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The Pizza Man Can Still Deliver
Posted by Ted Rossman at 7/27/2006 11:29:00 PM
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Guess who is leading all major league catchers in home runs? Nope, not Pudge, Posada, or Victor Martinez. It's Mike Piazza. The same Piazza who was absolutely left for dead in New York last season. He has 16 dingers this year along with 47 RBI. He is hitting .304/.358/.546.

How many fantasy owners picked this guy up off the scrap heap and are now reaping the benefits? At age 37 (soon to be 38), he says he feels better than he has in years. He credits manager Bruce Bochy (the only former catcher for whom Piazza has ever played) for giving him enough time off to stay fresh.

Piazza even wants to play another year. San Diego won't sign off on his $8 million mutual option for 2007, but hasn't ruled out re-signing Piazza at a lower price. With 413 career homers and counting, Piazza will surely be enshrined in Cooperstown someday. Not bad for a 62nd round draft pick. Not bad at all.


He's raked for three months, no question on that. The problem is he still has to get behind the plate too. If the Pads wind up passing, an AL team would be wise to see if the price is right, then use Piazza as a hybrid guy in 2007.
Posted by spianow at 7/30/2006 2:22:00 AM
Agreed, defense certainly isn't Piazza's strongest suit. The Padres have been pleased with his pitch calling and blocking abilities this season, but he has only thrown out seven of 68 would-be base stealers -- just 10.3 percent. First base might not be the answer, as he has only hit .228 in his career at that position. Over the weekend, he said that he attributes that lack of success to a confidence issue and moodiness when he is put at first. DH perhaps? It will be interesting.
Posted by tedrossman at 7/30/2006 11:02:00 PM

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