The case against Gregg Zaun becoming an everyday catcher
An increase in training and a victory of alcoholism has been citied by some sources as a supporting factor to continued success in 2007. While the training and booze battle may be true, in many ways this hasn’t been an easy off-season for Gregg. His on again, off again negotiations with the Jays, amongst others, has to take some form of a toll. Yet, historically, even discussing an aging catcher being able to actually increase his workload, while maintaining career high statistics would be viewed as ludicrous. But we’ll do the dance anyways.
Gregg’s main strength is his ability to take a walk. This logically should not be effected too heavily by fatigue. But his batting average and more specifically his slugging percentage should decline. During Zaun’s entire career, including minor leagues, he’s only slugged over .400 once when he’s had over 250 PA, this being last season. Was this a fluke? Well, I think we can put aside that question for now and still come to the conclusion that he will be hard pressed to continue his career year. The main concern, once again, is durability. Let’s check out his pre and post all-star game splits.
Zaun’s 2006 Splits
- Pre-Allstar: .316/.392/.529
- Post-Allstar: .234/.337/.403
Zaunny dropped like a rock after the all-star game. This isn’t anything new either, check out his 2005;
- 2005 Pre-AS: .277/.378/.420
- 2005 PostAS: .224/.331/.324
Simply put, he has tired out in the 2nd half. With an increased load that is back to 2005 levels, no amount of conditioning improvement for a 35+ year old catcher is going to make too big of a difference.
The Jays can obtain a combined .270/.340/.400 from the catchers position, but only if they limit Zaun to about 100 games and keep him fresh. But if Gibby goes ahead and has Gregg catch his 125+, I see a dip in Zaun’s and the Jays overall catching production in 2007.
If you have a case for Gregg Zaun, feel free to make it below.