2012 Dodgers in Review #2: C Matt Treanor

October 10, 2012 at 7:23 am | Posted in 2012 in Review, Matt Treanor | Leave a comment

.175/.281/.282 122pa 2hr -0.1 fWAR D-

2012 in brief: Card-carrying member of International Brotherhood of Backup Catchers may have ended his career with age-36 season that was somehow disappointing even by his own mediocre standards.

2013 status: $950k club option which will almost certainly be declined; unlikely to return to Dodgers.

******

If you remember, and I’m sure you don’t, the news that the Dodgers had signed Matt Treanor last winter was met with a solid “meh”:

In the comments of dodgers.com and the few other places I’ve seen it mentioned, the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative from the fans who cared enough to discuss it, mainly focusing on how Treanor will be 36 next year and provides no offense, with a bit of “Colletti gonna Colletti” thrown in. I have to say, I can’t really see the uproar here, because the alternatives are slim. Just look at the MLBTR list of free agent catchers, won’t you? Are you really dying for Jason VaritekGerald Laird, or Ivan Rodriguez? You could possibly argue for Chris Snyder, but he made $5.2m and $6.2m the last two years and is unlikely to accept a massive paycut. It’s not the same scenario as when we were against Dioner Navarro last year, because in that case Ellis seemed to be an immediately superior internal option; unless you’re one of the very few who think Federowicz is ready now, someone’s going to have to come in from the outside.

If anything, this might further indicate that the Dodgers are willing to give Ellis a shot as the primary option in a job share, which is great. So maybe it’s Treanor, maybe it’s Brian Schneider, maybe it’s Jose Molina (probably my choice because of his defense)… and maybe it’s not really going to matter. As long as it’s $1m or less, choosing between half a dozen guys who essentially provide the same value isn’t really worth getting up in arms over. It’s probably even money that whomever it is gets DFA’d two-thirds of the way through the season for Federowicz, anyway.

And that’s basically what happened, because Treanor was awful, even considering that he was coming in with zero expectations. At one point, he went nearly two full months without a hit, and even then the bookends there were seeing eye singles through the right side on July 26 and September 19. Think about that for a second, won’t you? A major league ballplayer went almost two months without a base hit and never once was his job in jeopardy. I know, I know; as a veteran backup catcher, I’m sure he provided a ton of valuable information which helped A.J. Ellis get through his first year as a starter. That sort of stuff can’t be quantified, and so I get it. But still. Two months.

So Treanor was expected to be bad and he was somehow worse. Wonderful. Yet he’s not coming out of this with an F, because of two bright shining points of light amidst the long darkness of his season. On May 21, Treanor hit his first homer of the year against Arizona’s Patrick Corbin, giving Chris Capuano a 2-0 lead that was all the Dodgers would need. That was all well and good, but the real value there was that coming as it did just after a brutal run of injuries, it allowed MSTI commenter “ThtsaPaddlin” to suggest the phenomenal post title “Dodgers Finally Get Good News From a Treanor“, which was by far the best post title I’ve had all season.

Second, and far more importantly, he put local scumbag T.J. Simers in his place on September 12 for trying to stir up some dirt:

“I don’t think you need to come at Hanley like that,” snaps Treanor.

You mean, my man?

He tells me to meet him outside. I have a pass to get back in but I worry he might not. He says, “In the dugout.”

I agree, but need to chat with Mark Ellis. Ellis says he has joy, while Treanor interrupts to call me names that can’t be printed here.

In the dugout, Treanor swears a lot, puts a finger in my face and when a team official suggests he apologize, Treanor goes on an obscenity-filled rant.

It’s almost enough to make me forget that Treanor is terrible at baseball. Almost, but not quite. Thanks for the season, Matt.

******

Next up! Is Tim Federowicz just a much younger Matt Treanor?

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