With the release of Welington Castillo and the signing of Jeff Mathis, the goal for catchers from the front office was made clear. New General Manager, Mike Hazen, is looking for help in pitch framing and defense. Chris Herrmann could provide average offensive numbers and a left-handed bat, but he will be a super utility guy as a backup catcher, outfielder, and first basemen. His slash line of .284/.352/.854 didn’t impress the new regime enough to commit to him as a starter.
Newly acquired, Chris Iannetta will battle Jeff Mathis for the starting job.
Age is just a number
Newly acquired, Chris Iannetta will battle Jeff Mathis for the starting job. In 94 games with the Mariners in 2016, Iannetta hit a meek .210/.303/.329.
The 33-year-old had his best years with the Rockies between 2006 and 2011. In 2008, he hit 18 homers and 62 RBI’s. In the past three seasons, he has reached ten home runs just once. Iannetta is known for being a defensive catcher although his pitch-framing statistics vary year to year.
Jeff Mathis has never been much of a hitter at the big league level. He has never hit above ten homers, and he is currently below the Mendoza Line (BA of .200) for his career at .197. Acquired as a defensive piece, Mathis may work best as Zack Greinke’s personal catcher.
Zack Greinke was second in the league in the biggest decline in pitch framing support in 2016. D-Backs fans everywhere would take a career .197 hitter in the lineup for Greinke to return to 2015 form.
Overall, Chris Herrmann is the biggest threat at the plate, but his defense isn’t up to par with the front office’s beliefs.