It doesn’t have the same cache as the battle for starting shortstop. It doesn’t seem as relevant as the competition in the starting rotation. Yet, the battle to become the backup catcher of the Arizona Diamondbacks should not be minimized. As we saw last season Kirk Gibson sometimes likes to use his backup catcher as a pinch hitter. So who do you think emerges victorious in this contest: Tuffy Gosewisch or Henry Blanco?
After toiling in the Minors for almost nine years with three different organizations, Gosewisch finally was called up to the Show on August 1st. He received 45 at-bats with the D’backs and managed eight hits, three of them doubles and three RBI’s. His line was an unremarkable .178/.174/.222. However, his forte is defense. Over his Minor League career he has thrown out 36% of all would-be base stealers including a sizzling 51% at Reno in 2013. The team would feel comfortable with Tuffy calling a game on the days Miguel Montero needs a break.
Blanco is back for another attempted tour of duty with the Snakes. He played parts of two seasons in Arizona including the division winning team of 2011. At 42, this is his last shot at being an active player and he is training as never before according to Steve Gilbert at mlb.com. Like Gosewisch, Blanco is known for his defensive skills although he does occasionally come up with a clutch hit. If he does not make the team, there is a open invitation fro him to become the club’s assistant hitting coach, something that seems to interest him.
Who’s your guy? We will know who is the guy in about three weeks.