The Nats' hardened backstop tries his
level best to rough-up Apolo Anton Ohno
Brian Schneider is a catcher. Catchers get banged up sometimes. Schneider's throwing arm was banged up, or stretched up, or whatever you want to call it. During the second half, when Schneider was able to play at all, Frank Robinson essentially platooned him with Passed Ball Bennett. I'd go back and track that, just for the heck of it, but I already did so in a September 15 thread at the Ballpark Guys forum:
9/13 Glavine: Bennett
9/9 Ramirez: Bennett
9/7 Willis: Bennett
9/5 Vargas: Bennett
9/3 Brito: Bennett
8/31 (game 2) Ramirez: Bennett
8/25 Claussen: Bennett
. . .
8/10 was versus Wandy Rodriguez, who's a lefty. Schneider started. I'm not going any farther back than that, because I don't have time. That was the only lefty opposition starter until the Claussen game, so the platoon could have or probably did start with the Claussen game. It's been a strict one for over three weeks now.
Bennett's started one or two games against a righty, but Schneider has started the vast majority of those. Draw your own conclusions.
Of course, if you're going to rest your lefthanded hitting catcher, you might as well do so against a lefthanded pitcher. The point is that Robinson started resting Schneider against every lefthanded pitcher after awhile.
Well, the larger point is that if you're going to do this, you might as well try to do it with a better hitting platoon partner than Gary Bennett. If Matt Lecroy can actually handle catcher, then he would certainly qualify.
At any rate, one should probably not expect Schneider to make many more than 400 at-bats.
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This recent quote from Robinson isn't about Schneider per se, but it's still noteworthy, and it does contain Schneider's name, so sue me. Actually, sue the bad copy editing:
"Yes, I saw that. What really caught my eye was the 1-1 slider he bounced in the dirt to one of the guys. I was like, what is that? Then he came back and got the guy out and I said, now that's better. He's working on some of his pitches over there. I hope Buck Martinez knows that." I turned my back when he threw that slider."
Robinson was then informed Nats catcher Brian Schneider was doing the catching when Cordero was out there. "Yeah, and I will talk to him to[o]," he said.
* * *
Back to Schneider, here's his last four seasons:
YR AB AVG OBP SLG RS HR RBI
02 207 .275 .339 .459 21 05 29
03 335 .230 .309 .394 34 09 46
04 436 .257 .325 .399 40 12 49
05 369 .268 .330 .409 38 10 44
As always, my projection is in the comments.