Eddie Perez

The Prodigal Backup. I have to give Eddie credit. Three years ago, he looked done, his arm shredded and his bat slowed to a crawl. In his last two seasons in the Braves’ organization, he combined for 7 hits in 32 AB over 12 games and saw Greg Maddux adopt Paul Bako as his new little buddy. This was after stinking up the joint as a regular for most of 1999 when Javy blew out his knee.

Eddie managed to rehab enough to get 117 ABs for a theoretically rebuilding Indians team in 2002, but hit only .214/.252/.291. At that stage, he hadn’t hit a homer in three years and his career looked over. He hooked up with the Brewers and was decent last year, hitting .271/.304/.420. That’s not great, but for a catcher it’s more than serviceable. However, he did most of his damage in 76 ABs against lefties, hitting .342/.386/.500 against them. Against righties, he hit .252, which seems okay, but without many walks (.280) or power (.398). The Brewers, playing him semi-regularly, let him get more than three-quarters of his ABs against righties.

As you know, Bobby has used his backup catcher to catch one pitcher over recent years — mostly Eddie himself to catch Maddux. But a platoon arrangement might be better for the new team, especially since Eddie doesn’t have any experience catching any of these guys. I don’t have splits for Estrada, but typically switch-hitters do better left-handed. If that’s the case with him, a platoon arrangement could work… Perez is now a serious defensive downgrade on the starter and can’t throw much at all.

Eddie Perez Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

7 thoughts on “Eddie Perez”

  1. Well, given these numbers, the great thing about Eddie is we can bring him off the bench when the opposing team brings in their LOOGY. If he hits .342 in that situation, i like it!! And if Marrero hasn’t been put into and then taken out of the game by that point, it’s not like bringing in Perez will erase our ‘insurance catcher’.

  2. I like the idea of platooning at catcher, but I would rather see Marerro as the RH side of the platoon.

    That being said, here’s why it (a platoon of any sort) won’t happen:

    1) Estrada is “the catcher”, so Bobby won’t want to hang the platoon player tag on him.

    2) Cox likes the every-fifth-day-off thing for the starting catcher, as he thinks it keeps him fresh at the end of the season (he’s probably right).

    3) Keeping the every-fifth-day-off formula would be a silent refutation of all the “Maddux hates Lopez” stories. Cox would be able to say, “see, we’re doing it the same way we’ve always done it”.

  3. But in a platoon, the starter/lefty half would probably get more rest than with an every-fifth-day guy. It just wouldn’t be regular rest.

    But you’re probably right that Bobby will keep the status quo. Who does Eddie catch? I say Hampton. He’s probably the best starter the Braves have and the one hardest to run on.

  4. But in a platoon, the starter/lefty half would probably get more rest than with an every-fifth-day guy. It just wouldn’t be regular rest.

    Absolutely correct. As I typed that, I was thinking “maybe he’ll try to trot Estrada out there for 150 games”, and then thought “nah — he likes the rest thing”. I wasn’t clear; sorry about that.

    I agree that assuming “EveryDay5” Eddie is actually out there every fifth day, Hampton would make sense. It would almost completely remove Eddie’s crappy arm from the equation.

  5. Of course, if Eddie does catch Hampton, it begs the question, “shouldn’t Hampton hit eighth?”

  6. It’s worth noting that prior to the Maddux thing, Cox still paired his backup with a specific pitcher, though not to such a religious extent. Prior ot Maddux, I think the veteran (O’Brien, maybe) was paired with Smoltz, because Smoltz was a little wilder than the other pitchers, and he didn’t want Smoltz thinking he couldn’t throw any pitch he wanted.

    Not sure how that would factor in here – depends on if Cox thinks Eddie’s superior defensively, I guess

  7. Which internet writer said that if a backup catcher plays long enough, he’s bound to hit .300 for a season? Perez’s 2003, mediocre as it was, screams fluke to me. And we signed him to a two year deal? Ugh.

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