Last year Martin Maldonado was a catching Iron Man. He was behind the plate for a whopping 128 games, showing superb defense but seeing his offensive output wilt as the season wore on.
A big part of the reason Maldy was an everyday catcher was the lack of a quality backup; a problem which looks to be solved via the addition of Rene Rivera. While Rivera’s bat leaves much to be desired, he comes with superb defensive reputation.
All indications out of Tempe are that Mike Scioscia plans on riding Maldonado hard this year, hoping that his body adjusted after a grueling 2017. But, with a quality defensive backup in hand, how many times will Sosh write Maldy’s name onto the lineup card?
Why He Will: Mike Scioscia. He’s in charge of the lineup and he has stated Maldonado will be the top dog this year. Rivera, while a quality defender, is 34 years old and carries a career .220/.271/.349 slash line.
Why He Won’t: Mike Scioscia. He doesn’t care much about offense from catcher. He could pair Rivera up with a couple of starters, establishing his vaunted “pitcher and catcher relationship” and getting Rivera 40+ starts. Or Maldy himself could simply break down from the wear and tear.
Maldonado Over/Under 124.5 Games Started
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