Jose Molina is not the starting catcher the Rays dream of having, but he will be back in a Rays uniform next season after the Rays picked up his 1.8 million dollar option for 2013. Molina had far from a great offensive year in 2012 but nevertheless about as good as the Rays’ could have realistically hoped for, posting a .223/.286/.355 line (80 OPS+) with 9 doubles, 8 homers, 32 RBI, and 60 strikeouts against 20 walks in 102 games and 274 plate appearances. The homers, RBIs, and games were all career-highs. Defensively, Molina allowed 6 passed balls and managed just a 33% caught stealing percentage compared to the 25% league average, but much of his defensive value came from his outstanding ability to frame pitches as strikes. The Rays hope to find another catcher to start most of their games in 2013, but at least as a backup Molina seems to be a good fit.
Last night, Major League Baseball allowed the Rawlings Gold Glove winners, and among them was Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, who split the AL Gold Glove at starting pitcher with the White Sox’ Jake Peavy. Per Rays PR man Jonathan Gantt, Hellickson became the second pitcher in baseball career with both a Rookie of the Year award and a Gold Glove, joining Fernando Valenzuela. Here’s what Hellickson had to say.
#Rays Hellickson on winning AL Gold Glove: “I’d much rather have been playing this last month, but this is a pretty cool award to win.’’
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) October 31, 2012
Why did Hellickson win the Gold Glove? Here were a couple of his best plays of the season.
Looking at those two throws, Hellickson had to have been a shortstop at some point in his life. Helly played great defense all year for the Rays and congrats to him on the award.