Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Great Blue Jays Catcher Conundrum

Unfortunately for him, JPA's power
is his only valuable asset.
I have spent countless tweets debating this issue. I have even been blocked by a couple of people(although 1 has unblocked me after a couple of months) because of their sincere love for JPA, and my countless arguments against him. It is a great problem to have but unfortunately, it has divided Jays Nation, and has probably kept Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos up countless nights(although I imagine his newborn son has as well). What to do with the Blue Jays catching situation in 2013 and beyond? As we all know, J.P. Arencibia has clearly shown that he will hit you 20+ home runs a year, but he doesn't get on base. Travis d'Arnaud has not shown anything in the Majors, but his minor league numbers are better than JPA's, and he projects to be better. Anyways, I thought I would put all my arguments for my side(Travis d'Arnaud starting) down into a post so the people who disagree with me can share their thoughts in the comment section, and we could debate some more.

When told JPA has proven he can be an everyday Catcher, and d'Arnaud has not:
This is 100% the most valid argument that anybody can make on the JPA side. JP is an everyday catcher, but he isn't a "Division 1" catcher. He isn't Joe Mauer, Yadier Molina or Buster Posey, not that I'm saying Travis is, but d'Arnaud has a better chance to become one of those type of players because he can combine his power(which is basically the same as JP's) with the ability to get on base.

When told JPA is very good because he gets RBI's and deserves to be the starter because of that:
Call me when RBI's mean something and aren't dependant on your teammates and luck.

When told TDA should play 1st in 2013 and JPA should Catch:
Sal Fasano has said in the past that Travis d'Arnaud is one of the best defensive catchers he has seen. Travis is only 23, which means he has a ton of room, as does JP. But if you combine d'Arnaud's offense with his stellar defense, he has a chance to be an all-star for a long time in the AL.I'm not advocating a scenario where JP is on this team as well as TDA, but if somebody moves to 1st, it should be JP. Travis' defense is better obviously, and JP, as somebody who cares about winning, should be fine with the switch to 1st.

When told JP could play 1st, and d'Arnaud  could play catcher:
If no move is made in the off-season to acquire a 1B/DH, then I rather see Adam Lind play the position(DH) next season.  The reason for this being that the Jays need a pitcher, and JP can get you that, whereas Adam Lind cannot. Hopefully this doesn't need to be discussed anymore because AA brings in a player that plays 1B/DH...David Ortiz.

When told you can't get rid of JP because he cares too much about this team:
If a 3rd year player is upset about moving positions, and has a bad attitude about it, then I don't want him on my team. If he really cares about the team, he would do what's best for the team as a whole, which is having Travis d'Arnaud calling games and blocking balls behind the dish. The whole perception is that you can't move JP's position because he is older, and therefore deserves the respect of having a set position of defense. But if he really "cared" about this team like everybody says he does, he shouldn't have a problem with switching positions. So, he clearly doesn't "care" about this team so much that you can't trade him for a valuable piece.

Unlike his competition, Travis has more
 than 1 tool, 4 to be exact( Contact,Power,Arm,Glove).
When told JP did better in AAA, so expecting more from TDA is ludicrous:
Problem is, JP did not. Comparing JP's second year in Vegas and Travis' 1st year in AAA is like comparing apples and oranges. It is so much easier to succeed in the Minors when repeating a level(as shown by Asher Wojo.... this year before being traded), and that is why JPA had a "better" year than Travis at AAA. If you compare JP's 1st year and TDA's 1st year in AAA, it is ridiculous how much better d'Arnaud was. So, that argument is wrong. Oh, and by the way, Travis' 1st year at AAA, is better than JP's  2nd year according to wOBA and wRC+(JP .412/143 TDA .414/147).

When told trading JP would be regretted when d'Arnaud fails to meet expectations:
Travis d'Arnaud doesn't even need to have a wRC+ of 91(JPA's career #) next season to be worth more than JP. If his offense isn't what it is supposed to be, and it fails miserably, it can't be much worse than what JPA's is, and his defense, which won't change because of the league he is in, is still better than JP's.

I say package JP with some other pieces, and get a SP. That is what this team needs the most, and Travis d'Arnaud at his worst will likely produce overall more than JP does. Hand him the reins in April of 2013, and don't look back. They are both very nice guys, but when it comes down to winning, production is the only thing that matters.

Anyways, if you have any other points in favour of JPA that I did not answer, please leave them in the comment section below.

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  1. I think the RBI issue is an argument in itself. It's not dependent on your teammates, it's dependent on the team as a whole. Although this is the most basic argument, the only way you can 'hit yourself home' is a home run - and HRs obviously aren't as common as base hits. If you get a base hit, you're stranded. You can only rely on stealing home or getting hit in, which some people may consider clutch hitting (because you may be moderately nervous).

    It's a good topic to debate about, but I disagree with you on this one.

    1. Dude its see the ball hit the ball, nothing changes in your plan when there is a runner on second base and your upto bat; you look for your pitch and try to put a good swing on it the same way with nobody on.