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Hedges / Catcher

Hedges is an anomaly in MLB:  one the 2-3 best "Defensive" C's, and arguably the worst definitely 2-3 "offensive" regular C.

His profile SCREAMS to be used differently than other C's.    When Padres are winning a game, Hedges being on the field significantly increases their chances of actually winning.  When Padres are losing a game, Hedges batting significantly increases their chances of actually losing.

I will play devil's advocate for Hedges here, which I rarely do:  Pads have been bad for a long time.  Hedges has been primary starter for a long time.  NOW a Pads team aggressively pursuing AT LEAST 12 win improvement and with a C capable of displacing Hedges as starter on O.D. for the first time really since Hedges debut INCREASES the value of Hedges by creating more situations where his skillset can actually help them win.  Silver lining of Hedges bad offense is he is a reverse split guy; actually nominally better vs RHP (i.e. not profiling as true platoon only like Margot for example).

So do this:   Start Mejia 80% of the time, Hedges 20%.  BUT  Hedges enters every game Pads are winning by 1-3 runs in/after the 6th inning.   This won't be 50% of Mejia's starts since some bigger leads, some tie games will also = wins, but it will be a significant # of them; more than last year(s).  Similarly, Mejia enters Hedges starts when Pads are losing by 1-3 runs in/after the 6th inning.  Should be a lower % since could be winning, tied, or losing big.   I believe in actual playing time this would result in something like a 65/35 or 60/40 split; but with a WAY higher % of Hedges extreme skillset being in the game where it helps the team more. 

The big "risk" of course is inserting the 2nd C in the 6th-7th inning risking injury and not having a C on roster.  I am near certain this "risk" is VASTLY overestimated, and in particular with a player like Hedges, conservatively "holding" the vastly superior defensive/offensive situationally player on the bench 'just in case' is a LOSER.  I'd rather risk losing one game with an emergency "non-Catcher" than decrease chance of winning daily by sticking to old dogma.  The other solution of course, is to have 3 C's on roster.  In that case, I might go 60/20/20 Mejia/Hedges/Torrens; but Torrens would never sub in to games like the other 2 except as a more traditional PH, or maybe in a blowout.  Playing time outcome:  50 Mejia / 35 Hedges / 15 Torrens.  Carrying the 3rd C depends on the rest of the Pads 25-man roster position players, but some variations it might make sense, especially if Mejia is going to get a little playing time in other places like DH, corner OF, or maybe even 1B

If they seriously consider using both Catchers in alot of games they would have to prepare in advance.

At minimum work someone in ST as an "emergency" Catcher.(Myers?)...or yes,carry a 3rd Catcher.

If the 3rd Catcher could also be an emergency 1b/OF all the better.

 

Quote from MrPadre19 on December 11, 2019, 11:01 am

If they seriously consider using both Catchers in alot of games they would have to prepare in advance.

At minimum work someone in ST as an "emergency" Catcher.(Myers?)...or yes,carry a 3rd Catcher.

If the 3rd Catcher could also be an emergency 1b/OF all the better.

 

Well, he wouldn't be the "3rd C", but think Mejia fits this description...

That seems like a of moving parts to try and make things work with Hedges. IF SD is that unhappy with the C situation, just cut bait and get someone that can handle 70% of the load and get a veteran back up. I personally think AJP will have a lot of egg on his face if he gives up on Mejia this quick after spending Hand to get him.

I think the best situation is to trade Hedges, as good as his defense is, and bring in a good vet to back up Mejia. And then rely on Barajas to keep working on improving his defense and then we are set for C until Campusano is ready. Maybe a Hundley or Wellington Castillo could be a good option, is 33, from the Dominican Rep same as Mejia.

Quote from BoosterSD on December 11, 2019, 12:38 pm

That seems like a of moving parts to try and make things work with Hedges. IF SD is that unhappy with the C situation, just cut bait and get someone that can handle 70% of the load and get a veteran back up. I personally think AJP will have a lot of egg on his face if he gives up on Mejia this quick after spending Hand to get him.

I think the best situation is to trade Hedges, as good as his defense is, and bring in a good vet to back up Mejia. And then rely on Barajas to keep working on improving his defense and then we are set for C until Campusano is ready. Maybe a Hundley or Wellington Castillo could be a good option, is 33, from the Dominican Rep same as Mejia.

I'm not arguing FOR Hedges, but it's not that easy to "just" both 1) Trade Hedges and 2) 'get someone' (i.e. Trade) to start.   I like the 2nd part of your idea better; Trade Hedges, add a vet backup who's more comfortable in the mentor role to Mejia.

BUT if they don't, could run with this idea & generate more wins.  I don't get why Pads haven't seen this... I don't need a Ph.D. in Advanced Statistical Analysis to see the obvious....

Hedges' Defensive WAR he provides is real... but a lot of the time spent with Pads as 75% starter it has been meaningless b/c the entire team's OBP is too low & K's are too high; which he's a big part of.  Just shift his usage to when it matters.  It's like starting Franmil Reyes in the OF, then subbing him out defensively with the lead later on.  He won't "get into a rhythm" offensively... but that doesn't matter, b/c he never has his whole career!

Quote from Brian Connelly on December 11, 2019, 1:27 pm
Quote from BoosterSD on December 11, 2019, 12:38 pm

That seems like a of moving parts to try and make things work with Hedges. IF SD is that unhappy with the C situation, just cut bait and get someone that can handle 70% of the load and get a veteran back up. I personally think AJP will have a lot of egg on his face if he gives up on Mejia this quick after spending Hand to get him.

I think the best situation is to trade Hedges, as good as his defense is, and bring in a good vet to back up Mejia. And then rely on Barajas to keep working on improving his defense and then we are set for C until Campusano is ready. Maybe a Hundley or Wellington Castillo could be a good option, is 33, from the Dominican Rep same as Mejia.

I'm not arguing FOR Hedges, but it's not that easy to "just" both 1) Trade Hedges and 2) 'get someone' (i.e. Trade) to start.   I like the 2nd part of your idea better; Trade Hedges, add a vet backup who's more comfortable in the mentor role to Mejia.

BUT if they don't, could run with this idea & generate more wins.  I don't get why Pads haven't seen this... I don't need a Ph.D. in Advanced Statistical Analysis to see the obvious....

Hedges' Defensive WAR he provides is real... but a lot of the time spent with Pads as 75% starter it has been meaningless b/c the entire team's OBP is too low & K's are too high; which he's a big part of.  Just shift his usage to when it matters.  It's like starting Franmil Reyes in the OF, then subbing him out defensively with the lead later on.  He won't "get into a rhythm" offensively... but that doesn't matter, b/c he never has his whole career!

I very much agree with this in theory. Hedges would be much more valuable to us as a 7th/8th/9th inning replacement. The problem is that most teams carrying 2 catchers leave their backup catcher in reserve for as long as possible. Maybe Tingler would be more progressive with his approach than other managers have, but I wouldn't bet on it.

So why not use the now available 26th man to roster Torrens?
If not a 3rd Catcher then who?

What would be more valuable than rostering a 3rd Catcher that allows us to start the offensive Catcher and Sub the Defensive Catcher?

Normally it would be an extra BP arm or a PH bat.

But the Padres are a bit different as currently set.

We have an offensive Catcher  and an extreme defensive only Catcher.

So if no moves made we should seriously consider a 3rd Catcher as we sit now.

 

 

Yeah, I'm just really questioning the old school baseball logic of not using the 2nd C earlier in the game than is typical (i.e. "never"); ESPECIALLY when the C is Hedges' ultra extreme good D, bad O.   Yes, you COULD lose a game specifically b/c the sub gets hurt, and you have no one to go to for the rest of that 1 game, but how can you play with that mentality when the sub really does improve your chances of winning each game they enter & there's a 99%+ chance they won't get hurt?

The thing is, further playing devil's advocate with Hedges, he actually has above average power, so he'll occasionally run into one or hit a double; much more power than a "typical" slap hitter 2nd C.  Not "worthless" at plate if say we give up a 1 run lead & it's extra innings; he's just "all or nothing", and the 75% (OBP) - 80% (BA) "nothing" as a primary starter in a less than stellar lineup in years past just hurts the team too much.

It’s usually wise to keep one position available anyway in extra inning games so it just makes sense to make that one guy the backup catcher.

I still think in our unusual position using the 26th guy to carry a 3rd Catcher makes some sense.

Especially when/if we have a guy Ml ready....ie;Torrens or Campusano in a year or so.

But I’m thinking our Catching situation may be quite different once those guys are ready.