23-year old righty swinging Lou Marson will be the starting catcher for the Indians in 2010. He played in 21 games for the Phillies & Indians last season and he was 15 for 61 (.246 avg, .708 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 0 homers and 4 RBIs. Marson could develop into a decent hitter for average in the majors but don’t expect much power out of him. The Indians will give him a extended look this season as he was one of the players they got from the Phillies for Cliff Lee last July. Marson played in 21 games behind the plate for the Phillies and Indians and he made 1 error but didn’t have any passed balls. He threw out 42.1% of the runners trying to steal against him last season and pitchers had a 5.40 ERA pitching to him. The Indians need Marson to play solid defense behind the plate and signs are that he will.
38-year old righty swinging Mike Redmond will be the back-up catcher for the Tribe in 2010. He played in 45 games for the Twins last season and he was 32 for 135 (.237 avg, .588 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 0 homers and 7 RBIs. The Indians are hoping that Redmond will hit more like his career norms of a .289 batting average with a .706 OPS in 2010. Redmond didn’t make any errors in 44 games behind the plate last season but he had 2 passed balls. But, Redmond only threw out 5% of the runners trying to steal on him and Twins’ pitchers had a 5.31 ERA with him behind the plate. Redmond is still a decent veteran to have around to help out the young catchers and pitchers on the Tribe.
27-year old right swinging Wyatt Toregas might get a call to the Indians if something were to happen to Redmond. He played in 19 games for the Indians last season and he was 9 for 51 (.176 avg, .463 OPS) with 1 run scored, 0 homers and 6 RBIs. Toregas didn’t make any errors in 19 games behind the plate for the Indians last season but he did have 1 passed ball. Toregas threw out 17% of the runners trying to steal against him and Indians’ pitchers had a 5.00 ERA with him behind the plate. Toregas’ upside is that of a back-up catcher so don’t expect much out of him if the Indians give him a call in 2010.
27-year old righty swinging catcher Chris Gimenez is more of a utility player but he can handle catcher. He played in 45 games for the Indians last season and he was 16 for 111 (.144 avg, .499 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 3 homers and 7 RBIs. He played in 8 games behind the plate for the Indians and he didn’t make any errors or have any passed balls. He threw out 1 of 5 (20%) of the runners trying to steal on him and pitchers had a 4.18 ERA with him behind the plate.
If Marson can’t cut it as a starter or he gets injured look for the Indians to call up 23-year old switch-hitting Carlos Santana to serve as the starting catcher. The Indians would love to have him play this season in AAA but they might not be able to keep him there if something happens to Marson. Santana played in 130 games in AA-ball last season and he was 124 for 428 (.290 avg, .943 OPS) with 91 runs scored, 23 homers and 97 RBIs.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2010: D