Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The Marlins traded for catcher Ronny Paulino over the weekend, sending RHP Hector Correa to the Giants in return. The move effectively closed debate on the catchers the team will employ on opening day, as Mike Rabelo was optioned to AAA-New Orleans the same day. The Marlins will have John Baker starting, with Paulino playing backup.
While it would seem odd that the Fish would target a catcher via trade, their intentions become a bit more clear when you look at Paulino's and Baker's batting splits. Against left-handed pitchers, Paulino has hit .355/.417/.498 over his career, with 8 home runs and 42 RBI in 259 at bats. Meanwhile, Baker has hit .327/.417/.487 against right-handed pitchers, with 4 home runs and 24 RBI in 150 at-bats. If their career numbers hold up (which is not a given, since both have small sample sizes), this could turn out to be an effective platoon combination at the plate. However, if Paulino cannot develop a good relationship with the pitching staff, he could see less playing time. We'll have to watch this situation play out, but with Larry Beinfast's track record (he did pluck Cody Ross seemingly out of thin air), I'm willing to give the Marlins the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Image via mlb.com