Jarrod Saltalamacchia did not have a great start to the 2015 season. The Miami Marlins released him after he managed only two hits over his first 33 plate appearances. He was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in early May to provide depth at the catcher’s position behind first year starter Tuffy Gosewisch. After the latter went down with a torn ACL, the D-backs traded for Welington Castillo who later distinguished himself as the team’s number one receiver behind the plate. But all was not lost with Salty as he enjoyed a somewhat productive campaign.
Saltalamacchia proved to be a capable backup to Castillo. The two of them combined for 25 home runs, one of the highest totals in the game for catchers. Salty provided eight of them and also hit a respectable .251 with a .332 on-base percentage. He was also the best pinch-hitter for the D-backs with a .345 batting average and a .406 OBP in 32 such appearances. Saltalamacchia was also able to play first base in the rare instances that Paul Goldschmidt needed to take a break.
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Most of the bad stats for Salty in 2015 came courtesy of his stint in Miami. Still, one bad habit he brought with him to Arizona was strikeouts as he fanned 57 times in 171 at-bats or almost one in three. He also caught only 17% of would-be basestealers while behind the plate for the D-backs.
The days of Saltalamacchia being a primary catcher are probably over. He is now a free agent and it does not appear there is room for him with the Snakes. However, he should be able to get a job with another team as Salty showed he still has life left in his bat. He may not be the best defensive catcher but he is serviceable to play that spot once per week. Also working in his favor is the fact he showed he could be a lethal bat off the bench. Jarrod Saltalamacchia enjoyed a productive 2015 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. We wish him well in the future.