Aug 1, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher A.J. Pierzynski (35) flips his bat during the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. The Brewers defeated the Cardinals 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
One of the more controversial Chicago White Sox players over the past decade, catcher A.J. Pierzynski joined his seventh team in his MLB career this week after signing with the Atlanta Braves.
Pierzynski last played for the White Sox in 2012, but was a pivotal member of the 2005 World Series champion team which swept the Houston Astros. The White Sox will be celebrating that team this upcoming season for their 10th anniversary of the championship.
The Chicago Tribune wrote the following on Pierzynski:
"“The contract will not be finalized until January, but Pierzynski is expected to take a significant cut after earning $8.25 million in 2014 … He is expected to be a backup to Christian Bethancourt with the Braves.”"
As I’ve said many times Pierzynski is one of my favorite White Sox players of all time. During his time with the Good Guys (2005-12) he gave the team an extra edge and mental toughness they’ve been lacking the past few seasons.
Since leaving the White Sox after the ’12 season, Pierzynski has played for the Texas Rangers (2013), along with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals last season.
With the Red Sox and Cardinals last year Pierzynski still batted .251 with just five home runs and 37 RBIs. It wasn’t his best season offensively, but he can still work with a pitching staff, and I believe he’s one of the smartest players in the majors. He’ll be a good player for the Braves to have on the bench next season as they begin their rebuild. He’ll be like having an extra coach on the staff. Now if only he was better at making friends with his teammates.
In his time with the White Sox, Pierzynski batted .279 with 118 home runs, 460 RBIs and he had an on-base percentage of .318. His slugging percentage was .424 in his time with the White Sox.
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