Reports are surfacing from the San Diego Padres camp that Rod Barajas has been tapped to become the manager of their rookie-ball team in the minors. This will be the former Pittsburgh Pirates backstop’s first stint as a manager as he’s now officially retired as a player.
I suppose the old saying is true in this particular case: those who can’t do, coach. That’s probably not fair to a guy who spent 14 years as a big league catcher, but it’s not too far from the truth as far as his offensive production is concerned. Barajas has a career triple-slash of .235/.284/.407, but decent home run totals for a catcher.
As far as catching prospective base-stealers is concerned, his career 29 percent success rate is underwhelming as well. This number dropped to roughly half that (at best) over the last couple of years of his career. Sure, a catcher’s statistics in this department will depend a lot on the pitcher and specifically his time to the plate, but it’s still a decent indication of how weak his arm really was.
Barajas isn’t a terrible choice to manage a professional baseball team. As a catcher, you are generally the best baseball mind on the field — maybe not so much in the pros, but while growing up. Being around the game for that long, catchers amass a knowledge base not typically rivaled by many other players.
At any rate, one recommendation would be for the Padres to assign a hitting coach for that team ASAP, so Barajas doesn’t have to fill in.