Sep 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia (9) hits a RBI single in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Blue Jays Reviews: J.P. Arencibia


Sep 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia (9) throws down to first base to get out Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth (not shown) in the ninth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Blue Jays defeated the Orioles 3-2 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports


Name: J.P. Arencibia

Position: Catcher

Stats:

Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB
2013 138 497 474 45 92 18 0 21 55 18 148 .194 .227 .365 .592 59 173
4 Yrs 380 1392 1299 140 275 55 4 64 193 74 400 .212 .258 .408 .666 78 530
162 Game Avg. 162 593 554 60 117 23 2 27 82 32 171 .212 .258 .408 .666 78 226
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/1/2013.

2013 Expectations

This being his third year as the starting catcher there were no huge expectations of Arencibia. There was hope that his defense would improve, especially if he was going to be catching R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball. The team showed a tremendous amount of faith…for the first game of the season. After that we turned to the defensive minded Henry Blanco and eventually Josh Thole. The Blue Jays weren’t fooling themselves into thinking they had a great defensive catcher but I am sure they expected more than a .988 fielding percentage from a catcher that was playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Arencibia took a huge step backwards and the faith the organization has in him is beginning to fade. 20 HR with an OPS around .730 and a middling batting average (about .230) were expected. At least he got the dingers…

2013 Transactions

J.P. did miss some time with shoulder and knee issues in July and August but nothing noteworthy that would explain his huge dip in production:

2013/08/10 Missed 2 games (right knee injury).
2013/08/07 Right knee injury, day-to-day.
2013/07/03 Missed 1 game (shoulder injury).
2013/07/02 Shoulder injury, day-to-day.

2013 Production

Can you really call it production? J.P. ranked last amongst ALL Major League batters with an OBP of .227 (the next closest qualifier, Alcides Escobar, had an OBP of .259. He reached base in less than one-quarter of ALL his plate appearances. His 21 homers were second best of his career (in 474 AB), behind the 23 he blasted in 2011 (in 443 AB). Looking closer, even his homer run rate has dropped. His OPS was a staggering .592 which ranked him 4th last in the majors for batting qualifiers behind Darwin Barney, Adeiny Hechavarria and Alcides Escobar. His 148 strikeouts were by far the team leader. Put that with 18 walks and a .194 Batting Average and you have a brutal offensive player. Perhaps one of the worst the Blue Jays have employed as a starting 9 contributor.

2014 Outlook

It could very well be an aberration or this could be the player J.P. is. No one disputes his dedication to the organization but I do doubt his ability to be a starting catcher in this league. Heck, I would take George Kottaras over Arencibia. At least his defense is decent. Arencibia is arbitration eligible and the Blue Jays most likely will qualify him but this means nothing to his future with the team. Look for Alex Anthopoulos to bring in some veterans to push J.P.. They may give him a chance because of past numbers but his leash will be short. if he doesn’t improve markedly in all facets of his game this may have been his last year as our starting catcher.

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  • Erik Trenouth

    He has been facing bursitis in his knee all year, but he will be one of the last people to actually admit that it had any effect on his play. The one thing that I will continue to give him props for is his dedication to the team and being on the field. Sometimes, however, it’s not always a good thing. I think he has it in him for a good bounce back year next season, but whether he can do it, and the team trusts that he can, is the bigger question. I just hope he doesn’t get cut free, end up in NY and haunt us for years.