One of the key players for the Braves this season. Javy hasn’t been the same since the knee injury that ended his 1999 season. In fact, he’s regressed, from adequate in 2000 to poor in 2001 and just awful in 2002. He hit only .233 and his on-base percentage — never a strong suit — fell to .299. He hit only 11 homers, the lowest number of his career, and slugged only .372. He never ran that well, but now he’s one of the slowest players in baseball. If the Braves had had a decent reserve catcher, he might have been benched, but all they had was Henry Blanco, who was even worse.
Javy has supposedly dedicated his offseason to getting in shape. I don’t know about that; he never looked out of shape to me. He looked more like his bat was slow, and I don’t see how adding muscle will help. Statistically, he’s still hitting the ball (his strikeouts and walks are about the same as they’ve always been) but he’s simply not hitting it well enough to get hits. It’s possible that whatever’s wrong with him simply can’t be fixed. While I was as critical as anyone of the Millwood Debacle, it’s possible that Johnny Estrada is the best catcher in the organization.