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“He knocked the Cover off the Ball!”

April 18, 2014

Image     Martin Maldonado, for my money, is the best defensive catcher in baseball. Blocks everything, throws out would-be base-stealers for fun. Calls a good game. He hit .169 last year, though, has never had minor-league equivalents above .250, and he’s the caddy to emerging all-star Jonathan Lucroy. So Maldonado plays two days a week giving Lucroy a day off here and there, picking up the odd start at first, and looking like Kyle Lohse’s personal catcher.

Is there latent power here? I think if he got a chance to start he’s .230 with 12 home runs. Maybe I’m underestimating him: Friday night he  actually hit the cover off the ball.—-literally?ymd=20140418&content_id=72567730&vkey=news_mlb

Sit through the ad; it’s worth the wait. There are a few cute bits here:

–Pedro Alvarez wondering “What the hell do I do with this?” after he picks it up.

–The bewildered umpire looking at a giggling

–Bucs colour man Steve Blass wondering if “the balls are still made in Haiti”.

Extra Bags: I’m going to try to fall over the line for IP this week with only three starts. That’s been the plan the whole time. I would assume that if I don’t make it, Commish will be calling to express his disgust and possibly impose sanctions on Monday morning.

Extra Bags, Part Deux: I always wondered if Travis Ishikawa speaks Japanese. I may find out as the Buccos have just traded for Ike Davis to platoon with Gaby Sanchez and Ishikawa looks like getting cut. Ishikawa hasn’t found as many as 200 PA in a season since 2009, and has power, so the Cecil Fielder plan might serve him well. As Curacao Littleleague continues to stash Gregory Polanco, this would imply that Polanco’s the first call up ahead of Andrew Lambo. Giddy-up, get ‘im up.

Stat that’s annoying Vin Scully tonight: So far, the Dodgers’ collective outfield is hitting .230. Scott Van Slyke leads the way at .313.


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