After the Arizona Diamondbacks traded catcher Miguel Montero to the Chicago Cubs following the 2014 season, there was plenty of uncertainty about the position.
Veteran and longtime minor leaguer Tuffy Gosewisch would be given the first crack at handling the Arizona pitching staff. Known as a gritty competitor and a solid defensive catcher, the questions about Gosewisch centered around his abilities at the plate. After all, the former Horizon High Husky and Arizona State Sun Devil had only 174 big-league at-bats heading into the season.
Much of that concern became moot — Gosewisch suffered a season-ending knee injury in May.
Earlier that month, the D-backs signed veteran catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had been released by the Miami Marlins. In early June, GM Dave Stewart swung a deal with Seattle, bringing catcher Welington Castillo and prospects from the Mariners in exchange for outfielder Mark Trumbo.
Here in mid-September, nobody is really worrying about offense from the catcher position.
Saltalamacchia homered Wednesday night in a 4-3 loss to the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. The switch-hitter has gone deep in four straight starts and has eight long balls in just 144 Arizona at-bats.
And we all remember Castillo’s torrid stretch in late July-early August during which he homered eight times and drove in 14 runs in a 12-game stretch.
In fact, D-backs’ catchers have combined for 26 home runs on the season, which is the highest total in the National League. The Cubs and Dodgers each have 21 home runs from catchers.
Arizona backstops have also totaled 81 RBI — second only to San Francisco’s 83 — and collectively lead the senior circuit with a .446 slugging percentage.
National League Catchers
1. Arizona (Castillo, Saltalamacchia, Gosewisch, Pacheco) – 26
2. Chicago (Montero, Schwarber, Castillo, Ross) – 21
3. Los Angeles (Grandal, Ellis) – 21
1. San Francisco (Posey, Susac, Sanchez) – 83
2. Arizona (Castillo, Saltalamacchia, Gosewisch, Pacheco, Hernandez) – 81
3. Washington (Ramos, Lobaton) -79
1. Arizona (Castillo, Saltalamacchia, Gosewisch, Pacheco, Hernandez) – .446
2. San Francisco (Posey, Susac, Sanchez) – .425
3. Los Angeles (Grandal, Ellis) – .420