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Phillies Right to Retain Schneider: A Fan’s Reaction
The Philadelphia Phillies solved another one of their offseason issues. This time, the Phillies retained one of their players. The team signed reserve catcher Brian Schneider(notes) to a one year deal. Schneider has proven to be a decent backup, though his offensive numbers are nothing to be excited about. But still, signing him for another season was the right move. As a Phillies fan, I'm glad that the team stuck with a guy the pitching staff likes and didn't cost too much money.
One of the reasons Carlos Ruiz(notes) is so invaluable to the Phillies is his ability to work with the variety of aces on the pitching staff. He has earned the respect of everyone on the staff. Schneider has that same respect. The Phillies won more than 80 percent of the games in which Schneider started. That is clear proof that he knows how to manage a game. If the Phillies had gone with another backup that they didn't know, they might have messed with the comfort level of the pitchers. By retaining Schneider, the Phillies ensure consistency in the most important area of the team.
On the flip side, the Phillies haven't been getting much offensive production from their two catches. Once a clutch hitter in the postseason, Ruiz regressed at the plate in 2011. Schneider hit just .176 so he wasn't much better. But it is important to note that the catcher can get away with weaker stats if he proves himself in the field. In the case of Ruiz and Schneider, the Phillies have two catchers that fit that bill.
The Phillies locked up Schneider for $800,000. That is a bargain for the position. Now, the team has more money to divert to other areas of need. They also keep the guy that caught most of Vance Worley's(notes) starts during his rookie year. Schneider proved he can work with young pitchers by the way he worked with Worley. That should prove valuable in 2012. Overall, this isn't the kind of move that will trigger excitement among the fans. However, it was a smart move that the franchise had to make.
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