Milwaukee Brewers starting catcher Manny Pina left Wednesday’s game with a shoulder injury after Javier Baez collided with Pina at second base. He was sent to Milwaukee for tests.
Since Pina is not currently with the team in St. Louis, the Milwaukee Brewers are without a backup catcher currently. That means Erik Kratz will handle the catching duties and he hopefully will not get hurt during a game.
Unless the Brewers decide to put Manny Pina on the disabled list prior to Friday’s game against the Cardinals, they will be stuck with Hernan Perez as their emergency catcher. That’s not exactly an ideal scenario.
The Brewers will need someone to be the backup catcher if Pina has to miss any time. Should a DL stint be necessary, there are few options for a replacement.
What about Jacob Nottingham?
Nottingham is already on the 40 man roster, and has been in the big leagues for a little bit this season. He’s played well this year and has bounced back from a couple struggling campaigns the last few years.
The only problem is, he’s injured right now. He’s on the DL in Triple-A Colorado Springs with an intercostal strain.
He’s the only other catcher outside of Pina and Kratz that’s on the 40 man roster. That means, should Pina miss time, someone else is going to have to fill his spot.
Other Catching Options
One name that Milwaukee Brewers fans are familiar with is Jett Bandy. Bandy was DFAed by the Crew earlier in the season, cleared waivers, and was outrighted to Triple-A. In the minors this season, Bandy has a .307 average with eight home runs and 31 RBIs, to go with a .909 OPS.
But fans may remember how much he struggled at the plate in the big leagues, posting a .188/.268/.266 slash line this year prior to his demotion. But he already knows most of the big league pitchers and is well-liked in the clubhouse.
Another option is Christian Bethancourt. The former Padres backstop joined the Brewers this past winter and has done well in Triple-A. This season, Bethancourt owns a .295/.325/.512 slash line with 19 home runs and 61 RBIs. Some of that could be attributed to playing in the high elevation at Colorado Springs, but the numbers are still notable.
Neither of these players are on the 40 man roster. Which means someone is going to have to be removed from the roster in order to call up one of them.
None of this matters if Pina doesn’t have to miss any time and is cleared to play during this Cardinals series. But if he isn’t cleared, one of these two will have to come up.
My guess would be Bandy getting the call over Bethancourt simply because of his previous experience with this pitching staff. His bat has improved, and as long as he hits, he can be a valuable member of this Brewers team, because he’s a strong defender behind the plate.
The Milwaukee Brewers will have a tough decision ahead of them on Manny Pina. He was just turning things around at the plate before his injury, too.