With Spring Training only a week old, an interesting battle has emerged as to who the backup catcher will be for the Arizona Diamondbacks. As you read earlier today, Tom Lynch pointed out some possible options for a backup if Tuffy Gosewisch is out for an extended amount of time. Henry Blanco should be the man in 2014. Here’s why.
Henry Blanco is about as durable as catchers go. I see him as an older version of Miguel Montero, right? The 42-year-old can still call a great game and has enough veteran leadership to share with not only Montero, but other guys as well. I realize that Henry isn’t really an offensive threat, but that’s somewhat okay with me. The lineup for the Diamondbacks this year could potentially be the most powerful offensive squad we have seen in years. I’ll sacrifice some hits if it means Blanco can play some games.
We really shouldn’t be calling Blanco a “backup.” We should call him “the guy that catches a game once a month when Montero is begged to take an off day.” Durability and leadership is so key to being a catcher at the pro level. Both Montero and Blanco have that for sure. His age really doesn’t seem like a factor when he catches. Henry has kept himself in great shape over the years and it pays off.
In the first Spring Training game against the Dodgers, Vin Scully was saying how it looked like Blanco was wearing a chest protector even when he wasn’t. It’s true! Henry is a wall behind home plate. He possesses the intangible characteristic of swagger too. Tattoos and cool gear just add the list of reasons why Diamondbacks fans should support HB. Don’t get me wrong, I like Tuffy, but I’ll take leadership over youth at this point–even at the catcher’s spot.
I hope everyone is enjoying Spring Training as much as I am!
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