Newest Phillies catcher describes being “stuck” in Houston prior to trade

Jun 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) is tagged out at home by Houston Astros catcher Garrett Stubbs (11) during the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) is tagged out at home by Houston Astros catcher Garrett Stubbs (11) during the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kent Emanuel isn’t the only former Houston Astros player looking to make a fresh start with the Philadelphia Phillies.

In somewhat of a give-and-take offseason between the two clubs (Houston signed Hector Neris, Philadelphia claimed Emanuel off waivers), the Phillies also acquired catcher Garrett Stubbs via trade. He’s expected to be J.T. Realmuto’s new backup, as the organization sent Andrew Knapp into free agency at the beginning of the offseason.

Whereas Emanuel has a bit of a chip on his shoulder driving him to succeed with the Phillies, Stubbs simply says he’s “excited” to be here.

Catcher Garrett Stubbs describes being “stuck” with Astros prior to trade to Phillies

Earlier in February, Stubbs spoke to Phillies Nation about his situation in Houston and why he’s eager to move forward with a new organization:

"“I had been stuck behind [Martín] Maldonado and then a couple backups the last few years over in Houston, so [GM James Click] found a good situation over there with me in Philly. So I’m excited. It was a really awesome day for me.”"

In being traded, Stubbs is leaving a frequent postseason contender for a team that hasn’t earned a playoff berth since 2011. For many players, that would be a disappointment, but “stuck” is the perfect way to describe Stubbs’ career thus far, as he has yet to play 20 games or more in any of his three partial big-league seasons.

The Astros drafted the San Diego native in the eighth round of the 2015 June Amateur Draft, and he made his big-league debut on May 28, 2019. Despite little playing time, he’s been around some of the best ballplayers in baseball and has experienced something many of his new teammates have not: postseason play.

Stubbs has yet to really break out offensively (he has zero career big-league home runs), but that could absolutely be attributed to his lack of big-league playing time. The Astros re-signed Maldonado to a two-year deal through 2023, and he has played 105+ games in each 162-game season dating back to 2017 (he played 47/60 games in 2020).

However, it’s unclear how much playing time he’ll have in Philadelphia, either. Aside from his short-lived debut in 2014 and the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, Realmuto has played 125+ games in every season of his career, and the Phillies need him to continue doing so.

Trending. J.T. Realmuto takes Spring Training into own hands amid lockout [Video]. light

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