Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

I don’t want them forget Ruth; I just want them to remember me. -Hank Aaron

12 Feb

Javy Lopez

One of the key players for the Braves this season. Javy hasn’t been the same since the knee injury that ended his 1999 season. In fact, he’s regressed, from adequate in 2000 to poor in 2001 and just awful in 2002. He hit only .233 and his on-base percentage — never a strong suit — fell to .299. He hit only 11 homers, the lowest number of his career, and slugged only .372. He never ran that well, but now he’s one of the slowest players in baseball. If the Braves had had a decent reserve catcher, he might have been benched, but all they had was Henry Blanco, who was even worse.

Javy has supposedly dedicated his offseason to getting in shape. I don’t know about that; he never looked out of shape to me. He looked more like his bat was slow, and I don’t see how adding muscle will help. Statistically, he’s still hitting the ball (his strikeouts and walks are about the same as they’ve always been) but he’s simply not hitting it well enough to get hits. It’s possible that whatever’s wrong with him simply can’t be fixed. While I was as critical as anyone of the Millwood Debacle, it’s possible that Johnny Estrada is the best catcher in the organization.

Javy Lopez Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

8 Responses to “Javy Lopez”

  1. 1
    Ted Arrowsmith Says:

    Javy will be 32 this year and his OPS+ have gone:

    84-118-100-129-122-133-105-91-76

    This sure looks like a catcher whose knees are catching up with him. It’s interesting that his best age 30 and 31 comp. is Carlton Fisk who, of course, continued to be a productive catcher.

    Question: given the sunk cost of Javy’s contract; how much time do you give him this year to see if he can bounce back before playing Estrada as the #1 catcher? What’s an adequate sample size?

  2. 2
    Colin Says:

    One very annoying thing – one of the ongoign reasons given for “why Javy doesn’t catch Maddux” was “This helps keep Javy healthy!” Yeah…

    Javy has become painful to watch, though. I thought in recent years he looked like he was guessing more, committing to swing more often before the pitch. as you note, his pitch slection was never that great, but he’s just looked more and more desperate in recent years.

    Too bad. He was always a favorite of mine.

  3. 3
    John Says:

    as i recall the reason why javy doesnt catch maddux was because greg wasnt impressed with his catching skills when javy arrived
    since then the braves have used whatever was left over to play on days to give javy off days

  4. 4
    Bethany Says:

    I think Javy will turn it around this season…. he has the potential to do that.. I think when he lost some weight he felt better about himself and feels as if he could do better this year.. I know he really wants to stay with the Braves..and I believe in him every step of the way…

  5. 5
    Lisa Says:

    Do you think they are going to trade javy this year i am praying that they dont. i would love some views on this…Thanks Lisa

  6. 6
    PaulB Says:

    Y’know, I stumbled on this page pretty much by accident. I bet the Mac Thomason feels pretty stupid, now, after the complete season Javy just had…

    Javy Lopez (By Mac Thomason, February 12, 2003)

    One of the key players for the Braves this season. Javy hasn’t been the same since the knee injury that ended his 1999 season. In fact, he’s regressed, from adequate in 2000 to poor in 2001 and just awful in 2002. He hit only .233 and his on-base percentage — never a strong suit — fell to .299. He hit only 11 homers, the lowest number of his career, and slugged only .372. He never ran that well, but now he’s one of the slowest players in baseball. If the Braves had had a decent reserve catcher, he might have been benched, but all they had was Henry Blanco, who was even worse.

    Javy has supposedly dedicated his offseason to getting in shape. I don’t know about that; he never looked out of shape to me. He looked more like his bat was slow, and I don’t see how adding muscle will help. Statistically, he’s still hitting the ball (his strikeouts and walks are about the same as they’ve always been) but he’s simply not hitting it well enough to get hits. It’s possible that whatever’s wrong with him simply can’t be fixed. While I was as critical as anyone of the Millwood Debacle, it’s possible that Johnny Estrada is the best catcher in the organization.

    Y’know, I stumbled on this page pretty much by accident. I bet the Mac Thomason feels pretty stupid, now, after the year Javy had…

  7. 7
    PaulB Says:

    Just to reiterate, I bet the Mac feels pretty silly…

    Hmmm, let’s review…Javy Lopez, 2003…

    2003 Silver Slugger Award

    Javy set both a MLB record and achieved career highs in 2003 with 43 Home runs (42 as a catcher).

    He became one of only 3 MLB catchers to end a season with 40 home runs, 100 RBIs and a batting average of .300

    Final 2003:
    .328 avg / .687 Slugging %
    43 HR / 109 RBIs

    Javy Lopez was voted as the starting catcher for the National League in the MLB 2003 All-Star Game.

  8. 8
    unknown Says:

    Javy was the best catcher that the Braves had. Don’t know why they let him go to Baltimore but that was stupid….and if anything happens to Chipper the Braves can just pretty much hand in their uniforms early.

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