Seems like people are lumping Blanco into the s*****ness that has become Rod Barajas, like they are a tandem. The past week or so it’s ‘get rid of one of the righty catchers’ and ‘Blanco and Barajas are nothing more than automatic outs’ and yesterday on Metsblog they were both nothing more than glorified catching instructors, I believe.
– Chris M, via email.
I’m with Chris. Henry Blanco is pretty awesome for a variety of reasons. I don’t think he’s built to play every day at this point — especially since there were offseason concerns about his shoulder — but it certainly seems like he should be on the field more often, considering the way Barajas has played.
Blanco’s got a decent-for-a-catcher .727 OPS, and it’s not like that’s so terribly far off his past few years’ lines for us to assume he won’t keep it up.
Also, though Blanco is by all accounts a nice guy, he looks like a total badass. Really no way to put a value on that. He’s got ink everywhere and a sweet mullet. So few men can pull off the mullet these days.
Twitterer @RobertJamis and I, via a Twitter volley not too long ago, came to a pretty excellent idea: Someone should sell long-sleeved t-shirts in various skin-colored shades with images of Henry Blanco’s tattoos on the arms. Then you could wear that under a Henry Blanco jersey or player tee, to simulate the full Hank White experience. Tell me that wouldn’t be awesome.
But most of all, and maybe most importantly, Blanco is a stellar defensive catcher. He rates near the top of the league by objective and subjective measures. And he has a reputation as a good game-caller. Perfect guy to have around as a backup backstop.
So yeah, Blanco should not be lumped in with Barajas. It’s the Mets’ catcher’s struggles, not the Mets’ catchers’ struggles, if you will.
Actually, I kind of wonder if something’s up with Blanco that we don’t know about, considering how infrequently he has played this month. Blanco has only had seven at-bats in July and appeared in three games. Granted, part of that is due to the presence of Josh Thole, but you’d think the trusty backup would still see more at-bats, given the way Barajas has played.