Other Catchers Stepping Up
While Wieters has yet to make his spring training debut, the other Washington Nationals catchers are off to good starts. They have shown that there is good depth across the organization at the position despite Spencer Kieboom being designated for assignment this week.
On the Major League level, Derek Norris is trying to make a case to be another team’s catcher in all likelihood. Despite being out a few days due to a sore back, Norris is 3-for-7 in four games, including a solo home run in Tuesday’s West Palm opener against the Astros.
Now, the big question for Norris is whether or not the Nats will trade him or release him? On Thursday, Jon Heyman wrote on Fanrag Sports that the team could release him if they can’t find a trade partner. If the team doesn’t want to pay the full $4.2 million, they would have to release him by next Wednesday (March 15).
During this spring training, one of my favorite stories has been the success of Jhonatan Solano. Solano will likely be at triple-A Syracuse to begin the year, but he’s hitting the ball well. In the five games that he’s had at least one at-bat, he is 10-for-12 with four RBI’s. Regardless of who puts up that kind of stat, that is tough to accomplish.
As for the other two catchers, Pedro Severino has only appeared in three games and has a RBI while Jose Lobaton is 2-for-11 in five games with a RBI. The two of them will get into more games eventually since Solano is going to the World Baseball Classic for Team Colombia.
Of course, as spring training goes on, Wieters is going to get his chance to play. But, when you throw in prospects such as Raudy Read, there is a lot of quality depth at catcher that the Washington Nationals have right now.