January 10, 2008

Mirabelli Will Return

According to sources, Mirabelli is close to accepting a one-year deal from the team that will pay him in the range of a guaranteed $550,000 to serve as backup to Jason Varitek. The guaranteed portion of the deal is down from the $750,000 Mirabelli earned last season, but incentives allow the catcher to reach an approximate $1 million ceiling that he had last year. ...

With Varitek entering the final year of his contract, the Sox have serious long-term catching concerns beyond this season.
That's for damn sure.

It's a fact: back-up catchers cannot hit. In the last two seasons, Mirabelli, 37, has had OPS+s of 51 and 63 -- which is actually pretty much middle of the pack. By comparison, last year's two MFY back-ups were Jose Molina (61 OPS+, career 64 OPS+) and Wil Nieves (10 OPS+). Still, I was hoping we'd seen the last of the Stud Who Formerly Hit Bombs.

A SoSH exchange:
DJnVa: Maybe he'll get lucky and the balls will find gaps this year.

HighHeat: Well, a ball needs to be put in play before it can find a gap, but I like your optimism.


CaKeY said...

meh.. I'm a Dougie fan. I'm glad he's back to help defend the title.

s1c said...

I like Dougie, but I was hoping it would be Cash that was the back up catcher. He seemed to show that he could handle Wake's knuckle last year and at least he is younger than Doug.

Looks like the team is starting to round out but it would be nice if the Twins would make up their, fragging minds about Santana so that we can see what else Theo has in his back pocket.

Zenslinger said...

It must be the good looks, cakey? That makes you a fan?

Ofer said...

10 OPS+, huh? That has to be a record for batters with more than 50 ABs. Any way to check that?

Bartman said...

A couple a backups have left the Sox recently and did a lot better out from under Tek's shadow. We should be looking for a primary, as well as backup, catcher.

Unknown said...

I was hoping we'd go with Kottaras. He handled two knuckleballers in AAA last year, and hit well the second half of the year. He'd even be cheaper than Mirabelli! What possible upside does Dougie have?

And an OPS of 10 doesn't even crack the top 200 lowest OPSes with 50 or more at bats. Remember, pitchers hit in the national league, and some of them hit a whole lot worse. In fact, even if you get rid of pitchers, it doesn't crack the top 200. In 1988, Tom Nieto somehow managed to accumulate 64 at bats with only 4 hits (none for extra bases) and 1 walk. An OPS plus of -54. Or should that be called and OPS minus of 54.

In fact, in 1909, Bill Bergen rang up 346 at bats with only 48 hits. Good for a line of .139/.163/.156, an OPS+ of 1.

Remember Glenallen Hill? Solid player, until his last year, 2006, when he gathered 66 at bats witn an OPS minus of 17.

Kory Casto OPS minused 13 last year in 68 at bats.

Hall of famer Mel Ott, 511 home runs (as many home runs as Cy Young has wins) gathered 68 at-bats in '46 when he was 37. OPS-minused 14.

Speaking of awful years, why the hell did we give Tony Pena 304 at-bats in 1993? OPS+ of 32. And somehow he managed to hang around the league for 4 more years!

Baseball-Reference is great!

Patriots Film said...

Kevin Cash? Really? 4 OPS+ guy?

No, unfortunately, there is no better option than Mirabelli. I wish that weren't true, but it just plain is. Focus on improving the team in other, attainable areas.

Ofer: I wish.
That's with no pitchers, too.

SoSock said...

I don't think Cash vs. Mirabelli will matter much as far as catching Wake because I think Wake will be bullpen this year. Cash would be a better back-up for all around use. And Kottaras is an interesting prospect. When we were all hot-to-trot about Santana, I dug through some of the A & AA rosters, saw that he had experience with knuckleballers and wondered about offering Cash to MIN and bringing him up. Moot point now!

allan said...

Patriots Film's linked chart is here.

sparky said...

I'll never forgive the guy. He cost me the contest last year!

Patriots Film said...

Thanks redsox. No idea what happened to that.
PS: I'm theflinger, google's defaulting to using my blog name for some reason...whatever!

laura k said...

I'm a Dougie fan. I'm glad he's back to help defend the title.

I'm a Red Sox fan. So I want a new backup catcher.

allan said...

I was hoping we'd go with Kottaras.

He was born in Scarborough, Ontario, so I hope he can hit a bit more and be able to be the Official Player of Joy of Sox!

(Any Sock born in or currently in Canada can qualify!)

9casey said...

SoSock said...
I don't think Cash vs. Mirabelli will matter much as far as catching Wake because I think Wake will be bullpen this year.

Wake in Bullpen , really , I think he will start the year as a starter.

Off Dougie all the good catchers start ,backups play once week , Dougie will be Dougie.What do you expect for 100abs and sporadic playing time....They must like him in the front office and the locker room........