2016 catching depth
Over on Reds.com, I wrote a story on Friday that caught up with Brayan Pena. The veteran Reds catcher will be a free agent after this season and has let it be known he would like to return. Click here to read the story: http://atmlb.com/1PTQUgF
Despite his relatively inexpensive market, Pena seems like a long shot for returning to me. The Reds are counting on Devin Mesoraco to be healthy and Tucker Barnhart has shown he can handle himself well in the big leagues. Barnhart entered Friday batting .251/.321/.326 in 79 games with three homers and 18 RBIs. Ramon Cabrera has also demonstrated his skills as a September call-up.
I asked manager Bryan Price about the depth the Reds will have behind the plate next season.
“I think we certainly know that Barney can run a pitching staff up here,” Price said. “He’s done a terrific job with investing in all the essential preparation to call a good ballgame. He’s a terrific catch and throw guy, that’s no secret. He’s handled the bat better than I anticipated for a guy that’s spent really his first full season in the big leagues. He’s done some really good things. He’s definitely a guy that not only can, but has picked up the slack in a season without Devin.
“Ramon is just a guy that earned his way to the big leagues a lot like [Kristopher] Negron did last year, a lot like [Ivan] De Jesus did this year. He just went out and performed and was our next best option for a third catcher in September. All he’s done is call a good game, throw adequately and have a nice offensive approach. He’s definitely somebody we’d like to have in the mix next year if there were any issues with Devin’s health.”