I have a feeling this will become a yearly missive. I’ll keep this short as I attempt to round up all the prospect list links.
ZiPS projects Bryan Anderson as a .261/.319/.387 hitter in the majors for 2011. No great shakes by most interpretations. That translates to something around a .310 wOBA or about 8 runs worse than average over 600 PAs. That’s not actually terrible for a catcher.
Gerald Laird projects as a .240/.302/.342 hitter in 2011 or roughly a .285 wOBA.
Arguments for Gerald Laird to be the 2011 backup catcher have to include a rational discussion as to how he is 15 runs better (over a full season; prorate accordingly) defensively relative to Bryan Anderson. That is to say you’d have to believe Gerald Laird is a little better than average and Bryan Anderson is well below average behind the plate. It’s the minimum hurdle that has to be overcome and only serves as a starting point for potential discussions regarding platooning, age, injury risk, etc.
Succinctly, this looks like a bad decision to me. It’s more runs lost at the margins of the team. Eventually, those add up.