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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Luke Maile

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I’m thinking it won’t come as news to any of you that Luke Maile was terrible with the bat last year. Actually, every Blue Jays backup catcher was terrible with the bat last year, except for Rafael Lopez, who was ok with the bat.

Our backup catchers had me thinking about how, many years ago, the Oakland A’s carried 3 second basemen on their active roster, and pinch hit for each almost every time up. You can’t do that these days, as teams are lucky to have 3 bench players with the number of relievers teams carry. I sometimes think that, if I live long enough, I’ll see active rosters with 25 relievers and nothing else.

Maile hit .146/.176/.231 last year. For comparison MLB pitchers hit .124/.156/.161. Padre pitchers hit .156/.181/.243.

Defensively, I thought he was pretty good. He threw out 35% of base stealers. He seemed to get along with the pitchers (he must have, if you hit like that and the pitchers don’t like throwing to you, you won’t be around long).

Will he be that bad offensively this year?

He couldn’t possibly be worse.

I’d like to think that he would have to be better. PECOTA predicts he’ll hit .216/.274/.333 in 187 PA. That would be massively better. ZiPS suggests a .208/.257/.319.

I thought he was somewhat unlucky at the plate. It seemed like he couldn’t get anything to fall in. He had a .181 BABIP, much much lower than his .300 BABIP from 2016, in a similar number of at bats. He didn’t have a lot of ‘hard contact’, but he could have used a bit more luck at the plate.

Will he be our backup catcher this year?

At the moment, it looks like he’s the man. I think the team would like Danny Jansen to get some AAA at bats this year. Reese McGuire is another possibility, but he hsan’t played above AA. If the team doesn’t add a catch this spring, I’d think they would go with Maile and, perhaps, if Martin were to get hurt (please stay healthy Russell) Jansen would come up and get the bulk of the playing time.

But, I think it is likely the team will add a catcher before the end of spring training. I’d think there must be someone out there.

Poll

If the over/under for Maile MLB at bats is 75, I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Over
    (202 votes)
  • 33%
    Under
    (102 votes)
304 votes total Vote Now