Trail Droppings 2037-4 Spring Training Battles - Catcher

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Trail Droppings 2037-4 Spring Training Battles - Catcher

Post by indiansfan » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:50 pm

Spring Training Battles - Catcher

Hector Serrano was a pleasant surprise last year as a rookie and came into Spring Training as the team’s starter. Serrano hit .315 in 82 games last season and the 22 year old switch hitter will get every chance to hold on to his starting role this season. His defense could use some improvement and did improve somewhat as the year went on. The big question was who would be the team’s other catcher and would it be someone on the roster or a free agent.

The team did look at several free agents and made offers to Sean Smith and Luis Miguel Carrillo, who both ended up signing with Charm City. If Smith has been willing to sign in the $3-4 million range he would be wearing a Pioneer jersey right now. Given his defense Smith was the main catcher the team went after. The team has offered minor league deals to several other catchers, but at this point that will be the only way they sign one.

On the roster and the backup last year was veteran Jeffery Warren. The 35 year old saw very limited action and passed through waivers this off season and is now back in AAA. Warren is more of an insurance policy in case of injury. At his age the team doesn’t see him in the long term plans. So the other catching spot came down to veteran Enrique Nunez and prospect Kevin Lyons.

Nunez spent parts of 4 seasons in the BBA before signing a minor league deal with Calgary last season. He is a lefty and at 28 this might be his last shot to stick in the majors. In 65 games at AAA last year he hit .290 with 10 homers. That warranted giving him a shot this Spring even though his defense isn’t much better than Serrano’s. Nunez hit .244 with a paltry .663 OPS and only 1 HR, earning him a return to AAA.

Lyons came over from Omaha last season in the trade that sent then starting catcher Antonio Robles back. Despite only playing 54 games at AAA, Lyons proved that he was clearly the better than Nunez this Spring. He won the job hitting .300 with a .933 OPS and 3 HR. The plan is that he will play some against LHP and he may replace Serrano in late inning due to his better arm. If he falters, the team still has Warren and Nunez and anyone else they could still sign.
Kevin

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Calgary Pioneers 2004- Present
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FL Pacific Champs: 2016, 2019, 2021, 2034
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