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Astros: Maldy Hot Seat Tracker

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

If you want to be an informed Astros fan, I beg you to read this entire article. PLEASE.


I refuse to watch another year of one of the worst catchers playing for the champions. I want to give a shoutout to my Twitter friend Caleb who inspired me to get this out to people.


THIS is the home of what will be a growing and heating up Maldonado Hot Seat. We are going to simply track how atrocious this man is at his job. I NEVER go after players this way but Maldy's off-season antics of being butthurt that this team would even consider an upgrade has tipped this site to be the ground zero center point of all Maldonado hate. Here is the difference. We will use data and logic.


You may ask WHY are you on such a crusade.


HOT TAKE OPINION

The only way I see the Astros winning the World Series in 2023 is for Maldonado NOT to be their catcher in the postseason.

The bats will need to score 6 runs a game.

The team will need at least average production 1-9.


Do I expect to win this crusade in 2023? No. I don't expect the Astros to win the World Series either, I am trying to save them from themselves.


Here is my overall position.


The Astros ARE NOT bringing Maldy back for 2024. Therefore, in 2023, they MUST play Diaz and should play Lee enough to know if they are willing to roll through 2024 with those two as this franchise's catchers. Diaz NEEDS the 300 PA that Dana Brown said he was hoping to see.


Because of this, it is not enough to say Maldy and Diaz are on par with each other and we are more comfortable with Maldy. Maldy MUST be significantly better to justify an unbalance in playing time.


The future of this franchise at catcher likely rests with Diaz and Lee. the Astros need to start acting like it or find out that is not a viable option.



The Results Tracker- aka THE HOT SEAT TRACKER


The biggest weapon we have for telling the truth about Maldonado is his terrible results.


As you are aware from the Maldy roller coaster article here, Maldy gets hot streaks. He get horrible cold streaks, and we are in one right now. The good news is that we are at the point where most of the cold streaks are snapped.


2023 Record When Starting at Catcher

  • Maldonado 27 wins - 26 losses (3-8 in last 11 starts)

  • Diaz 10 wins - 6 losses

  • Salazar 2 win - 2 loss

2023 Runs Given Up When Starting at Catcher

  • Maldonado- Runs allowed per game: 3.63

  • Diaz/ Salazar-Runs allowed per game: 3.45

Another way to show this is to use what is called a catcher ERA- the team ERA when a player is catching.

  • Maldonado 3.46 Catcher ERA

  • Diaz 3.51 Catcher ERA

Any differences here are statistically insignificant. You will also notice that Maldonado is getting a vast majority of the top starters.

Maybe you need to see the catcher ERA is NOT just a 2023 thing


Catcher ERA in 2022

  • Maldonado 2.91 Catcher ERA

  • Castro 2.46 Catcher ERA

  • Vazquez 3.02 catcher ERA

Catcher ERA in 2021

  • Maldonado 3.82 Catcher ERA

  • Castro 3.82 Catcher ERA

Where is the mystical effect Maldonado has on the Astros Pitching Staff? It does not exist and hasn't for over two years.


EVERYONE SAYS Valdez HAS to pitch to Maldy. Listen to the pitchers. Well let's all remember what FRAMBER had to say about pitching to Korey Lee in March. (Info from Chandler Rome on Twitter.)


Chandler Rome @Chandler_Rome Framber Valdez on working w/Korey Lee: "I've started to get comfortable throwing to him. He calls the pitches I want to throw. I feel very good about that. If the opportunity arises during the season, he's a guy I'd feel comfortable throwing to. He's been doing a really good job" 8:16 PM · Mar 24, 2023


What do you THINK "He calls the pitches I want to throw" MEANS folks?


It COULD mean other catchers- like the one he is told to throw to every fifth day- DON'T. It DOES mean that he is willing to pitch to others.


2023 Runs Scored When Starting at Catcher

  • Maldonado- Runs scored per game: 4.30

  • Diaz/ Salazar- Runs scored: 5.00

Maldy is batting like Maldy. We have been riding the Maldy Roller Coaster and his wRC+ is now 58. His 2021-2023 average is 64 wRC+.

I am going to repeat this until it's clear. I DON'T even care if Diaz and Lee hit as bad as Maldy for the rest of the year. I REALLY DON'T CARE. They are 24. We need to know if they are viable catcher options for 2024 and beyond. I want to see them play and so should the front office.


FYI- Diaz has played more DH and he has been crushing the ball. His wRC+ is almost DOUBLE Maldonado at 112.


FYI- Lee currently is hitting 0.280/0.330/0.390/0.720 which in the PCL is 72 wRC+. In 110 PA since 4/25/23, Lee is 0.302/0.349/0.436/0.785 - 87 wRC+.


How many catchers with 180PA (Maldy 186PA- 19 catchers) are hitting 58 wRC+ or worse? NONE



WAR Tracker among Catchers


2023 Season to Date

  • Maldonado- 186 PA- -0.8 NEGATIVE 0.8.

  • Diaz- 118 PA- 0.6 - let the man play!

How many catchers with 180PA (Maldy 186PA- 19 catchers) have -0.8 WAR or worse? NONE


2021-2023 Two Years Plus current year


Maldonado- 991 PA - -0.1 WAR


Folks, he has delivered -0.1 WAR in two plus years!!!! That is PATHETIC.


Among players with 900 PA+ there are 14 catchers. Maldonado is DEAD LAST in WAR.

These have been the elite catchers in the game to be given THIS much playing time. Maldy is the worst of this group, and it is not even close.


Among all players at all positions with 900 PA, Maldonado is

  • WAR- 193rd among 201 players.

  • wRC+- 200th among 201 players


This is the point where you tell me "Larry it's his DEFENSE", (It literally happened on Twitter. I just shake my head.)


I NEED you to hear this. Of the 19 catchers with 180 or more plate appearances in 2023 or in other words the starting catcher group, Maldonado's -2.4 defensive WAR is 16th of the 19. Therefore, he is the worst batter of the group and in the bottom third of defenders in the group.


Among the 43 catchers for the 2021-2023 with a minimum of 1000 Innings caught


The GREAT defensive catcher is

  • 18th in Defensive WAR

  • 35th in framing

  • 33rd in DRS (Defensive Runs Saved- -6)

HE IS NOT GREAT BUT HE IS BELOW AVERAGE instead of being the train wreck he is at the plate. But hey he is 1st in passed balls! Oh wait. Yes, he leads the league with 5 passed balls in 2023.


Maldy is going to Maldy. What does that mean? Expect the same roller coaster ride in 2023 that we had in 2022.



Maldy's Career in Context


This WILL BLOW your mind


Here is one you can share broadly. Of All the players to play since Maldonado entered the league with no restriction on PA (set the filter at 10 PA and have a list of 2339 players), ONLY ONE has delivered a lower Offensive WAR than Maldonado's -143.9. That player is retired and Maldy will be worse than him soon. No player has done less with the PA they have been given since Maldy entered the league, than Martin Maldonado.


Of all 2038 batters with more than 3000 PA of ALL TIME Maldy’s 72 wRC+ ranks him 1962. That's vs. ALL hitters since 1871. So there is that.


If we limit the time span to 1961 to 2023, there are now 1201 players with more than 3000 PA. Maldy’s 72 wRC+ ranks him 1156. Or you can say there are only 45 players with a worse career wRC+ in the modern era of baseball that were give 3000 PA.


If we limit to the span of Maldy's career (2011-2023), there are now 234 players with more that 3000 PA. Maldonado's 72 wRC+ ranks him 233st.


Now of those same 3000 PA players only 89 are ACTIVE and Maldonado ranks, you guessed it 89th.


If one lowers the bar to 1500 PA there are now 162 active players. Only Austin Hedges has a lower wRC+ than Maldonado.


Let's take those same 162 players. Martin Maldonado has delivered 12.9 WAR overall (remember only -0.1 since 2021) which is 86 out of the 162 players. He WAS valuable at one time, but he isn't any longer. THIS IS what happens to players in their mid-30s. That the Astros refuse (or Maldy refuses) to accept the aging curve is the issue more than the fact that Maldy is on it.


Here is the trend of Maldonado's Defensive WAR and his overall WAR. When people reference Maldy as a GREAT defensive catcher- they are actually thinking about 2017 and 2018 Maldy. It is 2023 not 2018.


I don't want to have to type this. IF Maldonado stays on the pace he has for the first 73 games, he will deliver -1.8 WAR. He would also have his worst defensive year of his career 0r -5.3 defensive WAR.


Read more about Diaz as a defensive catcher compared to Maldy here.



When I say Maldy's current performance is unsustainable, I mean it.


Even I don't think Maldonado is THIS bad, but the aging curve IS undefeated. These numbers are significantly WORSE than they were last time I updated this.


We had a discussion on Twitter Spaces about the catching position and what one could expect from a catcher for wRC+ (shoutout out to Caleb again for this topic.)


The catching position throughout the history of baseball has delivered generally around 85-90 wRC+. The only time Maldy exceeded the average catcher significantly was in the COVID shortened season of 2020. (He was a very typical 65 wRC+ in that postseason however.)


Here is how Maldy is doing vs. the average catcher.

There you go - The Maldy Hot Seat Tracker. I will update these numbers several times a week.


The Astros organization DID NOT do what THEY said they would do. They did not get an alternative veteran to pair with Maldonado. They did this because they believed in their two rookie catchers. Now, it is time to prove it.

  • At some point, put Maldy on the 10-day IL, make something up, he is still not recovered from the things that should have caused him to be out last year. I don't care.

  • Call up Lee then

  • Keep making excuses for Maldy to stay out, put him on the 60-day IL, tell him to shut up and collect his paycheck and do his coaching role.

  • Give Diaz and Lee all of the rest year to improve. Do you REALLY think they are going to be worse than Maldy?

  • IF either of them is REALLY REALLY struggling in August, bring Maldy off of the 60-day IL and get him ready for the postseason.

You may consider this to be a radical course of action. It is. It is also caused by the team not taking action in the offseason.


Of course, I know Diaz and Lee will have bad days ahead too. I would rather have either one of the 24-year-olds have a bad day at catcher than watch the 36-year-old fail once again. Let them have their bad days in April, May, June, and July.


Don't come at me with the players love him. READ the entire section 4 of this Maldy article written in June of last year,


The crusade begins. This will ONLY work if people start repeating the truth and stop repeating the propaganda. I will do my part; will you?


Do I expect this to make ANY difference? Well, I think those that have read this are already way more educated and aware of the propaganda wrt Maldonado. No, I do NOT expect the Astros will implement my radical plan. Yes, I do expect Yainer Diaz will get 40-60% of the playing time at catcher in the 2H of the season.


This will surely bring "Look at this guy who pretends he is the Astros GM and thinks he knows more than the team."


1. The Website CLEARLY states- "I know I am not a GM, but I can help you think like one."

2. The "TEAM" traded for Vazquez. I am in alignment with the FO. The FO and the MANAGER are not in alignment. I am just going to tell you right now, Dana Brown will win this battle. It may be in 2024. Maldy's time in Houston IS coming to a close.


I sometimes have a love/ hate relationship with Twitter. Every once in a while, I get someone that shares things in a way that I just have to let you all see it. Here is one response I got to this updated article.


Paul @AbreuSupremacy Click brought in Castro and paid him about the same as Maldy. He and Crane wanted Contreras which resulted in Maldy pouting like a baby. Hilarious that there’s this idea among fans that the FO believes Maldy is secretly a great catcher in spite of all his obvious shortcomings.




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