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Stop the Maldonado Madness and start Korey Lee

by Tim Moran

Truthfully, this article could contain zero words and only this screenshot:

Martin Maldonado is not just bad, he is the worst player in baseball. The 37-year-old backstop has an fWAR of -1.3, tied only with Andrew Benintendi (lol), and Benny has far more plate appearances. So why is Maldonado still getting roughly 45% of the playing time at catcher?

The other option must be horrendous. Right? Never played a game of baseball in his life? 50 years old? Lost an arm perhaps? Nope, it’s actually this guy:

Oh….oh. So Pedro Grifol is willingly throwing out a 37-year-old half the time instead of a promising, young 25-year-old with offensive output far above league average. Cool, cool, cool.

Before you ask, no, Maldonado is not a defensive improvement. The two catchers are poor defenders overall and equally poor blockers, but Lee is the superior framer and steal-preventer. Additionally, Lee showcases potential with his league-leading pop time.

Sadly, the balance of game action isn’t improving with time as stats increasingly show the supremacy of Korey Lee. Since one calendar month ago, Maldonado has started 13 games at catcher while Lee has started 16. On par with the season ratio, Maldonado continues to get almost 45% of the playing time.

There’s no guarantee that Lee will be an above-average catcher for years to come, sure. His results are a little lucky, as the former first-round pick features a .343 BABIP and higher wOBA than expected wOBA. Still, Lee boasts an xwOBA (.316) right at the major league average, a quality mark for an inexperienced catcher.

Moreover, now is the perfect opportunity to maximize Lee’s playing time! Young and strong, he can undoubtedly handle a heavy workload behind the plate. Seeing significant action is the best way for a recent prospect to mature in the majors, and the White Sox are damaging Lee’s development by limiting his innings.

Nobody knows whether it’s Grifol or Chris Getz who insists on starting Maldonado so much, but both should be embarrassed. The South Siders are giving regular playing time to a 37-year-old catcher with an OPS under .300. An on-base plus slugging of UNDER .300!!! That’s almost impossible!

Call me dramatic over a 15-34 ballclub, I don’t care. Korey Lee, keep doing you. As for my thoughts on Maldy, well:

Follow us @SoxOn35th for more throughout the season!

Featured Image: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

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Daniel W

These writers make me laugh. Astros fan here, grew up playing ball through college. Sports writers were saying that about Maldonado when he played here. But we win. The man calls a better game than most coaches. The man handles the team better than most coaches. It’s hard to explain this to sports writers. No stat can point that out. If you want to develope young pitchers, Maldonado is who you want. I really wish we kept him….but we couldn’t bc of Abreu collapsing on 1st base.

Last edited 21 days ago by Daniel W

If Moldy is so good at developing pitchers, what happened when he got a hold of Hunter Brown? Why has Framber regressed to mental midget status again?

ERA with Moldy vs Yainer Diaz was way too close considering Moldy caught front end starters to pad his stats.

Sometimes…numbers don’t lie.

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