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Thinking about backup catchers. (Alternative title: Is it March yet?)

Slow day, so I'll troll through the FanShots and see if I can steal any ideas. Hey, lookee here -- rosterbation about a backup catcher! Sometimes I wonder how this site would be if I had shame, but that's not a problem just yet. Idea stolen.

The idea, though, isn't to talk about Max Ramirez specifically, but rather to ask what a backup catcher should be. The thing I've always thought about Eli Whiteside is this:


Therein you will find just about everything I've ever thought about Whiteside. Or Steve Holm. Or Yamid Haad. Or Alberto Castillo. Unless the backup catcher is better than the guy getting playing time, there really isn't a reason to think about a backup catcher. Every team in the league has a guy who hits about .220/.280/.340 while not swallowing his shin guards on defense. If he hits under .200, there's a good chance his defense is talked about in hushed, reverent tones -- I'm sure someone has come up for a name for that axiom already, so I won't pretend like I invented it -- but for the most part, a backup catcher is a backup catcher is a backup catcher.

Then a name like Max Ramirez comes up, and the brain starts a-firin'. Instead of the standard issue backup, what about a guy who could hit .250/.340/.400 while only occasionally swallowing a shin guard? There's a chance, a small chance, that Cody Ross for a full season might not add 500 runs to the season total next year, so the Giants will still be searching for every offensive upgrade they can get. And catcher is a position in which even the best starters need to take a good amount of rest, so the backup catcher will still get about 150 at-bats. Over that many at-bats, why, the difference between Whiteside and Ramirez could mean...wait...

...carry the two...

Like, a run. Maybe two or three. This is the point that rosterbation stops being fun -- what scientists call "rosterbation saturation." A sure sign is thinking about backup catchers, so we fell right into that trap. The question, then, would be one that's larger in scope: is it better to have a no-field/some-hit catcher than a no-hit/all-glove guy starting? Because that's when a backup catcher is a big deal -- when he's pressed into service as a starting catcher.

If that were to happen to the Giants, of course, their season would probably be in flames high enough to see from space, so that's nothing worth thinking about. So never mind. Forget this whole thing.

Comment starter: No, seriously, never mind. I figured it out. There really isn't a point in talking about a backup catcher when the starting catcher is a key offensive cog. Whiteside? Sure. Holm? Okay. Ramirez? Go nuts. The difference between them might mean something over 500 at-bats, but if they're getting 500 at-bats, the season is already floating face up.