Welcome New Starting Catcher Kurt Suzuki

DC Sports Nexus ---- Friday, August 3, 2012

The Washington Nationals have traded for Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki.  Suzuki has been struggling this year at the plate but should be an improvement over Jesus Flores, especially throwing out runners.

The Nats moved from the 2nd worst catcher in baseball to a guy in the top 10

The key for this trade was that Suzuki this season has caught 38% of runners stealing while Jesus Flores is at 10%.  Flores' numbers are awful in that category and teams have been stealing bases uncontested for the past several weeks.  Catcher play like that would not be good in clutch games where a runner moving from first to second can be the difference between a win and a loss.

Suzuki's 2.18 batting average is only a few points below Jesus Flores 2.25

As you can see, Suzuki is struggling on offense.  He has been a much better hitter in the past and has the potential to get his average up.  However keeping the bases clean and having a solid catcher in the field could be more important than having a catcher who can hit at this time.

Jesus will most likely backup and possibly pinch hit late in games.

And he is on Twitter

According to Mark Zuckerman, Suzuki was Traded For David Freitas, Class A Minor League and will be under contract for the rest of this year, and for next year.  Next year's contract is almost $6.5 million

The contract situation means that next season if Wison Ramos returns as the #1 guy, then you have a lot of money tied up in backup catcher.  But that can be dealt with later, the key was fixing up the position for a World Series run.

Stat of the Trade: (from Baseball Reference)

  • Suzuki is top 10 in the MLB in Caught Stealing % (Must play 20 games)
  • Jesus Flores is 2nd to last in the MLB in Caught Stealing % (Must play 20 games)
More on Kurt Suzuki:

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