Michael McKenry Framed by Chris Stewart

The Pirates today traded for veteran catcher Chris Stewart.  To make room for him they DFA Michael McKenry.

Chris Stewart is a darling of saber guys and the more refined bloggers in general.  The reason is simple.  His pitch framing.  More importantly the fact that his pitch framing abilities have been lauded far and wide.

Let me say this before it starts to look bad.  I love pitch framing.  I think it’s a huge asset.  I think it’s the biggest value Russell Martin provided.

I don’t really like this move.

Does it send Tony Sanchez back to AAA?  Maybe.  That’s fine with me.  Let him catch every day.

The fact that they had to DFA Michael McKenry to make the move is what worries me.

McKenry has an awful reputation amongst the “smarter” fans.  His biggest mistake was being beloved by the fanboy/girl sect.  A few clutch homers later and you have someone everyone that wants baseball to be emotionless can hate.

The only thing that changes my opinion of cutting McKenry is his knee.  If it’s not healed yet okay.  I get it.  But he has an option left and would make next to nothing in arbitration so he could have been stashed in AAA and been paid peanuts.

Stewart is as advertised.  A great defensive catcher.  Not unlike Brandon Inge, a guy that was “amazing” defensively.  Like Brandon Inge, Stewart apparently goes to the plate with a “Bo Staff” instead of a bat.

The guy can’t hit. For all the complaining about McKenry’s bat last season he hit much better than Stewart. His .610 OPS last season, while not great, was better than all of Stewart’s except for one.

Whether you are talking about offense from Sanchez or McKenry I think it’s wildly unlikely Stewart provides more than either of them.

It seems to me the last thing this team needs is less offense off the bench.