Why not bring back Brian Jordan? I mean, last year they brought back Eddie Perez, and that worked out great, right? Right?
Perez parlayed the Braves’ farm system inability to come up with a backup catcher and a fluky .271/.304/.420 line as a semiregular in Milwaukee into a two-year deal with the Braves, pretty remarkable for a 36-year-old guy with a bad shoulder and a career OBP around .300. Backing up Estrada, Perez stunk up the joint, hitting .229/.286/.353. He mostly caught Ramirez early in the season, then Byrd; my recollection is that later in the season he didn’t have one particular pitcher assigned but I might be wrong. He often wound up catching late in the game when Smoltz was brought in, and I think there’s a good chance he’ll catch John this year.
Eddie was a lot better, interestingly, in August and September, hitting .314 each month with all of his three homers coming in that span. This was at the same time that Estrada collapsed. I don’t know if it means anything. At any rate, he put up a pitcher line — .190/.247/.241 — before the break, and a reasonable line of .264/.320/.451 after it.
Eddie was pretty terrible against the running game in Milwaukee, but he was decent last season, throwing out 38 percent of attempted basestealers. (Estrada threw out only 19 percent.) Unlike Estrada, he was charged with two passed balls, both I think when Smoltz was pitching and threw his splitter.