After last night's game, the Rays DFA Michel Hernandez as expected. Hernandez, who will turn 31 next week, was hitting .242/.292/.323 in 107 PAs. Despite the poor offensive numbers, on most nights it seemed that Hernandez was an upgrade of Dioner Navarro. As we continue to quanitify the defense of a catcher and his handling of the pitching staff, Hernandez was looking more and more like the better option. Now that the we are ready to bring our Z-Game, Gregg Zaun gives us the best option going forward.The Rays and Hernandez both expressed interest in furthering Hernandez's employment in the organization if he clears waivers.
On a conference call yesterday, Andrew Friedman said multiple times that Zaun would get plenty of playing time especially against right handed pitchers. In 148 PA against righties, Zaun is hitting .252/.358/.417. For comparision, Dioner Navarro is hitting just .191/.227/.277 in 200 PA against them. While both catchers are switch hitters, Navi is the better hitter against left handers. Against south-paws, Navi is hitting .289/.297/.335 with 10 extra base hits in 97 PAs. Meanwhile Zaun has hit just .220/.347/.244 with just one XBH in 49 PA. It looks like we have the makings of an old fashion platoon on our hands which should greatly improve the production from the backstop position.
One question... Are you a Zaunbie yet?