Mar
18

Another option at catcher — no, it’s not Javy Lopez

By

The CourierPost ran an article this morning regarding backup catcher Chris Coste’s status on the Phillies roster. He says that lack of playing time has him worried about his spot on the roster. According to the article, “The Phillies view Coste as a third-string catcher and right-handed pinch-hitter.” In my experience, it’s rare to see a team carry a third-string catcher, so yeah, I think Coste’s worries are legitimate.

This led to Steve (who also gets the hat tip for this link) speculating about a possible trade for Coste. To that I say: not a bad idea. I’m not basing that on .328/.376/.505 line in 198 at bats last season; that’s far too small a sample size. But over his storied minor league career, he holds a .805 OPS. If he can be had for a spare reliever — though that’s not a certainty, given Phillie’s reluctance to deal with the Yankees recently (you want Jason Michaels? Our opening bid is Chien-Ming Wang) — I say go for it. Coste should provide a better bat than the pitcher-esque skills of Todd Pratt and Wil Nieves.

I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of Philly jettisoning this guy. He’s had a solid minor league career and played well once finally called to the majors. And now his backup job — once again, backing up Rod Barajas, who very well may hit worse than Coste — is in jeopardy? Carlos Ruiz (who I blindly assume is the leading backup candidate) is going to be that much better? I just don’t see it.

If Pat Gillick is looking to shed Coste for a middle reliever, Cash should jump on it; he’ll looks to be an upgrade over our backup catchers from years past.

Photo: Kathy Willens/AP

Categories : Rants

16 Comments»

  1. Eric Schultz says:

    This reluctance probably has in large part to do with the absolute fleecing in the Bobby Abreu trade. That said, if the Phils would take Colter Bean, Sean Henn or Jose Veras for Coste, the Yanks should definitely make the deal. Maybe this will be an opportunity to free Colter Bean, and let him show what he can do in the majors.

  2. Fm says:

    In Today’s Article of StarLedger, Ed Price writes that Yankees Farm is fruit once again. Cashman did great job rebuilding the farm system and trading for old veterans for young pitching.

    http://www.nj.com/sports/ledge.....thispage=1

  3. Mike A, says:

    Coste didn’t spend 11+ years in the minors by accident, especially considering the overall lack of catching in baseball. He’s had a nice baseball career, but he’s not an upgrade over Nieves or Pratt.

    It’s just a backup catcher, there’s no point in comparing OPS+’s and the such. All he’s got to do is play good defense. The Yanks don’t need a backup catcher that can hit.

    • Joseph P. says:

      I still don’t buy the “the Yanks don’t need a backup catcher that can hit” line. What if Jorge goes down? They’ll need someone there who won’t kill them.

      Can you imagine even 15 to 20 days of having Pratt and Nieves behind the dish? I would probably hurl a Wii controller (if I had a Wii) through my TV screen.

      I’m just sayin’ that with Coste’s minor-league track record, he should be able to at least post an above average OBP (for a catcher), so he’d be less of a burden than Nieves and Pratt. I could be wrong about Coste’s skills, but we pretty much know that the two favorites already on the roster are going to OBP something around .300, if that.

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