Toronto Blue Jays Employed 3 Catchers Who All Hit Under .200 In 2013
The Toronto Blue Jays 2013 campaign came to a painful conclusion yesterday with the Blue Jays owning a rancid statistic for the season. All three of their catchers they employed throughout the year hit below the Mendoza line causing great concern behind the dish north of the border. I would have liked to known what the Vegas odds for MLB catchers hitting under .200 on the same team were.
The most glaring issue and much discussed is Blue Jays starting catcher J.P. Arencibia who batted a paltry .194 in 138 games. To add insult to injury Arencibia had the 3rd lowest on-base percentage of any American League player since 1918 finishing with an OBP of .227. The Jays dealt top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud anointing Arencibia their catcher of the future moving forward. The Blue Jays brain-trust had no idea the Roberto Clemente Award nominee would falter and digress to this proportion. Just to add salt to an open wound, former Blue Jays catcher Yan Gomes had a breakout season for the playoff bound Cleveland Indians.
The Jays back-up and personal catcher for R.A. Dickey also struggled with the lumber batting .175 in 45 contests. Thole began the season in triple A with the Buffalo Bisons where he stroked a .322 batting average but the offense never matriculated with the big club.
The third member of the under .200 club is former Jays catcher Henry Blanco. The veteran was on the Jays opening day roster seeing action in 15 games before his eventual release. Blanco bated .185 in his brief stint as the Jays back-up to Arencibia.
In their defence the catching position did dial long distance 22 times in 2013 (Arencibia 21, Thole 1). However 12 of Arencibia’s home runs were solo jacks while the other 9 were of the 2-run nature. The contact-challenged catcher never hit a 3-run homer or grand slam all season.
I am not sure if any other major league team has employed 3 catchers under the Mendoza line for a complete season but regardless it an area the Blue Jays must address if they plan on contending in 2014.