfan1 said, on December 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm

      You think Zito won’t pitch in 2012?

  11. PawlieKokonuts said, on December 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    As a coming-back-to-life 49ers fan, I stayed up for the first half, which seemed to take 19 hours, then read and went to sleep. Happy to learn we won so handily….in record-setting defense fashion.

    The Giants’ catching debacle is the point from which I part company in typically following Sabean and Co. obsequiously. I really don’t get it. As transactions day by day noted catcher signings, I was mystified we did not even sign someone’s respectable castoff — not even Paulino, or Pawlieno, if you prefer.

    The sentimental side of sees something good about Whitey: I saw him play a decent game hitting and catching on a Sunday in August 2009, as we beat the Phillies, led by Zito. Fine. And Whitey helped us to the Crown. Fine. And Stewart has a cannon arm and watching Mota cheer his HR last year was gold, pure gold. Fine. But ferfecksake, come on! This is ludicris [is that how the rapper spells it?]! It’s almost fetishistic how the Giants won’t alter things behind the dish. Are the pitchers that much in love with either guy? Not likely.

    This does not make sense to my feeble mind, and it tends to doomerize me even though I know it is way to early to doomerizificate.

    • PawlieKokonuts said, on December 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      sloppy writing: make that: “sentimental side of me sees…” and “way too early” not “way to early.”

      For the record, the mid-left-frontal is the sentimental side of me. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  12. Bozo said, on December 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Staying up until 1AM to watch MNF – Painful
    Being able to see the 9ers on TV, AND they win – Priceless.

    If the Giants want to pay lil Whitey to play in AAA, so be it. I mean Damon Minor (remember heem?) with 13 career HRs, is the New Orleans Zephyrs batting coach, weird things happen. I do know this, he will not be catching Timmy again and if the Giants want to give him 175 grand to babysit Hector, I’m OK with it.

    • snarkk said, on December 20, 2011 at 11:14 pm

      What would Hector learn from Eli? How to catch? No. How to hit? No. How to cash a check? Ok, there…

      • Nipper said, on December 21, 2011 at 7:59 am

        Snarkk you would be doing the same thing if you could. Play ball and get paid for it.

      • Bozo said, on December 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

        Snarkk, I didn’t say Eli would teach Hector anything. I said babysit him. I guess Whitehead could work with him on calling a game, since it looks like Decker is going to be a roving instructor and not managing Fresno.

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