The Orioles recalled utility player Terrin Vavra from Triple-A Norfolk earlier in the week. Vavra has MLB experience at second base and in both corner outfield spots, so it was clear he’d add some defensive flexibility to the Baltimore bench, but he’s expanding his versatility in an interesting way.
As Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes, the Orioles have experimented with Vavra as a possible emergency catcher. He appeared behind the plate twice with Norolk during his most recent optional assignment, logging four combined innings. Vavra didn’t start any games — the Tides deployed him only in mop-up work — but it’s possible he eventually logs time behind the dish a little more frequently.
Kubatko notes the O’s have considered giving Vavra some catching time since last year. He did some work there in Spring Training drills and the Minnesota product tells Kubatko he’d caught some offseason bullpen sessions from Dodger reliever J.P. Feyereisen (who lives near Vavra over the winter). The four innings with the Tides marked his first game action behind the dish since high school, however.
The O’s aren’t going to throw Vavra into an important catching role out of the gate. Baltimore has one of the sport’s top backstops in Adley Rutschman, while veteran James McCann is on hand as the backup. The O’s don’t have any other catchers on the 40-man roster, though Luis Torrens is presently in DFA limbo. Manager Brandon Hyde confirmed it’d take an emergency situation, presumably injury substitutions from the top two backstops, for Vavra to log any MLB time there in the short term. The 25-year-old is clearly amenable to working on the position in an effort to increase his value off the bench over the longer haul.
A left-handed hitter, Vavra has tallied 31 MLB plate appearances this year. He’s up to 134 trips to the dish in his career, posting a .252/.333/.313 batting line with one home run. The former third round draftee has walked in a quality 11.2% of his plate appearances against a decent 20.1% strikeout rate.
What a gamer
C Yards Jeff
I was at OPACY during the Red Sox series. During the 6-8 loss, Hays gets an injury. Terrin subs; comes off the bench cold and goes 2 for 3. Dude is gamer for sure!
Would like to see him play every position in a game if he’s starting to catch.
Good for him, he comes from a great baseball family! I hope he carves out a role for many years!
According to bb-ref, today is Vavra’s birthday, so happy birthday!
Neat, hopefully that helps him stick on the roster. He’s not a masher, but he gets on base at a decent clip, which I like in bench guys.
I believe Vavra’s dad is a MLB coach some place. I remember hearing it mentioned on a broadcast one time.
Joe Vavra, longtime hitting/bench coach under Ron Gardenhire with the Twins and Tigers
Terrin Vavra hasn’t played a full season anywhere so I can’t really know what type of player he is.
Would hate for all that varied positional play to turn his name into a diagnosis.
A terrin the vavra is nothing to take lightly
Surprises me this isn’t more common. With the need for catching depth league wide, especially anyone who can swing a bat.