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BRDSR
05-01-2005, 10:27 PM
I have to admit to being more than a little skeptical about the White Sox taking Chris Widger out of camp over Ben Davis or Jamie Burke. After a month back in major league baseball I'm surprised and impressed at his .267 average in 30 ABs. However, thats not what impresses me the most. What impresses me the most is the White Sox pitching performances in his starts. He's started seven games at catcher, caught a full 63 innings, and the White Sox' team ERA is a scant 1.86. What is even more incredible is that if you take away his start on 4/26 vs. Oakland(where he caught 9 innings and the staff gave up 8 ERs) his "catching ERA" is an absolutely incredible 0.83.

Chris Widger has caught Garland's last 3 games over which he has an ERA 0.35. It looks like Widger is Garland's new personal catcher, as I'm not aware of any other reason that AJ was held out of the lineup today. In any cause, the results over the last three games merit Widger being his personal catcher.

I never played ball at a level where this would make a difference, but for those of you who have, how would you rate the significance that a catcher has in calling a game? If these results continue, not only with Garland but with the rest of the staff, is there a legitimate argument to be made that Widger should start over AJ? I know 7 starts isn't a ton to go on, but I also don't think it's few enough to make the stat irrelevent. What do you think?

chisoxfanatic
05-01-2005, 10:36 PM
I think that Pierzynski is still experiencing a little pain in his toe, and with the day off tomorrow, giving AJ an extra day off before catching for Buehrle was a great idea.

I haven't noted much regarding the team's ERA with Widger at the 2, though. What I have been noticing is his hitting. He reminds me of a better Mark Johnson offensively. He does carry his fair share of the offensive weight. I do think he will become loved on the south side later on in the season when fans can see more of him.

Jjav829
05-01-2005, 10:44 PM
I have to admit to being more than a little skeptical about the White Sox taking Chris Widger out of camp over Ben Davis or Jamie Burke. After a month back in major league baseball I'm surprised and impressed at his .267 average in 30 ABs. However, thats not what impresses me the most. What impresses me the most is the White Sox pitching performances in his starts. He's started seven games at catcher, caught a full 63 innings, and the White Sox' team ERA is a scant 1.86. What is even more incredible is that if you take away his start on 4/26 vs. Oakland(where he caught 9 innings and the staff gave up 8 ERs) his "catching ERA" is an absolutely incredible 0.83.

Chris Widger has caught Garland's last 3 games over which he has an ERA 0.35. It looks like Widger is Garland's new personal catcher, as I'm not aware of any other reason that AJ was held out of the lineup today. In any cause, the results over the last three games merit Widger being his personal catcher.

I never played ball at a level where this would make a difference, but for those of you who have, how would you rate the significance that a catcher has in calling a game? If these results continue, not only with Garland but with the rest of the staff, is there a legitimate argument to be made that Widger should start over AJ? I know 7 starts isn't a ton to go on, but I also don't think it's few enough to make the stat irrelevent. What do you think?

Well, we were facing a lefty and it was a day-game after a night-game, so it's understandable why AJ would get the day off regardless of who pitched. I do think that Ozzie will look to continue to get Widger starts in games where Garland pitches. That's not a knock on AJ, but when a pitcher and a catcher seem to be in a groove, you try to keep them together.

A catcher has an extremely critical role in calling a game. Obviously the pitcher still has to make his pitches, but a catcher who is good at calling a game can make his pitchers better just by understanding situations and how to pitch certain batters.

Banix12
05-01-2005, 11:03 PM
I think it depends on the pitcher with how important having a catcher calling a game. Some veterans probably don't need one as bad as most young pitchers.

We need AJ's bat so Widger won't supplant him, and certainly AJ's game calling has been quite good this season as well. Widger has been a pleasant suprise. I liked Jaime Burke but I think having Widger's veteran experience has been a nice thing to have. Widger is definitely an upgrade over Burke and Davis as a catcher.

Something must have happened to Widger in the independant league, he was always a pretty decent player but before he went to the independant league he pretty much deserved to be out of baseball. his bat was slower, he didn't have his power anymore, his glove wasn't as good. His batteries seem to have recharged playing minor league baseball and the sox are reaping the benefit.

It's still seems weird when you don't see him wearing his sunglasses

OKCidiot
05-01-2005, 11:05 PM
Gotta love The Widge! And how cool is it to have AJ and The Widge as a one-two punch as catcher?

JRIG
05-02-2005, 06:11 AM
The weird thing is, looking back at spring training, you knew Widger would make this ballclub. Why?


:hawk
"Boy, DJ, Chris Widger has just been killing the ball this spring. He's only got a .213 batting average, but he's hitting missiles right at people. I love his approach at the plate!"

ND_Sox_Fan
05-02-2005, 08:53 AM
I never played ball at a level where this would make a difference, but for those of you who have, how would you rate the significance that a catcher has in calling a game? If these results continue, not only with Garland but with the rest of the staff, is there a legitimate argument to be made that Widger should start over AJ? I know 7 starts isn't a ton to go on, but I also don't think it's few enough to make the stat irrelevent. What do you think?

I think there are two significant things here.

First, Widger's pitch calling has obviously made Garland comfortable out there. I haven't seen Jon shake him off at all, which makes it easier for Jon out there. He doesn't have to think about pitches on his own - he just looks in and throws. Furthermore, with that success, Jon's confidence in what Widge puts down means more strikes and a more relaxed Garland. This has translated into Jon challenging hitters and allowing hitters to get themselves out.

Second, I would say that Widge is very comfortable with the movement Jon has on the ball. It seems to me that he is receiving the ball much more smoothly with Jon - this can really help an umpire and allow us to get some more calls.

34 Inch Stick
05-02-2005, 09:17 AM
The Atomic Widgie!