The Braves’ presumptive backup catcher, unless they can unload him to make room for Estrada. Blanco’s played 369 major league games, and his career on-base percentage is a cool .300, his slugging percentage .364. Amazingly, he was even worse than that last year, hitting .204 (after being under the Mendoza Line most of the year) with a .267 OBP and .335 SLG. He had a couple of timely hits and somebody decided that he was “clutch”, forgetting that if he had hit like a normal person the rest of the time maybe the Braves wouldn’t have needed a “clutch” hitter. Blanco is a good defensive catcher but his defense can’t possibly carry his bat, especially in a lineup already carrying a defensive specialist at third base. That being said, if Javy doesn’t play any better, and Estrada is at AAA, they might as well play the catcher who can actually catch.
The Braves’ reserve catchers just keep getting worse. There was Eddie Perez, who was pretty good, at least at the beginning, but stunk when he had to play regularly, then got hurt. Then there was Paul Bako, who drew walks but did almost nothing else with the bat. Now there’s Blanco, the Rafael Belliard of catchers. At this rate, in five years the Braves’ reserve catcher will be a hamster.
I’ll take the hamster over them anyday!
I bet you would ! Actually, Blanco is an excellent backup catcher. He is a terrific defensive player, with a strong throwing arm and the ability to call and work a good game behind the plate. He’s never been a good hitter, although it’s suggested he has occasional power. I guess that’s occasional, like his actually making contact! He’s fine as a backup, if you actually have a frontline catcher that is producing. If Javy returns to any positive semblance of his old offensive form, Henry’s lack of offense can be handled. Besides, I believe Javy’s throwing showed marked improvement last season after working with Blanco, so he does help the team. As a backup, he’s fine.