Thursday, September 22, 2011
What Do We Have: Catchers
The catching position is one where the Pirates have seemingly had trouble finding a guy to hold down the fort since Jason Kendall became an expensive and not very useful player. This past season, I believe the Pirates have used 7 men behind the plate, maybe even more. Right now there are 6 catchers on the roster, but not all will be a part of the team next season.
Easily we can scratch Chris Snyder off the roster, he is injury prone and will be too expensive. Snyder, who appeared in more games last season with the Pirates than this season, will not be really missed.
Ryan Doumit, a vanguard of the past few Pirate teams, will more than likely be following Mr. Snyder out of town. Doumit he of the defensive deficiency and the bat that only plays as a catcher, but he does not play defense as a catcher.
That leaves a MASH unit of players that will perhaps make up the catching position for the Pirates; Eric Fryer, Jason Jaramillo, Michael McKenry, and Matt Pagnozzi. The recent acquisition of Pagnozzi perhaps tipped Huntington's hand of going into next season with a bunch of guys and finding one that sticks.
That is perhaps the best option at this point. One a free agent would only be for one season and would not be much better than Chris Snyder or Ryan Doumit. Additionally the top catching prospect on the farm, Tony Sanchez, struggled at AA at the plate. The organization would more than likely love to have him straighten things out in the minors than in Pittsburgh, leading to a lame duck type of year.
The best guess then for what to expect next year would be a stop gap at catcher, until Sanchez is ready. A combination of Michael McKenry and either Pagnozzi or Jaramillo is what we can expect. The Pirates will more than likely simply bide their time until Tony Sanchez is ready. If they can get good defense from this platoon, it might not be all that bad, but we cannot expect to see much offense if any.