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The Curse Of Mitch Melusky

As I was going through today's baseball news, I caught a glimpse of what might be the end of Jorge Posada's career with the Yankees. Apparently if Posada doesn't turn it around by the All-Star Break, the Yankees plan to release him.

So I took a gander at Posada's stats this year: .195/.306/.362, 6 homers. 82 OPS+. I know Posada's defense behind the plate is essentially non-existent at this point, and thus the Yankees won't play him there, but it got me thinking about how poor the Astros catchers have been at hitting over the past...5...10...ever years. I'm not advocating the Astros sign Posada when and if he's released, because even if he plays well for the almost-a-month at that point Houston likely wouldn't be able to flip him for prospects.

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But just how far back do I have to go to find an Astros catcher that would beat the washed up version of Posada at the plate? 2001. Tony Eusebio had an 86 OPS+ off the bench in that year. To find someone who outdid that as a starter? Why, you'd have to go back to 2000 and look fondly at Mitch Meluskey. 

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The old Earl Weaver-ism of "play for one run and that's all you'll get" comes to mind here. Except in this case it's more like "value catcher defense and pitch-calling so much you employ Brad Ausmus for eight years and you better hope the rest of your team can hit." That was certainly the case during the playoff years; not so much anymore. 

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