The Rays Tank: Cards Beat Rangers, Rays Could Use Some Catcher Defense

MLB Chatter

The Cardinals beat the Rangers last night in Game 1 of the World Series, eking out a 3-2 win. I wish I could watch the Series, but MLB's blackout rules for the postseason are rather frustrating. So for now, I guess I'll content myself with listening on the radio (probably easier on the ears anyway).

I hadn't really made this connection yet, but Grant Brisbee notes how the Blue Jays have had a large, indirect effect on the playoffs this year. In retrospect, that Napoli trade looks bad like maybe Anthopoulos pulled the trigger too quickly.

If you want to learn more about sabermetrics, there's an article over at The Book Blog summarizing some basic, yet important, facts about pitching. It's definitely worth a read for both newbies and experienced pros, as it was a valuable refresher course for me.

Here's a really interesting interview with Kelly Johnson, who talks a bit about his approach at the plate and how he prepares to face a pitcher. 

Rays Talk

I'm not finding much out there on the Rays at the moment, so this will be a short day for this section. I would like to call your attention to this incredible study by Bojan Koprivica over at The Hardball Times; he essentially created an entire new metric for blocking the plate, and showed that plate-blocking ability can account for as great a difference as 3-5 runs over the course of the season.

When I saw this study, my first thought was to see how poorly the Rays rated. And well...Kelly Shoppach and John Jaso both rate out among the worst 15 catchers in the league at plate blocking. Shoppach was worth -3.4 runs last year, and Jaso was slightly better at -2.7.

It'd be really incredible if the Rays could get a competent catcher one of these years.

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