As is evident, in the last week or so Yorvit appears to have been inserted into the starting catcher role due to his hot bat combined with Iannetta continuing his seemingly season-long slump at the plate.
Rox Girl mentioned in the rockpile today that riding a wave of Yorvit to the postseason may not be a likely outcome, and that it would be in the Rockies best interests to relegate him back to backup status just as soon as an infielder actually gets to one of his ground balls. I thought I'd look into the stats to come up with the best course of action for the rest of the season.
Starting with the simple slash stats for the season (including wOBA at the end):
Put simply, Iannetta has held greater value over the course of the season by virtue of his outlandish isolated power, which has seen 30 of his 61 hits this season go for extra bases. Now, looking at the same stats since the all-star break:
Again, Iannetta has a big advantage in terms of slugging, but Yorvit more than makes up for this with a batting average some 120 points higher. Yorvit currently has a BABIP since the all-star break of .396, which obviously is not sustainable, and so the regression in this category will likely push his value down closer to his season mark.
Another point worth noting, is that they have basically identical BB/K ratios, with Torrealba at 0.56 and Iannetta at 0.56. If you had suggested that to me at the beginning of the season, I wouldn't have believed you.
In summary, neither catcher is ideal for a playoff push, in that both are performing well below average offensively. I would personally tend to lean towards picking Iannetta for the stretch run for two reasons:
- His defense is markedly superior to Yorvit's, and having baserunners at least respect the arm of our catcher is desirable.
- Whilst he has shown nothing to suggest he has the potential to break out this season, there remains the slight possibility that he will become 2008 Iannetta at some point this year (wishful thinking perhaps!), and thus provide much better value in the lineup.
The fact remains though that it's basically a toss up right now for who provides the most value, and therefore as Torrealba has the hot bat at the moment, I can't fault Tracy for playing him at the moment.