28 January 2012

Good Idea...Or Terrible Idea?

In none too surprising news...well, news! It's been about two weeks now since Seattle sent All-Star pitcher Michael Pineda to New York for backstop hopeful Jesus Montero. Two weeks-ish later and on the first day of Fan Fest we get this:

"I talked to him a couple minutes ago and he said he'd be next to me all the time," Olivo said. "I told him he's welcome to come and I'll help him with everything I've learned in baseball. I told him, 'The days you catch, I'll be looking at you to see what you're doing wrong. And the days you hit, maybe I'll learn something about hitting from you.' We can go back and forth."


I realize it would be impossible to prevent Olivo and Montero from interacting with one another considering they play for the same team and such, but this is isn't such a great idea. Miguel Olivo is a terrible catcher. Absolutely terrible. Out of all the catchers in 2011 only four catchers ranked worse in the fielding department than Olivo. We watched our graceful catcher scramble to the backstop 11 times last year due to several unsavory passed balls. Miguel also went ahead and created 11 errors, while posting an awful Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) score of -3. He probably shouldn't be teaching anyone, let alone someone the Mariners have a vested interest in molding into a decent catcher. It's not all awful, to be somewhat fair. Olivo is in the middle of the pack as far as preventing base larceny, and pitchers don't seem to mind throwing to him, but the idea of him instructing anyone in a craft in which he himself is lacking, is still unfavorable.

 I'm not convinced that Montero can catch. I'm not sure he should catch. He's huge, immobile, and doesn't protect his throwing hand. But management wants him to catch and they want him to be a respectable catcher. Seattle didn't seem to have a problem with the kind of defensive value they got out of Olivo last year, so in the end if Montero can become even a moderate upgrade, I speculate the Mariners would be okay with it. There is no guarantee that just because Olivo is a bad, Montero will turn out bad. The quality of your mentor does have some effect on how well you do at your craft, but it isn't everything. This was unavoidable; Olivo was going to take Montero under his wing. I certainly hope this goes better than I am envisioning at the moment.

But hey, those who can't do teach... right?

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