The SF Giants came into 2022 thinking Joey Bart would be doing the majority of the catching duties. His struggles at the plate suggest it may be time to start worrying about the young catcher.
Is it time for the SF Giants to start worrying about Joey Bart?
We all knew that trying to fill the shoes of Buster Posey was going to be impossible for just about anyone. This was especially true for Joey Bart who has long been seen as the heir apparent to Posey ever since he was selected with the second pick overall in the 2018 MLB Draft.
No one was expecting Bart to step in and perform exactly like Posey, but it is clear two months into the 2022 campaign that the SF Giants are starting to lose trust in Bart despite his hot start to the season.
Part of this is driven by the fact that Curt Casali has been swinging a much hotter bat than Bart so far this season, hitting .263/.338/.456 with 3 homers and 10 RBI compared to Bart's line of .165/.305/.329 with 4 homers and 7 RBI.
But one moment recently was particularly telling about the SF Giants trust level in Bart. In a game against the New York Mets, Gabe Kapler decided to pinch-hit for Bart with the recently called up Michael Papierski. This aligns with the Giants' philosophy regarding playing the matchups, but this must have been a devastating confidence blow to Bart
His manager was essentially sending the message that he thought Papierski, a guy with dismal offensive numbers in the minor leagues who had never even gotten a hit in the big leagues, had a better chance of getting on base than Bart even with his power at the plate.
It is important to note that it is still very early in the season and there is plenty of time for Bart to earn back the trust of his manager. One must hope that Bart stops pressing so much at the plate and is able to clear his mind or make some sort of mechanical tweak that will allow him to be the Joey Bart he is capable of being going forward.