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

Catching The One Place AA CLEARLY Messed Up

Right now it is super easy to blame the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays season on Alex Anthopoulos.

When “franchise altering” trades backfire on you you’re not going to look to smart.

But let’s keep it real and be logical about it.

If you knew the Jays were going to be bad you can complain all day. If you bought into what AA did in the last offseason you can only be mad at the 2013 season for a short time really.

Don’t get me wrong AA’s definitely lost the benefit of the doubt.

But you take risks as a GM, some work, some don’t. And Iooking back every roster risk AA took for every player is debatable whether that player should have been there or not.

But if there’s one position for the Blue Jays that AA clearly messed up on it’s catching.

He messed up on catching so bad it would be enough for him to get fired, no questions asked.

That’s because during Alex Anthopoulos 4 year tenure as Blue Jays GM he’s had catchers named John Buck, Jose Molina, Mike Napoli, Jeff Mathis, Yan Gomes, Travis D’Arnaud, Henry Blanco, and Josh Thole.

But somehow J.P. Arencibia played 2 full seasons ending with a career 275 on base percentage. And he just followed that up with one of the worst seasons in baseball history.

How good would Mike Napoli and Yan Gomes look in a Blue Jays uniform right now?

You already know what Mike Napoli’s doing if you’ve watched him with the Rangers and Red Sox over the last 3 years. He can also play 1st base so there’d be no need for putting up with Lind’s inconsistency.

And Yan freaking Gomes had a 294/345/481 slash line and put up a 3.7 WAR according to fangraphs in 88 games for the Indians! If you ever needed more proof the Jays might be cursed that’s it. Yan Gomes used to swing at pitches after the catcher had already caught it when he was with the Jays.

Jays fans have been questioning the Blue Jays scouting department after this season. But they needed a psychic department to know Yan Gomes was going to be that good.

With Napoli and Gomes, D’Arnaud would have been so expendable that nobody would have EVER been talking about the Dickey trade negatively.

Or even keeping John Buck or Jose Molina would have made a world of difference with Arencibia just stinking it up.

And as far as I know AJ Jiminez is the only in house candidate to replace Arencibia. And he’s far from a sure thing you can count on in 2014.

So after 4 seasons AA’s heading into the offseason looking for a catcher. I guess that’s what happens when you let one or seven go.

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Tags: Toronto Blue Jays

  • revolu888

    I would not include Napoli as a failed aspect in regards to catching. He only played 61 games as a catcher in 2011 and 72 games in 2012. While he is an offensive force he’s not even a catcher this year due to hip problems.
    And no one predicted the rise of Yan Gomes, forget the Jays scouting department, other scouts projected him as an ok backup catcher.

    • Andrew van Laar

      I agree with revo. No one in baseball could have predicted Gomes would be that good. Napoli was a big miss though. Other than that, AA really hasn’t had anyone but backups come through the team.

      With D’arnaud, his season with the Mets was not so hot either. He played like JP with a few more walks but way less power. Defensivly I couldn’t tell you how good D’arnaud is. From what I’ve read he’s average. But maybe he’s going to turn into JP 2.0…. a star in the minors and nothing in the majors. Who knows.

      • Michael Wray

        It’s unlikely Gomes will continue to be this good but Andrew Stoeten at DJF pointed out an interesting comment about from former Blue Jays advance scout and current Indians’ bullpen coach Kevin Cash:

        “When Yan’s name came up in trade talks, the question was: ‘Could he catch every day in the major leagues?’’’ Cash said. “I said that, based on what I’d seen, it definitely appeared that way.’ He had everything you wanted in a catcher.’’

  • Erik Trenouth

    I don’t think that AA is looking for a new catcher. He is looking for consistency and increased production out of JP.

  • ziggy13

    oh yeah he clearly messed up. If only we hadn’t traded that guy that wasn’t a catcher in 2013 and the other guy who played poorly last year with absolutely no one expecting him to be anything more than a utility player. Light the torches and get your pitchforks people!