I assume that the collective lack of activity on the blog during the last few days is because we have all been reeling from the stunning news that the Giants have signed Eli Whiteside to a major league contract. Not a minor league contract, like the Marlins gave Aaron Rowand, but a major league, occupy a 40-man roster spot & block a perhaps legit player, contract. Let's mull this one over:
- Eli Whiteside's biggest claim to fame is his silly hairdo.
- In 2010, Eli Whiteside was the ultimate in 'right place at the right time'. He earned a lot of money, a trip to White House, & multiple valuable prizes for not playing a single inning of the NLDS, NLCS, & WS.
- In 2011, in a career high 236 AB's, he hit .197.
- In 2011, he was the worst hitter in baseball from July onward (when the Giants really needed him).
- His career OBP is .274.
- Hitting is his strong suit.
To put it plainly, if Buster Posey were to have some sort of setback (or merely needed a few days off), is Eli Whiteside a person you would want in-the-mix to pick up the pieces?
Having said that, here is my take on the catching situation:
- As I've mentioned, ever since the days of Tim McCarver & Steve Carlton, I've detested the notion of a 'personal Catcher'. Therefore, I detest the notion that Chris Stewart is Tim Lincecum's personal Catcher. The Manager has to put the best lineup on the field every day, & it is his decision based upon lots of factors. It should not the Pitcher's decision, & every Pitcher should be ready to pitch to every Catcher.
- Chris Stewart is almost as anemic a hitter as Eli Whiteside.
- Chris Stewart has a reputation as a great defensive Catcher, but that reputation seems to be based upon a handful of flashy throws. I remember an equal number of disastrously wild & ill-timed throws. I don't buy that Chris Stewart is a great Catcher.
- Chris Stewart is not the answer.
- Hector Sanchez appears to be able to hit, so that offers hope.
- Hector Sanchez apparently is an OK Catcher, but nothing great.
There are no compelling reasons to keep either Whiteside or Stewart. If I were calling the shots, I would be finding a reliable veteran backup, plus sticking with Sanchez. If we go with 3 Catchers, Sanchez stays up. If we don't, Sanchez goes to Fresno.
Of course, now we have committed $600,000/$175,000 &, more importantly, a 40-man roster spot, to Whiteside, so, once again, we have tied up some resources on a player with little to offer.
(Affeldt $ + Fontenot $ + Mota $ + Whiteside $ almost gets you a Beltran ... would you rather have Beltran/Runzler/Burriss/Hembree on the ML Roster or Whiteside/Affeldt/Fontenot/Mota? This is a question in all seriousness, because we are already going to be paying Runzler, Burriss, & Hembree anyway. In my opinion, that trio is almost as good as Affeldt, Fontenot, & Mota, while Beltran obviously represents a significant upgrade over Whiteside.)