Rene RiveraIf you were one of the many Rays fans relieved to learn that the Rays had cut Jose Molina earlier this off-season, I have some good news and some bad news.

The Bad News

Rene Rivera, a catcher that is part of the Wil Myers trade with San Diego, sounds an awful lot like Molina v2.0.

Consider this review of Rivera from Corey Brock of MLB.com:

“Rays fans getting a good dude in Rene Rivera. Revived career at 31, threw out 29 on bases, stole strikes, pitchers loved throwing to him.”

Molina is a good guy. He didn’t play 80 games in a season until he was 33. Despite his inability to block anything in the dirt, by most accounts, pitchers loved throwing to him. And even though Molina hasn’t been great recently, he was once very good at throwing out baserunners, twice leading the AL in percent caught, including 33 of 75 in 2008.

Now consider this: We have all heard how great Molina was at framing pitches. We heard it ad nauseam. Well, Rivera was just as good last season.

According to Statcorner.com, 9.7% of the pitches outside of the strikezone were called strikes with Molina behind the plate. That was tied for 4th among all catchers in 2014 (avg. is ~7.2%). Who was Molina tied with? You guessed it, Rivera.

Now The Good News

Rivera is eight years younger and about 100 pounds* lighter.

 

* Educated guess.

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5 Comments

  1. Dave L says:

    I was thinking the same thing. Rivera was listed as 5' 10" 210 pounds.

    Plus he's Puerto Rican as well to boot to add to the narrative.

    So did the Rays insist on Rivera and the Friars relent? Is Rivera a upgrade over Hannigan? Hes younger at least.

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  2. Jim says:

    Are you guys high???

    He hit .252, 11 HRs, with a .432 SLG, .751 OPS and played 103 games. With those stats, he would been the MVP of our team last year, especially when you throw in that he can actually play the entire position of catcher. He can drop 20 pts off of his offensive numbers and STILL be more productive than the two jokes we had at the position last year!!!!

    To claim that he’s Jose Molina 2.0 is a farce.

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  3. Hey Jim...take a chill pill. Molina v2.0 is satire. Looks to me like we may have a catcher who can play 140+ games and run fast to first base.

    LOL!!!

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  4. Skateman says:

    He does everything better than Molina including framing. Last year he was one of the best catchers in the league. I love this pickup.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-little-technician-rene-rivera-craftsman-at-work/

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  5. Geoff Peterson says:

    This trade may fall through.If the Kemp trade gets declined, all the other dominoes may fall as the Padres would still have Grandal and would have no need for Hanigan or his contract. However if they wanted to include Grandal instead, let's make a deal.

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