The Athletics have inked Cameron Rupp to a minor league deal, as was first noted on MLB.com’s transactions page. It doesn’t appear that there was a formal announcement from the organization, but Rupp has already logged a pair of games with Triple-A Las Vegas. He was released from a minor league pact with the Tigers last week.
Rupp, 30, hit .254/.329/.366 in 79 plate appearances with Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate but is best known for a five-season stretch with the Phillies from 2013-17. Rupp hit a combined .234/.298/.407 with 39 home runs, 57 doubles and a pair of triples through 1127 plate appearances in his time with the Phils, serving as their primary backstop for the final two seasons of his tenure there.
While Rupp has some pop in his bat, as evidenced by a career .173 ISO (slugging minus batting average), he’s been too strikeout prone at the dish (28.7 percent). Behind the plate, he’s thwarted 31 percent of stolen-base attempts against him in his career, which is slightly above the league average, while drawing questionable framing marks — particularly in 2017.
The Athletics have received perhaps surprising production from 31-year-old Josh Phegley behind the plate this season (.282/.313/.491), which has led to Phegley receiving considerably more playing time than veteran Nick Hundley. The 35-year-old Hundley inked a minor league contract this winter and broke camp with the A’s this season, but he’s hitting just .200/.228/.327 through his first 57 plate appearances.
The signing of Rupp comes not long after the A’s received some unwelcome news on top catching prospect Sean Murphy, who suffered a torn meniscus that required surgical repair (as initially reported by The Atheltic’s Melissa Lockard, on Twitter). That procedure should sideline Murphy into mid-June, if not longer, so Rupp will team up with Beau Taylor to hand catching duty in Vegas for the time being. Offseason signee Chris Herrmann is also recovering from knee surgery — his coming back in March — thus further depleting the organization’s depth at catcher.