There’s Nowhere for a Freed Jake Fox to Go
By Jon Anderson
The Pirates offense hasn’t been good this year. You know what happens when something goes wrong with a professional sports team, don’t you? Their fans become sports doctor geniuses with all the answers.
One of the answers that some Pirates fans have come up with recently is “freeing Jake Fox” (which means calling him up to the major leagues… winky face). Fox is hitting .342/.432/.605 in Indianapolis this year, which is a huge reason why people want to see him in the majors. They also want him up here because of the poor play of Rod Barajas, the Pirates catcher. Jake Fox does own a catcher’s glove. To a lot of fans, that means he’s good enough to play the position a the major league level. I’m here to tell you that he’s not.
Jake Fox has never been able to find a consistent home in the show. He’s made just 89 career starts in the major leagues. Only 20 of those starts have come at catcher. In the minor leagues he has played the position more, in fact it has been his main position down on the farm. He’s played catcher in 296 career minor league games. 21 of those came last year.
The telling statistic here is that zero of them have come this year. He didn’t suit up in the catcher’s gear at all for the Pirates in spring training and he hasn’t done it in Indianapolis either. The Pirates don’t view this guy as a catcher anymore.
Sure, the Pirates probably didn’t envision Rod Barajas being this terrible in spring training, so they didn’t think they might need another big league ready backup, but I think if they ever would have given thought to him playing catcher again, they would be working him in behind the plate a bit more often.
I’m not a scout. I don’t know how good Fox is behind the plate. What I do know is that the Pirates don’t see him as a catcher and will not make him a catcher again unless an extreme emergency happens.
Fox is a corner infield now. There isn’t a spot in Pittsburgh for another corner infielder. That’s kind of why Matt Hague got cut. Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee are doing a pretty decent job with that platoon and Pedro Alvarez’s name is permanently inked into the lineup.
Sorry doctors, I think it’s time to find a new treatment for this anemic Pirates offense – because it just isn’t Jake Fox.