We have a confession: we completely don’t “get” Oakland’s “plan” to play Mike Piazza at “catcher.”
Actually, we can’t think of a worse plan.
First of all, Piazza was a terrible defensive catcher ten years ago when he was young, healthy and able-bodied. Now he’s a 38-year-old mess of an old man with neither leg nor arm strength. The A’s brought in the former Dodger/Met to be a designated hitter and fill the right-handed power hitter void left by Frank Thomas. By forcing him to catch, the A’s will undoubtedly take away from Piazza’s offensive game, particularly down the stretch in September, when his body will surely be aching.
Plus, his return will now be delayed three weeks as he reinvents himself as a catcher in Triple-A.
But the biggest nonsensical aspect of the “idea” is the fact that the A’s have a young stud catcher in Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki is already better offensively than Jason Kendall and is clearly the heir apparent. While there’s an argument to be made for Suzuki playing everyday in the minors, it doesn’t seem to be worth it, considering Kendall will likely need several days off every month and the A’s have no backup catcher.
Keep Suzuki as the backup. Get Piazza back in the lineup–as a DH.
A’s to play Piazza at catcher [Vallejo Times Herald]