Unlike most of the teams in the Major Leagues, the Arizona Diamondbacks are already looking to 2015. The Dbacks would love to win as many games as possible and finish the year off strong, but more importantly the last two months are about getting certain guys more playing time that are already with the team, and giving opportunities to minor leaguers that might be ready to help the team next year.
The Dbacks have already made some roster moves this month calling up Jake Lamb who could be the team’s future at 3B, and Andrew Chafin, who could be a starter or reliever down the line. One guy that is already on the Major League roster and has been for the full season that figures to get more playing time in the final two months is backup catcher Tuffy Gosewisch.
Gosewisch made his major league debut on August 1st after Miguel Montero was placed on the D.L. In just 45 at bats he hit .178 with 3 RBI’s. The biggest impact that Tuffy had on the coaching staff was his ability to command all of the pitchers behind the plate.
In spring training, Gosewisch won the backup catchers job over veteran Henry Blanco. Blanco became the assistant hitting coach, and has done a great job in that role. Meanwhile, Tuffy has gotten more playing time and he has ran with it. In 79 at bats this season, he is hitting .241 with five RBI’s.
“I’m going to play Tuffy more and just have more of a rotation going forward,” Gibson said. “There’s really no reason to push [Montero] at this point. Tuffy’s done a great job when I’ve played him so I think he’s earned a little more playing time.”
Gibson on is making the right decision going with a catchers rotation. It gives the coaching staff and the front office a chance to see what he can do, and maybe it’s an audition for the backup catchers job next year.
However, Montero isn’t looking to next year. He is having a resurgent year after struggling at the plate last season. While he understands that Tuffy should play more because of the situation that the team is in, he is on pace to hit 16 HR and drive in 85. Both would be shy of career highs, and he would like to have the chance to reach those marks.
This is what Montero told MLB.com:
“I’m not looking at next year,” Montero said. “I got to finish this year, and then we’ll look at next year. I’ll take yesterday and today off, but obviously I’ve got personal goals as well that I would like to accomplish. Like maybe RBIs, homers, whatever it is. And I would like to accomplish it, and the only way to do it is playing. So I respect his decision, but let’s see how long it lasts.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how many more days off Montero will get, and what Gosewisch can do with more playing time.