With the MLB trade deadline approaching quickly on August 1st it seems likely that Jonathan Lucroy will soon be gapping doubles for a new organization. The Milwaukee Brewers have had interest from several teams per Ken Rosenthal
If David Stearns can find a suitable deal, it leaves us fans wondering who should be behind the dish for the rest of the season?
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The most likely option is that Counsell and Stearns hand Martin Maldonado the job for the remainder of the year. The benefits of this decision being Maldonado’s experience with the staff and strong defensive play. According to ESPN’s MLB fielding stats, Maldonado leads Lucroy with a CERA (Catcher Earned Run Average) of 4.17 to 4.31 respectively. Best case scenario for the Brewers is that Maldonado can help sustain the successes of Zach Davies and Junior Guerra while providing a bump for Matt Garza, Jimmy Nelson, and Chase Anderson.
The drawbacks of maintaining the status quo with Maldonado is his lack of offensive production and the limited upside in regards to the-the Milwaukee Brewers rebuild. While Maldonado is capable of the occasional clutch home run, he currently is sporting a .182 BA coming off a year batting .210. This may not be a big deal with a league wide shortage of catching production. But for the rebuilding Milwaukee Brewers, sticking with Maldonado would be missing an opportunity to obtain more assets through trades.
In Colorado Springs the Milwaukee Brewers have two catchers that could become cheap in-house candidates through the rebuilding years or another opportunity for David Stearns to acquire more young talent. One option is bringing up Manny Pina (.329/.371/.506) acquired in a trade for Francisco Rodriguez last season. The other is Josmil Pinto (.324/.384/.488) who was claimed off waivers from the San Diego Padres. Giving either catcher an opportunity to handle a major league staff and provide an offensive upgrade over Maldonado would allow Stearns to be taking trade calls on a catcher this time next year.