With Stephen Vogt gone, the San Francisco Giants must decide who will be backing up Buster Posey behind the dish to start the 2020 season.
The high-profile free agency departures of Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith have made it easy for San Francisco Giants fans to overlook another exit in the form of Stephen Vogt, who signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In 2019, Vogt was a leader in the clubhouse and he provided some key help with his bat as well. Overall he hit .263/.314/.490 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI even though he was not on the Opening Day roster.
Recall, if you will, that Erik Kratz was the backup catcher coming out of camp. That’s a good reminder that whoever the Giants choose to serve as the backup this spring will not necessarily be the backup for the whole year.
It is also worth noting why Vogt played the role that he did last season.
With Buster Posey possibly still dealing with the lingering effects of his hip surgery, and because he struggled offensively for much of the year, Vogt had to step up to provide a little pop to the lineup.
So with Vogt out of the picture, the Giants will need to decide who can play the role that he did last season. As much as we would all like to see Buster recapture some of his old glory, at this stage in his career, that seems unlikely.
The team has a number of in-house options for the backup catcher spot.
There is Aramis Garcia, who has kicked around for a few years and shown he has a little pop in his bat as well as an ability to play first base. Then there are the newer options like the switch-hitting Tyler Heineman or minor leaguer Chadwick Tromp.
Of course, the shadow hanging over this catcher discussion is the arrival of top prospect Joey Bart, which could very well happen at some point in 2020. But until he arrives, let’s take a look at the candidates for backup catcher to start the year.