Jake Rogers should be starting behind the dish for the Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers have been using the platoon of Eric Haase and Jake Rogers behind the plate this season. Offensively, they both started out pretty solid. Haase was producing, and Rogers was hitting for some power. Defensively, Rogers was outstanding, but Haase was struggling a bit.
Ever since that first month, things have been quite a bit different. Both catchers have gone through slumps at the plate. Haase hit .211 in May and is just 1-for-20 so far in June. Rogers has caught fire a bit as of late, but is still hitting just .171 on the season. Strangely enough, he leads the team in home runs with eight.
As far as pitch sequencing and game-calling, Haase is very questionable back there. He doesn't seem to put his pitchers in the best position to succeed very often. A perfect example would be Jason Foley's most recent appearance on Sunday against Arizona.
Foley has arguably the best sinker in baseball. It is darn near impossible to hit that pitch in the air. What does Haase decide to do? Call a bunch of offspeed and breaking pitches. The result was a blown save for Foley and the ninth loss in a row for the Tigers.
Haase has pretty much nothing well so far this year. He has a track record to suggest the bat will perk up eventually, but his defense and sequencing behind the plate will always leave a lot to be desired.
Rogers, on the other hand, is great back there. He's a great framer, and the team just seems to play better when he's out there. He's just a darn good catcher. Sure, his batting average is very low and he strikes out about 35% of the time, but hits for power and finds a way to the barrel on the ball.
Haase has hit for virtually no power this year. He has just a .283 slugging percentage this season. It's very unlike him. Again, there's reason to suggest he will start to hit based on his track record, but right now it's just not happening. Combine that with his subpar defense and game-calling behind the plate, and it's hard to see a reason for him to be the starting catcher.
Jake Rogers is far from perfect. He strikes out a ton and just isn't a good hitter overall. But even despite that, he has 0.9 fWAR so far this year because his defense, framing, and pitch sequencing are that good.
Rogers needs to be the starting catcher for the Detroit Tigers going forward. Again, he's far from perfect, but he's the best option they have. And he could be a heck of a lot worse.