The Blue Jays have re-signed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a minor-league deal, per a club announcement. He’ll head to Triple-A Buffalo.
Saltalamacchia, 32, opened as the Jays’ reserve backstop but had a brutal start to the season. Over his 26 plate appearances, the switch-hitter went down on strikes 16 times while reaching base just twice. He was also struggling to keep opposing baserunners at first base.
[Related: Updated Toronto Blue Jays depth chart]
While the on-base and fielding skills have always lagged for Saltalamacchia, he’ll obviously need to show more to find his way back to the majors. Still, there’s plenty of reason to believe he’ll rebound from that dreadful opening, though he’ll also now have to climb over both Luke Maile and Mike Ohlman on the depth chart.
“Salty” has been on a bit of a roller-coaster ride in recent years. But he has been an effective hitter as recently as 2015, when he gave the Diamondbacks 194 plate appearances of .251/.332/.474 hitting. Even last year, when his OBP dipped below .300 in a 92-game run with the Tigers, Saltalamacchia blasted a dozen home runs and a .175 isolated slugging percentage — right at his career average and well over the .150 average among catchers around the game.