Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What Will You Give Me for a .300+ hitting Catcher?

Michael Barrett is a bad catcher. I have been saying this since last August, and following his sucker punch and earlier this season. He must go, or the Cubs will never do anything close to sniffing the postseason and World Series. He is not currently or certainly the only reason, but he is a key guy for the Cubs to move.

Tonight, Big Z was pitching and was eight-up and eight-down before Zambrano struck out Brewer pitcher Dave Bush, but Bush reached on Barrett's NL-leading ninth passed ball. Brady Clark followed with his first homer since June 7.

Carlos Zambrano (12-5) lost his second consecutive start after going 9-0 with two no-decisions in June and July. He gave up six runs -- four earned -- five hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings.Zambrano had been 10-0 in 15 road starts since losing to the New York Mets on Aug. 7, 2005.

Agreed, Big Z should not have lost his composure, and should have sucked it up, but this is not a team that can afford these defensive lapses, and as the stats indicate, Barrett is a butcher.

Rick Morrissey can blather on all he wants about what a great hitter he is, but all the batting titles in the world cannot make up for his bad defense, and bad catching, whether it is handling pitchers or throwing out stealers.

I would bet his trade value is at an all-time high. Certainly, another catcher can be found that is not such a liability. What about Hank White?

Just as Zambrano got killed by Barrett today, Greg Maddux was often the victim of shoddy infield defense. A pity that he never had Cesar Izturis playing behind him. After ten days, you can already tell he is a great defender. He made an over-the-shoulder catch in short center look routine, and his range is sensational. Very fluid. Even if he doesn’t hit a lick, he is worth watching him play shortstop.

Also: Dusty Baker says something hilarious.

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