The Nationals announced Monday that they’ve activated Matt Wieters from the disabled list and optioned fellow catcher Pedro Severino to Triple-A Syracuse in order to open a spot on the active roster. Wieters has been out since mid-May following a hamstring injury that ultimately required surgery.
Wieters returns to the Nats at a time when the organization is widely reported to be in the market for an upgrade behind the dish. He’ll look to change the organization’s thinking in that regard over the next three weeks, though that may prove too difficult after a disastrous 2017 season in which Wieters batted just .225/.288/.344 with lackluster defensive contributions.
To his credit, Wieters was off to a much better start to the season before sustaining his injury. Through 76 plate appearances, he’d hit .231/.342/.385 with three homers. It’s a tiny sample, to be sure, but Wieters had boosted his walk rate by five percent while trimming roughly that same figure off his strikeout rate. Of course, a couple of his walks came while batting eighth early in the season, and his chase rate on pitches out of the zone had actually increased, while his swing rate at pitches in the zone had decreased.
Even with Wieters in the fold, it seems likely that the Nats will continue to explore the possibility of adding another option who’d likely push Wieters into a backup role. Wilson Ramos is the most frequently mentioned candidate connected with the Nationals as of late — especially following GM Mike Rizzo’s blunt comments about Miami’s asking price on J.T. Realmuto being too high. ESPN’s Buster Olney wondered yesterday, too, whether the Nationals would inquire on Martin Maldonado, should the Angels fall any further out of the race for a Wild Card spot in the American League (Twitter link).
Still thrilled the Braves never signed him
Any idea why the Nats sent Severino down instead of Kieboom, Steve? That one caught me by surprise.
Because he’s atrocious
Is Kieboom better? They appear to be roughly equal with the edge in experience and seniority to Severino.
I honestly thought you were talking about Carter kieboom lol, but the other kieboom and severino are both bad. it’s a coin flip
His -1.1 WAR is a good reason why…
Well said lol
Oops, wrong comments section
I feel like there are so many catchers batting .200 or under in today’s game. Maybe there were a lot of .200 or under 10-15 years ago and I just don’t remember, but it seems like there are more than ever right now. And even the longevity of hitting for catchers seems lower. I see posey as the only year after year hitting catcher. Posada, pudge, piazza, javy Lopez, varitek all could hit year after year. Today a catcher hits well for 2-5 years and disappears. I haven’t looked at any stats so maybe I’m way off, but that’s just my thoughts on it
A great many do bat around .200.10-15 years ago catchers were promoted to back up at a older age unless they could really hit. Now, too many are promoted before they’ve learned to hit, out of organizational need. They just don’t allow them to develop as in the past but there are just as many stars.
Overall, except for a few outliers (Realmutto, Contreras, Ramos, Molina), this season is a worse offensive season for Catchers than The 1968 Year of the Pitcher. Looking back, it may be the worst since 1917.
Even Posey has basically become just a singles hitter. He will be lucky to hit 10 homers this year.
I agree. Also Jason Kendall, Molina brothers, they were all solid for a long time as well.
The funny thing all these guys have in common is questionable defense, and some were downright bad.
I think now teams are more focused on defense and aren’t really interested in a guy who can’t throw out runners or frame pitches.
I remember in the early 90s Mariners’ Dave Valle was the butt of many jokes because he consistently hit around .200. Sadly it turns out that Valle was way ahead of his time.
ahead of his time in a bad way
I looked up about 5 -6 top NCAA catchers who were in the COllege playoffs this year and are in the Cape Cod or Cal Ripken summer leagues and all have below or around .200 batting Avg.
Which goes to show the trend in MLB is not what used to be w a catcher providing power (15 HR and 50 RBI) extra base hits PLUS defense.
Javy Lopez hit (I think) 44 homers one year
Lucroy won a batting title a few years back.
How far have we come? December 20017, the dire need for a catcher and a number 3 pitcher was realized by the Nats and their fans. That being the case why did the Nats not make a move in order to avoid being a .500 team!!!!!’ Did they inaccurately evaluate the braves & Phillies as being terrible and therefore decided not to improve but instead sneak into the playoffs in order to lose in first round, as usual