As HH writer Tyler Brett pointed out, Jered Weaver will miss his personal catcher, Jeff Mathis, who was traded to Toronto this offseason. That makes one. But I’ll miss Mathis too. His incredibly poor performance as a hitter made him an easy punching bag. And I showed up for this season in the worst condition of my life. My fingers are all flabby and my typing cardio is awful and now I don’t have Mathis to whip up on during Spring Training (points at eyes, points at Vernon Wells‘ eyes, points back to my eyes).
I’ll be fine, though, and so will Jered Weaver. Weaver struck out two in his Spring Training debut but loaded the bases on three hits before escaping the second inning without allowing a run. He only threw fastballs and curves but don’t just take it from me. MLB.com lets me embed some videos now…
I suspect Weaver and new catcher Chris Iannetta will be just fine as a new battery. Plus not having to pencil in a .174/.225/.259 line from the catcher spot can only help Weaver’s meaningless win totals. Even if the Angels decide to give Mark Trumbo the opportunity to butcher third base, that shouldn’t trouble a flyball pitcher like Weaver too much either.
Weaver finished second in AL Cy Young voting to Justin Verlander in 2011 but was arguably the second best pitcher on the Angels (Dan Haren is really good). An argument can be made that Weaver was somewhat underrated until last year. Weaver is one of 12 pitchers, along with Haren, to accumulate over a 20 bWAR (Baseball-Reference wins above replacement) since 2007.
Of course, the advanced metrics (FIP, xFIP, SIERA) don’t think Weaver has been as good as his ERA has suggested over the past two years. But he’ll still be playing in the same friendly home park with Peter Bourjos (and hopefully Mike Trout soon enough) running down flyballs for him. He might just land a Cy Young one of these years.