Is it time to consider starting Herrmann at Catcher?
By Jake Lieberman
Just because the Diamondbacks have won 6 out of the past 7 games, it doesn’t mean that everything is going well. Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, and Zack Greinke continue to do their thing, but the rest of the team is not particularly standing out. Of course, the team is dealing with several injuries and young players in the outfield, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding the team right now. One such question has manifested behind the plate.
Castillo and Herrmann both had hot starts offensively, but Castillo has been struggling mightily the past month. He is hitting .229/.274/.321 in his past 30 games with just one home run and 7 RBI. Although he is struggling with the bat, he is still a top-ten defender in the league. He also has two defensive runs saved which ranks tied for fourth in baseball. There is no doubt that Castillo is the preferred catcher defensively because of his experience and knowledge of the staff which is keeping him in the starting lineup as of right now.
Herrmann, however, is batting .329/.404/.573. He has four homers and 18 RBI in that 30-game span where he has had just 82 at-bats. These stats really show how Herrmann has thrived while Castillo has struggled to stay alive.
Herrmann also adds an extra left-handed bat to the lineup, which is crucial with David Peralta’s injury If the D-Backs wish to keep Castillo as the everyday starter, Herrmann should at least get spot-starts in the outfield. To be honest, the D-Backs wouldn’t be taking that big of a hit defensively with Herrmann behind the plate compared to Castillo. Herrmann has been an average to above-average catcher his entire career.
I would love to see at the least Herrmann get some starts in the outfield while Peralta, Chris Owings, and A.J. Pollock are out.
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But right now, the D-Backs would love to see Socrates Brito and Peter O’Brien see everyday at-bats so they can evaluate them against big league pitchers. So the best option is to give Herrmann a couple starts in a row at catcher and see how it goes. At the very least, Castillo should get an extended break from starting.