Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ducks Catching Situation

Right now the Ducks have a complete 25 man roster, so no more cuts will be needed before the season starts next Friday. However, concerns still linger among fans about the catching position. Last week, Mitch Canham has his contract purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Ducks replaced him with Mike Rivera. Rivera then had his contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox a few days later. The Ducks ended up signing Atlantic League veteran Jason Johnson. Shawn Williams is the only other catcher on the Ducks roster going into the 2012 season.

Johnson has played at the Triple-A level before in his career, and handles pitchers extremely well, but has never put up solid offensive numbers. However, he did have career highs in home runs(9), and RBI(46) last season. His batting average was only .229.

Williams is converted catcher who has been an infielder most of his baseball career. Williams is a decent hitter, who doesn't hit for much power but does hit for average. He'll definitely need to get work behind the plate early this spring.

Another thing I've heard, is that their is a possibility that Ryan Garko may catch some games for the Ducks. Garko is former catcher who has caught 141 games in his career. However, he hasn't caught a game since 2005.

It will be interesting to see how this situation develops over the course of the early season, and how the Ducks will use each of them. I think Johnson will most likely be the "every day" catcher. He works well with pitchers, and pitching is going to be a huge emphasis for the Ducks this season, especially with the offensive talent in the Atlantic League this year. Williams will also see a lot of time behind the plate. Williams will have added value to the Ducks, because of his ability to play other positions in the field. Ryan Garko may catch a few games, but he'll be mostly used at first base and as a designated hitter.

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