Lets Hope They're Teammates Soon Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

George Kottaras Would Be A Good Get


 

Drew Butera is currently the Dodgers backup catcher. Drew Butera also is one of the worst hitting players in the game. Actually he pretty much is the worst hitter in baseball right now. And you know what? He’s actually the 3rd worst hitter ever. Like of all time. Ever. And yes, he’s backing up A.J. Ellis, in case you were wondering. Now of course, Tim Federowicz is just a call away in AAA where he’ll likely be brought up assuming a long term A.J. Ellis injury, however honestly, any non-AAA PA’s for Drew Butera is a horrible mistake, he simply can’t hit, and no amount of defense can get past a .491 career OPS.

And I get it, Tim Federowicz is young. Fans like youth, it gives them hope, and yes, we all hope he turns into Yadi Molina with some help with Mark McGwire, but as i’ve mentioned, things like that happen so rarely, it’s nearly impossible. And judging by last season, his .266 weighted on base average, (over 60 points below average), striking out at a rate of 32.4% while only walking at a 5.8% rate, you can see why him being the backup may be a bit underwhelming.

Well George Kottaras was just released yesterday from the Cubs, and he should be a Dodger. If you think having a low batting average, then he isn’t the player for you, he’s only hit .180 and .211 the last two seasons. But I’m not interested in that in the least. What Kottaras brings is excellent on base skills. Kottaras walked at a 19.0% rate that season. He essentially drew a walk once in every 5 plate appearances. He’ll never be a baserunning threat, being worth -3 runs in his career, but he’s been a positive defender his whole career, being worth 5.7 runs above average on defense. And just the fact that Kottaras has maintained his OPS at a very solid .730 is impressive considering he’s been a backup his entire career. His production is as close to a sure thing as you can get, even though he struck out at a Federowiczian 33% of the time, his OBP sat at a nice .349.

I guess Federowicz is okay, he has a decent amount of upside, hopefully he’ll be a starter, or a high end backup one day, but the fact is that day is not today, and the Dodgers need a backup catcher that has the ability to OPS at a number greater than Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig‘s combined weight.

So come on down, George Kottaras.

Tags: Featured George Kottaras Los Angeles Dodgers Popular

  • dusto

    And Kotteras is literally the WORST defensive catcher of all time. While Drew might be a bad batter (the worst batter of all time) a horrible excuse for a batter, a terrible batter, let me count the ways… he is an excellent catcher. The Dodgers have trouble with receiving and pitch framing. Out of 60 eligible receivers, Kotteras was dead last and AJ Ellis was 50th. Ellis is getting better, but a few point of OBP doesn’t make Kotteras an upgrade on anyone if he is catching.

    • Adrian Garcia

      No amount of Butera’s defense can save his batting issues, Kottaras was bad at receiving, but Nearly a 200 point Upgrade from Butera’s OBP is just too large to pass up
      Kottaras would be a backup by the way

      • dusto

        I am in no way suggesting that butera is an ideal backup. But neither is kotteras. There is a reason he has been through 4 teams in 3 years. He has exactly one skillset. Getting on base. You might be underestimating the value of defense, like most novice baseball fans.

        • LasordasLair

          Adrian is 100% correct on this IMO. I don’t care how good Butera is at handling pitches, or defensively. He is the worst hitter in Baseball. I don’t care if he is Bill Bergen behind the plate, no amount of defense can make up for the fact that he is an automatic out. We can’t have auto outs in the lineup. Even one auto out destroys a team’s ability to score runs.

  • Marie

    I’ve watched him play for the last 4 seasons and he is excellent at handling pitchers. Keeping his pitcher in the game is one of the best things that he offers, as well as well-timed offense. No, he hasn’t brought a big batting average with him but he focuses so much on his pitcher that he is the type of catcher who will get on base when the team needs him to, pop in an rbi or slug a homer. He is one of the few players I ever watched who’s offense was entirely impactful. As in when the team needs a hit or run or for him to get on base he will do it, but the other side of that is if they are winning, he tends to strike out to keep his pitcher in rythym to get them back on the mound. He is a very unselfish player, so much so that he keeps getting cut from teams but he is a great back up with great abilities to handle a pitching staff (keeps the low level talent pitchers in ball games when other catchers have struggled) I’ve watched him play for the last 4 seasons and he is excellent at handling pitchers. Keeping his pitcher in the game is one of the best things that he offers, as well as well-timed offense. No, he hasn’t brought a big batting average with him but he focuses so much on his pitcher that he is the type of catcher who will get on base when the team needs him to, pop in an rbi or slug a homer. He is one of the few players I ever watched who’s offense was entirely impactful. As in when the team needs a hit or run or for him to get on base he will do it, but the other side of that is if they are winning, he tends to strike out to keep his pitcher in rythym to get them back on the mound. He is a very unselfish player, so much so that he keeps getting cut from teams but he is a great back up with great abilities to handle a pitching staff (keeps the low level talent pitchers in ball games when other catcher struggle). Even his throwing out of runners is well-timed. When its a meaningless stolen base he won’t likely get it but the ones he does get are important. Watching kottaras he has a very positive impact on the team but yet not necessarily personal stats. He just doesn’t like to stand out and wants everyone else to get the credit, but yet he does so much to contribute to team wins.
    He’s been to the playoffs with Boston, milwaukee and oakland. He’s not a flashy player, but he is a win-oriented player, doing what needs to be done to win at all costs.

  • Marie

    Ok I’m not sure what happened there I wasn’t even pasting anything and it won’t let me edit so I apologize. But kottaras is definitely a high obp guy who does all the little things a team needs him to do to win. I’ve seen him be a part of so many come-from behind victories, be a part of hitting for the cycle, and turning a triple play. He is fun to watch and he has had winning records wherever he’s gone, even having personal winning records in the midst of milwaukee losing seasons (and handling their lower level starters no less) which I found impressive. If you only want a high batting average, he is not ur guy, but if you want a guy who will help guide the team to win when he is out there, then give him a shot.

    • LasordasLair

      Hi Marie,

      No worries, it should allow you to edit your own comment, so I apologize if you were unable to do so. Thanks for your insights into this. It seems like you’ve seen Kotteras play a lot over the years. So what you’re saying is he has a clutch bat, and a good guy in the clubhouse? You say he’s handled pitchers well, but how is his throwing arm? Can he throw out runners? How is his pitch framing abilities? I know he has some pop in his bat, which is great. I think he would definitely be a better option than Butera, no question.

  • Marie

    It let me get into edit mode, but not actually edit.. ? Ipad issue maybe..
    But yeah I’ve watched nearly every game he’s caught over the last 4 years so my opinion is partly biased but also Ive followed his career so I have a lot of games under my belt watching him play. He is definitely clutch hitter. Nearly exclusively clutch, which is a good/bad thing. His pitcher and winning the game is first priority for him. His stats take a back seat, but part of the batting average problem is that he needs to play like 2 days a week to have a decent average. Drop him below that and the ba drops down a lot but he still does what he needs to do to get his team a win.
    His arm isn’t bad. He definitely can throw runners out but again it’s more of a needs basis. If the team is up four runs and the pitcher has two outs ur probably gonna see the runner steal and kottaras will focus more on getting the batter out with his pitcher…
    Like I said he is not a stats focus catcher, but he has a strong will to win and do whatever it takes attitude.. And his abilities to handle pitchers and get them through jams is great. He will make adjustments based on what the pitcher is throwing better than most catchers I’ve seen. He has great career starter ERA s and caught many complete game shut outs with the aces of his staffs but usually he has to catch the 4th or 5th starters for the bulk of his career. I am not an expert on judging pitch framing, so couldn’t tell you, but I’ve read recently that a lot of pitch framing/calls has more to do with the ballparks make up and the batters/umps eye than the framing of the catcher so that’s hard to say..
    But I’d like to see him go to a contender. He is very fun to watch and his games are so exciting to watch. He keeps his pitchers in the game and does whatever he can do get his starter and team the win…

    • LasordasLair

      Yeah it would seem the framing stats would be heavily influenced by the umpires. That’s the whole thing about framing, it;s all about fooling the umpire into thinking the pitch is a strike. I would assume that the umpires with a wider strike zone would effect it.
      I remember Kottaras getting a game wining hit against the Dodgers actually, I think it was in 2012, and it was at Miller Park. I remember that game, and Ethier had hit a home run earlier that gave the Dodgers the lead. But of course, the bullpen blew it in the ninth, and Kottaras got a walk-off.

  • Marie

    Does anyone know when looking at strike calls for catcher framing rankings do foul balls and hits/balls in play count as strikes for that purpose? I wonder if catchers on teams that give up a lot of hits or reside in hitters ballparks get ranked better for pitch framing?

    • LasordasLair

      I don’t know Marie. That framing stat is pretty new, and I’m not sure how accurate it is, or how exactly it works. Dustin would probably know. The low strikeout numbers are mostly on the pitchers and not the catchers in my opinion. Yes improper pitch framing can have a negative effect on a pitching staff’s numbers, but I think the pitchers themselves dictate their own strikeout numbers. Good pitching will prevail eventually, and the numbers will back that up as the season goes on.

      • Marie

        I don’t disagree with you. I agree that strikeouts fall more on pitchers than framing. But the framing rankings revolve around strikes compared to balls so I would think if fouls balls and hits etc counted as strikes for that purpose it would inflate their framing rankings quite a bit. And yeah I remember the kottaras walk off.. :) he’s been a part of a lot of 9th inning rallies for someone who plays as little as he does…