As I wrote yesterday, I was hoping that the Phillies fired John Malle and replaced him with a Charlie Manuel type hitting coach. Well, the Phillies did just that, only it was Uncle Charlie himself who will be the hitting coach. what great news. Lost in this is this news that Matt Klentak went out and signed veteran catcher, Nick Hundley. Could this mean the end for Andrew Knapp?
Hundley has played in the major leagues for 13 years with 5 teams. Most of his career was spent in San Diego. Hundley’s career slash line is .247/.299/.405. These are average numbers although this year he struggled at the plate with Oakland. Hundley hit .200/.233/.357 in 70 at-bats, driving in 5 runs. Hundley has experience which could be his most valuable asset. He spent most of his time as a backup catcher but was the A’s starting catcher before going on the injured list.
Andrew Knapp, on the other hand, is younger and is in his third season. He has a career slash line of .219/.327/.325. This season in 94 at-bats he is hitting .191/.315/.266 with 4 RBI. Knapp is familiar with the pitching staff and was behind the dish for a few of Zack Efflin’s starts when Efflin was on a tear.
The alternative is bringing up Rob Brantly or Deivy Grullon from Lehigh Valley. Brantly’s slash line is .300/.395/.452 in more of a backup role to Grullon. Grullon is hitting .286/.353/.474. but Grullon is the youngest of the bunch and needs to be an everyday player. Sitting behind J.T. Realmuto isn’t good for his development.
Regardless of what the Phillies do in relation to the backup catcher, having veteran depth at a position as important as the catcher is always warranted. whoever is the backup, expect Uncle Charlie to get them hitting.
Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports