In many of our conversations this winter, there’s no doubt that player depth has been a central part of the discussions. Several years ago, the catching department was one of the organizational strongholds before other positions finally started to catch up. In this column, we’ll take a look at how the catchers of the Dodgers shape up today and what to conceivably expect over the next season.
It’s hard to believe the difference a few weeks can make on the baseball field.
Over his first 25 plate appearances of the shortened 2020 season, Austin Barnes went a paltry 2-for-22 at the plate, leading many fans of the Dodgers to debate both the short term and long term solutions for the organization at catcher.
The major league arrival of Keibert Ruiz on Saturday spurred many insightful discussions among fans of the Dodgers, specifically how the team might view its situation at catcher for the next several years.
Not long after the Dodgers were eliminated from the 2019 postseason, one of the most popular topics of discussion was the team’s immediate plans at catcher, specifically which player would backup Will Smith.
Once highly touted for his offensive prowess and his ability to field multiple positions, Austin Barnes gave the impression that he was in the big leagues to stay after a quality 2017 season campaign when he saw playing time in 102 games.
A sickness has been sweeping the Dodgers clubhouse, causing as many as 25 players to be sent home from Camelback Ranch the last few days. Thursday’s scheduled starting pitcher Ross Stripling was scratched due to the as-of-now mysterious illness. Manny Banuelos instead gets the start, a pitcher this writer has never heard of.
From the moment that Austin Barnes overtook the primary catcher’s spot from Yasmani Grandal late last summer, speculation immediately began to swirl about how the club would handle Grandal moving forward, and many believed that a trade sometime during the winter months was imminent. However, with about a full month left before pitchers and catchers begin filing into the Camelback clubhouse, the rumors have quieted significantly, as it appears the Dodgers will stick with the duo, at least for the beginning of the regular season.