Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Catching Options: Part 1

The 2008 season begins in less than a week and the Mets have a serious lack of depth at catcher. Brain Schneider has barely played due to hamstring problems, Castro is injured, and Cancel is injured, leaving only Raul Casanova healthy. One guy that could sneak up if Schneider gets hurt again or Casanova injures himself is Salomon Manriquez.

The 6 foot 1, 25 year old right hander has never seen the major leagues and finished the last 2 seasons at AA. He has had months where he has crushed the ball but is a very hot and cold hitter. Last season, after batting .306 in April and .327 in June, Manriquez ended the year with just a .275 average. In April of 2006, Manriquez got off to hot start batting .352 in April but ending up with a .257 average. He is more of a defensive player but so is Schneider so it really isn’t a huge blow to the lineup. If you are thinking, he is in AA isn’t that a big jump to the majors. It really isn’t that rare, especially for catchers. A few years ago Mike Jacobs got called up only to hit a homerun his first at bat. Jacobs ultimately was traded along with Yusmeiro Petit for Carlos Delgado. Manriquez would be used primarily for defense and could see time this year.

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