John Buck is being overused, and it could be hurting his trade value. Only one MLB catcher has caught a higher percentage of his team’s games, and that’s the impeccable Yadier Molina. According to the Wall Street Journal, entering Wednesday night, John Buck had caught 85.8 percent of his team’s innings this season — behind Molina — for the largest percentage of innings caught in baseball. With a serviceable backup in Anthony Recker, I’m not sure why the Mets are using Buck this much. One of the reasons the Mets took on Buck’s salary for 2013 was to hopefully get something for him at the trade deadline. Despite his less-than-stellar numbers in the National League, he still handles a pitching staff pretty well and can provide streaks of power, something a contending team in need of a little pop might be interested in. And of course, when Buck hit nine home runs while posting an .844 OPS in the month of April, it looked as if he would have more value than we originally thought. Boy, were we wrong. Since then, Buck has hit just .196/.278/.289 with two home runs in 27 games. Sure, it’s a valid argument to say he just came back down to Earth. After all, he’s a career .234 hitter. But I honestly believe he’s being burned out. He’s a durable guy, having avoided the DL since 2010, but he’s also on pace to catch a career-high 142 games while coming close to 600 plate appearances. That’s just too much for him. “Down the road, you start to worry about it,” manager Terry Collins said, according to the WSJ report. “We’re going to try to certainly keep an eye on that and make sure we can keep him as fresh as we can.” That’s good to hear, but I must say I am a bit accustomed to taking what Terry says with a grain of salt. Even if it’s not his fault, his crystal ball seems to be a bit cloudy these days.
John Buck is being overused
MetsBlog.com | Jun 8