Tag Archives: Jeff Mathis

State of the Napoli

JESSICA BADER: The rise of defensive metrics like UZR and Plus/Minus has helped immensely in clearly sorting out how much value position players have in the field. However, it is still difficult to quantify a catcher’s defensive contributions, so the old cliches about calling a good game and how a catcher looks back there still carry a lot of weight. Perhaps the most frustrating example of this is in Anaheim, where the underappreciated Mike Napoli dons the tools of ignorance.

CHRIS PUMMER: Even good, well-run teams like the Angels are guilty of it. So despite all the talk about how they favor a catch-and-throw guy like Jeff Mathis behind the plate, Napoli still got more than 400 plate appearances last year. Even without the Mathis injury, he would have probably reached that level again this year so long as his bat continued to cover up any defensive deficiencies the Angels either perceive or imagine. Continue reading

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