Since taking over the starting catching duties from an injured Yadier Molina, Matt Wieters has slashed a completely unsustainable .256/.348/.563. That 12-game span undeniably represents a ludicrously small sample size, but it’s far better than anyone should expect from a backup catcher sitting 2nd on the depth chart behind Molina. Innings are hard to come by, and there is usually just enough time for a cup of coffee and a passed ball before Molina miraculously heals from whatever ails him.
Consider last year’s backup trio of Francisco Pena, Carson Kelly, and Steven Baron….
Admit it. You already forgot about Baron.
Let’s just say that Pena’s .510 OPS was the bright spot among their collective offensive contribution and leave it at that.
The point here is that the Cardinals finally brought in a solid backup catcher, and it only cost them $1.5M. He’s been worth every penny just over the last couple weeks alone. The odds of the Cardinals reaching the playoffs currently hover around 45%. A productive Wieters for the next 3+ weeks would potentially go a long way in helping the team at least tread water during Molina's absence.
Wieters is the hero we had no idea we'd ever need.
On a completely unrelated note and totally apropos of nothing…. Carson Kelly is hitting .263/.351/.515 for Arizona, and he’s basically making the Paul Goldschmidt deal look better for Arizona every day.
Maybe it’s the change in scenery or climate. Maybe it’s a reset level of expectations. Maybe it’s Maybelline…..or maybe it’s that he’s not blocked from getting enough playing time to be the guy everyone thought he could be. And maybe there’s a lesson about stunting growth at the end of the minor league player development process to be learned here.