Phillies: 4 candidates for backup catcher role in 2020
With just two weeks until Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, there are several candidates who could back up J.T. Realmuto in 2020.
The 2020 Phillies season is fast approaching, less than two months away in fact, meaning spring training is even closer.
J.T. Realmuto will look to build off of his stellar first season in red pinstripes in 2019, after he earned his second career All-Star nod and Silver Slugger Award, along with his first career Gold Glove Award.
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Realmuto stayed healthy throughout the season, and played in all but 17 games. The problem is, he cannot play in all 162, meaning it is important to consider just who will be his backup under new manager Joe Girardi, as the club looks to return to the postseason for the first time since 2011.
The backup catcher role is not as important as others, but it is still critical in the sense of keeping the momentum going for starting pitchers, and providing quality defense with at least serviceable offense. In 2008, the Phillies had 35-year-old Chris Coste back up Carlos Ruiz; Coste just so happened to have some “pop” in his bat that year, producing a .263 batting average, along with a career-high nine home runs and 36 RBI in 98 games.
Currently, there are four catchers the Phillies are inviting to spring training to compete for the backup catcher role. Two of them played on the team’s major-league roster last season, while another is a five-year veteran that began the first three seasons of his career, 2013 through 2015, with the divison rival Atlanta Braves.
Click through to see these four players and who just might backup Realmuto in 2020.