It is not often when Joe Maddon criticizes one of his players publicly. So when he spoke about the catching situation yesterday, it certainly raised our eyebrow an inch or six (via Marc Topkin)…
“We can not sacrifice behind the plate if we are not in fact picking it up at the plate…”
In other words, JoeMa can tolerate John Jaso’s defensive liabilities if he is hitting. But Jaso is hitting .223 (.291 wOBA) with only 5 home runs and a .299 OBP.
And defensively he may be even worse. He has thrown out only 10 of 60 would be base stealers (16.7%) and can’t block a pitch to save his life. The other night when Jaso caught a pop-up, my buddy said with a straight face, “at least he caught that one.” We wanted to laugh. But sadly, he was right.
This means we will probably see a lot of Kelly Shoppach in the last ten games. Maddon had said earlier this month that we would see a lot of Jose Lobaton behind the plate. But that was back when even Maddon didn’t think the Rays would be playing meaningful games right now.