As Torrealba looks west, the Rockies court Brian Schneider

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The Denver Post’s Troy Renck reports that the Rockies are interested in free agent catcher Brian Schneider, late of the New York Mets.  The reason: their own free agent catcher, Yorvit Torrealba, is getting calls from the West Coast.  Renck thinks it’s probably the Giants. Which makes a ton of sense for them, as long as they don’t give him multiple Buster Posey-blocking years.

Schneider had a terrible year in New York, but it’s not like the Rockies are looking for a starter here. Chris Iannetta has the job, and Schneider can still catch the ball on day games after night games.

Torrealba got his start in San Francisco, signing with the Giants when he was a 16 year-old amateur free agent, and playing on the big club from 2001 through 2005. They knew then that he was a backup and one hopes that they still think of him that way.  Bonus: signing Torrealba would mean the end of the Molina administration, making it all the easier to ease Posey into position without any demotion-inducing ruffled feathers on the part of Big Bengie.  

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.