Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rumor Has It

Every year there are obviously trade rumors. And every year one of my favorite players has seemingly been involved in the rumors in some way. Xavier Nady going to the Pirates was the first of the summer heartbreak. Joe Smith wasn't traded until December but the trade still hurt. Throughout the years various writers have written the names of Mike Pelfrey and Bobby Parnell as trade bait. Yet, this year it is not about who will be traded. It's about how the team would change after the trade.

It is no secret that the Mets are disappointed in the offense they have gotten from their catchers this season, particularly Mike Nickeas. Now, according to Joel Sherman they are looking to trade for a right handed catcher. Some names mentioned were Ramon Hernandez, Miguel Olivo, and Kelly Shoppach.

The Mets have every right to look for a different backup catcher. They are looking for any way to improve the team and this could be one improvement. But I'm not going to lie and say this improvement would excite me. My heart is with their current backup catcher and that takes my head in that direction too.

If they really want a backup catcher they should first find out what happens when they use their current 2nd catcher as an actual backup. Terry Collins has done quite a bit of platooning this season. That platooning leads to more playing time for the perceived "backups" and puts them in situations they might not simply be up to.

However, if the Mets are looking for a right handed power bat for the bench, catcher is not really the ideal position. Since the beginning of time the backup catcher has been the last man off the bench because there's just so much risk in the position. Players can substitute in other positions in an emergency without much trouble but there are usually only two players on a team that can actually catch. If a team wants to use their backup catcher as a regular pinch hitter they are leaving themselves vulnerable if the starter needs to leave the game.

The biggest thing with this seems to be the Mets desire not to have a textbook backup catcher but have a platoon partner for Josh Thole. Personally, I'd rather see the Mike Nickeas figure things out than watch Ramon Hernandez and his .215 batting average. One of the biggest things this year has been the clubhouse. Most will probably laugh when I say taking out Mike Nickeas could hit the clubhouse hard but don't discount that.

I also fully believe the bullpen has hurt the team more than the backup catcher position and the Mets should be looking to improve there as much as possible.

But this is all just how my brain works. I am probably the only person looking to save Mike Nickeas. I just would really like to see my favorite player get a full season in the big leagues. The Mets can tear my heart out and shred it into millions of pieces after the season.

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