While glancing through their star-studded lineup, trying to figure out how they played so poorly throughout the whole 2013 campaign is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It’s just not going to happen. But, if you dig a little bit deeper and look at arguably the most important position on the field, the catcher, one of the reasons why they were so bad suddenly appears at the surface of it all.
J.P. Arencibia played absolutely terribly for the Blue Jays this past season. His overrated bat is often overshadowed with the fact that he can consistently hit 20-plus home runs. This won’t bode well for him trying to secure a starting position with the Blue Jays or with any team for that matter because while he did hit 21 home runs in 2013, he only managed to rack up a beyond poor average of .194 and produce only 55 RBIs.
Along with those lackluster offensive statistics, Arencibia struggled mightily on the defensive side of the diamond as well, leading the league with a total of 13 passed balls.
There is no question that the Blue Jays need to figure out what to do with Arencibia. The answer is easy: spend more money on someone that wants to win, that will actually produce, and that will come to the ballpark every day motivated to lead the team to victory. Although he is going to come at a high price, Brian McCann could be the guy that can help solidify the Jays as a contender once again in 2014.
Although McCann’s offensive statistics are similar to those of Arencibia, he still posted a better average of .254 to go along with his 20 home runs and 57 RBIs in 2013. He is a much better catcher defensively as he managed to avoid this past season’s top-10 list for passed balls.
McCann could be the answer to how to properly catch an R.A. Dickey knuckleball, as all three Blue Jays catchers, Arencibia, Josh Thole, and Henry Blanco all found themselves on that top-10 passed balls list at the end of the regular season.
Along with being better offensively and defensively, McCann always seems to have the fire in his eyes and a great passion for the game. Arencibia’s low-key attitude and lack of pizzazz for baseball altogether is enough to bring a whole team down on a daily basis. McCann would keep everyone in the Blue Jays lineup in check and would consistently call the game properly from behind the plate.
The Blue Jays just have to hope that being from Georgia isn’t something that will sway McCann’s decision to stay with the Atlanta Braves.