Respected but brutally bad catcher Rob Johnson has been optioned to AAA Tacoma. Minor prospect but prospect nonetheless, Adam Moore, has been recalled to fill his position. There is plenty written in support of and damning Rob Johnson. I won’t stick my toe in the water as it’s a crowded pool and I have little to add regarding Johnson’s quantifiable performance versus all that is appreciated by pitchers and coaches but invisible to fans.â†µ
I wonder though, is Johnson’s demotion the front office superseding the power of manager Don Wakamatsu? I wonder this because last season, when the Seahawks cut Brian Russell, it seemed similarly out of the blue. Coaches supported Russell. He lacked talent, much the same way Johnson does. The move happened without any apparent change in performance from Russell. Ruskell hinted that Jordan Babineaux could be competing for the position of free safety but coaches seemed oblivious to this competition. Russell wasn’t cut until the final paring down to 53. But he was cut and replaced with an organizational soldier and not a young prospect.â†µ
Moore is somewhere between organizational soldier and young prospect. He’s 26. He’s mashed in the minors but his short time in the majors was horrendous. Moore is no guarantee to be better than Johnson and so his recall and Johnson’s subsequent demotion seems as much an indictment of Johnson as a feather for Moore.â†µ
Wakamatsu has earned criticism this season, as any losing manager will, but much of the criticism has stemmed from his decisions rather than his team losing. The flare up between him and Chone Figgins may have been a turning point. Losing managers are always in danger, but I am starting to wonder if Wakamatsu’s belief system and the organization’s philosophy can live in harmony.