Jose Castillo’s -22 FRAA (fielding runs above average) at 2B last year might have bought him a ticket to the pine.
There has been a lot of talk about Freddy Sanchez taking over at 2B but Bucco Blog is hearing Littlefield might be considering a different option.
Left hand hitter Frank Catalanotto.
Oh, he’s no superstar at 2B by any means, but he can play play the position almost as slick as Castillo can. No – I didn’t say Catalanotto has Castillo’s range – I said he has the same range in his zone as Castillo has.
True, Catalanotto might commit a few more errors at 2B than Castillo. But since we are overloaded with southpaw pitchers facing right handed lineups who all beat the ball on the ground to the left side of the diamond, his chances will be reduced some anyway.
What Catalanotto offers over Castillo is his ability to get on base.
No, he won’t hit 30 home runs. But he might hit 15.
No, he won’t walk 75 times. But he’ll walk more than double what Castillo will.
No, he won’t score 100 runs. But he could score 20+ over Castillo.
And no, he won’t strikeout 100 times per year like Castillo does.
But more importantly, he is an 18% Cumulative Rbi% guy (see post below) – 5% higher than Castillo. THAT is why Catalanotto makes sense. We have men on base – we need guys who will bring them home.
Catalanotto would cost Littlefield about $4m per year and will provide no less than 2 offensive wins better than Castillo (probably as much as +4 depending on where he bats) and about dead even in defensive runs saved. Two wins is worth $4m in today’s market so the marginal cost factor makes sense as well. Throw in positive PR from adding a decent bat and ticket sales will also go up meaning even more revenue for the Pirates. (It’s all about hope, right?).
Oh yeah – he is also a solid #2 bat we don’t have.
Ok.. Catalanotto at 2B seems like a long shot but so was putting Soriano in LF. Just think: a Nady/Catalanotto platoon in RF and a Castillo/Catalanotto platoon at 2B.
Slick move Littlefield.