Still got Johnny "D" in the wings boys
Well, they're gonna have to make up their minds pretty soon unless Joe plans on 'mixin and matchin' DH all year long. lol
How about 'Cuban'? He's not doin much of anything.
If they're not willing to use Chris Gimenez at DH ... or not willing to have a DH-by-committe split-up among the bench guys on any given day ... then ... they'll re-sign Scott.
I'll st*ck with Gimenez.
I definitely believe Gimenez should replace Molina at catcher ... and I'm hoping Gimenez will seriously outperform Molina during Spring Training ... BUT ... somebody has a definite fixation on Molina ... as they had on Shoppach ... as they had on Burrell ... and as I believe they also have on Scott ... so ... expecting that the powers-that-be will go with Gimenez as either catcher (with Lobaton) or DH is probably a longshot.
If Gimenez DOES get a real chance to be on the roster coming out of Spring Training and makes it ... I truly believe he might well be the all-around biggest and most pleasant surprise of the season!
The guy impressed me with his all-around "strong" athleticism, his plethora of defensive baseball skills at (C, 1B, RF, LF) ... and his possible power hitting potential ... from the first time I ever saw him play. I know he's a little older (30) ... that he's just been kicking around since he left college ball in '04 ... that he hasn't played a lot of ML games over the last four season (debut '09 for Cleveland) ... BUT ... some guys just "seem to have the look" ... and ... I think he has it ... and all I think he needs is a chance to PLAY EVERYDAY ... even if just at DH (plus being able to effectively play back-up at the four positions mentioned) ... although he's played about 2/3 of his ML games as catcher ... and most of the other third in the outfield!
For me ... I think Gimenez/Lobaton is a MUCH better (defensively and athletically) catching duo than Molina/Lobaton ... and, frankly, I'd like to see Gimenez as the starting catcher. BUT ... somebody is obviously fixated on Molina ... so ... I'd be happy to see Gimenez as a righthanded DH ... plus, serving as a versatile and capable back-up at catcher, first and in left and right!
The guy doesn't really have any stand-out stats offensively ... and hit only .260/.315 in sporadic action for the Rays last season (100 ABs) ... but he just seems like one of those old-fashioned, all-around, "good baseball players" ... and the prototypical "old-style" catcher.
I hope he gets a REAL chance to catch and hit during the Spring Training games.
No way Molina can carry this team more than a couple, three games a week, which leaves Lobaton and or Gimenez to sustain the balance of 7 days. Whether its Lobaton or Gimenez as the second catcher, both will get they're playin time in. Unfortunately Joe's stuck on Jose for the starting catcher position.
Unless Molina comes completely apart during Spring Training ... I'm pretty confident he'll be considered "the starting catcher" ... and will be out there for 85+ games ... with Lobaton most likely starting the others ... and finishing some long games for Molina. And ... that's why I'd like to see Gimenez as the DH! A versatile and athletic player ... although catcher is his primary position ... who can help pick-up Molina's slack when necessary and spell Lobaton when necessary ... because ... unless Molina gets hurt or is beyond awful in Spring Training ... the powers that be ... who foolishly re-signed him as a catcher (instead of bullpen assistant or 'special' assistant) in the first place ... will almost undoubtedly keep putting him out there. They did it with Shoppach ... and they did it with Molina last season ... and there's no reason they won't do it again. If Gimenez is on the roster as the DH ... at least he'll be there to be the third catcher ... AND ... will be the only experienced utility player who can actually effectively back-up Loney at first.
Keeping Molina around is bad enough ... but the powers-that-be seem to be set on also re-signing 0-47 record-setting Scott as the DH ... and maybe even .216 Roberts (for who knows what purpose)!
Here's the deal with Molina as I understand it from "inside".....Chances are the Rays will go with 3 catchers and because Giminez can play 1B, 3B, OF and catch he becomes the versatile guy on the bench and also can DH.......The main reason Molina will be here and probably only catch 2-3 times a week is because of the young arms.....Say what you want but having a veteran catcher who knows how to call a game, keep young arms calm, plus how he can frame pitches is an invaluable tool fo0r the Rays pitchers....Both Shields and Price said openly that Molina was a big part of their success and Cobb, who had a little dust up with Molina in the dugout, admitted he was wrong and that what Molina was trying to tell him and teach was right......
So, Molina, whether we like it or not, does have value on the roster, but he will not do the bulk of the catching and having both Lobaton and Giminez will be a plus.....I also heard they may work Lobaton out at 1B a little in ST, just to see if he can handle the position in an emergency.
Now, if the find a good RH bat between now and the season opener the 3 catcher idea could change, but for now that seems to be the plan and I am okay with it on all counts.
You're right that a veteran catcher can help a young pitching staff.But Molina comes w/ defensive baggage: limited mobility behind the plate b/c of his age; increased passed balls; low caught stealing %; and not giving even a late target to pitchers (I know batters can "peak" at location by looking at catcher's glove before pitch). Then there's poor offense which is another subject.
Gimenez may be versatile regarding positions, but the Rays need is a good defensive catcher who can also hit. Unless there's a trade in the works, I believe Gimenez should be the Rays everyday catcher w/ Molina subbing one or two games a week.
An excellent turn of events if Gimenez makes the 25-man roster! Combined with Escobar, Loney and Myers ... a potentially h-u-g-e step forward! In my opinion ... a winning move!
Regarding Molina: I'm not questioning his ability to "coach", teach or mentor young pitchers. I just object to him doing it from behind the plate in a regular season game! From Day 1, I've been saying he may make a positive contribution as an assistant pitching coach, an assistant bullpen coach, a special assistant of some kind ... but his age and significant physical and baseball-related limitations make him a defensive AND offensive liability on the 25-man roster.
Beyond that, this team has had a continuing problem with "team" offense ... hit-starved ... run-starved ... drowning in strikeouts ... and keeping somebody like Molina around, offensively-speaking, simply waters down the significantly better hitting being brought to the club by Escobar, Loney and Myers (and, potentially, I think, Gimenez). So ... overall ... I genuinely believe the active player roster would be better off without Molina.
I have the same feeling about Roberts ... Roberts because he can't hit ... and Rodriguez is better than him defensively at second base, anyway ... and Scott ... because, in his case, I believe his injuries and surgery have had a permanent physical effect on him offensively and defensively ... and ... he therefore really can't effectively play any position defensively and is not worth taking another chance on offensively ... therefore ... there's no practical purpose in keeping either around ... and ... when these two are combined on the 12-man (or even 13-man) position player roster with Molina ... the threesome would completely negate the offensive positives being brought by Escobar, Loney and Myers ... and maybe Gimenez.
I am looking forward to Gimenez fully establishing himself during Spring Training. And ... I'll take his righthand bat on my team ANY day ... as well as Lobaton's switch-hitting ... over Molina's offensive shortcomings.