CaptainRedbeard Posted November 22, 2013 Share Posted November 22, 2013 The Royals just DFA'd George Kottaras to make room for Jason Vargas on their 40-man roster. A first glance at George Kottaras' numbers might make you say "yuck," or something along those lines, but if you dig a little deeper you'll see he might be a very good fit with the Orioles. First: Kottaras is a lefty and he hits righties better than lefties. This is a crucial factor that we want in our backup catcher, because Wieters' bat is so much better vs lefties, so we pretty much only want his off days to come against right handed pitching. The free agent market for backup catchers has exactly zero left handed swinging catchers, by my estimation. Kottaras has a career 101 wRC+ in 647 PA vs. right handed pitching. Second: Walks! Kottaras may be a terrible .214 career hitter but he has an otherworldly 14.0% career BB% in the majors, and strong rates in the minors as well. That takes that .214 batting average all the way up to a .324 OBP. That even comes with a .192 ISO, which is definitely solid. Altogether, that is a very solid offensive player for a backup catcher. I'll admit I don't know much about his defense, but if he has even an average reputation I want him on the club. He does have a pretty bad CS% at the ML level but that's only one part of the puzzle. He fits the offensive profile of what we want as a backup behind Wieters and even provides a nice little focus on OBP, which we know DD wants to bring in. In any case, he has more a major league track record than Clevenger, and probably at least as good as a defensive reputation. Furthermore, if we trade Wieters, we are going to want at least one left handed hitting catcher. Ideally we could get Saltalamacchia or Pierzynski, but that might not be in the cards. If we miss out on those two, pairing Kottaras in part time with a righty like Suzuki, Buck, or Navarro (switch but better as a RH hitter), would be a fair fallback option. Our backup catchers have been abysmal for years now. It's one of the reasons that we have to ride Wieters into the ground every year. DD and Buck are all about depth but we need to strengthen the ML bench for that to happen. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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