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Mets Fans Thought Wieters Was Better Than d’Arnaud

By any measure, Travis d’Arnaud‘s 2017 season was truly disappointing.  He landed on the disabled list once again.  His batting line of .244/.293/.443 was more backup than catcher many believed would have an All Star caliber season under the tutelage of new catching coach Glenn Sherlock.  His one calling card, his pitch framing, really regressed going from one of the best to being one of the worst.  All in all, it was a bad season for d’Arnaud.  However, the one bright side is he wasn’t Matt Wieters.

If you thought d’Arnaud had a bad season, you weren’t paying attention at all to Wieters.  In 123 games this season he would hit .225/.288/.344 with 20 doubles, 10 homers, and 52 RBI.  That was good for a 63 OPS+ and a 62 wRC+. If you want to gauge how bad that is, consider d’Arnaud had a better batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS+, and wRC+.  He also had more triples, homers, extra base hits, and RBI despite playing in 11 fewer games and in a much less potent offense.

Behind the plate, Wieters was even worse than d’Arnaud pitch framing putting up a -15.7 RAA (Runs Above Avergae) to d’Arnaud’s -4.2.  Keep in mind that while both regressed from prior seasons, Wieters has always been a poor pitch framer.

Really, the only way you could say Wieters had a better year than d’Arnaud was throwing out base runners.  Wieters bested d’Arnaud by throwing out 25% of base runners to d’Arnaud’s 17%.  For what it’s worth both were below league average.

In the end, even with all the struggles, d’Arnaud posted a 1.2 bWAR and a 0.8 fWAR.  Wieters?  Again he trailed d’Arnaud posting a -0.5 bWAR and a -0.2 fWAR.

If you’re still not convinced d’Arnaud is a better catcher than Wieters, look no further than what transpired last night when Wieters completely fell apart.

In that faithful fifth inning, it was Wieters who made the key blunder.  At that point, Addison Russell had already hit the go-ahead two out double to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead.  The rest of that inning was on Wieters.

After the intentional walk to Jason Heyward, Max Scherzer struck out Javier Baez.  That should have ended the inning except Wieters couldn’t get down to block the ball.  This allowed Baez to take off for first.  By the time Wieters had located the ball, he had no shot at Baez.  Rather than eat the ball, he threw the ball into right field allowing Russell to score from second.

Yes, the umpire blew the call not calling Baez out for hitting Wieters in the mask.  However, that play did not force Wieters to not get down and block a ball he reasonably knew was going to be the dirt.  It also did not force him to throw the ball away.

The inning was then extended again with a Wieters catcher’s interference loading the bases.  Once Scherzer hit Jon Jay with a pitch, it was 7-4 Cubs.

Throw in his flying out to end a rally in the sixth, his stranding four runners, and his hitting .143/.333/.143 in the series with no RBI, you have a nightmare NLDS following just an awful season.

For all of that the Nationals paid Wieters $10.5 million.  It gets even better with Wieters having a $10.5 million player option he’d be insane to revoke.

In the end, d’Arnaud may have had a really disappointing season, but he was not Wieters.  That is the same Wieters many Mets fans were clamoring for all offseason, and frankly were irritated when Wieters went to the Nationals.  This is something everyone should keep in mind this offseason with another weak catching free agent market.

0 thoughts on “Mets Fans Thought Wieters Was Better Than d’Arnaud”

  1. Luis says:

    Revoke should be invoke…But I know what yo mean and yes, he was not good, but the Nats pitching and other players covered for him..

    1. Luis says:

      And yo should be you…I gotta learn to type…:-)

      1. metsdaddy says:

        Thanks

  2. Press Box Opinion says:

    I watched FAgency and we all know that Wieters was signed very late at less than a robust contract for a guy who hit now many HRs in 2016 (as a starting catcher)
    .

    I am not a scout but what I read about Wieters THEN was that if anything he had a track record of power, specifically HRs not a good arm.

    Wieters certainly as a FA was not heavily pursued and his contract is not big, true?

    ********

    In regard to that throw on Thursday on strike three?

    I was on the Washington Post site for another reason on Thursday and I read about the game on the front page from home town gamer journalists there.

    They spoke of confusuon after the bat hit the catcher’s glove.
    Wieter looked to the ump to interpret the rule.
    The correct interpretation would have been strike three, no need to throw him out, dead ball.
    Umpire got it wrong.
    Wieter ran to get the ball.
    In his confusion and PANIC as reported by the WP he made an error vs holding on to the ball.

    The call was wrong
    The call was not reviewable
    The error was after the wrong call, a string of five events

    A) Bat hits the glove
    B) Wieter looks at up for out call
    C) Ump fails his duty and does not respond to Wieter
    D) Runs down the ball in confusion
    E) Wieter panics and throws it away

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I believe that timeline is wrong. It was:

      1. Ball goes through Wieters legs
      2. Baez hits Wieters in mask
      3. Baez takes off for first.
      4. Wieters locates and throws call into OF
      5. Wieters complains to umpire

  3. Press Box Opinion says:

    https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/possible-blown-call-highlights-fifth-inning-meltdown-by-nationals-in-game-5-vs-cubs/

    CONTROVERSY: Baez reaches on strikeout/passed ball
    As mentioned above, this was the biggest play of the inning.

    Scherzer fooled Javier Baez and struck him out to end the inning, except the strike three ball got by Matt Wieters and rolled to the backstop.

    Baez beat the throw to first base and when the throw went into shallow right field, he advanced to second. Russell scored from second on the play to give the Cubs a 6-4 lead.

    Here is the strike three pitch. Pay special attention to the backswing:

    Baez clearly hit Wieters in the side of the helmet/facemask with his backswing. According to Rule 6.03, when the catcher is hit by the backswing, the strike is called and the ball is declared dead. That’s to make sure the play doesn’t continue if the catcher gets hurt.

    Here’s the rule:

    Baez, very clearly, hit Wieters with his backswing. Not intentionally, of course, but it happened. He hit him. And the play continued. Baez reached base and a run scored, so it was a pretty significant play.

    As the rule reads, that should’ve been strike three to Baez and the ball declared dead.

    The inning should have been over with the Cubs leading 5-4.

    That is much, much different than what actually happened. Backswings are not reviewable, however, so the play stood.

    The home plate umpire presumably did not see the backswing hitter Wieters. The Cubs took a 6-4 lead.

  4. andrew says:

    Everyone makes mistakes, even the Nationals and the Dodgers do too. Things that were thought of as ridiculous can on the other look as if someone is genius because the results worked out. After all, “The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” – Bruce Feirstein; quite fitting in this case.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Thing is Wieters having this type of season could have been reasonable foreseen

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