Along with Montero, Pedro Severino is vying for the backup catcher’s role with the Nats. The 24-year-old is coming off of a poor, injury-riddled season, but could make the Opening Day roster with a strong spring.
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Despite the high stakes, Severino has not gotten off to a great start this spring. In seven games, the backstop has posted a .200 batting average.
The plan was for Severino to take over for Jose Lobaton this year, and possibly become the starting catcher in 2019, but he does not appear to be quite ready. With Montero in tow, the Nats can afford to give him more seasoning in the minors.
Although the Nats’ backup catcher will play more than a typical backup in 2018, they will not play that much. Because of his youth and raw talent, Severino could benefit from playing every day in the minors.
All things considered, Montero is likely the frontrunner to begin the year as the backup catcher. Severino also has an option remaining, which does not help his case to make the Opening Day roster.
However, if Montero struggles again in 2018, Severino could find himself in the majors sooner rather than later.
Most of the key roles on the Nats’ roster have already been filled, but all 25 players will contribute throughout the course of the season. These five players are competing to just make the roster, but any of them could come up big throughout the year.