I’m going to let you in on a little writer secret. We don’t just write exclusively for traffic, but without traffic, there’s no FanGraphs. So we do want more clicks instead of fewer clicks, and when you’re composing a post about Chris Iannetta, it can be beneficial to disguise the subject. You might not be interested in reading about Iannetta, if you knew that’s what you’d be doing. But now you’re in, see. And you’re probably going to see this whole thing through, because the brain doesn’t want to acknowledge being teased. Now that I think about it, this isn’t a writer secret at all. This is just the Internet. Well anyway, there is something crazy here, so let’s get to that.
Jerry Dipoto didn’t set expectations too high for the Mariners, saying the goal was to build a team that could win 85 games or so. As part of that construction, Dipoto targeted bounceback candidates, and one of them was Chris Iannetta, who was coming off a down year at the plate. At the very least, Iannetta would improve upon the Mariners’ miserable catching baseline from 2015. But there was something even more promising in there: In 2015, Iannetta learned how to frame. He became one of the better catchers with regard to stealing or keeping strikes, and the story all made sense. It was easy to buy into Iannetta as a solid receiver. That, in turn, made it easy to buy into him as a solid regular catcher.
You know what they say about buying into things. Don’t ever bother buying anything. Iannetta’s bat hasn’t bounced back. But, far weirder, the receiving has completely deteriorated.